An engine on eBay from the old WI Steam Rodeo

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Jim Jake Templin

Guest
Re: An engine on "that site" from the old WI Steam Rodeo

I have seen a couple of articles about some of these engines. The sad thing is that a lot of the engines that were treated to these modifications ( rigging them up on truck frames to go up to 40mph) were complete and in excellent condition before butchering.:mad:

I still can't fathom what possessed guys to cut down the front wheels of engines and put airplane tires on the front, but this????

I am convinced that there was something in the water in the 50's and 60's...............:uhoh:
 

Farquhar

Registered
Re: An engine on "that site" from the old WI Steam Rodeo

I am convinced that there was something in the water in the 50's and 60's...............
That too--- plus there were a lot more engines "laying" around then, and a lot less folks innterested in them as we are today.
A guy gave me a boiler on a truck frame a while back-- the motor/engine had been removed. The boiler is probably beyond repair. I've not even gotten close to it yet, as its behind a chain link fence, locked up. I plan to get it when the weather warms up, and it should make a good piece of yard art.
 

oldtractors

Subscriber
It would be a shame to see a fixable traction engine converted to a truck. However, I think a lot of them were being used in stationary use and had the wheels and gearing scrapped during the war. I think Allen's 20th Century and maybe Mike McKnights Case had that happen to it?

One of those would be fun to have though. Especially if it was still titled and licensed as a truck. I could really terrorize the town with something like that.
It would be like Lawrences steam truck on steroids.
 

Mark L. Jordan

Registered
I looked at this too. I don't like the "truck frame modified" engines either. I think that a reasonable solution for "restoration" if the proper parts are not anywhere available, is to simply make a portable out of it. Find some suitable steel wheels, and salvage or make the undercarriage. Display it as what it is, a salvaged engine that "represents" a piece of history, even if it is modified.

Just my thoughts....

MJ
 

Mike McKnight

Registered
It would be a shame to see a fixable traction engine converted to a truck. However, I think a lot of them were being used in stationary use and had the wheels and gearing scrapped during the war. I think Allen's 20th Century and maybe Mike McKnights Case had that happen to it?
You are correct, sir! That IS what happened to my poor Case. I know a lot of traction engines were also cut down in later years to a portable boiler on a truck frame rig, to steam tobacco beds. Lots of engines wound up this way...:(

Darn shame to see a rarer engine like a Northwest have this happen to it, but maybe there's parts somewhere to re-convert? In today's day and age, I'll bet someone (Kory????? :D) could make the patterns to make a new set of gearing and whatever else is missing, if worse came to worse. Probably be a fun toy to play with as-is, anyway. :)

Mike
 

oldtractors

Subscriber
Display it as what it is, a salvaged engine that "represents" a piece of history, even if it is modified.

Just my thoughts....

MJ
Most of these modifications were made in the 40s and 50s. Those engines have been modified now for a longer period of time than they were in original condition. If you want to represent most of that particular engine's history, it should stay on the truck frame.

That truck frame modification is probably older than what most people call "antique" tractors.
 
I was looking through my old Iron Men Albums and found something about the Wisconsin Steam Rodeo and the truck frame conversions. An article appeared in the Sept-Oct 1955 issue on page 16 concerning a guy named Clinton Jackson of Mondovi WI who had taken a 30 HP Huber and set it on a 3 ton Diamond T frame, but reported that the engine was just too heavy and so he pulled it off and then cut up another engine, a 16 HP Huber, and it worked much better.

The good part of that article was he reported how he returned the 30 to steel and it showed a picture of it all back together.

It's too bad that happened to the Northwest on ebay. But it looks like it might make a good project for someone.

Even yet, historical preservation and safety aside and considering what's done is done, I bet a rig like that could be a lot of fun. You could still work it on the belt and it would probably get away from a stop light in short order.

In the IMA article, Mr. Jackson said he wasn't sure of the gear ratio, but the engine traveled 14 feet per chuff in high gear!

