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Portable converted to traction engine?

David Parfitt

Registered
Age
46
I came across this photo on a Chinese website about traction engines, but the picture is apparently from an old English book on the subject. However, the engine looks American, and is perhaps a portable converted to self-moving as an early form of traction engine? Does anyone recognize this engine at all?

(Source: http://club.dayoo.com/)



Here are another couple of pictures from the same site: The first is I think a Geiser Peerless, but I don't see a steam dome? And is that their make of plow too? The second picture is labelled in the book as a ‘Walking Tractor’, built by Henry B. McMurray of Pennsylvania.


 

Alan New

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Age
65
Last Subscription Date
12/28/2009
David,

The engine in the first picture is a Heilman, built in Evansville Indiana. It was built as a traction. It's one of their first engines.
 

M Zeigler

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/11/2019
:wave: David,
I will take a guess and say the Peerless is a Q model, I have attached a picture of one of my Grandfather's showing the opposite side, the steam dome is small but was probably hidden in the plowing photo. The second picture posted in error.

:D,Mike
 

Attachments

markq

Registered
The 3 pictures are in the book "Traction Engines" by Anthony Burton. The "portable" is labeled as unknown, American, about 1890. The one with the interesting non-wheels is labeled as by H Murray of PA, 1885.
Cheers, Mark
 

Mike Rohrer

Subscriber
Age
64
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
The Geiser is a "Q" or an "R" with one of Geiser's Steam plows from the late 1800's to the early 1900's. I have where they sold a few plowing outfits but there are few pictures of them.

Thanks
 

Beth V

Moderator
Last Subscription Date
03/03/2018
I want to know more about the "walking" steam engine! That would be interesting to watch....although I agree, the ride could be a bit rough..

Thanks!
Beth:wave:
 

Jim Mead

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/01/2019
The Heilman is fascinating. I presume the jack shaft pillow blocks are carried on ways, adjusted by the handwheels, that allow the main drive chain to be removed for belt work, like the Westinghouse belt tightener. The large round case on the jack shaft must contain the compensating gear. And the tender design is too cool, right down to the oil can in its holder to the right of the tool box...

All best,
Jim Mead
 

Alan New

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Age
65
Last Subscription Date
12/28/2009
David and Jim,

Finally got around to scanning these cuts from my 1887 Heilman catalog.

Jim, you are right about the compensating gear and the chain tensioners. The engine does actually have a pin clutch in the flywheel so that the chain does not need to be taken off. The catalog says that the idler sheaves on the boiler bracket are made of laminated paper "to reduce noise". The forth picture shows their standard portable engine. I put it in to show the difference in design between their portable and traction engines.

My 1910 Heilman traction engine is MUCH different than this one.

Alan
 

Attachments

Alan New

Registered
Age
65
Last Subscription Date
12/28/2009
By the way, David, I can't thank you enough.

Where the heck did they get these photographs of these early engines? Especially the Heilman. It's the best picture I've ever seen of an early Heilman like that.

Alan
 

David Parfitt

Registered
Age
46
Alan,

Thanks for your help with this, and for posting the early catalogue scans! I'm really not sure where the author of the book found these lovely old photos - I wonder if the source is credited in the book itself? Maybe Mark would be able to check this, as I don't have the book?

All the best

David
 

markq

Registered
David,
These three pictures are credited in the book to the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village Research Center. Along with these are two of pictures of a Peerless from 1890's pulling a thresher.
Mark
 

David Parfitt

Registered
Age
46
Thanks Mark. Can I just ask how many early photos are in the book altogether? I was wondering if it was worth trying to find a copy to buy, but not sure if most of them are on here already?

All the best

David​
 

markq

Registered
It's not a bad book, may be intended for a young audience, but the quality of reproduction is good. There are a few other b/w of early English and German engines, otherwise mostly color pictures of preserved engines. There is a good pen line drawing of a Buffalo Pitts (?) on the inside front and back covers. Not sure if I can add this as a thumbnail here.

If you are looking for older engine pictures, Steam on The Road by David Burgess Wise may be worth looking for. The paper and plate quality leaves something to be desired but there are several interesting images.

Mark
 
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