Nichols & Shepard Thread

Since the first steam engine I ever ran was a 20/70 double cylinder side mounted engine, I still have a soft spot in my heart for that brand.

This 25 hp rear mounted Nichols & Shepard is owned by my friend Graham Sellers of Coldwater, Michigan. While this is a late engine, it is a very scarce one. Notice the rack & pinion steering, utilizing king pins, rather than a complete axle steering.
Gary ;)

 

ChadYelland

New member
Re: How about a Nichols & Shepard thread?

i never thought i'd see another one of those Racks, theres one up here we hope to get running some day, a 25-75, i noticed the N and S gas tractor in storage is the same set up. i'll have to look at the engine number
 
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Jim Jake Templin

Guest
Re: How about a Nichols & Shepard thread?

My little 13 Hp NS (currently down for boiler repair) is quite the little bear in the belt. I first came aware of it in 1987 when it was owned by a Mr Greer. Athe the Texas early Show grounds in speegleville, tx, that little Nick, running at125psi just flat ate up a heavily loaded 32" Case separator, although it was all that it wanted. In fact, the little NS did a better job than the 50hp Case that was the regular power.

This little 13 was used very little as a traction, but was rolled inside a shed and used as a steam supply for a cleaners around Meridian, Tx.

BTW Chady Attebury has stated that his father thought that a 20hp double sidemount NS was about as nice a threshing engine as was made.
 
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Rick Mannen

Guest
Re: How about a Nichols & Shepard thread?

There was a 25 N&S single 5 miles from here until recently. It is pictured on page 194 of Norbeck's Encyclopedia. He shows it owned by the Marshalls at that time but then it came over here to Jerseyville, Ontario to Jack Calder. Jack Passed away a couple of years ago and the engine went to his daughter and family in Northern Ontario and I think they are still running it. Jack had been in failing health for a few years and he asked me to help get it ready for inspection a year or so before he passed on. It is one impressive engine with a heavy boiler shell - close to 1/2 inch methinks?!?!. He had Oliver's Boilers install a new crown sheet a couple of years prior to that. It seems to me the inspector gave us 175 psi.. I never got too much of a chance to run it but it seems like it was a very easy steamer and quite pleasant to operate. Have always been impressed with N&S products. Jack was a character to be sure with a background in police work and earlier in steam railroading. He was a dedicated steam man and always willing to help others learn a bit about the steam art. I miss the chats we used to have.
Rick.
 

Casemaker

Active member
Re: How about a Nichols & Shepard thread?

The best handling big engine that I have had the chance to run was a 25-85 single N&S side mount. It handled better then some 16hp engines that I have run and it was easy to fire and did not use a lot of fuel or water either. I have seen it carrying 80 lbs or steam and output a 28 Minn that was popping off at 160 lbs while plowing.
 

Casemaker

Active member
Re: How about a Nichols & Shepard thread?

On the flip side one of the worst handling engines that I have ran is a 20-75 N&S rear mount. Most of the wieght is on the rear wheels to start with and then combined with the undersize front wheels - it makes it a chore to steer if you are plowing or even going up a hill. You can crank the steering wheel then watch the front wheels skid on top of the ground and wonder if backing and turning will be needed. I think that it would be excellent for tractor pulling contests where you want the weight on the back wheels and you hopefully would be going straight.
 
Re: How about a Nichols & Shepard thread?

The first N&S is the first engine I ever ran, a 20/70. This was taken the spring of 1955 after the fall I first ran it in the fall of 1954. I was still eleven years old and am the dude with his leg in that uncomfortable position. Mike Tyler is up there with me. My uncle Bill is at left and my dad is at right, proud that his son now had a working engine to run.

The second 20-70 is Carl Mehmke's. It is as nice as any remaining and is very original. It has new platform wood, paint and decals. [Dean Alling, I apoligize to you... You were the engineer in this photo on that snowy Mehmke Plow Day. I'd already mentioned all of that in my gallery, so I spaced it out here. Sorry, buddy]

I apologize for the next picture, as it was the best already scanned picture I could find here, at this moment. It is of me and my son Mike at Belgrade years ago, as we were running the Barne's 1898 16 hp plowing. I have to give Nichols & Shepard a chance, as they did improve their engines over this one. The clutch was a bad one to work with, the throttle was a killer and it steered (herded) like a bear when plowing, but it would really open your eyes plowing. It was a very easy firing engine. Like I said, they improved after this one. JBoogie likes the governor on it.