Sam
 

Craig A

Moderator
Staff member
There's a 75hp Case skid engine in the neighborhood which is mounted in a similar fashion.
I was told there were quite a few of them done up that way for steam engine races. YUP.......STEAM ENGINE RACES....... :eek:
 

Ken Majeski

Subscriber
There is also a 22 Minnie currently near Lacrosse Wis. that has been done the same way... (At least I think it's still there)

I looked at it some years ago and the Bad part is they welded the truck frame right to the Boiler... :(

I think you will see a Lot of these Borderline engines surface in the future... I bet that 1964 Boiler certificate will do a lot of good... :(
 

Mike McKnight

Registered
I was looking through my old Iron Men Albums and found something about the Wisconsin Steam Rodeo and the truck frame conversions. An article appeared in the Sept-Oct 1955 issue on page 16 concerning a guy named Clinton Jackson of Mondovi WI who had taken a 30 HP Huber and set it on a 3 ton Diamond T frame, but reported that the engine was just too heavy and so he pulled it off and then cut up another engine, a 16 HP Huber, and it worked much better.

The good part of that article was he reported how he returned the 30 to steel and it showed a picture of it all back together.

Sam
Here's the article Sam referred to here:

http://www.steamtraction.com/archive/311/

The Helluva it is, the 16 HP referred to, as the pictures show, was a 16 HP Return Flue Minnie, that's now rare as hen's teeth! How in the world could that guy do it????? :eek: :(

Anyone know if the old Minnie is still around, and if there are enough parts left over after the "perversion" to return it to original? I've seen one Minnie RF, and the castings on them make them look like a work of mechanical art....shame, shame, shame!

Mike
 

Pete Deets

Registered
Gents,
Some of these engines in east central Wi. were put on the truck frames to keep them working such as a Minne lovingly known as "Big Jim". This engine was used to move houses & barns and who knows what else. There are also a couple of Buffalo Springfields that were rescued from a junkyard and put on rubber, otherwise they would have been cut up. They are used today in parades and similar applications so they are still able to show folks the sights, sounds & smells of Steam.
They still exist and are cared for and last time I checked, the owner still can do what they like with their own property....PD
 

Terry Welch

Registered
Pete, back many years ago when I was a youngster there was one of these "conversions" thet used to run through the parades in Reedsburg. I know this is just a short distance from you. Have you ever heard about this machine? I do not know what the make was. My uncle knew the owner, but he is gone now so I can not ask him. I did get to see it close up and personal when I was about 10. I remember the owner telling me he could do 35 MPH with it.
Terry
 

Chuck Sindelar

In Memory Of
It would be a shame to see a fixable traction engine converted to a truck. However, I think a lot of them were being used in stationary use and had the wheels and gearing scrapped during the war. I think Allen's 20th Century and maybe Mike McKnights Case had that happen to it?

