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Henry Ford Museum Collection Photo Documentation

Jeff Smith

Registered
Last Subscription Date
08/05/2018
Henry Ford Museum Collection Photo Documentation

In 1978 my family took my sister and I to see the Greenfield Village & Henry Ford Museum Collection in Dearborn, Michigan; I was eight years old at the time. That trip made an impression on me that has lasted my entire life time to this day where I am now thirty five years old. I have a memory of things from my childhood that I am beginning to find amazing at this time in my life, for things that I remembered as a boy from this museum or even other steam shows are almost exactly how I remembered seeing them based on recent photos that have appeared on this site in other posts.

I will get straight to the point! I am very disappointed that the museum no longer is displaying one of the best steam engine collections that represented a large number of engine manufactures and American history in this country! I would like this thread to be dedicated to the collection that Henry Ford assembled of all steam engines that are or were part of the Museum’s collection. I would like to see photographs attached to this thread so that a person could take a virtual tour of the steam engine display that once was. This thread is an attempt to create photo documentation and any history of each and every engine that was part of this wonderful collection, so I would please ask that even if you have never posted on STEAMERS before, but have a large collection of photographs that you have taken while visiting this museum, that you contact myself or one of the lists moderators and they can contact me to make some sort of arrangement to have these photographs posted to this thread. I would also ask that only posts to this thread be about photographs or history of the engines, and not “gripes” about how we (including me!) are all disappointed that the HFM would remove one of the best collections in the country from the publics view.

I will begin by showing links to photos of Mr. Ward’s Geiser Peerless “Q” that was once a part of this wonderful collection. I photographed this engine at the Nation Threshers Association engine show at Wauseon, Ohio, in 2005. Mr. Ward, would you please tell us the history of your engine?

Sincerely,

Jeff Smith

http://www.smokstak.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=7101&d=1140192830

http://www.smokstak.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=7102&d=1140192830

http://www.smokstak.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=7105&d=1140192912

http://www.smokstak.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=7104&d=1140192912

http://www.smokstak.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=7103&d=1140192830

http://www.smokstak.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=7100&d=1140192830

http://www.smokstak.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=3276&d=1124313446
 
Last Subscription Date
11/13/2013
Jeff & Mogul6,
I only have one photo from the HFM, a Reeves skid engine. It is the only photo I have ever seen of a Reeves skid engine, and I have never seen a picture of a portable. It appears to be a 16 hp double simple.
Gary;)

 

psward

Registered
Last Subscription Date
07/09/2012
Jeff,

I am honored! The history is published in Steam Traction March/April 2004 starting on Page 4.

I also have a webpage dedicated to her history. Which can be found here:
http://www.psward.com/paulsward/myengine.htm
(Be patient with the web pages here...they are large but good!)

If any one has any questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them.

Today, "Ole Bet" is alive and well. Here is a link to some current pictures:
http://www.smokstak.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=6840&d=1138942312
http://www.smokstak.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=6838&d=1138942077

These pictures are from IMA taken of the Ford Museum many years ago...

-Paul
 

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psward

Registered
Last Subscription Date
07/09/2012
Also,

Old Bet's history would not be complete without the help of these folks!
Mike Rohrer (Thanks Mike!) for the shipping receipt and specifications.
Richard Backus at Steam Traction for publishing the article.
Renee' Ward gets all the credit for painting the gold-leaf details on the engine.
And for restoration help and guidance a big thank you goes to:
Larry Schunke, Troy Pawson, Mark Parsisson, Cattail Foundry, KR Hough, Ken Hough, and the folks at NTA.

Thanks!

-Paul:D
 

Sandiapaul

Registered
Paul,

I sure would like to see the pics on your site but they all show file 404 not found. I don;t think this is a prob. on my end....
As a kid I got to run and do a bit of restoration work on a 1897 TT.
 

psward

Registered
Last Subscription Date
07/09/2012
Peter,

Is this the Russell that was at silent bid auction at the same time the Peerless was? About 2001?

-Paul
 

Beth V

Moderator
Last Subscription Date
03/03/2018
psward said:
Also,

Old Bet's history would not be complete without the help of these folks!
Mike Rohrer (Thanks Mike!) for the shipping receipt and specifications.
Richard Backus at Steam Traction for publishing the article.
Renee' Ward gets all the credit for painting the gold-leaf details on the engine.
And for restoration help and guidance a big thank you goes to:
Larry Schunke, Troy Pawson, Mark Parsisson, Cattail Foundry, KR Hough, Ken Hough, and the folks at NTA.

Thanks!

