Antique Marine Engine Exposition

Something New at Mystic Seaport Museum:

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Mystic Seaport 50 Greenmanville Ave., P.O. Box 6000 Mystic, Connecticut 06355-0990

Mystic Seaport Museum will host its first Antique Marine Engine Exposition to emphasize the importance of power in American maritime history. The Seaport, well-known for its preservation of sailing ships, also has a unique collection of engines and antique power boats. On August 22 and 23, the special invitational meet will offer a showing of marine steam, gas, diesel, and outboard engines. The exposition takes place in the Seaport's preservation shipyard and inside the main shop of the shipyard. For information about showing an engine, call (203) 572-5390. Pre-registration is required; the exposition is an invitational show.

Marine engine collectors from throughout the Northeast will be invited to bring pre-World War II engines to the Seaport. Many engines are meticulously restored to their original showroom shine. Most of the engines are operational, and demonstrations will entertain and educate engine buffs and non-mechanical visitors alike. In addition to the full-size engines, an impressive display of model marine engines will be featured.

At 2 o'clock on Saturday, a boat parade will take place, giving owners of small antique engine-powered craft a chance to show off their boats. The parade will be led by the Seaport's working Steamboat Sabino. The visiting craft can be viewed at their docks at the south end of the Seaport throughout the weekend.

Throughout the Seaport there are examples of marine engines for visitors to explore. Steamboat Sabino offers visitors river cruises in warmer months. Built in 1908, Sabino is still powered by a 75 HP Paine compound engine.

In the North Boat Shed a number of engines are on display. Most prominent among them is a 31-foot steam launch Nellie, one of the first steam launches ever built. She was built in 1872, at East Boston by the Atlantic Works, and used in New Hampshire at Portsmouth and Lake Winnipesaukee. Nellie is a rare example of small steam launches because of the amount of space taken up by the steam engines, in Nellie's case a single cylinder, 4 HP reciprocating steam engine with a coal fired boiler.

Also on display in the North Boat Shed:

15-foot Papoose, an 'autoboat' built in 1908 in Kennebunkport, Maine, and powered by a Roberts one-cylinder 'make and break' engine.Lillian Russell, a 21-foot naphtha launch built in 1904 in Morris Heights, New York City, with a 2 HP Gas Engine & Power Company naphtha engine.Herreshoff Steam Engine, a triple expansion steam engine considered among the finest yacht engines of the early 20th century, which once powered yacht tender Scout (tender to sloop Mineola II) and was designed and built under the supervision of Nat Herreshoff in 1899 at the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, Bristol, R.I.U. S. Navy Type K steam engine, manufactured by the Mare Island Naval Shipyard, between 1914-1919, a compound engine with a piston valve on the high pressure cylinder and a slide valve on the low pressure cylinder.

Three smaller engines are on display from the Arrow Motor & Machine Co. of New York, New York, the Hubbard Motor Co. of Middletown, Connecticut, and the St. Louis Gas & Gasoline Engine Co., of St. Louis, Missouri.

The Antique Marine Engine Exposition will be open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day of the weekend and is free with the cost of admission. Admission to the Seaport is $14 for adults, $8.75 for youths 6-15, free to children five and under and members. In the summer months the Seaport is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.