Casemaker, I have wondered if N&S shouldn't have continued the front water tank, although they went to side water tanks on their new rear mounts, for weight ahead of the rear axle? I have never ran a rear mounted doing anything. I played with Randy Schwerin's 16 hp rm at Cedar Falls in 1992 and that is my only contact, so I can't weigh in on them.

Another question for those of you with the rear mounted N&S engines... What was your opinion of that valve gear? My experience was basically with the Stephenson link on the earlier engines.
Gary ;)





 
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Casemaker

Active member
Re: How about a Nichols & Shepard thread?

I liked the valve gear on the earlier model N&S engines. They seemed to be not as wasteful as the later ones. This is just my personal oberservation - we have to remember that all of these engines are old - most of the time if something is wrong or not quite correct - its the owners fault and not the engines. I would like to be able to compare two brand new N&S engines (one a sidemout 20, the other a rear mount 20) then we could have some subjective comparisons.
 

MYaeger

New member
Re: How about a Nichols & Shepard thread?

Here is another of the 16 N&S plowing with our 4 bottom plow, Paw is right, keeping it straight while plowing is a tough one (something about a monkey and a football). :eek: One of the things I do like about firing it is the double decker firebox door.
 

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Steamrguy

Subscriber
Re: How about a Nichols & Shepard thread?

Gary, Thanks for the Pic. I remember that day. I was engineer on the Nichols running in the snow. Funny thing! The guy from California (me) is the only one not wearing a jackett! (Actually I was born there in Great Falls)
 

Mike McKnight

Active member
Re: How about a Nichols & Shepard thread?

Steamrguy said:
Gary, Thanks for the Pic. I remember that day. I was engineer on the Nichols running in the snow. Funny thing! The guy from California (me) is the only one not wearing a jackett! (Actually I was born there in Great Falls)
At least you had a nice warm fire in front of you.....
Mike
 

Colin

New member
Re: How about a Nichols & Shepard thread?

Theres 2 20-75 rear mounts at the austin museum up here. they seem to be in pretty decent shape. i kind of got the valve gears figured out with dad here and he thinks the side mounts with the stevenson linkage are better than the ones with the clay. he said the ones at austin fire hard with the clay linkages. does this make any sense? gary do you know george hoffman in britich columbia? at danny roens sale he was talking a blue streak on those big 35 Nichols engines. i think he said his was a later one with updates in the diferentials and other places. i think the older ones had problems breaking differentials and the rear wheels not holding up as well. i wish i could remember all the other stuff he said
also another thing i was going to mention in the gaar scott thread is that the clutch pulleys on the 40 gaars look very similar to the pulleys on the nichols engines. heres a picture of the line up at dannys sale showing his 35 N&S :)
there was some confusion on who bought that engine. i thought it was the man standing there with the blue hat and green coat. but he did not buy this engine, he bought the 25double at the rynda sale i think... does anyone remember his name i forget :confused:
 

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JBoogie

Active member
Re: How about a Nichols & Shepard thread?

20 Reeves Highwheeler said:
I apologize for the next picture, as it was the best already scanned picture I could find here, at this moment. It is of me and my son Mike at Belgrade years ago, as we were running the Barne's 1898 16 hp plowing. JBoogie likes the governor on it.
highwheeler, is that the same governor i commented on previously? i think the one in the earlier pic was one of them old-school govs. with 2 cast balls. kinda like a pendulem. i may be mistaken

the one in this pic looks like some kind of 2 ball pickering:confused:

since this is a N&S thread, i thought i would ask a few ???'s

1. if there are any return flue Nicks around?
2. also, does anyone know anything on a rumored N&S, Advance, Upton connection? someone said on here before that they shared castings. i have noticed a few similarities between the 3 and would like to hear other peoples thoughts.
 

John Tysse Jr.

Subscriber
Re: How about a Nichols & Shepard thread?

