Saturday, August 31, 2013

Heisler Locomotives Were Made In Erie

Heisler Locomotive Works in Erie, PA made a mighty engine that sold throughout the world in the early 1900s. The company was formed in 1905 and manufactured trains in its factory on West 16th Street between Myrtle and Chestnut near Hickory St. The geared engine, which was patented by Charles L. Heisler in 1892, was unique because it could haul heavy loads on steep grades and work efficiently on uneven railroad tracks. This engine was used in the logging industry at Mount Shasta and Mount Rainier, among other places.

The 60-ton Heisler in the illustration above was used on the McCloud River Rail Road in California. When fully loaded it had a working speed of five to seven miles per hour. This locomotive was made by Stearns Manufacturing.

The fire box was eliminated from the design of the motor around 1933, making it a fireless steam locomotive. "Steam from the regular equipment is injected into the locomotive boiler and it is ready to run. This is one of the newer developments in one of Erie's older industries and, while little known locally, is well established where safe transportation power is required." -Erie Daily Times, April, 1938.

Felix F. Curtze was the president of Heisler Locomotive Works. G. Leroy Swabb was secretary and later executive vice president. Harvey Lefevre was vice president and secretary, and Frederick A. Curtze was treasurer. Heisler's had previously been made by Stearns Manufacturing in Erie, PA.

Learn more fun and fascinating facts about Erie, Pennsylvania at: Old Time Erie

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