-Paul:D
Hey Paul,

You might want to give Renee' more credit since she puts up with you & Ole Bet!:eek:

By the way guys, those attending Wauseon will get to meet Renee' as I think I have her convinced to manage the meal!:D

Beth
 

Peter

Registered
Last Subscription Date
11/14/2013
Hi Paul,

yes. that was a seal bid around that time frame. Henry Ford must be rolling over in his grave! All that time collecting, work in restoration and later to be sold off with no concern to where or whom the stuff goes.
 

psward

Registered
Last Subscription Date
07/09/2012
Peter,

Excellent! What kind of restoration work have you done - if any?

I have the Peerless
You have the Russell
Dale Sonke has the Birdsall
The Harrison is at the Labor and Industry Museum Belleville, IL

I always wondered who got the Russell.

-Paul
 

Peter

Registered
Last Subscription Date
11/14/2013
It appears to me all the HFM engines were restored right back to origional specs by Henry Fords staff. The only complaint I might have was the restorations were more practical than origional in every detail. I have been considering adding hand steering, which was optional at the time my engine was built. I have not done anything yet. I would atleast like to restore some minor cosmetics such as a period russell steam gauge. I joke around about getting two horses. I'd really like horses for other reasons, but thats not going to happen. I guess you know, they have sold a lot more than just the 4 you mention. Much more. I questioned the staff one time and was told they are glad to accept more artifacts as donations. The majority are later quietly consigned off to auction. This they consider support they deserve for all the good benifit they provide the community. :(
 

Chuck Sindelar

In Memory Of
Does anyone know if the old Reeves, #1147 is still there in storage, or where it might be now? The "Reeves Bible" says it is a US, 16hp, dbl. simple, portable--1909. I think it is safe to say that Reeves #1147 was not built in 1909! Gary, jump in here and give us the correct year on that one. Thanks
chuck
 
Last Subscription Date
11/13/2013
Chuck,
Reeves "portable" 1147 would have likely been built before the turn of the century, in the late 1890s? The picture I placed is a stationary, but I'd bet they are one in the same?
Gary
 

Beth V

Moderator
Last Subscription Date
03/03/2018
Gary & Chuck,

I was chatting with Rol this afternoon & he said to relay the message that the skid was sold before the last round of sealed bids. A man in Brooklyn, MI (about 50 miles from me) has it. It required extensive boiler work. When the guy put it on something, it was rather sick......Rol looked it over pretty good.

Rol couldn't remember the guy's name, but said Troy Pawson took him there. I'll drop Troy a note & see if we can get the rest of the story.

Rol needs to quit lurking & post these ......stops any misquotes!

Beth
 
I

ih10662000

Guest
i have the site adress for the harrison jumbo 1895 it's in good hands:D
 

Brad Kelley

Subscriber
Age
39
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
Here is a picture from my slides of the engine hall at HFM back in 1959. I have a number of other slides showing the HFM engines and I will try to post them all here.



Here's a Port Huron portable parked outside in Greenfield Village.
 

Jeff Smith

Registered
Last Subscription Date
08/05/2018
Brad,

Thank you for posting the photos from your family's collection. When I started this thread I was hoping to see a collection of photos compiled from everyone that would document how the HFM was (as I remembered it as a child) for those who were not able to see it first hand. I can still remember standing there (about where your photo was taken) as a child and just being amazed at the collection of steam engines and how I just thought it was one of the greatest things in the world that I had seen!

Please continue to post anything relative to this once notorious engine collection that has now passed by the way side.

Thank you,

Jeff Smith
 

LCJudge

Subscriber
Age
60
Last Subscription Date
12/14/2019
Great thread and I really enjoyed the photos. When the HFM had a change in administration in the late '70's, the thought was to get rid of the old iron junk and improve the exhibits. Its so sad to see how they sold the collection, some of it at bargain prices (10% or less of what it was worth), just to clear the floor. I have a friend who ended up with many items from there. One of his buddies purchased an original Wright Brothers Flyer engine (probably worth close to if not six figures) for $500. After the sale and the folks at the HFM realized what they had done, they wrote him a threatening letter stating that the sale was "unintentional" and the item had to be returned. He told them to forget it as it was in his garage now. They threatened to sue but everything was on his side and it was a legal sale. He's still got it.
 
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4367ssik

Guest
Hello, I bought this Colt Baxter Steam Engine in January 2006. It is the engine I looked at with my Dad in the early 1970s. It was gifted to Henry Ford December 28, 1928 by the Colt family to Henry Ford for the open of the museum. I offered it back to the Henry Ford Museum in March 2006 for free and they said they didn't have room for it. It sits in my tool shop now.
It's good for a big smile every morning when I open the shop.
 

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