It was sad to hear that this past week, the tug Pegasus made her last trip to the great shipyard in the sky. Figure I would throw together a little post about a cool old vintage tug that would meet an unfortunate end this week.
The Pegasus was built in 1907 by Skinner Shipbuilding in Baltimore, for Standard Oil Company, as the S.O. Co. 16. The tug would later be renamed the Socony 16, and eventually wound up as the Esso Tug #1 after several rounds of company reorganizations. McAllister Towing of New York would purchase the steam powered tug, and rebuild her. Converted to Diesel propulsion, an EMD 567 was installed in place of the large engine and boiler. Now renamed the John E. McAllister, she would join the companies massive fleet doing shipdocking and other harbor work. McAllister would also purchase sister tug Esso Tug #2, and rebuild her the same way, now renamed as the Roderick McAllister. Another Socony sister tug – the Socony #14, would find a new home with Philadelphia’s Independent Pier Company, and was renamed the Jupiter. She also is a museum tug in Philadelphia.
By the 1980’s, towing companies were selling off the last of the older, converted steam tugs. Numerous smaller companies would benefit from this, and would give many of these older tugs a new life. In 1987, the John E. McAllister was purchased by Hepburn Marine Towing of New York, where she was renamed as the Pegasus.
Hepburn Marine would do various work throughout the city, including spending several years towing carfloats for the New York Cross Harbor Railroad. Hepburn would ultimatly charter the tug James E. Witte from Donjon, the former Central Railroad of New Jersey tug Liberty for doing this work – a tug much better suited. Pegasus would be retired in 1997.
The Tug Pegasus Preservation Project was formed, and spent many years actively restoring the tug from the hull up. Volunteers spent several years actively restoring various parts of the tug, and the Pegasus would tow the Lehigh Valley Barge #79 (The Waterfront Museum – see link below) numerous times around the city. I was only ever inside the Pegasus once, a few photos are below.
McAllister would repower the tug with a WWII surplus LST package – a 900HP EMD 12-567ATLP, with a Falk (Falk designed, however several contractors during the war built them, including Esco and Lufkin) reverse-reduction gear. This was one of the most common tug repower packages used after WWII, and I am slowly working on a large post about them.
The engine in the Pegasus was originally installed in Landing Ship Tank (LST) #121, shipped by EMD 6/16/1943. LST 121 was launched August 16, 1943 by Jefferson Boat & Machine. 121 would spend her career on the Pacific front and was present at the Marshall Islands, Iwo Jima, The Marianas, Western Caroline Islands and the Tinian Capture, earning 5 battle stars. She would be sold for scrap in 1946.
The Pegasus project fell dormant, and was looking for new caretakers and leadership for several years. Unfortunately, nothing would come to fruition. The museum ship world is one of the hardest aspects of preservation out there, and it gets harder every year as these boats get older. We have lost numerous preserved tugs just in the last few years. Times are tough, but be sure to help support your favorite museum ship. Every one of these groups needs all the help they can get.
This week’s column is by Jay Boggess. Next week we will return to the Delta Municipal Power Plant for Part II.
Pretty quickly, early on – when it comes to diesel engines, you hear the word “Roots Blower”. But who IS Roots? Today in the era of Wikipedia, this is an easy question to answer, but not when I was a kid.
I’d first heard of the “GMC Roots Blower” associated with supercharged dragsters & hot rods. Later, while reading my father’s 1944 textbook “Internal Combustion Engines – Analysis & Practice”, I discovered a cutaway section of the General Motors 2-stoke CI (compression ignition or diesel) engine, below:
Later, I learned that Cleveland Diesel, Fairbanks-Morse and Electro Motive Division diesel engines all had Roots Blowers, but no one ever explained why it was called the Roots Blower.
In 2003, a random visit to the History Colorado Museum in Denver came across this artifact:
A mine ventilation blower for ventilating underground hard-rock mines, built by the P.H. & F.M. Roots Company, Connersville, Indiana. The placard listed a date, but the low-res digital pics of the era do not allow me to zoom in – other sources point to the mid 1880’s or so.
