a Jumbo," you say? Why, back in 1882, P.T. Barnum bought the
legendary "Jumbo the Elephant," said to be the largest
in the world, from a circus in London. P.T. was quite a showman,
and he figured having the biggest elephant would attract crowds
to his circus. Thatís how the Africa word jumbo, meaning deity,
came into the English language. The new meaning, however, was extra-large,
huge, or in todayís terms, super-sized.
here in Belleville, Illinois, The Harrison Machine Works was turning
out grain separators and steam engines. In business since 1848,
they now had a new line of steam traction engines and needed a memorable
brand name. Mr. Lee Harrison received permission from Barnum
to call his new steam engine "Jumbo".
Jumbo, #1486, was built in 1895. Rated at 12 horsepower, and weighing
12,000 pounds, it was indeed, a huge agriculture machine for its
time. The steady diet of wood or coal, plus gallons of water, provided
power for grain threshers, rock crushers and saw mills.
for $1,350.00 by William Egbert of Huntingburg, Indiana, our engine
left the factory sporting yellow wheels, red moving parts, and a
black boiler. The operatorís station was on the right while the
flywheel was on the left. This early design was later revised to
bring the flywheel to the same side as the engineer for a better
view while belting up to implements.
features include 2 speeds forward but no reverse, and no brakes.
A single handle enabled one man to control the machine. The 72"
drive wheels weigh over 1,000 pounds each. Note the water tank mounted
just in front of the smoke box and the chain drive steering system,
common to engines of the era.
purchasing this one-of-a-kind treasure from the Ford Museum in 2001,
Jumboís Keepers set about restoring it to a safe and sound condition.
From dismantling in January 2002 to completion and licensing nine
months later, Jumboís Keepers, under the leadership of Engineer,
Mike Hutsch, proved to be dependable, talented and enthusiastic.
Joe Graziana, Technical Adviser from Wood River, is a life-long
Harrison enthusiast who provided untold hours of expertise and encouragement.
Jumbo is now thrilling spectators at the museum, during steam shows
and in parades, proving that you can learn many fascinating things
when you embrace history.
See more pictures of Jumbo on "The Annex"