Corliss steam engine

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at
Tue Jun 29 16:05:24 EDT 2010

Denton Farm Park has a operating steam 350HP Bates Corliss engine (among
other steam equipment). Wasn't able to find a image of it on the web.
The engine operates over July 4 holiday during the "Southeast Old
Threshers' Reunion". This is a single cylinder engine with around 18'
flywheels if I remember correctly. An impressive machine.

Many consider Denton to be the largest antique farm equipment show east
of the Mississippi.

- Roger Link

On 06/29/2010 03:32 PM, NW Mailing List wrote:

> The mention of a Corliss steam engine prompts me to invite anyone

> railfanning around Roanoke, VA, to visit one of the finest remaining

> examples of a Corliss type steam engine in the Crystal Spring Pumping

> Station located off Jefferson Street near McClanahan Avenue, south of

> downtown Roanoke (just a block south of where the N&W/NS Winston-Salem

> line passes under Jefferson Street).

> This steam pump was built by the Snow Steam Pump Works of Buffalo, NY in

> 1905, and pumped water into Roanoke's water system until 1959. This

> horizontal cross-compound steam engine with Corliss-type rotary valve

> gear consists of one 19" dia. high pressure cylinder and one 40" dia.

> low pressure cylinder, 36" stroke, driving a 13-foot, 11-ton flywheel,

> which in turn drives twin tandem water pumps with 13-1/2" dia. cylinders

> and a total of 240 rubber 4" valves. At nominal operating speed the pump

> had a daily capacity of 5,000,000 gallons of mountain spring water.

> Unfortunately the adjacent boiler room that supplied steam to the pump

> was razed, but the pump house and its pump have been preserved and

> restored. The pump is driven by a hidden electric motor so that visitors

> can appreciate the motion of the large flywheel, Corliss valve gear and

> the fly-ball governor on a beautifully restored piece of historic machinery.

> The Station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and

> the Snow Steam Pump is recognized as one of the last, best examples of

> its kind by the Smithsonian Institution.

> The restored Pump House is operated by the Historical Society of Western

> Virginia and is open to visitors May through September, Saturdays 12-4

> and Sundays 1-4 pm. Admission is free.

> Gordon Hamilton


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