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Antique Marine Engines and Outboard Motors Discussion on old marine engines, naptha, gas, oil or steam and vintage outboard motors.

Antique Marine Engines and Outboard Motors

Walking Beam Steam Engine


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  #1  
Old 03-18-2018, 10:47:19 AM
dave stevena dave stevena is offline
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Default Walking Beam Steam Engine

Hello everyone

i just joined the forum looking for help on a project i have undertaken.
This is the story of a lost steam engine that was once part of the propulsion system on board the civil war ironclad Cairo. My goal is to create the steam system first as a 3D animated video then once i have all the pieces and parts i will 3D print them and build a working model.
The problem at this point is the main auxiliary enging is "lost" and no one seems to know where or when it went missing.
so let me begin with the drawings.

the question i have is if the engine was lost what is the drawing based on if it was never seen? so what can the drawing be based on?

the main engine pumped water to the boilers from the river, it turned the capstan, it heated the vessel and drove the paddlewheel.

i have scant knowledge of these steam engines and the drawing lacks a lot of finer details. So if i can gather enough information i might be able to reconstruct the main engine.

At this point i have a lot of questions and few answers
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  #2  
Old 03-18-2018, 10:54:18 AM
dave stevena dave stevena is offline
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Default Re: walking beam steam engine

when you take a clos look at this steam system there are a lot of finer details
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  #3  
Old 03-18-2018, 11:16:23 AM
dave stevena dave stevena is offline
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Default Re: walking beam steam engine

As the story goes the Cairo was found intact in 1956 and local groups undertook the salvage operation. The problem was they did far more damage to the Cairo by ripping it apart. There are tales as they tried to lift reckage out of the Yazoo river parts fell back into the river. Maybe the main engine was one of those parts that fell back into the muddy bottom. OR maybe the main was salvaged and ended up in someones front lawn as yard art or it just fell off a truck and vanished. What was salvaged ended up in storage in a shipyard for 12 years, the engine could have been part of this stored wreckage. At this point the National Parks aquired the wreckage and built the Cairo museum without the main engine. My research process is to obtain as many photo collections as i can find and see if the main engine shows up in any photograph. If it does that is a starting point of a time and place to start the search. If the main engine does not show up in any photographs then it is quite possible it is still on the bottom of the Yazoo river. If this is the case then the next question is what didnt the National parks go get the engine? Why build an entire museum and leave out the main engine?

If searching through the history of the salvage operation from the start fails to find the original main engine then there is not other alternitive but to start with the posted drawing and build the engine from other historical examples.

it stands to reason photos were taken durning the early salvage operations and crowds gathered with cameras so someone has to know what happened to the missing maim engine.
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  #4  
Old 03-18-2018, 11:25:31 AM
dave stevena dave stevena is offline
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Default Re: Walking Beam Steam Engine

sorry for the type errors in my posts. i thought there was an edit option but i seems there isn't so i will be more careful.
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Old 03-18-2018, 11:35:24 AM
Lester Bowman Lester Bowman is online now
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Default Re: Walking Beam Steam Engine

I think from your pics that the MAIN engine is there. What seems to be missing is the little "DOCTOR" engine which ran the water feed pumps and auxiliaries. There are a number of these little "Doctors" in preservation.
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Old 03-18-2018, 12:18:47 PM
dave stevena dave stevena is offline
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Default Re: Walking Beam Steam Engine

I think from your pics that the MAIN engine is there. What seems to be missing is the little "DOCTOR" engine which ran the water feed pumps and auxiliaries. There are a number of these little "Doctors" in preservation



you are right about the "doctor" actually this engine did not run the paddlewheel i miss stated that in my post


oh boy a lead do you know of any of these that are in preservation?

i contacted the Henry Ford museum which has a huge collection of steam engines and archives and they do not have anything like it.

i did find out the engine is a Hartupee engine built in Pittsburg PA but the company disolved away into history.

In my research i did notice most all engines have the big flywheel to one side this one has it in center.
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Old 03-18-2018, 01:28:10 PM
Bill Hazzard Bill Hazzard is offline
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Default Re: Walking Beam Steam Engine

The first photo in your second post is the one of the main engines.
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Old 03-18-2018, 01:34:45 PM
Lester Bowman Lester Bowman is online now
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Default Re: Walking Beam Steam Engine

The only pic I have not under copyright is this one..sent to me 40 years ago by Bob Johnson who had just finished restoring it. I have no details as to maker..

Should move this post over to the steam section. You'll get better input
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:40:16 AM
dave stevena dave stevena is offline
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Default Re: Walking Beam Steam Engine

after months of searching i am starting to wonder if these old walking beam engines were all one of a kind. There seems to be all sorts of configurations from the bean sitting on an A frame to the 6 column style. so far i have found no details on the Cairo engine, nothing not a single drawing, photograph orexample.
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Old 03-19-2018, 01:27:36 PM
Bill Hazzard Bill Hazzard is offline
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Default Re: Walking Beam Steam Engine

According to the drawings, the main engine is not a walking beam engine. It is a horizontal engine with a cross head and connecting rod similar to the one in the photo.
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