35 HP N&S Steam Engine. Danny's 35 N&S was bought by three fellows from SE Minnesota a fellow by the name of Mike, Joe Brosig, from Winona and am not sure but think Kevin Ponclet from Zumbrota was the third fellow. The fellow in the blue cap and green coat from the back could be Mike. At Danny"s first sale the newspaper took a picture of Mike and Joe catching a nap under a combine. They were not napping when the big Nick was sold at the next sale. They are getting it all done up right and may bring it to Rollag for a show sometime. That would make Danny proud. He told me when he bought that engine he took it out of the shed and drove it home having to cross a wooden bridge. He looked the bridge over and decided it was OK to cross but when he did the wood just sort of squealed cause of the load. The 40 inch Illinois seperator bought by Murry Johannson from Manitoba came with the Big Nick. Kevin Ponclet (not sure of spelling) bought the 25 Gaar Scott that was sold on consignment at the Rynda sale he bought it later in the day from the fellow that bought it at the Auction. This engine at one time was owned by Jack Burrows, High River, Alberta and is the highest numbered 25 Gaar Scott that I know of, a darn fine engine. Burrows also had a dandy late model Gaar Scott single and George Hoffman in BC has it now as far as I know. Hoffman also has the 35 N&S that was at Drumheller, Alberta but it was a older model than Dannys. Danny and I looked at it a couple of times. John Tysse Jr
 

Mike McKnight

Active member
Re: How about a Nichols & Shepard thread?

John Tysse Jr. said:
Kevin Ponclet (not sure of spelling) bought the 25 Gaar Scott that was sold on consignment at the Rynda sale he bought it later in the day from the fellow that bought it at the Auction. This engine at one time was owned by Jack Burrows, High River, Alberta and is the highest numbered 25 Gaar Scott that I know of, a darn fine engine. John Tysse Jr
John,
Do you know the serial number off that Gaar? That was the old Leighty Gaar, wasn't it?
Mike M
 
Re: How about a Nichols & Shepard thread?

Colin said:
there was some confusion on who bought that engine. i thought it was the man standing there with the blue hat and green coat. but he did not buy this engine, he bought the 25double at the rynda sale i think... does anyone remember his name i forget :confused:
Colin,
The man in the blue hat and green coat did buy the Roen engine. His name is Mike Richter. He also had a partner in this purchase as reported by John Tysee. Although, I am pretty sure that it was just one partner and Kevin Poncelot was not in on this deal?
Thanks,
Warren Bellinger
 

Colin

New member
Re: How about a Nichols & Shepard thread?

ok it sounds like you guys have this all figured out. i guess i was still mixed up :crazy: its too bad that big Nick coudln't have been at rollag in 2003 when all the other big engines were there. there was a lot of big engines lined up that year when you think about it. 110 case, 120 rumley, 40 avery, 40 advance cc, 35 Buffalo-Pitts and the 45 Minneapolis tc. mark peterson 32 reeves would have also filled in the line nice.
 
Re: How about a Nichols & Shepard thread?

20 Reeves Highwheeler said:
I apologize for the next picture, as it was the best already scanned picture I could find here, at this moment. It is of me and my son Mike at Belgrade years ago, as we were running the Barne's 1898 16 hp plowing. JBoogie likes the governor on it.
JBoogie said:
highwheeler, is that the same governor i commented on previously? i think the one in the earlier pic was one of them old-school govs. with 2 cast balls. kinda like a pendulem. i may be mistaken

the one in this pic looks like some kind of 2 ball pickering:confused:

since this is a N&S thread, i thought i would ask a few ???'s

1. if there are any return flue Nicks around?
2. also, does anyone know anything on a rumored N&S, Advance, Upton connection? someone said on here before that they shared castings. i have noticed a few similarities between the 3 and would like to hear other peoples thoughts.
JBoogie,
That is the same governor you asked about earlier in the thread showing this engine "pulling" the 20 bottom plow at Belgrade. And, I have never heard of a surviving Nichols & Shepard return flue. I hope there are some though.
Gary ;)
 
Re: How about a Nichols & Shepard thread?

My friend, Tom Stebritz is shown beside his 16 hp side mounted Nichols & Shepard single cylinder in the 1950s, I believe.

The next picture is of Tom behind the same engine in later years. I believe he said Graham Sellers Bought this engine from him.

The last picture is another of Mike Tyler and me, ages 12 & 11, at our farm in Montana's Judith Basin in 1955. I'd owned the 1926 Model T Coupe for about a year and a half and the 1925 Model TT for nearly a year. Nobody has asked the question yet, but the grouters on the 20-70 Nichols & Shepard are quite worn down, as this engine grew up in a gravel pit.
Gary ;)





 
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