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Stanley and White Burner Howl

Posted by Caleb Ramsby 
Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 21, 2011 02:25PM
Or when the water tank is lo and air in pump,,,open by-pass burp the baby,, an tinkle on merry way,,tink,tink,tink,,Hand control nice sometimes,,Ben
Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 21, 2011 04:13PM
Peter Brow Wrote:
Yep, there has
> already been talk about yet more of that wonderful
> government red tape, and at least one Japanese
> automaker is experimenting with add-on noisemakers
> for their hybrids. Might depend on what
> percentage of the cars on the road get that quiet.
> Voluntary noisemakers might derail new regs. Or
> the "noise pollution" lobby might push regs in the
> opposite direction. "Ever in motion, the future
> is."
> Peter

Then we may be able to choose our synthetic noise - like mobile phone ringtones. Perhaps the SACA will make a fortune marketing a speed and throttle modulated chuffing noise for steam buffs' Chevrolet Volts.smiling smiley

Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 22, 2011 05:18PM
Ken, Although off topic I appreciate our remarks on the cabureted burner and am wondering if the blower after the carb(to draw air thru it) may have an unexpected effect; possibly the fuel particles coming off the blower blades would have the effect of a spinning cup burner in that the fuel particle size could be reduced significantly. If you have ever seen the layout of the "French-Coates" steamer it was very advanced and had a steam driven condensor fan motor and the tips of the fan blades had differeint blades that created considerable draft into the burner air inlet so that much like a Doble with the draft booster would increase air pressure and burn rate to the Lamont! boiler. A very advanced design possibly never built, Jim and I have had a good deal of conversation about it over the decades. Possible the blower after approach with a carb may be better than the blower before the carb Doble type. Scott Finnegan may decide (and has the right to) to move this subject with its many posts on this thread to a carbureter thread. Your experiences are most interesting!
Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 22, 2011 10:34PM
All this talk about blown burners and the effect that the fan would have on atomizaztion has got me thinking.

What about the use of short screen "blades" that would be at the leading edge of the regular fan blades. Maybe have backward curved standard blades and forward curved screen "blades" to really stir up the bits of fuel?


Do you know where I could find a good technical layout of the French-Coats burner setup? It sounds like a very good design.

Caleb Ramsby
Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 23, 2011 11:06AM
All I have is a single draftsman drawing of the car layout with all connections and parts, a diagramatic layout of the entire system. Unfortunately since house moving it is buried in one of a dozen boxes of old steam notes but will look for it. If I found it would not know how to send or post it anyway!
Getting fuel particle size down is most important for efficient and complete combustion. I have no idea on what particle size came off of Ken's blower wheel, I do know the water particle size coming out of my homemade Fish carb was like a fog. A friend of mine decades ago had a pickup truck that had a regular carb, he mounted a small lawnmower carb next to it on the intake manifold and when just this small carb with extremely high air velocity going thru it increased his gas milage 30-40% as a guess. Unfortunately the small carb alone would just keep the truck going at 40-45mph due to the vacuum drop across it but demonstrates the effect of micro fuel particle size on a typical gas engine..
Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 23, 2011 01:37PM

I have no idea if the French-Coates was ever built, the lack of photos versus drawings makes me suspicious. Charles French did join International Harvester and was part ot the development team for their steam tractor which led to the steam rail cars built by IH and Ryan. The steam systems show a lot of similarity to the French Coates, but significantly simplified, which indicates additional development. The Patent Office has quite a bit of detail available. The steam system used a jet recirculation pump with helical coils. The burner was fan driven with the fuel/air mixture driven into the center of a stack of hollow discs, the spacing between the discs acting as the flameholder gap. By all reports, the system ran very well.

I do wonder how effective atomization is with a flameholder, by which I mean I wonder how much the flameholder undoes the atomization.. My SES style conical flameholders had almost no flame at the center, but the outer 2/3 was burning hard. I have to assume that the fuel was pulled off to the outer orifices but never made it all the way to the center, there had to be enough airflow in the center to prevent backflash as there was some flame in there, but since there was only a little fire I have to assume some sort of separation of fuel and air. The inertia of the fuel and rapid changes of direction imposed by the flameholder would seem to be the root cause. I was told SES used a honeycomb straightener before the flameholder to improve the characteristics.