Another datapoint came from another random visit, this time to the nearly preserved Bethlehem Steel blast furnaces in Bethlehem, PA (thanks to my former EMD colleague Mark Duve, who insisted we stop).
The building in the foreground of the photo was unlocked, we ventured inside and discovered these:
Very distinctive, two-lobed Roots Blower rotors – look carefully and you will see counter-weighted steam engine eccentrics on the end of the rotors. Inside the same building were the matching horizontal steam engine cylinders for driving these rotors (I took photos but the passage of 16 years has lost those). I later learned that blast furnace blast supply was one of the first uses of Roots Blowers.
So who were P.H. & F.M. Roots? Wikipedia points to a 1931 book, “Indiana One Hundred And Fifty Years of American Development” which provides most of the answers. Philander Higley and Francis Marion Roots were brothers. Francis was the youngest brother, born in 1824, went searching for gold in California in 1849, came home in 1850 and started working with his brother Philander in manufacturing. They patented the “Roots Positive Blast Blower” in 1866. Francis passed away in 1889, Philander passed in 1879. Their company was purchased by Dresser Industries in 1931, and renamed the Roots-Connersville Blower Company. In WWII, they produced low-pressure blowers for blowing ballast tanks in U.S. Submarines, as well as centrifugal blowers for various low-pressure/ high-volume uses, eventually submerged in the vast Dresser product line.
Roots Blower Applications:
Submarine Ballast Tank Blower:
This is listed on the drawing as a 1600 CFM blower, designed and built by the Roots-Connersville Blower Corporation, Connersville, Indiana. The driving motor is a 1750 RPM, 90 horsepower, intermittent-duty DC motor.
To digress extensively – WWII submarines had two systems to blow their ballast tanks – 3000-PSI stored compressed air reduced down to 600 PSI to start the surfacing process and 10-PSI low pressure air supplied by blowers to finish the job once a submarine surfaced. It was this low-pressure job that either Roots Blowers or centrifugal blowers were utilized. Another interesting use was that when a sub is submerged, various tanks are vented inboard the sub, raising the internal pressure of the boat several PSI above atmospheric pressure. If the hatch were immediately opened, the rush of air was known to launch sailors overboard. Instead, the hatch between the conning tower and control room would be shut, the boat surfaced and the bridge hatch opened. While the captain checked to see if the coast was clear, the low-pressure blower is started finishing the blow of the ballast tanks and reducing the excess air pressure inside the rest of the boat.
Fairbanks-Morse Opposed Piston 38D Engine:
The WWII era FM 38D manual does not use the word “Roots Blower” but instead refers to it as a “Scavenging Air Blower”. The FM 38D blower spins at 1450 rpm and provides 6000 CFM at about 2 to 4 PSI. The Direct Reversing version of this engine used a set of linkage and air valves on the blower in order to direct the air in the proper direction when the engine is running astern, thus the blower is running backwards.
General Motors Cleveland Diesel Engine Division (CDED) 278A Marine Diesel:
Cleveland Diesel mounted their single Roots Blower on the front of their engine, essentially shortening or lengthening the blower to fit the air flow of the 6, 8, 12- or 16-cylinder models of the 278A, as the photos and following table illustrates.
Thanks to Scott Zelinka for the above Cleveland photos showing a pair of the Spiral rotors used by CDED. The clearances between the rotors is set at .024″ (on the 12 and 16 Cyl) and .018″ on the smaller engines. I find it downright amazing that something with this complex of a shape – and interlocking none the less, could be machined so exacting by hand, and mass produced at that, long before computers and CNC.
With the new Cleveland Diesel 498 engine, a small Roots blower was used in conjunction with the exhaust driven turbocharger to provide for lower RPM scavenging. EMD would solve this issue with their own turbocharger on the 567. A centrifugal clutch drives the blower off of the timing gears that would disengage at a certain RPM and allow the turbocharger to freewheel.
EMD 567/645 Roots Blown Engines
Electro-Motive answered the Roots Blower question in a totally different way than its GM sister division CDED. EMD also had four different engines to support: 6 – 8 – 12 – 16 cylinders. EMD picked one design of blower, then used that one blower for the 6 and 8 cylinders model and a pair of blowers for the 12 and 16 cylinders, changing the blower gear ratio (and blower RPM) between 6 and 8, and 12 and 16 engines, gaining economics of scale and fewer replacement parts to support.
