Tuesday, December 30, 2008

EEC Locomotive Donation Update

I have finally begun making preparations for moving one of the 70 ton locomotives from Ellwood Engineered Castings in Hubbard to the Tod Engine Heritage Park. The 6114B, painted red, will join our other equipment at the park in 2009.

The locomotive was retired after an incredible 65 years of service, and over 40 of those years were spent in the Valleys. Built in November, 1942 by General Electric in Erie, PA, the locomotive was sold to the New York Central where it was used for mainly switching passenger cars in passenger terminals. By the early 1960s it was sold to Cambria Slag and used in Sharpsville, PA. The locomotive then moved to Standard Slag in Youngstown where it served until the late 1970s or early 1980s when it and a sister locomotive was sold to Valley Mould & Iron in Hubbard. Valley Mould later became Valley Vulcan Mold before closing. The plant was reopened as Ellwood Engineered Castings and the locomotive again was placed back in service. During 1999-2000 yours truly worked at EEC and operated this locomotive on many occasions. The first photo shows the 6114B on a Saturday in the winter of 1999 on a day when I had my camera with me in the plant. Compare that to the second photo taken of the locomotive three days before Christmas, 2008.
We plan to do minimal restoration work on the locomotive which will include a thorough cleaning and a new paint job. We will not repair any of the battle damage that the locomotive has received over its career, instead choosing to show that damage as an example of the rough service which mill engines must endure. The locomotive is operational and will remain in operational condition as we intend to use its two diesel electric generators to provide 250 volts DC power to operate our Morgan Crane.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Tod Engine Being Painted

We have begun repainting the Tod Engine into its proper shade of green. This color was obtained from an original can of paint that was used on the gas engines at Bethlehem. I later discovered that it is also the same shade of green that once graced our engine. We had Mahoning Paint Corporation match the color, and last week started recoating the entire engine in what is now called "Tod Engine Green".

Fred Tod Passes Away

Fred and David Tod visiting the Tod Engine Heritage Park in 2005

YOUNGSTOWN – Fred Tod Jr., a descendent of one of the founding families of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, died at home on Sept. 3, at age 90.Mr. Tod was born at home, in Youngstown, Ohio, on May 2, 1918 to Fred Tod Sr. and Marguerite Hubbard Tod.He was a great-grandson of David Tod, the famous Civil War Governor of Ohio, and a grandson of William Tod, who helped develop the iron and steel industry in the Mahoning Valley.Mr. Tod graduated from Choate Preparatory School in Wallingford, Conn. and Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. After graduation, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps where he served for three years, and was scheduled for assignment to the Pacific when WWII ended. He joined the George O. Bruce Insurance Agency in Youngstown, and along with the late Walter E. Meub Jr., bought the firm in 1952, from which he retired in 1978.Over the years, he served as president of the Tod Foundation, was a trustee of the Youngstown Foundation, was on the board of the Butler Institute of American Art, was a member of the Vestry of St. John’s Episcopal Church, and was a vice president of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society. He also served as a trustee and president of the Tod Homestead Cemetery Association, was a director and vice president of the Stambaugh Thompson Company, and was a director of both the Mahoning National Bank and the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company. He was a president and trustee of the Youngstown Hospital Association (nka) Forum Health. He was also a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Girard Historical Society.He was a member of the Rolling Club, Ligonier, Pa. During the winters, he and his wife spent time in Florida on North Key Largo, where they were members of the Ocean Reef Club, the Card Sound Golf Club, and the Key Largo Anglers Club. He was an avid fisherman and golfer and was club champion at the Youngstown Country Club in 1947, where he maintained a near scratch handicap. He and his wife were active participants in the “People to People” Cultural Exchange Golf Program, playing golf in 17 countries and at six of the top ten rated golf courses in the world.He also enjoyed skeet shooting, skin diving, and was an expert wood worker. He traveled extensively throughout the world with his family and friends.Mr. Tod is survived by his wife of 67 years, Nancy Brockett Tod; his three surviving children, Dorothy Tod of Warren, Vt., Nancy (Thom) McFadden of Woodland Hills, Calif. and Sallie (Paul) Dutton of Youngstown, Ohio; nine grandchildren, Kacie Wick (Joel) Beck of Shaker Heights, Ohio, Benjamin Cheney of Montpelier, Vt., Jessica Koff of Boston, Mass., Andrew Koff of Burlington, Vt., James McFadden, Tyler McFadden and Will McFadden, all of Los Angeles, Calif., Erika Carlson (Jason) Turner of Atlanta, Ga. and Emily Carlson of Chicago, Ill.; and two great-granddaughters, Abigail Grace Beck and Lucy Elizabeth Beck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. He is also survived by his brother, David (Elizabeth) Tod of Youngstown, Ohio.Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Marguerite Koff; and three sisters, Marguerite Owsley, Sallie Ketcham and Katherine Johnstone.There will be a funeral service at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Youngstown, Ohio, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, preceded by calling hours at 10 a.m.Mr. Tod will be interred at the Tod Homestead Cemetery in Youngstown, Ohio.The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. John’s Episcopal Church, Youngstown, Ohio.Arrangements are being handled by the Shriver-Allison-Courtley-Weller-King Funeral Home.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sign of Things to Come!

