The President Steam engine- an update

Protecting the only Cornish Engine House in the USA

screenshot_2017-06-13-12-07-40_kindlephoto-18444209.jpgA quick break from the South Caradon series of posts to pass on some news about from across the Atlantic. Here is an update from Mark Connar on activity a the President Engine house, a house that had close connections with William West.


Work by Lehigh University

Lehigh University (the property owner) has now leveled the land surrounding the engine house, removed much of the destructive vegetation and has installed a protective fence around the engine house and the pump shaft immediately in front of the engine house. Unfortunately, the site continues to experience vandalism largely in the form of graffiti tagging and Lehigh is seeking solutions to this problem.
The Lehigh University has submitted at the end of February an application for a preservation planning grant to the PA Historical and Museum Commission. Lehigh, through the grant process, is requesting funding to evaluate the engine house and other remains on the site as well as the potential to convert the site into a public recreation/heritage location. Some of the activities contemplated as part of the grant includes structural/stabilization analysis of the engine house and the creation of a 3-D scan of the existing structure to establish a current condition baseline. Other activities include a cultural resource assessment and other property survey work which would support future development.

Lehigh has an innovative, award winning academic program called the Technical Entrepreneurship Capstone program. One of the Capstone classes underway for this Spring and next Fall semester involves 7 undergraduate students, with concentrations in multiple disciplines, working together to develop heritage park concepts and to create an animated virtual reality model of the President pumping engine. The funding for this initiative is also being partially provided by Lehigh’s Office of Sustainability Green Fund. It is very exciting to follow the progress of these motivated students!”

A boiler is found

President Engine Boiler
Access to take the pictures was courtesy of American Atelier, Inc.r

“One of the boiler’s riveted 30-foot-long steam drums was found to still exist, resting on saddles on the mud floor basement of a former furniture factory on Front Street in Allentown  still in use as a water holding tank!”

A date for the diary

Michael Kaas, Dr. Gerard Lennon and Mark Connar are scheduled to present on the Ueberroth Mine/President Pump and how Lehigh University students are supporting the preservation efforts at the 47th Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial Archeology in Richmond Va. in June 2018.

wpid-wp-1415226867597.jpeg William West the Last Great Cornish Engineer

William West was the uncle of John West, the President engine’s engineer. ‘The Last Great Cornish Engineer’ tells the fascinating rags to riches story of William West of Tredenham.


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