35-year-old display piece sees the light of day!

This forum is dedicated to the Live Steam Hobbyist Community.

Moderators: Harold_V, WJH, cbrew

AnthonyDuarte
Posts: 248
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:46 am
Location: Mountain View, CA
Contact:

35-year-old display piece sees the light of day!

Post by AnthonyDuarte » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:11 pm

Today I picked up a gorgeous 3/4" scale pacific that has been sitting in front of a fireplace for over three decades.
According to the previous owner, it was built by Al Kolmer in the late 50's in Buffalo, NY.
The markings on the cylinder castings read "BIRCH"
The grates really rock to get rid of ash build up, and the axle pump looks like a booster engine. The smokebox cover unscrews out of the smokebox cylinder, which will hopefully keep paint from chipping off every time it's removed for cleaning.
Lots of neat little things.

As with any piece of machinery that's been sitting for 30+ years, valves and other things need to be looked over and cleaned. But it should be a good runner!
Expect to see it out at GGLS in the near future.
DSC_0045.jpg
DSC_0025.jpg
DSC_0035.jpg
DSC_0050.jpg
DSC_0049.jpg

SilverSanJuan
Posts: 251
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 9:28 pm
Location: Upstate NY

Re: 35-year-old display piece sees the light of day!

Post by SilverSanJuan » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:52 pm

WOW!!! She's a real beauty. :) Nice find, Anthony. Let us know how she looks during your inspection.

Todd

User avatar
DianneB
Posts: 731
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2012 3:05 pm
Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: 35-year-old display piece sees the light of day!

Post by DianneB » Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:19 am

What a pretty engine. I am green with envy!

PRR G5s
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:22 pm
Location: Edwardsville, IL

Re: 35-year-old display piece sees the light of day!

Post by PRR G5s » Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:50 pm

Anthony,

You are correct about the builder. I've attached a scan of a photo and letter he sent to Pershing "Scotty" Scott of Iowa. I obtained the photo and letter when I purchased a 3/4" Friends atlantic from Scotty several years ago. They were inside an envelope of plans that Scotty sent along with the engine. I've always wondered what happened to the engine. Based off the drawings and picture, it appears Kollmar started with a Coventry PRR K4s pacific, and modified it. It looks like someone re-numbered the engine at some point.

Eric L.
Attachments
A Kollmar Letter_Resized.jpg
A Kollmar Photo_Resized.jpg

User avatar
LVRR2095
Posts: 1355
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:50 pm
Location: Maine, USA

Re: 35-year-old display piece sees the light of day!

Post by LVRR2095 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:29 pm

PRR G5s wrote:Anthony,

Based off the drawings and picture, it appears Kollmar started with a Coventry PRR K4s pacific, and modified it. It looks like someone re-numbered the engine at some point.

Eric L.
Those are not Coventry castings. Frank Birch of Ontario, Canada also sold castings for 1/2" and 3/4" scale locomotives and I know that he offered castings for a number of engines including a K-4. It appears that the only casting from the K-4 used was the trailing truck frame as the cylinders and valve gear are very different.
That is a really fine looking locomotive. It appeared on the cover of an issue of the Modelmaker Magazine in the 1930's.

Keith
Last edited by LVRR2095 on Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
tsph6500
Posts: 1334
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 3:38 pm
Location: West of Dunvegan, Ontario CANADA
Contact:

Re: 35-year-old display piece sees the light of day!

Post by tsph6500 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:30 pm

A fine addition to the Tinkerbell Society roster. Glad to see such a nice locomotive come off the mantle.
Best regards,
Jim Leggett

Montreal Live Steamers
www.montreallivesteamers.org

A Founding Member of the Tinkerbell Scale Society - Northern Division
I'm an A.R.S.E. (Association of Railroad Steam Engineers)
Toad Swamp & Punk Hollow Railroad - Head Tycoon
The Juvenile Traction Company - CEO & Apprentice Machinist 3rd Class
White Mountain Central RR - Engineer

User avatar
Stuie
Posts: 303
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:25 pm
Location: Copehagen, Denmark

Re: 35-year-old display piece sees the light of day!

Post by Stuie » Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:15 pm

What a beautiful locomotive! Nice to see a change for once instead of some little engines product. Nothing against them, they are just too numerous. You truly are lucky! Hopefully you can make a trip out near me, would love to see it! Nudge nudge :lol:
3/4" scale LBSC Bantam Cock
3/4" scale B4 project (re-designed LBSC Juliet)
- Stuart T. Harrod -

cp4449
Posts: 547
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 10:54 am
Location: Granada Hills

Re: 35-year-old display piece sees the light of day!

Post by cp4449 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:54 pm

How does one find these hidden gems? I would like to know what happened to so old stuff that an at LALS years ago.

Stunning locomotive. I hope to see it at the National Small Scales Meet next year if it is at GGLS
C.P. Mahony
Former 1" Foreman
Los Angeles Live Steamers

10 Wheeler Rob
Posts: 1447
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:44 pm
Location: East Hartford, CT

Re: 35-year-old display piece sees the light of day!

Post by 10 Wheeler Rob » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:42 am

Nice to hear of another wonderful looking 3/4" engine headed back to steam on the track. These are great running locomotives, with lots of power.

I was blessed with the opportunity to buy a B & O Presidential Class P7 Pacific built by Joe & Herb Hild, construction was started in 1927. The smoke box front cover was pressed in and out using a slide hammer on this one, which I found to be a little to violent to my liking and is the only modification I have made was to eliminate the interference fit and add a couple of hidden #4 button head screws to secure.

Hope you enjoy yours as much as I am mine. Steam it almost ever weekend form May to October.

Rob

AnthonyDuarte
Posts: 248
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:46 am
Location: Mountain View, CA
Contact:

Re: 35-year-old display piece sees the light of day!

Post by AnthonyDuarte » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:48 am

Apparently, the previous owner visited the Finger Lakes Live Steamers group a few years ago (without the engine) and got the contact info of one of our members, Ed McConnel. A few weeks ago he called Ed out of the blue and said he's moving and has a steam engine that he didn't bring with him. I found out about it during the fall meet and went to see it, and consequently did whatever necessary to make sure it would be in my truck headed to CA. :lol:

I'm the 4th owner, including the builder. The previous owner, John Mahoney, apparently knew Al Kollmar and had seen the locomotive in construction. When it went up for sale, a mutual friend beat him to it. I couldn't understand the name of the 2nd owner over the phone. Bolcott, I think? Does that ring a bell to anyone?

I left New York early monday morning. Currently I am in Laramie, Wyoming, getting ready for another day's driving. Still another 1,155 miles 'til I arrive in the Bay Area.

If all goes well I'll bring her to the GGLS fall meet this weekend for a real test run.

So, what happened to Birch's patterns? Did they get bought by L.E. or Friends?

User avatar
LVRR2095
Posts: 1355
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 6:50 pm
Location: Maine, USA

Re: 35-year-old display piece sees the light of day!

Post by LVRR2095 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:50 am

AnthonyDuarte wrote: So, what happened to Birch's patterns? Did they get bought by L.E. or Friends?
Neither.....I believe the patterns for all of Frank Birch's locomotives have disappeared.

Keith

User avatar
David Powell
Posts: 411
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2003 10:38 pm
Location: Pickering Ontario Canada.

Re: 35-year-old display piece sees the light of day!

Post by David Powell » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:12 am

I have seen some " Hoffman Hudsons " with some castings having Birch on them. I do not know whether or not some of Frank Birch's patterns and castings ended up with the Hoffman's or whether some builders used castings from both sources. Hope this helps David Powell.

Post Reply