22-ton cotton gin engine is over 90 years old, but listen as it gets fired back up
We have something special here in this video of a giant engine, weighing over 22 tons, as it is started up. The cotton gin engine has been around and running for nearly 100 years. It sounds good for an almost century-old engine, doesn’t she?
This enormous piece of machinery was manufactured in Birmingham, Alabama around 1920 by the Continental Gin Company. The Continental Gin Company, in its day, was a substantial factory with the capabilities to produce power plants for cotton gins. They also made power plants for utility power companies.
According to Gas Engine Magazine, this hot head engine is an 110 HP that served a cotton gin in Arizona between 1924 and 1949. It spent many years off the map, before being found by Percy Goesch in California.
A journey of 650 miles then took the engine home, and a significant amount of work needed to be performed to get her back to full working condition, including installing new massive flywheels and mounting her on a 12-wheel trailer.
It takes compressed air to get this engine started, and the two hot heads are pre-heated by kerosene torches. Because there’s no real load on the engine, the engine runs relatively quietly. However, it has been said that, back in the day, when this machine was in service it could be heard for 12 miles.