One of those would be fun to have though. Especially if it was still titled and licensed as a truck. I could really terrorize the town with something like that.
It would be like Lawrences steam truck on steroids.
Just to clarify, these were not made into a truck. They merely mounted the boiler( and motor) on a truck frame and running gear. And WERE NOT for stationary use. Quite the opposite. They were made into a high speed traction engine, but my guess is they likely had very limited traction.At least some of these were done B-4 the hobby craze had started. The only such rodeo that I am aware of was held at the County Fairgrounds at Luxemburg, WI somewhat East of Green Bay. The races were held on the oval dirt track previously used for horse racing. One of the first one thus made up was "Big Jim" a 28 Minnie I believe so converted way back about 1937, if not B-4. It was then still being used for belt work, and they had merely modified it to get from set to set much quicker. That conversion was soon followed by several others, some of which are still in use today for parade use. Some have been reportedly been clocked in excess of 50MPH Thus eliminating the hassle and cost of having any need to be hauled. That 28 Minnie, and several others made what is a three hour trip today by car today, to the state Fair in Milwaukee and back home again several times. and it led the parade, on the opening of the mackinac bridge, connecting the upper and lower penninsla of MI. Although there may well be others, I am only aware of one that has been converted back and put on orig. steel (A 65 Case). at which time the truck running gear of the Pierce Arrow truck was scrapped. At a race on the oval track at one of the rodeos in the 1950s, one of the "Speedsters" made from a 20 Case was rolled over. Luckily no one was seriously hurt, but the "Speedster" did suffer considerable damage. It was soon fixed up and running again , and is still in use today. In the Jan/Feb 1954 issue of IMA is a short summary of their 1953 rodeo Where this converted 20 Northwest(for sale on ebay right now) won the race against the 28 Minnie, and the 20 Case. It says this three way race was the highlight of the day.The crowd to see a similer event another year was estamated to be in excess of 5000 and drew spectaters from 19 states, it obviously being a populer event to behold. In those days (the 1950s) many of the spectators attending such event grew up working with steam. Most had farm backgrounds where steam had supplied belt power, and were only accustomed to seeing these same monsters move about 2MPH. They obviously would drive long distances to see them race on a oval 1/2 mile dirt track at speeds reported to be at times in excess of 50 MPH. Times have changed and some of you have stated your opinion about how these machines were destroyed. Opinion vary as their owners today think they have the best of both worlds. The joy one can get when working with steam,and the speed and ease at which one can get his toy moved considerable distances under it's own power.In todays climate such races can never be held again. That founding club is still in existence today and enough of those "Speedsters" still exist to hold another such race and I assure you that if that were to happen, I would be there and hopefully would be on one of them as engineer or fireman. What a rush that would be. And I'll bet the event would again draw a big crowd. The Minnie mentioned by Ken in a previous post near LaCrosse, WI is I believe the one pictured on p.16 of the Sept./Oct issue of IMA and again on p. 17 of the June 1957 issue of E& E, and put together at Mondovi, WI by the same Jackson Bros(Willard and Clinton) that converted the Huber also mentioned in a previous post in this thread. I am only aware of these speedsters being built in two seperate areas of WI. Were any of them built anywhere else?
Chuck
Chuck
 

Pete LaBelle

Registered
Here we go down that road of authentic -vs- modified engines.

If anyone among us has a ball valve, teflon packing, or state of the art non-fading glossy paint on their engines, then they too are not authentic anymore.

I agree, in today's views, it's too bad these engines in queston were modified into racers, but this is now a chapter in the history of the traction engine that needs to logged and remembered, good or bad.

If modifying equipment to make it a better spectator sport bothers you, you probably otta not watch NASCAR.

Pete
 
A

Allen

Guest
I am facing a somewhat similar dilemma. I have accumulated many of the major parts needed to put my engine back to looking like a "proper" traction engine. (It won't be exactly like original, but only maybe 50 people in the world will know without stopping to study it what the differences actually are.:O )...OTOH It has spent 47 years in it's current configuration, but only 27 or so in it's original state...so which is the more "historic" appearance?

Money wise, it's probably worth more back on steel.
 

Jeff Smith

Subscriber
I have always tought that it would be fun with something like these engines on rubber for a Sunday drive through the country. I think that they would be fun with safety being #1. I like steam, be it on a truck frame or original, as long as it is safe. I would not take a rare engine and build one of these, but I would consider a more common portable. Mr. Teeter had one in WV that was really neat, and he called it a "road locomotive" and it brought great joy to many folks around Franklin. It was a neat engine that looked like a train, but it was built on a bus frame with a Soule engine and a Frick boiler. I think he told me it would go as fast as 50 or 55 mph. It always seemed a little strange as a kid to see a "train" with a steering wheel! :) There are a lot of nice country roads in Florida that with a huge tank wagon full of water and a big load of fuel, it could be a nice way to travel and lot of fun.

Jeff Smith
 

Pete Deets

Registered
Allen:
My opinion is worth what you've paid for it, but if you try to build your engine to make everybody else happy you'll probably never finish it. It's yours, do what makes you happy.

Pete LaBelle:
Very nicely stated.

Terry:
I've only lived in 'Boo about 10 years so have not heard of a machine but consequently that doesn't mean a whole lot.

Chuck:
Where is this mystery bridge? Are you coming to the WHSEA meeting in Edgar on Saturday? If so perhaps we could discuss it a bit & I could also find it & take some digital pictures to post.......PD
 
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