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 Post subject: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 3:41 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 1:05 am
Posts: 1140
Location: San Francisco
Folks,A Library user asked me this question and I thought it would also be of interest to this group.Where is the oldest steam engine in the United States? We talked further and crossed off foreign built enginess like the John Bull.So my answer is for stationaly engines the C&D walking beam pump engines in Chesapeake City, MD Built 1837?A for railroad locomotives one of the locos at the Baltimore and Ohio Museum in Baltimore. Built when?What do you think?Ted Miles


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 4:44 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
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Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Unfortunately, most of the railroad nominees suffer the "Washington's hatchet" problem of several handles and hatchets ago......The boiler and one cylinder of the Stourbridge Lion is preserved by the Smithsonian, on display at the B&O Museum, but that's British-built....Maybe the "Andrew Jackson" "grasshopper" at the B&O Museum, which I think dates fundamentally to 1837?


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:11 pm 
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Location: Beaumont, Texas
Ted Miles wrote:
Folks,A Library user asked me this question and I thought it would also be of interest to this group.Where is the oldest steam engine in the United States? We talked further and crossed off foreign built enginess like the John Bull.So my answer is for stationaly engines the C&D walking beam pump engines in Chesapeake City, MD Built 1837?A for railroad locomotives one of the locos at the Baltimore and Ohio Museum in Baltimore. Built when?What do you think?Ted Miles
Hello Ted;Way too young. :)I believe the oldest surviving American-built steam engine is John Fitch's model steam engine from 1780s or 1790s. As listed below, it was at the Ohio Historical Society Museum in Columbus; my daughter is in the area and asked her to check it out and photograph it if possible: http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_bo ... s2.htmNext would be the steam engine and boiler from John Stevens' 1804 steamboat "Little Juliana": http://www.smithsonianlegacies.si.edu/o ... ?ID=146The Smithsonian (where it is housed) labeled it the "oldest surviving steam power plant built in America". That may be the answer to your question.The 1836 locomotive "Atlantic" at the B&O RR Museum is one of the oldest American built locomotives. The "Mississippi" at the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago was also built in 1836; thought to have been by H.R. Dunham & Co. I don't know if that is an American or British firm.The Watt beam engine in the Ford Museum came from England; so it doesn't count. But, it may be the oldest steam engine in the country, period.-James Hefner Hebrews 10:20a Surviving World Steam Project


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:20 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2005 2:13 pm
Posts: 102
THing about the Andrew Jackson, along with it you'd have to include its' two surviving sisters. The John Hancock, and the John Quincy Adams in Ohio.


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 11:54 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 1:05 am
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Location: San Francisco
These engines are new to me; are they in David conrad's book?Thanks for posting!Ted Miles


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 12:32 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:19 pm
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Location: Washington, D.C.
I don't have a copy of Conrad but they surely must be. Here's some raw info on the three Grashoppers. All are tiny vertical-boiler rigid frame 0-2-2-0s or 0-4-0s (difference is whether drivers are connected with a rod).1(6) 1835 Carillon Park, Dayton, OH. Named Traveler, or John Quincy Adams(I have no knowledge of its physical condition)no number B&O Railroad Museum Named Atlantic (really #7 Grasshopper, Andrew Jackson, built 1836, rebuilt by B&O and much altered to resemble the Atlantic as she appeared in about 1834. Largely a replica at this point)8 1836 B&O Railroad Museum Named John Hancock (significant portion original to end-of service configuration ca. 1870-1890)Here's what they look like:http://image24.webshots.com/25/4/67/88/37546788RgBomT_ph.jpg

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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:50 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 1:05 am
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Location: San Francisco
Erik,Thanks for that. I saw a replica of one and I think you at one of the Railfair 1991 in Sacramento.Did not realize that one of the originals was also in the collection.Glad that the roof did not fall on something that ancient!Ted Miles


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 6:39 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:19 pm
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Location: Washington, D.C.
I don't think any of the Grasshoppers went to railfair, but I beleive the Tom Thumb replica (also verical boiler) and the Lafayette Norris 4-2-0 replica did. It sure wasn't me you saw, but it might have been George Harwood, the museum's master mechanic--he and I look a little bit alike (apologies for any insult to George implied in the statement :-) ). Or maybe Harold Dorsey. We're all white men of roughly the same age...

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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 7:40 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2005 2:13 pm
Posts: 102
Traveler was not the locomotive's name, it was done at the later exhibitions and numbered 1 as it was the oldest one. It was built as the John Quincy Adams, number 6. The museum has restored the locomotive as the JQA, but kept the incorrect 1 number.It is in beautiful condition, I visited it about 6 months ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2005 3:09 pm 

Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2005 9:07 pm
Posts: 80
Location: PA
What's the oldest operable steam locomotive in the US today ?Wasn't the John Bull operated in the mid 1980s ? Is this considered to no longer be operable ? I've also heard it's B&O #25 " The William Mason ". Regards,Trevor H.


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2005 3:25 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:19 pm
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Location: Washington, D.C.
There are a bunch of different answers depending on the exact definition you use.1. Physically capable of being operated with minimal preparation--probably John Bull, but not Part 230 compliant and never will be, and is unlikely to operate for the forseeable future2. Legally able to operate on the general rail system (FRA Part 230 compliant)--well, the Mason will be soon, but is not operating this year. 3. Operating this season--maybe The Henry Ford's 1873 Calumet and Hecla Forney?The you could open the whole can of worms of "how much is original?" or "what is original?" Much of the John Bull is original (including both the boiler and frame I beleive); very little of the William Mason is original to the 1850s, I dunno about the Forney.So its all in the definitions...

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 Post subject: Re: "John Bull" operations
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2005 3:26 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:01 pm
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Location: SouthEast Pennsylvania
"John Bull" was operated about 1982 for its 150th birthday, and run for testing about a year earlier. A famous Smithsonian official said it would not run again until its 200th birthday!


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 Post subject: Re: "John Bull" operations
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2005 4:00 pm 

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Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
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"John Bull" was operated about 1982 for its 150th birthday, and run for testing about a year earlier. A famous Smithsonian official said it would not run again until its 200th birthday!
It was 1981, and lest anyone start making their plans for 2031 already, I believe the actual quote, in response to "when will you fire it up again?" queries, went along the lines of "come back and talk to us in 2031 and we might think about it!"


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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine (operable)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 1:28 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:51 pm
Posts: 1865
Location: Southern California
If we move up to 1875 there is Dan Markoff's "Eureka." Subject to the normal wear and tear, it appears to be very much original. Part of this is because it was owned by operations that did not do any major rebuilds.Dan reports that the boiler is the orginal steel boiler. The frame is original. The tender tank is original, but it sets on a rebuilt frame (because the orginal was charded in fire shortly before Dan bought the engine). All the brass work is original except for the cylinder covers, which were too dented for Dan's desires. The cab and boiler wrapper are new. At this time it is reported tha Markoff is applying for an FRA waver to allow an extra 5 years on his flue time which expires at the end of this year.

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 Post subject: Re: Oldest Steam Engine
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 10:06 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2005 2:13 pm
Posts: 102
The 'forney' Mason bogie the Torch Lake is largely early 1900s. When the engine was still narrow gauge (4'1, one of the first narrow gauges in the country pre-D&RG) it and several sisters were almost completely destoryed in a shop fire. The Torch Lake's boiler, frame and cylinders were all that was salvaged.


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