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How Not to Display a Case 50 HP

1881case10hp

Sponsor
Last Subscription Date
10/18/2019
This Case 50 HP belonged to Mr Buster Brown who lovingly cared for it and ran it for 25 or so years. The engine was in excellent condition with new flues when Mr Brown sold it some years ago to a Mr. Jim C. of Phoenix, AZ. who took it to the Skull Valley AZ area and it was run there for a few years. It was sold again about 8ish years ago and went to the Robson Mine Museum near Aguila, AZ. After the museum acquired it was run and greased for a few years and then neglected. About 2 years ago an attempt to buy the engine in order to save it from further decline was made. The Museum responded with a $79,000 asking price. This is the condition I observed 04/10/2020 and the on site caretaker stated he had "no interest" in doing anything to improve it's storage or condition.
 

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Odin

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/13/2019
They don't have a shed for it, or at least a pavilion they can push it under so it is out of the weather?

And stored with dirty flues, how horrible. Makes me wonder what the inside of the boiler looks like, the smokebox handhole was still in like they had merely opened the blowdown and didn't bother to drain and wash it properly after its last use. If the boiler was good before it likely isn't now if it was stored wet.
 

Casemaker

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
03/04/2020
The engines location averages 9 inches of rain a year with humidity around 35%....midwest can easily exceed 85% with 5 times the rainfall of that area. In a few years that engines boiler condition will remain like is while a midwestern engines boiler can go to pot in its shed with an average humidity twice that of Arizona.
 

78Loadstar

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
03/11/2020
That is the trouble with museums, once you donate they can do anything they want to with it. Years ago I donated some turn of the century (1800's) stuff to a 1800's working farm museum. IIRC I signed a paper saying they could do anything they want. Some of the stuff is still used, other stuff I don't know.
 

Paulcc

Registered
If there aren't treating it with care, or have interest in operating it, maybe they would take a trade for it. If it's in good shape, maybe they would accept a similar engine with a bad boiler?
 

dalmatiangirl61

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
I have been to that "museum", its a wonderful collection of rusty stuff that does not work, and there is no desire there to seeing things work. There is a fairly recent video on YT of the place, in it one of the people running the place comments on how people no longer have an interest in mining equipment and they just arrive, walk around for a few, then leave. Considering its just a static display of rusty junk, I am not surprised.

A recent video of the site, not sure if this is vid I was thinking about
 
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tharper

Registered
I have been to that "museum", its a wonderful collection of rusty stuff that does not work, and there is no desire there to seeing things work. There is a fairly recent video on YT of the place, in it one of the people running the place comments on how people no longer have an interest in mining equipment and they just arrive, walk around for a few, then leave. Considering its just a static display of rusty junk, I am not surprised.

A recent video of the site, not sure if this is vid I was thinking about
This makes me sad. I work extensively with a museum that views "Living History" as its mission. They believe in using and demonstrating the artifacts to bring history alive and hands-on as possible. To me at least this is a vibrant museum experience. If it was a stuffed and mounted collection it would have very little appeal to me. Yes, there are costs - insurance, maintenance etc. and you have to accept the fact that things will wear out and things will break and that you have to be prepared to deal with it. And yes, you have to have a cadre of dedicated and skilled volunteers. However, the rewards are so great.

Hopefully this lovely beast will eventually wind-up in a good home.
 

Buster

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
06/04/2021
A little history on this 50 HP case ... I bought it in Idaho in the late 70s When i paid to have it hauled to Wellton..... they said it would be 2 or 3 days and I would have it.... 2 week later it had not showed up Got A phone call 2 weeks later that the cops found the truck with A steam engine on it at the Railroad Casino east of Las Vegas ...driver got in trouble and was in Jail ........The trucker company sent another driver to Get truck and deliver it to my farm in Wellton AZ.... I thought I had lost it before I got started ....After it was delivered I checked it over and called the state of Arizona to inspect it.... They had me Hydro it and they done the Ultra Sound and gave me A clean bill of health. At that time I think it was only one certified to run in AZ .. when the state done the Ultra sound they were in love with it .. I run it at shows in Phoenix Glendale Tucson Yuma Wellton Quartzsite Buckeye AZ Kept me busy all the time ...after 3 years I lost A flue.. I put all new flues in boiler and all the tubes in preheater.
This engine did not have contractor bunkers ...It came with original water tank which I hauled with engine
also did not have A pump but it had A low pressure injector and A high pressure injector that worked real well ...... I am slow on typing . ...... The Rest of story to follow You will like it ..
Buster Brown
 

