Engineer Roscoe Shiverdecker (Shivvie to all his Friends, but Iron-Man to us) oils up with his official oiler. The 32-volt steam headlight generator and bell both came off locomotives, carbide headlight from an old auto. Looks good all over, Roscoe! Shive
OF DAYTON DAILY NEWS AND RADIO'S 'JOES'
UNION CITY, INDIANA.
CHOO, CHOO, CHOO, CHOOOO. . . .! 'Look, Mirandy I'll be
dad-burned if there ain't a train a-comin' right up the
middle o' the road and with no railroad track to run on,'
yelled Si, jumping off o' his seat on the old grain binder and
racing to the house to get the 'Missus'.
'Lordy I ain't seen no such sights since we picked up
cousin Emmie, down at the village depot,' sighed Mirandy.
'I only hope it doesn't scare ol' Topsy 'n
Ted to run off afore you get the wheat bundled.'
It's always a big day when Roscoe Shiverdecker fires up his
big steam locomotive and sets out, down a country road, to do some
routine steaming of neighborhood tobacco bedsor to drive his fiery
steed over to the Great Darke County Steam Threshers Reunion, at
Besides being the most important hero to all the kids along the
way who wave at the heroic engineer, as he steams by with bell
clanging and whistle wailing Roscoe Shiverdecker enjoys other
marginal benefits from having a steam 'road' locomotive to
do his chores of steamin' 'bacco beds throughout western
'I can go thirty to thirty-five miles an hour up the road to
whatever job I'm working at,' says Roscoe. 'And when I
drive it to the Darke County Steam Threshers, I don't have to
bother with loading and unloading it on a low-boy.'
Then there are other advantages to having your own road
locomotive, such as Roscoe has, like not having to buy a license to
go from job to job, or to the reunions.
'I'm treated just like a tractor so long as I have a
'slow-moving sign' on the locomotive and don't run her
over twenty-miles an hour,' chuckles hiverdecker.
'Everybody that sees the old R. D. S. No. 9 Special at the
Darke County Steam Threshers boasts they're gonna make one like
it,' says Roscoe. 'But they never do.'
And one can well understand why, after hearing Roscoe
Shiverdecker tell of the work and problems in building Old No. 9.
I did all the work and planning on this road locomotive, in my
shop back of the house,' explains Roscoe. 'The boiler is a
20-horsepower Frick, the engine a two-cylinder Soule Steam Engine
bought from Chet Hiler. The engine came from Meridian, Mississippi,
where they still make 'em new.'
'I spent two years just planning the locomotive before I
even began putting it together,' says Iron Man Shiver-decker.
'With the help of my son, Bob, now 17, we put a jacket on the
boiler, then bolted everything together and in place, added some
more frame to mount the tender, and then we had Rolland Hofacker of
Greenville come out and do the welding.'
'The frame is all in one piece,' explains Roscoe.
(According to my understanding of steam locomotive construction and
classification, this would make it an 0-4-4-T type, similar in
construction to the small transit-type locomotives and the famous
line of Mason-Bogies which consisted of a solid frame that
supported both engine and tender. The former ran commuter trains on
the elevated railways in many of the larger cities of our nation in
years past, while the latter plied the narrow-gauge rails of the
winding Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad in the fabulous
days of Colorado Silver Mining Bonanza. May that outstanding expert
on steam locomotives, Ernie Hoffer, add his official blessing to
this and the great Orrin Seaver pronounce his Benediction to what
we have said. Amen.)
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