I am a University of Michigan history graduate with an interest in thermodynamics and mechanical things. I thought it would be easy and fun to make steam engines. After thinking about it for a while I decided that it would be easier and more fun to find something that worked and then to improve upon it, under the theory that people working on steam prior to myself were neither as smart nor as creative as I am. I thought, and still think, that steam is magic--to light a fire and make power. Now I think that it is going to be the salvation of the world. Therefore I have accumulated information. There are about one hundred homemade steam engines and steam boilers and steam vehicles in my collection, giving good examples of about everything the creative mind can come up with. A person does not know everything just because they have made a successful steam engine. They may think after that pleasant experience that they can design an improvement. In reality one does not know anything until one has made every possible mistake. Few of us have started down this road early enough in life to accomplish this goal and so it is easier to see what mistakes other people have made and to learn from them. My goal is to preserve these things that were made in people’s back yards and basements before they are thrown out and lost forever.
The Real Steam Power, Book Series will eventually consist of fifty volumes. It reflects half a lifetime of collecting many steam vehicles, engines, boilers, and burners, from antique to modern and homemade, of accumulating a large library of books, technical papers, government reports, and publications from several steam clubs. Modern steam power is both complex and little known, with good information being difficult to find. These books are written for the newly interested steam person. They include both history, technology, and the story of people who were fascinated by the subject. The books will be published as they are compiled.