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Some really big machines at Steamtown

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  • Some really big machines at Steamtown

    Hey guys:

    Here's another report from our cross-country trip to which you contributed suggestions. I got a private tour of the backshop at Steamtown in Scranton, PA., thanks to the generosity of Bruce Mowbray, an employee there and also a live steam model builder. While most of us are lucky to have a 12 x 36 lathe, these guys can turn a 72-inch locomotive driver and throw off a 1/4-inch thick chip. The round toolbit is about the diameter of a polish sausage. The chatter will knock all the tools off the workbench on the other side of the brick wall. I've posted some pix of the visit at

    The machine tool pix are about half-way through the site.

    Last stop on the trip was the Ford museum and Greenfield Village. I'll put that stuff up as soon as I can.

    I urge everyone to try to get factory tours whenever you travel. I've already posted the tale of the Starrett tour; we also visited the L. & J. G. Stickley furniture factory in Fayetteville, NY. A plant that goes through 600 thousand board feet of lumber in a month is something to see (but that's a story for another day). Earlier, we went through a maple sugar candy factory (which ends in the gift shop, of course!). I've also had other factory tours in the past such as the Lance truck camper factory in Lancaster, Ca. Most of the time you can arrange for tours with a phone call in advance. Much more interesting than yet another "George Washington Slept Here" thing.

    Happy trails.


  • #2
    Steamtown is fantastic. Did you get out to Strasburg? Nice rail museuem there. If you get out there again stay the night at the Red caboose motel. They have 40 (or so) caboose that have been made into individual sleeping rooms. Sweet idea.

    Red Caboose

    Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.


    • #3
      NEAT! i have to stop up there again and take my kids now that they are older and might appreciate some of it. i haven't been to Steamtown in a few years. it's just a little north of my parents' place.

      andy b.
      The danger is not that computers will come to think like men - but that men will come to think like computers. - some guy on another forum not dedicated to machining


      • #4
        I live about 20 mins from there. When you see open end wrenches that are 5 feet long you have some respect for the mass of a steam engine!