Below is the 8-cylinder 567 model:
And here is the mid-1950’s 16-567C model. Note the directional air intake, a sign that this engine was likely built for stationary power generation.
The 16-567C pic illustrates another clever design feature that EMD incorporated. By placing the Roots Blowers high above the crankshaft (driven by the engine’s camshaft drives), EMD designers provided a niche for a generator underneath the blowers, saving overall length of the engine/generator and thus overall length of the locomotive.
These are just a few short uses of the Roots Blower – several other manufacturers have used them, and coming in one of the next parts on the Delta Municipal Power Plant, we will see a giant Roots-Connersville centrifugal blower used to feed the big 31A18 engine. Roots Blowers are common on many different industrial uses outside of engines.
While many thousands of Roots Blowers have been built, I believe their day in the sun has passed. From my days at the Alaska Railroad, EPA emissions regulations were starting to close in on the Roots Blown engine. I do not know the specifics, but the GP38-2s AkRR owned had to be de-tuned for better emissions, which gave lower fuel economy. And even then, the EPA wasn’t very happy about it (that is, the EPA Tier 0/1/2/3 regulations only allowed de-tuning for existing engines and would not be applicable to a new Roots-blown EMD engine).
So, when you hear an older EMD go by, be it a GP7 or GP9 or 38, think of Philander Higley and Francis Marion Roots and what they invented 150 years ago.
Sidebar – Roots Blower Or Roots Supercharger?
Blogmaster Paul Strubeck has uncovered somewhat heated discussions between the terms “Roots Blower” and “Roots Supercharger”. Both terms can be correct – I will attempt to clarify, but I will preface my comments that I am an electrical engineer by training / experience and only an “armchair” engine guy (from hanging around my father and the many, many gear-heads at Electro-Motive over 22 years).
Supercharging is defined as jamming more air than atmospheric pressure into each cylinder before compression by the piston begins. My 1944 internal combustion textbook notes by providing some form of air pump, you can get more power for the same engine weight or thin-air compensation for an aircraft engine at high altitude.
In the two-cycle diesel engines (FM, Detroit Diesel, CDED, EMD), the Roots Blower acts primarily to scavenge exhaust gases from the cylinder after each power stroke. If the exhaust valves close before intake ports (in the case of a GM 2-cycle diesel), then some supercharging will take place. But the primary purpose is to get exhaust gases out.
If the air pump is driven by a turbine attached to the exhaust manifold, then the arrangement is termed a turbocharger. The turbocharged EMD 645E3 engine provides 3000 THP in the GP40/SD40, while the Roots-blown 645E engine of the GP38 provides only 2000 THP. The Wright radial engine of the Boeing B-17 of WWII used a turbo-supercharger so that it could fly at 25,000 feet over Germany, with each engine producing 750 HP at altitude.
Barney Navarro was the first hot rodder to put a Roots Blower with Detroit Diesel history on a car engine in the 1950’s. The blower, from a Detroit Diesel 3-71 was belt driven off of the crankshaft and made 16PSI of boost in the engine. After that the doors opened and the Roots style blower became a choice power added for race cars (typically drag cars). Today, they are still referred to an x-71 style (in different sizes, including a 14-71, an engine never made), however they are specific made for the application, and not WWII surplus! Supercharging on gasoline/car engines is a much larger topic that literally has had books written on it.
As I suspected, it took about 25 seconds before it was figured out what it was. Yup, Its an EMD 567C or some flavor of 645. Unfortunately, I know nothing of the story as to why this engine was in a Brooklyn junk yard in July of 2019..but, makes for an interesting conversation none the less. Its not often you see a Teal painted engine, so I am kind of assuming it was some sort of stationary application that got scrapped out. Here is some more photos, click them all for larger views.
On the top Left is part of the crankcase/airbox, top Right is a blower with a chunk of crankcase next to it, below that is a liner and the crankshaft, and on the bottom Left is some more crankcase chunks.
Closer view.. The pile was shuffled around the following day.
Better view of the crank and a liner.
