Hanford Mills Museum is offering a two-day course September 16-17 on the theory and practical operation of a wood-fired steam power plant. Steam Power 101 will be taught by Joe Michaels, who designed and helped build the Museum’s wood-fired steam power plant. Before his retirement, he was senior mechanical engineer at the New York Power Authority’s Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Project.
The course will provide a working understanding of small, basic steam plant operation, which can be applied to other mill (or stationary) settings, as well as marine and mobile applications. The class will begin with an overview of boiler and steam engine principles, operation, fittings, and equipment. Participants will learn how to fire a boiler, build and maintain a head of steam, control feed water, monitor steam engine valve settings, and other facets of steam engine operation in the Museum’s steam boiler plant. Beginners welcome, no technical expertise required.
“Joe Michaels is a wonderful teacher who draws on a career of knowledge and a lifetime of practical wisdom,” says Liz Callahan, executive director of Hanford Mills Museum. She noted that many who have taken this workshop have become members of the Steam Team who operate the Museum’s steam power plant. “Hanford Mills is one of the few historic sites in the country with an authentically operating nineteenth-century wood-fired steam power plant. In addition to the workshop, we’ll be running the steam power plant on September 9 during the Dan Rion Memorial Antique Engine Jamboree.”
Steam Power 101 will be held Saturday, September 16, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday, September 17, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. The cost is $100 for Museum members, $125 for non-members. Register by Thursday, September 14 online, www.hanfordmills.org or by calling the Museum, 607.278.5744. The class is limited to 10 participants.