I spotted this sign being put up on the side of the Burt building in downtown Youngstown this afternoon. The Mahoning Valley Historical Society recently purchased the Ross Radio/Burt Building and is planning to transform it into the Mahoning Valley History Center. This is a much needed facility as the MVHS museum and archives on Wick Avenue is bursting at the seams.

I wish them much luck in raising the needed money!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Enginehouse Components Delivered

The photos shows a truckload of columns for the new Tod enginehouse building being delivered. Much of the building has been delivered, with a couple of truckloads remaining to be hauled from West Middlesex to the Heritage Park.

Our architect indicates that we may be able to apply for a partial building permit by the end of the week. The partial permit would cover the building footers and allow us to finally begin construction of the enginehouse.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tod Engine Finally Reassembled!

On July 1, 2008 the crankshaft and flywheel of our Tod Engine was reassembled. The engine had been disassembled since 1997, and now with it back together construction can start on our engine house building. Two cranes were needed to assemble the pieces. Over the next week we will attach many more of the smaller parts of the engine.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Engine House Building Fabrication Completed

The fabrication of the engine house building components have been completed and within the next couple of weeks will be delivered to the Tod Engine Heritage Park. The photos show the eight building columns waiting to be delivered.

Our next major project is placing the crankshaft in its bearings and assembling the flywheel. When that is done we will be ready to start pouring foundations, assuming we obtain the building permits soon.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Big Cottonwood Tree at Heritage Park Comes Down

The large Cottonwood tree that shaded the rear of the Tod Engine Heritage Park property was cut down this evening. We plan to start developing the rear of the property and it was decided to get rid of the tree now instead of wait until it falls on a building or equipment. About a dozen logs will be sawn into lumber at a local sawmill for use by one of our volunteers. The smaller branches are being cut into firewood.

While we will miss the shade, we just could not bear the risk of this quite overgrown tree falling in a big storm. We do plan to plant other trees in the rear of the property for landscaping and shade purposes.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Stambaugh Building

With the current controversy regarding the future of the Stambaugh building, I thought I would post some of my own comments.

The eight story Stambaugh Building was built in 1906. Shortly thereafter firms such as Youngstown Sheet and Tub and Brier Hill Iron & Coal Co. established their corproate headquarters inside. In 1913 the growth of Youngstown Sheet and Tube required that four additional stories be added to the building, bringing the height to 12 stories. Over the years YS&T slowly occupied most of the space in the building, including Brier Hill's space after YS&T acquired Brier Hill Steel in 1923.