A pair of power assembly’s still in the block, torched into bite sized pieces.
At the end of the last post on the Fairbanks Morse 31A series, I mentioned I was going to draw up the engine in CAD and 3D print it. I am a model builder and a model railroader when I don’t get to play with old engines, boats and locomotives, and even do it as a business now. The model was drawn out and printed in 1/87th scale, better known to model railroaders as HO scale.
I opted to do the 5 cylinder 8 1/2″ version. I am considering making a small diorama depicting the Corpus Christi Pumping station that appears in the post below.
On the left is a finished model, on the right is exactly how it leaves the 3D printer. I decided to make a version of the engine with no base, so that it could be used as a flatcar load.
This is just the first of many engines I am going to build models of. I am already well into the CAD for a few more. You will see those here first! If anyone is interested in one for their railroad – I have them forsale over on my actual business page : https://gothamrailmarine.com/3d-printed-parts/
Here is another 1/87th scale engine, an EMD 16-567 offered by Walthers. This kit has been around for 20+ years, and is pretty crude, but not terrible. It is a bit of a mashup between a 567A and a 567B. On my to-do list is a slew of upgrades to make this kit a little more closely resemble something a little nicer. https://www.walthers.com/emd-567-prime-mover-kit
A few years back I cut down one of these kits and made a little 6-567, as if it came out of an SW1 switcher. This sat in the engine facility of my previous layout.
In Part II I will show you some more 3D printed 1/87th engines that are available.
Farrel-Birmingham was yet another prominent WWII (and before) era manufacturer of reduction gears and the like. During WWII, Farrel-Birmingham would supply gears for hundreds of tugs, ships, ferrys and every many other pieces of floating plant. In the post war years, working with GM, thy would supply the reduction gears for almost every Diesel Electric tug powered by Cleveland Diesel right up until the 1960’s.
The setup shown above was originally used in the tug “Raymond Card”, a 95′ tug powered by a Cleveland 12-567, with a 615kW Generator. In turn, this powered the 750HP 600V DC propulsion motor, that fed the Farrel-Birmingham 3.75:1 reduction gear. This same setup would be used on other tugs of the same design later on.
Farrel-Birmingham would exit the gear market in the 1960’s. They still exist today as the Farrell Pomini company, specializing in plastic manufacturing equipment.
Something that I see quite often on various forums and the like, is misidentification of the early EMD 567 series engines. Like all engine manufactures of the day, the EMD 567 line was under constant revision throughout the years. This is not meant to be any sort of history of the engine, just a simple way to differentiate the different types of 567 engines.
The “Straight” 567
The first production model of the 567 was just that, the 567. Often people dont associate this engine, thinking the 567A was the original, but it was not. The first 567 engines used an interesting top deck design, with extended crab studs to hold down the covers, with a simple rectangular hatch over each injector. The first pair of production 567’s according to the EMD book “Diesel War Power”, were for the Moran Towing “Thomas E. Moran”, built by Defoe Shipbuilding in 1938. Ironically, an engine designed specifically for locomotives, would be first installed in a tug. The engines (one pictured above) were V8, 660HP/750 RPM engines that drove a 400kW generator, with a 24kW belt drive exciter above.
The first Railroad use of the 567 would follow in October of 1938, with a set of E4 Streamliners for the Seaboard Air Line railroad. Each E4 used a pair of 1000HP 12-567’s. The first and most obvious way to spot the straight 567, is the very wide housing for the blower drive gears, making the rear end of the engine rather wide. EMC/Cleveland would supply special versions of this engine to the USCG for use in a fleet of Icebreaking Tugs, with a narrowed version of this case, however all of the standard production engines used this wide case. By now, the engine also featured matching doors on both the crankcase and airbox, as well as a larger, removable cover that spanned the entire top deck.
Note the upper deck of the engine in the “U” (cast) or “V” (fabricated) upper portion where the exhaust coming out of the heads would mate up with the upper manifolds. The original EMC 567 design is well outlined in Eugene Kettering’s paper on the History and Development of the 567, which will be linked to at the end of this article.
