Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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As a reminder that the vehicles of the past were more hands-on and laborious to drive than the automobiles of today, here is an operation checklist taken from the plate of a steam wagon similar to the one shown here, dubbed the Sentinel. “Instructions for drivers: Before starting a fire, examine water level, clean firegrate, tubes and ashpan. While steam is being raised, clean the engine, replenish all lubricators and test needles (they should be quite free in the sockets). Test the mechanical cylinder lubricator by opening try cock and turning the spindle with handle provided. Look round wagon for loose nuts etc. Examine brakes and steering chains and adjust if necessary. When steam pressure reaches 150lbs run engine for a few minutes; if knocks are noticeable make the necessary adjustments. Test Injector and Water Pump. Caution: The steam jet should be used only when absolutely necessary and then very lightly; a heavy jet is liable to cause tube troubles. Double high-pressure gear should only be used for very short periods; it must not be used continuously for more than two or three minutes. Keep the tubes and fire-grate clean. Don't neglect lubrication. Wash out boiler after not more than 100 hours work.”

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