Buster

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
06/04/2021
More on the 50 HP case
My home was next to old 80 highway east of Yuma 30 miles. One day A man traveling from Yuma to Phoenix . seen my engine and stopped to visit .said his dad from back east was staying with him in
Phoenix and was bored with nothing to do ...He asked if his dad could come and visit . I told him Saturday would be the best time ... On Saturday A pickup pulled up in yard...had A front license that said I love Case Engines ..His Jacket had A Eagle on it and shirt had A case Eagle on it . I knew he was for real . He said let
me introduce my self ...I am Frank Miller and live in Kewanna Ind ..We visited all day ..said he wanted to get A motel and come back next day ..did not want to drive 185 miles back to Phoenix. ..I showed him my nice Guest house. He took me up spent the night ...Next day we visited ... What A nice wonderful man..
I showed him where the water for engine the wood and steam oil and where he could drive around the farm and asked him to spend A month. Next day I came home and he was out driving around farm..
The following day I came home Engine was drained ..all hand hole covers were out throttle valve apart Gov apart piston was out slide valve out ...site glass out said he was going to give it good inspection ....and go back with all new packing .. WE had to take the throtle valve to machine shop there was something Frank was not happy with ... had it done to where he was happy .Frank said it was sad it did not Have A feed Pump. I told him there was A phone in guest house ...If he could find one and I would wire the money.. The next day he said he had found one and all gearing and it had been shipped ... I will add more later Buster
 

Buster

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
06/04/2021
More on 50 HP Case
When the pump arrived . Frank checked it out and we put the entire engine back together ..Run it around farm for A couple days .. ..Frank said all the engine needed was A nice paint Job .. I set it on blocks took off all wheels and done A professional paint job ... Two weeks later I took it to Phoenix to A show .. I called Frank to run Engine at show ...One Happy man when show was over Frank said all the engine needed was A new set of Coal bunkers .. He said he made them ..I paid him and he said Bunkers
would be done in three months ...about two months later A freight truck delivered them . what A nice job
..He done A professional job building these bunkers they were primed when they came and I painted them and put on decals
Installed on engine ...This engine on A scale of 1 to 10 would be A 10 ..I run it three or four years .
Most shows were 100 to 240 miles one way . got to be two much work and time . the price to hire it hauled was getting expensive so sold it to A man in Phoenix and the engine went to A ranch in Skull Valley AZ .. The only time the engine was used was once A year he had A private party for his employees .
I would go up to ranch run engine and hauled people all day around ranch on A big trailer . with hay bales to set on . when this party was over I spent next day cleaning up engine and putting it back in A very nice building .. When he sold engine it went to this museum ..I went up to see engine A couple of years ago . They said some one run it for A couple years . What I seen was A engine that had been used.. the flues had not been cleaned smoke box full . no cover on stake water had not been drained
entire engine needed help and lots of it ....... I felt like I had seen A very nice engine that was left to Die
and had feeling I had just attended A funeral END OF STORY Buster Brown
 

mcmlvii

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
04/17/2020
Boy, what a story. Thank you Mr. Brown for writing this down. Crying shame what's come of the engine now. Maybe it will again gleam with someone's TLC.
 

Steve Kunz

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
06/23/2020
Boy, what a story. Thank you Mr. Brown for writing this down. Crying shame what's come of the engine now. Maybe it will again gleam with someone's TLC.
Yes, what a nice story and terrible to hear how the engine ended up.
Thanks Buster for the story.
 

Dale Russell

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
08/29/2019
When people donate things to a Museum, They fail to realize that what they donate, still NEED's someone that has the expertise & knowledge to maintain things like a Steam Engine to keep it from deteoriateing over time. Most Museums are short on Finances.
Dale
 

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