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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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  #11  
Old 03-19-2018, 03:17:49 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Walking Beam Steam Engine

Not sure if it will do any good, but you might try to contact Clive Cussler. he writes semi historical novels and does marine research - finding lost ships. he has writen sevaral books about finding lost ships "the Sea Hunters being one of them. he might be able to tell you something about the engine.
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  #12  
Old 03-20-2018, 12:42:19 AM
Lester Bowman Lester Bowman is offline
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Default Re: Walking Beam Steam Engine

The "Doctor" engine does use a "Beam" arrangement but its fundamental arrangement was mainly a smaller secondary engine with built in water feed pump (s). I'm not familiar enough with them to know if some were fitted with air pumps as well if the engines were running with a condenser.

They were called "Doctor" engines because they supplied the necessary requirements to keep the engine "well".. water feed, ect.

The Cairo ( without me going deeper into it ) may very well have had TWO of the main engines of which one still exists as shown in your pictures. It would be a challenging and very interesting duplicating the Doctor engine in a smaller scale. Quite a project for sure but the builders always seemed to pretty up the Doctors with fluted columns and fancy turnings.

The Beam engines you posted do not seem to me to be secondary Doctor engines as supplied on these early steam boats. The Doctors are much smaller and compact. I am not being critical at all. These early marine engines are quite different from other steam practice of the time. Very long stroke and a different actuating valve gear and long wooden connecting rods set them apart from the norm.

It is important to understand how the main engines and boilers were supported by the Doctor engine thus making up a complete and reliable steam plant

Could it be possible the other "half" of the main engine still lies in a murky tomb with the Doctor never being recovered?
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  #13  
Old 03-20-2018, 10:44:23 AM
dave stevena dave stevena is offline
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Default Re: Walking Beam Steam Engine

by looking at you tube videos the 2 main engines are there so are the boilers.
The doctor used to pump water to the boilers and power the capstan is missing along with all the piping. So there is no complete working system. i think the fire box to heat the water is also missing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlG2KTSpsAQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gseh5bAo2zc

This is what would make a scale working model interesting to see the entire system and how it works. To do that there is a lot of missing things to fill in.

As for the doctor the historical report does have a drawing but everyone involved in the salvage and the report are long gone or retired so there is no way to make contact to find out if pieces and parts are still in the river or if they just went missing durning the 12 years the vessel was in storage.

To locate information on these little doctor steam engines seems to be very rare.
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  #14  
Old 03-27-2018, 02:32:25 PM
dave stevena dave stevena is offline
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Default Re: Walking Beam Steam Engine

i can see the green columns support the upper structure what i am not sure of is the red columns. Are these hollow? what is the blue valve is see no inlet or outlet to this valve.
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  #15  
Old 03-27-2018, 06:58:13 PM
Bill Hazzard Bill Hazzard is offline
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Default Re: Walking Beam Steam Engine

The red column would support the pivot of the walking beam. It is not clear why there is a valve drawn in the red column. It is possible that steam could go through the column but it would not make much sense to build the engine that way.
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  #16  
Old 04-03-2018, 12:16:25 PM
Greg Johnson Greg Johnson is offline
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Default Re: Walking Beam Steam Engine

The center column is used as an air chamber to reduce water knock from the pumps.
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Old 04-05-2018, 12:50:13 PM
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Robt. Robt. is offline
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Default Re: Walking Beam Steam Engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave stevena View Post
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.
Where does a walking beam come into all this? The engine as previously stated is a horizontal with the bar from the conrod presumably reaching out to the crank on the paddlewheel axle shaft.

What an amazing condition that vessel was in and what a pity it was wrecked by those "people" back in 1956.

There should be plenty of eye witnesses to that travesty still around if you ask. There would have been film coverage as well as still photography and of course coverage in local print media. Start with the local newspapers and archives?
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Old 04-18-2018, 09:35:14 AM
dave stevena dave stevena is offline
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Default Re: Walking Beam Steam Engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robt. View Post
Where does a walking beam come into all this? The engine as previously stated is a horizontal with the bar from the conrod presumably reaching out to the crank on the paddlewheel axle shaft.

What an amazing condition that vessel was in and what a pity it was wrecked by those "people" back in 1956.

There should be plenty of eye witnesses to that travesty still around if you ask. There would have been film coverage as well as still photography and of course coverage in local print media. Start with the local newspapers and archives?
that was an error in the posts the walking beam engine was not actually the engine that powered the Cairo. The walking beam engine was actually a pump that pumped water from the river to the boilers and provided power to turn the capstan. These were called "doctors"

here is the actual engine
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  #19  
Old 04-18-2018, 09:47:16 AM
dave stevena dave stevena is offline
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Default Re: Walking Beam Steam Engine

There should be plenty of eye witnesses to that travesty still around if you ask. There would have been film coverage as well as still photography and of course coverage in local print media. Start with the local newspapers and archives?

that is a mystery to me when I asked the Cairo museum what happened to the doctor steam pump the only answer is "it was lost" so where was it lost and where was it last seen? Did it fall back into the riverat the time of the salvage operation and still there to this day OR was it taken at some point during the 12 years the wreck was in storage.
My idea like you said there were thousands of people watching the salvage operation.
so if this engine was recovered it should show up in some photograph. finding that one picture is like finding 1 needle in 10,000 haystacks.

the National parks has a drawing of the doctor in its structure report so what is that drawing based on? If the original engine was never recovered or seen than how do they know what it looked like? Or perhaps it was recovered and the drawing is based on the original before it got lost.
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Old 04-19-2018, 09:10:04 AM
Peter Short Peter Short is offline
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Default Re: Walking Beam Steam Engine

Dave,

Thanks for the photos and info about this vessel, it is great to see so much has survived - especially the main engines and boilers.

It took me a while to realise the paddle wheel is like a stern wheel recessed between two hulls for protection.

I found the trailer for a DVD which apparently shows the salvage of the Cairo, maybe you will spot the missing engine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Jbzt7F-SpM

Of all the machinery, I guess the "Doctor" would be the most sought after, perhaps it was salvaged in earlier years? An interesting puzzle.
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