EAST GREENWICH—The New England Wireless and Steam Museum will be hosting its annual Yankee Steam-Up virtually this year. The event will allow steam engine enthusiasts to see the museum’s collection in action on YouTube despite not being able to attend in person due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. The event will take place this Saturday, Oct. 3 at 9:15 a.m.
The event offers enthusiasts and students of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) who may be interested the opportunity to see historically significant steam and wireless engines come to life during live demonstrations. There will also be a live question and answer session with museum staff and engineers, during which participants will be able to satiate their curiosity about the workings of such historical machines.
The event schedule, featuring a broad array of the museum’s collection of steam engines, most having been built in the 19th century, will be made available the morning of the event, and all content will be accessible to the public after it is first livestreamed.
A list of the museum’s stationary steam engines is available at newsm.org/steam and includes descriptions of the boilers, power generators, steam engines and steam-related artifacts that can be found at the museum, including historic engines such as the 1892 Corliss Steam Engine and the 1897 Improved Greene Engine.
The Corliss was designed by George Henry Corliss and built by the Corliss Steam Engine Company. More efficient than other, with a widely copied design, the museum’s Corliss is believed to be the only engine built by the Corliss Steam Engine Company that is running under steam today.
Likewise, the Improved Greene Engine was designed by Noble Tuckerman Greene and built by the Providence Steam Engine Company here in Rhode Island, where it was put to use by the Rhode Island Cardboard Company in Pawtucket in 1897. When the engine was last run in 1919 it was serviced by the Providence Engineering Works.
The Providence Engineering Works itself last from 1899 to 1921, when its name was changed to the Providence Engineering Corp., and eventually folded in 1955 with the meteoric rise of the combustion engine.
To learn more about these historic engines, their unique histories and the myriad ways in which the New England Wireless and Steam Museum is preserving them, interested parties can tune in to the museum’s YouTube channel this Saturday.