Author Topic: Monson No. 3 Arrives! Morrill Not Pleased With Builders  (Read 4704 times)

Roger Whitney

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Monson No. 3 Arrives! Morrill Not Pleased With Builders
« on: September 29, 2011, 11:26:02 AM »
Vulcan No. 3 Arrives!  Morrill Not Pleased With Builders

        This could have been the headlines in the local newspaper but wasn’t.  After reading a lot of Harold Morrill’s correspondence, you kind of get a feel for his personality.  On occasion it is somewhat amusing the way that he politely but FIRMLY let the offending party know he was not pleased! See bullet 5 below.
         As the year 1911 moved in to 1912, the Monson realized they needed to renew their motive power.  Both their Hinckleys were just worn out.  When it was decided to use Vulcan Iron Works to build their new loco, Harold began an extensive period of correspondence with Vulcan “specing out” the new “machine”.  From the overall gist of the correspondence,  Supt. Morrill had some issues with Vulcan, especially when No. 3 was delivered!
Finally the big day came when Vulcan No. 3 was delivered at Dover Maine.  He had it weighed there and it came to 34700 pounds light.  He figured it would weigh 36000 loaded and ready to go. In a letter dated February 28, 1913 to the general manager Geo. F. Barnard, he listed several concerns.
           *There was only one safety valve when it needed two, as required by ICC
           *There was no plate on the boiler back head stating the max pressure
           *However a stamping on the boiler back head indicated the number of the boiler,             the date and “275 lbs”.  Harold quickly pointed out that according to specs, 165 was the correct pressure.
           *There was no water glass as required by the ICC

Reading the letter you can feel Superintendent Morrills pressure rising!

           *There was no builders’ specification card as required.  Harold had had trouble with Vulcan before and reminded Mr. Barnard that he had contacted the Chief Inspector of Locomotives in Washington DC to please forward a copy of the rules and regulations as required by the ICC to Vulcan (in case they didn’t have a copy)! I love it!
           *Coal capacity was severely limited.  There was “no chance for any on the floor”. Specs called for a capacity of 1800 lbs.  Harold adds a little acidly that it (coal bunker) wasn’t close to that and that “this is not very convienient….”
            *Harold wants to “know at once” what the steam pressure is supposed to be and also the spec card.

   They hauled the new “machine”, as Supt. Morrill sometimes called it, dead from the Junction and then didn’t put it in service for a few months.  However eventually Morrill was satisfied, as the loco became a real workhorse for the Monson Railroad.

Mark Hendrickson

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Re: Monson No. 3 Arrives! Morrill Not Pleased With Builders
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2011, 05:53:11 PM »
Makes me wonder why they went back to Vulcan for #4.  Did they get a deal for #4. Is the coal bunker different on the 2 engines?

James Patten

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Re: Monson No. 3 Arrives! Morrill Not Pleased With Builders
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2011, 07:51:17 PM »
Currently I think the coal bunker is slightly larger on #4.  However everything has been rebuilt by Edaville at least once and MNG at least once, so original dimensions are probably gone.  You'd have to judge by pictures or by the builder's specs.

Roger Whitney

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Re: Monson No. 3 Arrives! Morrill Not Pleased With Builders
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2011, 09:35:27 PM »
According to my drawings, prepared by John Derr, the tanks on both the vulcans were the same height but #4's tank was a few inches shorter.  However on #3 it looks like the tank and bunker were extended maybe 6" or so into the cab making the bunker closer to the boiler backhead, only about 18" from bunker to boiler!  Maybe this was part of the problem that Morrill was complaining about when he said "no chance for any(coal) on the floor".  I think Morrill was eventually satisfied with Vulcan.  He probably figured parts might be interchangable.  I have an upcomming blog on the boiler feed apparatus which demonstrates Morrill's thinking in that direction.