With the onset of WWII, the 567 by now was being refined into the 567A starting around 1942. What would put the 567 line on the map, would be the advent of the Navy LST program. The majority of the LST program would in turn use a pair of 12-567A engines (dubbed ATLP/ATLS for Aux. Tank Landing Port or Starboard), driving a 2.48:1 reduction gear through an air clutch. On land the 567A was being used in all of EMD’s line of locomotives from switchers to road power.
The 567A would take the idea of the narrowed blower drive on the USCG 8-567’s, and make it even narrower, thus saving crucial space in the engine room. Midway through the LST program in 1943, the two piece floating piston and carrier design was adopted. Also to note, is the entire upper deck was modified, and now the exhaust from the heads ran inside of a water deck. Note the smooth cast ducts for the scavenging air from the blowers into the airbox.
The 567A package used in the LST would go on to be one of the most common repower package for tugboats in the 1950’s and 60’s, something we will get into more in the future.
The 567B was introduced after the end of WWII. The 567B was very similar to the 567A, with one main spotting difference on the outside. The 567B now used a ribbed air duct casting from the blowers into the airbox.
Mechanically the 567B was essentially the same as the 567A, with the difference being the attached oil strainer housing on the front end of the engine.
In 1953, EMD introduced the 567C. The C block engine was essentially an all new engine. The C blocks major change involved the elimination of the water deck liners, and the use of O rings to seal them. These O rings were prone to fail, and would thus cause water contamination of the lube oil system. The C liners used a bolted on water inlet type, completely eliminating the water deck.
The easiest way to spot a 567C – is that the block introduced a few new changes. First is the round inspection covers on both the airbox and crankcase. The fuel rails were moved to the inside of the upper deck, as well as an all new style of hinged upper deck cover, with snap latches. The thing about the 567C is that it is also identical to its replacement, the 645 series.
A short one here – the 567CR was only an 8 cylinder engine, that used a revised firing order, hence the “R”, to help with vibration issues. Externally it is exactly the same.
The final installment in the 567 lifespan development is the 567D of 1959. The D line of engines introduced the turbocharger. EMD, unlike Detroit and Cleveland would develop their own turbo, that was driven off of the gear train through a clutch at low speeds, and would freewheel when the exhaust pressure built up. The 567D was only offered as a 16 cylinder engine, and topped out at 2500HP. Later on they would take the turbo off for a few select applications, and squeezed 1800HP out of it.
The turbo versions of the 567D while overall successful engines and were a major stepping stone to the 645 development, they were plagued with turbo issues. Several railroads choose to pull the turbos off and replace them with the traditional roots blowers.
567AC and 567BC
The AC and BC engines, from the outside are identical to their original counterpart. Internally, the engines were upgraded to use “C” block liners. The only way to spot one of these, would be to remove an airbox cover and see if the water manifold is present.
Not to be confused with the above conversions, the 567CA engine is its own beast. While it was not any sort of a new development, the CA engine was an EMD designed direct replacement for the 567ATL LST engines that by now were in hundreds of commercial boats.
The CA engine used a new crankcase with “C” specs, however there were several recycled parts off of the original ATL engines. The smooth blower ducts, as well as the entire top deck assembly, complete with the external fuel lines and removable covers were recycled off the original engines.
Yes – the 645C is actually a 567. The 645C is a 567C that uses 645 power assembly’s. Again, like the AC and BC conversions, the 645C is not distinguishable from the outside.
Please note, I wrote this simple as a way to try and help to visually distinguish each model of 567. One thing to keep in mind, is the 567 was a very modular engine at the end of the day, and quite a few components are interchangeable throughout the entire production line, some easier then others.
As mentioned previously, the 567 was an EMC/EMD design, and was built in the LaGrange shop. Between 1938 and 1961, both marine and stationary versions of of the 567’s were marketed and sold under the Cleveland Diesel banner, having been converted for such uses in their Cleveland shops. These engines carry Cleveland Diesel builders plates, and numbers.
Preston Cook, one of the leading authority on EMD, has a fantastic write up at the following link which gets a bit more into the technical sides of the model development over the production spans.
This week, we have a 1941 classic, featuring the Carl Hussman Company, and a trio of Cleveland 16-567’s.