The building was designed by Albert Kahn, one of Detroit’s most important architects. It was designed in the Neo-Classical Revival style. In the early 1960s YS&T decided to construct a new corporate office and laboratory in Boardman, OH, and in 1964 moved their corporate HQ from the Stambaugh Building. Once YS&T vacated the building Standard Slag relocated their corporate offices to the structure. In 1982 the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

From the building's construction in 1906 until vacated by YS&T in 1964, this building bore witness to the growth of what was to become the Nation's third largest steelmaker. In 1906 YS&T was a small producer of wrought iron sheet and pipe. Their first blast furnaces and Bessemer converters were then under construction. Led by James A. Campbell, Sheet and Tube would expand by leaps and bounds until it had become a major producer of steel products.

Meanwhile, just a block away in a similar skyscraper off of Market Street bridge was the corporate office of Republic Steel Corporation, also one of the largest steel companies in the US. Republic moved to Cleveland in 1935, but in those years when both Republic and YS&T were both located in Youngstown, the decisions made in those two buildings shaped a good part of the development of America's steel industry.

Now a Cleveland developer named Lou Frangos has purchased the Stambaugh Building, and through a very shortsighted maneuver, has removed most of the windows on the west facade. He claims that the windows were unsafe, however a much more measured approach of inspecting the windows and removal of those in most danger of failing would have been a more appropriate response. Now several hundred openings exist in the building, and one heavy storm may cause untold amounts of water damage to the interior. At the very least a building permit was required, but was not obtained.

Fortunately the leadership of the City of Youngstown is not blind to this issue, and is aggressively pursuing Mr. Frangos to ascertain his intentions. The City's immediate goal is to make sure the building is secured, possibly through boarding up the openings with plywood. However they have stated that a longer term strategy for window replacement will be required of Mr. Frangos.

Nobody in Youngstown wants to see one of our landmark buildings fall into disrepair in the midst of our downtown's rennaissance. I am especially concerned that one of the last tangible pieces of our city's own homegrown steel company is being treated with such disrespect. Slowly the industrial landmarks that once defined this Valley, and brought worldwide attention to our community, are being removed forever. Let's not stand idly by while the Stambaugh Building languishes in its hour of greatest need.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Saving a Bit of the Weirton Engine

For the past year I've been working with Arcelor Mittal Weirton, Inc. to save some parts from the United Tod blooming mill engine at Weirton, WV. Recenly our request was granted and so far I've spent three days at Weirton gathering up parts from the engine.

Sadly we cannot save the entire engine, so it was decided that a few representative pieces would make a good exhibit at the Tod Engine Heritage Park. Those pieces include one of the tail rod support castings, the Shutte & Koerting engine emergency stop apparatus, lubrication fittings and lines, and two new sets of main rod bearings.
Some of the parts will be incorporated into a blooming mill engine exhibit. Other parts, such as the lube fittings will be used in the restoration of our Tod Engine. One set of the main bearing liners will be used to supply us with new babbitt metal, quite useful when we go to reline our engine's babbitt lined connecting rods.
The eventual scrapping of the blooming mill engine means that only our Tod Engine and the 50" x 60" Mackintosh Hemphill engine owned by Steel Industry Heritage, Inc. will survive as examples of steel industry rolling mill engines.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Tod Engine Heritage Park Progress

Now that spring has arrived we are busy every day working on the Tod Engine Heritage Park project. Our architect, Ronald Cornell Faniro, is drawing up the plans for the buildings and grounds, while I continue to prepare the site for the start of construction activities once building permits have been issued.

We expect to begin construction within the next month or so. The Park will be open on an irregular basis, essentially when I am there it is open! Visitors should call first to make sure I'll be there, 330-272-4089.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Morgan Crane In Operation

We are starting to dismantle the Morgan Crane, but before we do here is a video of it in operation.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Open Top Hot Metal Car Displayed

In January the Mahoning Valley Railroad Heritage Association moved their Pollock open top hot metal car from Brier Hill to their proposed Steel Valley Railroad Museum site on Poland Avenue in Youngstown. This car was built for either YS&T or Valley Mould & Iron, and was acquired from Ellwood Engineered Castings in 1993. At the time it had been sitting off track in front of EEC's melt shop.

