Society for the Preservation of Steam Engines


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The portable was built in 1895 by the Ten Horn firm in Veendam, Netherlands with works number 35.

From the archives of the Boiler Inspectorate information about this engine's history in the period of 1895 until 1919 became available. Probably because of a request done to the Boiler Inspectorate of District Arnheim by the Openluchtmuseum in 1981

The letter of the Boiler Inspectorate:

July 17, 1981.


With reference to your telephone request I send you the information as far as available in the registers of the Boiler Inspectorate. After 1919 nothing is mentioned about the boiler anymore. More information might be available with the 6th District in Groningen. Good luck and with kind regards Boiler of steel, 13 (later 12,7) bhp and 14 m2 heated surface, built in 1895, 7,3 at operating pressure, factory.J. ten Horn, Veendam, worksnr.35, initially factory boiler, after 1901 called portable.

Placed at the Steen- en Pannenfabriek D.Bosscher, Ommelanderwijk, Veendam in 1895: certificate dated July 25, 1895, register number 65.

1906, January 7: Sold to the Steenfabriek nr.2 in Ulsda-Beerta from H.G.Strating in Nieuwe-Pekela, certificate dated June 10, 1907, no.200 register number 623.

1907, April 27: Sold to K.Moed in Winschoten, used for "rental"; certificate dated April 1, 1908, no.944S, register number 497

1909, May 4: Sold to the N.V.Ned.Industrie Mij, Winschoten (from which K. Moed was probably the managing director); certificate dated September 11, 1909, no.2584S.

1915, June 5: Sold to R.Bossema. peat work in Emmererfscheiderveen certificate dated May 16, 1916, no.1358S; register number 214 (Drente).

1918, May 28: Sold to J.Dokter in Nieuw-Weerdinge; certificate dated January 8, 1919, no-31S.

N.B. Nevertheless: the last register present here runs until 1925; the boiler has been visited for the last time in 1919. The registration has been put to card files in 1919. CdB.

The portable was bought by the Henry Ford Museum in Greenville, USA and exhibited in the museum. No information is available about the period from 1919 until 1931. It is not known either who sold the portable to the American museum and in which state it was at that moment.

In 1979 the engine was sold to the Nederlands Openluchtmuseum (Dutch Open Air Museum) in Arnheim by the Henry Ford Museum and exhibited in the "boerderij uit Beerta" ("farmhouse from Beerta"). A fire destroyed the farmhouse and damaged the portable to some extend. From 1995 until 2001 the portable has been in storage in the Nederlands Openluchtmuseum (Netherlands Open Air Museum).


This picture has been made available by the Henry Ford Museum.

The picture above was probably taken at the location in the Henry Ford Museum, Greenville, USA where the portable was exhibited until 1979.

The Nederlands Openluchtmuseum (Dutch Open Air Museum) wants to restore the portable to a presentable state.

To that purpose she contacted the Society for the Preservation of Steam Engines in Nijkerk. In the period from September 2001 until September 2002 the Society will preserve the portable and if possible restore it (bring it under steam again). The latter being possible only when the boiler can be made steam proficient.

The Portable

The portable has been built according to general principles. The shape and design of the boiler and the drive work for portables got their final shape around 1860, mainly influenced by English builders. During about 80 year these engines have been built, both in England as well as on the Continent, according to fixed principles.

The portable has a boiler with an internal firebox and fire tubes.
The outer firebox measures 1400 x 1000 mm. The boiler has an intersection of 800 mm and a length of 2000 mm.
There are 28 fire tubes with an outer intersection of 50 mm and a length of 1220 mm. The heated surface is 12.7 m2, the operating pressure is 100 PSI. The steam distribution occurs by means of a slide valve.
Revolutions are controlled by a Watt-regulator.



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