Unfortunately, I can not really say much about Carl Hussman outside of what is in the ad – I cant find anything! Other then they obviously made some spring isolation assembly’s.
What I can add though – is about those engines. The main trio featured, are Cleveland 16-567’s. Yes – They are Electro-Motive Corporation (at the time) designed, and even built in LaGrange – however these engines carried Cleveland Diesel plates. EMC (EMD), Cleveland Diesel and Detroit Diesel all fell under one banner after 1937 – the General Motors Diesel Power line. Locomotives fell under EMC/EMD, Marine and Stationary engines fell under Cleveland Diesel, and small engines up to 250HP under the Detroit line.
These 3 16-567’s were some of the earliest applications of these engines. These engines were shipped 11/1938, as 1000HP/600RPM gen-sets for the Alfred I. duPont building in Miami, Florida. Interestingly enough, 2 of the 3 were listed as being in emergency generator railcars, however as we can see – all 3 are inside the building. It is unknown if the order was changed in the process, of if the plant was reconfigured between 1938 and 1941 when this ad was made.
The 4th engine in the ad, the “225HP 8 Cylinder” is a Cleveland 8-233A engine. This was a small, 200HP/1200RPM engine. As with the early Winton designed engines, this was a 4 stroke, and one of the engines that ultimately would lead to the development of the Detroit 71 series. The 233A line was one of the engines used by Electro-Motive in the early railcars, as well as a yacht propulsion engine, and standby generator used in some early Aircraft Carriers.
The better question is – Are these engines still there?
Today marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, operation Overlord, and the storming of the Normandy Beaches. Way more then I could ever write has been written about today’s events, and I defect to others on that one. But, today I will share two D-Day Veterans anyone can visit.
First up is the LT-5, “Major Elisha K. Henson”, and later known as the “John F. Nash”. The LT-5 is an Army “Large Tug”, built by Jakobson Shipbuilding in 1943. The LT-5 was used on D-Day towing various barges, in part of the operation of building an artificial harbor off of Normandy. After the war the tug was used by the Army Corps of Engineers in the Buffalo area, until begin retired in 1989. Today the LT-5 is part of the H. Lee White Maritime Museum in Oswego, New York.
The second ship is the LST-393, or Landing Ship – Tank. 393 was part of the late night landings on June 6th, and would ultimately make 30 round trips to the beach, earning 3 Battle Stars.
After the war, the LST-393 became a Ferry named the “Highway 16”, operating between Muskegon and Milwaukee. The 393 is one of only two (the other being LST-325) original LST’s remaining afloat in this country. LST-393 is now a museum boat in Muskegon, Michigan.
Another survivor on this page, is the engine in the header photo. This Cleveland 16-278A in the Sturgis, Michigan power plant, used to be in Destroyer Escort HMS Kingsmill (later DE-280). After the war the ship was scrapped, and the engine became one of four 278’s in this power plant. The HMS Kingsmill was at Normandy on June 6th doing Patrol work.
As always, thank a Veteran for their services that they performed for our freedoms.
Also, support our museums and museum ships. All over museums are struggling for support, even more so are the maritime related ones. It takes a lotof of effort to keep something afloat, especially when its 75+ years old. Visit, Support, Volunteer.
I think every Tuesday I am going to try and post some sort of old advertising. I have so much of it, and its a great window into the past. Today we will feature the USS Sperry and Marquette Metal Products.
Marquette Metal Products was a manufacturer of many styles of hydraulic governors well into the 1960s. Marquette became a subsidiary of Curtiss-Wright in 1946, and unfortunately I can not find when they company was finally dissolved. Marquette governors are still fairly common, although not as much as Woodward’s these days. The governor on the ad is a model B102A7 Hydraulic Governor, which were very common on Cleveland and EMD engines.
The USS Sperry was a Fulton class Submarine tender, built in 1941, lasting in service until 1982, and finally scrapped in 2011. The Sperry was a Diesel-Electric drive ship, with 8x Cleveland 16-248 engines for propulsion and 3x 12-248 ship service generators and a single 6-248 engine for emergency use. 8 1,440 HP propulsion motors fed into two separate gear boxes, driving two 15′ propellers.