The appearance of the car is a good sign that the MVRHA is making progress toward constructing their museum facility. They have a long road ahead as they own almost 20 pieces of equipment and have about 200 feet of track laid thus far!
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Has Anyone Seen This Model?

This is a working model of a three stand cold strip mill. It was one of the Youngstown Sheet & Tube models, of which the seamless, butt weld pipe and 79" hot strip mill models now reside at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor. However, this model is absent. This photo was taken at a trade show in the 1940s.

I have not seen any photos or mention of this model until I found this photo today. I did hear rumors that some museum out east (Smithsonian and Hagley come to mind as possibilities) had acquired a YS&T model. Could this be the one?

It sure would be great to someday find and return this model to Youngstown, if it still exists.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

1892 Morgan Crane to be Preserved

The Tod Engine Foundation has recently acquired an 1892 vintage overhead crane manufactured by Morgan Engineering in Alliance, Ohio. This crane is of particular historical interest and will become an important artifact for display and use at the Tod Engine Heritage Park. The crane was originally built for Otis Steel Co. in Cleveland, and used there until the plant closed after WWII. At that time it was sold and moved to Masury, OH and placed in a new building there. It is there to this day. Still fully operational, the crane continues to make lifts to its rated capacity. However due to its age and its need for a dedicated operator, it is to be replaced with a more modern AC crane.
We will be moving the Morgan crane to the Heritage Park this spring for inclusion in the engine house. however, this complicates matters since to include it in the building we have to redesign the structure for a narrower width and add crane columns and runways. This will increase the cost of the structure, however that will be mitigated by the sale of our current 5 ton Wallace gantry crane. In the end having an authentic steel mill crane in our building will certainly make for a much more authentic visitor experience.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Demolishing the Marshall Street Bridge

Here are the trusses of the Marshall Street Bridge in downtown Youngstown being demolished in October, 2004.

Scranton Iron Furnaces

In Scranton, PA just up the tracks from the Steamtown National Park are four stone blast furnaces. The site is now a park open year round, but a century ago was a bustling iron smelting, puddling and rolling operation. Largely unknown by the throngs that visit Steamtown, it is perhaps one of the most unique stone furnace sites in the nation.
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Turntable Pit in Sharpsville

I'm a bit unclear about who would have built this, but also located in Sharpsville about a half mile downstream of the Shenango reservoir dam is this turntable pit. Its located near the old alignment of the Erie mainline so there may have been a small engine facility at one time. The pit is easily accessible, located on park land near a gravel parking lot on the road which leads up to the dam. I think I paced it off to be 50' diameter.
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Shenango Furnace Pump House

I don't know if this building still stands, but two winters ago I found the former Shenango Furnace river pump house in Sharpsville, PA. To get to it one had to walk along the former Erie mainline from Sharpsville west about a mile. A friend remembers seeing pumps inside the building but all we found was an empty shell. This building would have housed the equipment to pump Shnango River water up to the blast furnaces operated by Shenango, Inc. This is the same plant that the Mesta blowing engine at Pittsburgh's Station Square came from.
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Rivers of Steel in Homestead, PA

Those of us interested in industrial heritage should make a point to visit the Bost Building at the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area in downtown Homestead, PA. The facility includes an archives library and a large exhibit area, pictured here. They are open Monday through Friday 10 am to 4 pm, Saturdays by appointment. Across the river can be seen Carrie blast furnaces 6 and 7, which have been spared and will become a future historical site.
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US Steel Ohio Works

The Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor has a wonderful collection of photographs depicting various rebuilds of the Ohio Works blast furnaces in the 1940s and 1950s. This particular photos from their collection shows all six blast furnaces with a section of the stockhouse trestle between 5 and 6 being rebuilt. I am sure this caused some operational headaches for the ironmaking department, although I don't think number 6 furnace was operating at that time.
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