OT - ALCO Steam Engine: Info Needed

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: OT - ALCO Steam Engine: Info Needed
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem on Thursday, April 03, 2014 - 10:31 am:

My friend bought this steam engine last weekend and wants to know more about it, (since he now knows nothing, other than it's an automobile type steam engine). The logo on each steam chest cover appears to be ALCO, which to me means American Locomotive Company. ALCO made very high end cars beginning in 1909 and ending in 1913. That's outside of the era of this engine. They began business however in 1901, making steam locomotives, which looks more promising. Wondering if it could be that they made this engine as an early product that was marketed to steam car manufacturers. All of this is theory however.

Do any of you auto historians know anything more about this engine? Thanks!






(Message edited by adminchris on April 03, 2014)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Thursday, April 03, 2014 - 12:06 pm:

Hey Jerry,.....I took a hard look at that engine at Chickasha too! Not that I'd have had any use for it, but I also have a love for any kind of steam engine. Just thinking,....(actually, my wife suggested this to me) maybe Jay Leno and his "team" could help you identify the engine, or, at least know someone that could. Got to believe they have some good "contacts" among the "steam community". Just a thought,......harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By mike conrad on Thursday, April 03, 2014 - 12:23 pm:

Darn it Harold! I think You should have bought that engine too but I'm sure you were to busy buying us all rusty souvenirs. Great engine Jerry.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Nicholas Lingg - Tarboro, NC on Thursday, April 03, 2014 - 12:37 pm:

Could be a water pump from a Locomotive steam engine?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem on Thursday, April 03, 2014 - 01:20 pm:

Harold,

It didn't come from Chickasha. It came out of a private collection in Toledo, OH. Did the one in Chickasha have the same logo?

Nicholas,

We thought of that, however, if you look in the center of the crankshaft, it has a sprocket on it, as was common automotive practice.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Fred Miller, Sequim WA on Thursday, April 03, 2014 - 01:52 pm:

Hi Jerry, Union Pacific's Heritage Operations in Cheyenne, Wyo might be a good leed for you. They restore old Steam and could probably help you. The 4014 Big Boy that they are currently bringing in to restore was also built by ALCO in NY.

http //:www.upsteam.com.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Miller, Mostly in Dearborn on Thursday, April 03, 2014 - 02:07 pm:

Jerry,

Are you sure it's steam? And are you sure it's automotive? Alco made a vapor launch engine for boats. Instead of water, naptha was the working fluid and the boiler was kerosene fired.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem on Thursday, April 03, 2014 - 02:30 pm:

Tom,

Pretty sure it's steam. It's even got a feedwater pump on one side.

I'm saying automotive because of the chain sprocket. Neither end of the crankshaft has any output shaft or drive flange such as a marine engine might have. I suppose it's not impossible that a prop shaft could be chain driven however.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Greenlees on Thursday, April 03, 2014 - 03:52 pm:

It is a generally accepted fact that the first Alco built was in 1906. It is not believed that they ever built a steam car, but built their first, which was a gas car under license from Berliet in France in 1906 and continued to do so until 1908.

In 1909 Alco came out with their own design and continued building them until 1913.

My guess is this that if this engine was built by them, it was for a non-automotive use unless it was experimental.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem on Thursday, April 03, 2014 - 04:35 pm:

David,

The thought is that it may have been built for sale to the steam car trade and not installed in an "Alco steam car" per se. Such as Mason did I believe. It's just a guess of course.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem on Thursday, April 03, 2014 - 04:38 pm:

Tom Miller,

It looks like naphtha engines were single acting. Also appears that they were mostly 3 cylinder engines. Very interesting though.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Herb Iffrig on Thursday, April 03, 2014 - 04:54 pm:

Is it made to be vertical or horizontal?
It looks like the logo would read from a vertical standing position.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Thursday, April 03, 2014 - 08:14 pm:

Jerry - Sorry for the slow response,....been away from the computer all day.

No, the one I saw at Chickasha looked so much like the one you posted a photo of that it fooled me. And now that you mention it, I'm sure I'd have noticed the logo if it had had one. It's amazing how small and compact some of those old automotive steam engines were!


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