Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Steam Whistles & a Locomobile Engine

by Nancy DeWitt
© Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum

Be sure to look closely under our video players when you visit the museum. You'll find some interesting artifacts, including these steam whistles and Locomobile steam engine.

Steam whistles were commonly used on locomotives and steam ships as warning devices, and in factories to signal shift changes. When the lever was pulled, a valve opened and let live steam escape through an aperture. The steam alternately compressed and expanded inside the bell, creating the sound. The whistle’s tone depended on the bell’s length and how far the operator opened the valve.

The 2-cylinder Locomobile double-acting steam engine was designed by the Stanley Brothers and is nearly identical to the one in the museum’s 1901 Rochester (not  presently on display). In addition to powering automobiles, Locomobile engines were used for industrial purposes like driving conveyors and hoists, and feeding sawmill carriages.

Coming to Fairbanks to see the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum and other area attractions? Support the museum by staying right here at Wedgewood Resort. 

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