250 Years of Watt's Engine

Next year, James Watt’s legendary patent, A method of lessening the consumption of steam in steam engines-the separate condenser, will be 250 years old! I would like to celebrate. I’m looking for places that are going to have a celebration so that I can make a plan and maybe join in. If you hear about any festivals or parades or tractor pulls or steamship races, put them here.

I’ll be making a pilgrimage to the Stanley Steamer museum in Kingfield Maine.


A Stanley Steamer in 1903 setting a record mile at the Daytona Beach Road Course



A Buddy of mine goes to one here in Florida every Winter. IIRC, they show case both Steam Engines and IC Engines.


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Only a bit off-topic; A gathering of folks who love and know how to maintain old farm machinery is a damn good place to think about the people who understand the nature and use of tools.

This is related to what @Steamer was talking about in one of threads about the value of building ships in the U.S that the spreadsheet boys miss.

Veblen postulated that the more useless some activity is, the more status it confers. So a steam and antique tractor show is doomed to have reduced status because it is a gathering of the most utilitarian devices ever cooked up by the mind of humans.

The reason speculations about the perceived status of tools and the people who use them are important is because people who can use tools gracefully are uniquely positioned to create alternative futures. Society pays a heavy price for lowering the status of the tool users. Why?

We expect everyone to learn at least a little science in schools but we will give important jobs to technological illiterates. This is a bad idea for many reasons because here is what the technologically literate bring to the table.

They embrace and organize for complexity.
They love big projects.
They have a clear understanding of how many steps are involved between an idea and a working outcome.
They know what it takes to finish a project.
They are much less likely to low-ball the costs of a project.

And because the tool users suffer from lowered status, their important jobs have been shipped overseas because Leisure Class fools have no way of valuing the tool-users’ vital contribution to civilization itself.

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Home town pride: https://lavintage.ca/

I don’t have to go far to see old farm stuff, this is the view from where I am sitting at the moment.

There are saunas on most drillships if you wanna go hang out with a few drillers in speedos.


International Farmall, Super-C, purchased new by my grandfather in 1952 (I think). Was being use to run a cord wood saw up to a couple years ago,

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There is still a few around down here in NZ. Any tractor parade at an Agricultural and Pastoral Show will feature one. A cord wood saw was normally fabricated by a fitter and welding apprentice while serving their time in the many workshops serving the farming community throughout the country. Most were made to fit the Massey Ferguson 35’s belt driven off the PTO with the supplied accessory belt drive unit.
After killing lots of farmers you will find nothing else used but 4-w-d tractors on New Zealand Farms. I made a very Swift decent down a hill in a 2-w-d tractor as a young man and a stand of small trees and bush slowed me down and I survived with only scratches to my legs. As was usual in NZ we wore shorts summer and winter here.
I have a black and white photo taken on a supply boat before H & S got involved. We were all wearing rigging boots and shorts. Helmets, coveralls, safety glasses, ear muffs were still in the future. In fact we didn’t look much different from a crew of a square rigger the previous century.

I didn’t know that the Royal William, built in Quebec in 1831 sailed the first transoceanic mostly steam-powered voyage (1833). :canada::fleur_de_lis:
Sea water boilers, so they had to shut down to do blowdowns, but other than that she was under power the whole way.

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