Talky Tuesday #28

S&NY engineer Eli Chilson converses with fireman H.G. McQuay while performing the never-ending task of keeping a steam locomotive properly lubricated in last week’s “WW #56”. The process of “oiling around” was the under the purview of the engineer; while the fireman tended to the fire, coal and water levels in the tender, and tried to keep the cab and seat boxes as clean and organized as possible given the incredibly dirty environment of an operating steam engine. Placing oil in the journals of the driving wheels deep in the locomotive frame required the use of a special long-spouted oil can, as seen here. These cans are now sought-after collectors items, as reminders of a by-gone age.

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