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Short's Duplex High Speed Steam Engine (B.C.)


Bill Pittman

When I was a kid growing up in British Columbia, a kind old Steamer by the name of Bill Eckford lived down the street from us. He had this engine (and others) mounted on an old Austin chassis, and whenever I'd drop in after school, he would fire the thing up and drive me home, all of 2 blocks. (Walking was way faster, but not as much fun, Haha). Mr Eckford and I grew to be great friends, and when he passed, his very nice daughter gave me the engine, and it's been a conversation piece in my office for around 35 years. Can anybody tell me anything about these engines? When were they built? What were they used for? What would be a reasonable valuation? In preparation for an extended world tour, I may offer it for sale, or alternatively put it in storage and keep it for my children's estate. Any information you can offer will be greately appreciated. You can Email me directly at seeker45ca@yahoo.com if you want. Thankyou


Jim Koehler

Last Subscription Date
Hi Bill....

I just came into possession of one of these engines this past month. Admittedly, yours is a lot nicer looking than mine.... for mine still has it's "work clothes" on, but nonetheless they are the same engines. When I got mine it was free-wheeling so after an initial oiling of the bearings and a couple of squirts Kroil in the valve chest, I hand rotated the engine for a while. When I felt it was ready, I cracked the compressor valve open just enough to turn it over. As I opened the valve I was going to give the pulley a spin but the engine didn't need it! She started up on her own. I just let her rotate with about 20# of air pressure and of course no load. After about 3 minutes of running, since I don't have a cylinder oiler, I shut it down and just admired this really nice engine! I'm researching the company name but I don't seem to find much about it. Still, I imagine a steam boiler with maybe a 50# capacity would be more than enough to keep this engine running nicely. One drawback to this engine is that there's no reverse....if there was, it probably would make a nice launch engine.
Good luck with yours....


Last Subscription Date
Nice is in the eye of the beholder. I like working clothes. Is that a single acting engine? The governor internal like a Westinghouse? Or what?

Any more you can add, photos, would be interesting. Migth also serve to bump it up again in a few weeks. But don't wait 10 years like that Bill Pittman posting :) Anyway, Bill is long gone as is I assume his engine.