McIntosh & Seymour Gas Engine Steals the Show

Massive 575 HP McIntosh & Seymour gas engine stars at Le Sueur County Pioneer Power Show.

| August/September 2013

The 575 HP McIntosh & Seymour Corp. diesel engine on the grounds of the Le Sueur County (Minn.) Pioneer Power Show may just be set in its ways: It has stayed within a 10-mile radius of where it was originally placed after its birth in 1929. “The city of Le Sueur bought that engine brand new in 1929 to be used in their power house to supply electricity to the town,” says Dave Preuhs, the founder of the Pioneer Power Show, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary in August 2013. “It was retired when they bought newer engines, and this old one was put on as a backup unit until the city got electricity from an outside source, probably in the 1960s.”

After that, all the engines sat idle until the early 1980s, when they were scrapped out. All except the McIntosh & Seymour, serial number 2147.

“This big one,” Dave says, “was donated to Pioneer Power, and of course we had to pay the moving and the trucking expenses to get it to the show grounds.” That was 1986.

Big mama 

The cost of moving a 64-ton monster (128,000 pounds) proved to be considerable — $28,500 ($60,570 today). “We hired local guys who had dealt with bigger stuff like that,” Dave says.

Nick Klaseus, the custodian/main worker with the McIntosh & Seymour during the Pioneer Power Days show, says when the engine was prepared for its move out to the show grounds, some pieces had to come off. “The flywheel, which weighs 13 tons, had to come off in two pieces. We took the main cylinders off, and then the block was split from the base, where the crankshaft is sitting, so we could get to the crankshaft and take it out.”

The generator at the end of the crankshaft was also taken off in pieces when the engine was moved.