When I'd lean the mixture out to the point where the flame would extinguish, a white cloud emanated from the flameholder, this acted as a real cloud as it hovered nicely or drifted with the wind. The gasoline vapor didn't settle out to the ground. I do know that the mixture departing the fan was highly atomized, when troubleshooting fuel delivery without the flameholder in place, the discharge appeared fog-like, couldn't really make out separate droplets. I was impressed as I didn't expect that degree of homogenization. The flameholder was still hot at this point and I have to assume that the heat vaporized the fuel coming in contact, and the pressure drop across the orifices probably didn't hurt matters. So, even if the inertial forces acting on the atomized fuel at the flameholder tends to shake fuel out of suspension, the fuel appears willing to vaporize on contact and thus yield an even more perfect mixture.

The preceding is to some degree conjecture, but seems to match the observed phenomenon. I do think more basic study may be needed to quantify what is occurring.

Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 23, 2011 03:56PM
I recall a gadget sold as an accessory for i/c cars which consisted of a propellor style fan fitted in the inlet tract which was driven by the gas flow and which was claimed to do something to power or economy. May have been snake oil but perhaps there was something in it after all. Some i/c cars' inlet manifolds have sharp (inside of the bend) corners with the aim of making any condensed liquid fuel on the wall of the manifold fly off into the airstream.

Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 23, 2011 09:42PM
Found a few Charles French patents for his boiler and burner.



Hey Mike,

I seem to recall that it was called a "Tornado" or some such thing. If we are thinking of the same aparatus then I have seen reports by people who bought it and tried it where it actually decreased the mpg of the vehicle and appeared to reduce then power. These were on internet forums so who knows how legitimite the tests were.

Caleb Ramsby
Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 24, 2011 12:52AM
Not all are French patents, list far from complete. Others involved include Faverty, Engstrom, Walker and later Ryan. French later collaborated with Russell Waterman.

French Coates: [www.google.com]

IH: [www.google.com]

Ryan Car: [www.google.com]
Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 25, 2011 10:00AM
Ken and Caleb,
Thanks so much for the research on Mr. French, I had not realized his prominance in the steam field.
Somewhere I have two technical papers on the International Harvester railcar and it does not mention French but your information certainly includes him in this project. The first paper showed a Lamont boiler with helical coils with radial gas outflow, the vaporizing burner was like a giant tall Coleman camp stove and I believe burned about 60 gallons per hour! It was a forced air blower design and the Lamont circulation was by using a venturi/jet to aid circulation. Evidently this design did not prove out as the latter paper now had a driven Lamont circulation pump to insure a high circulation ratio at all times. Whatever happened to this railcar???
Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 25, 2011 10:21AM
Seems I recall a paper w/comments on crankshaft viberation/torsunal,,
I think it was 2 engines,,,Not sharp memory on this,,just a clue??? Ben
Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 25, 2011 04:15PM
As miracles occure I reached in a box of 100+ manila folders and came out with the International Harvester LOCOMOTOR project. Thanks to Dave Nergaard who made copies of all this stuff decades ago! There were two LOCOMOTOR papers in Product Engineering circa 1930 by their chief engineer C. Faverty that were filled with specifications on the boiler(s) and engine(s). You are correct there were two 8 cylinder single acting unaflow engines each producing 225HP plus an auxilary steam engine to run generator and condensing fans. There were design changes made during a three year period on the engines and the Lamont circuit. A pprevious paper in RAILWAY MECHANICAL ENGINEER had an earlier paper in 1927. There was also a short article in another publication. Originally the Lamont gas outflow boiler with all helical coils using the pressurized vaporizing burner designed by Mr. French it appears a lot of effort was made to produce a reliable railcar of about 500HP. The boiler coils were contained in a 52" diameter housing and the coil stack about 32" high producing about 5000# steam per hour. The Coleman style ring burner burned about 7 million BTU's.hr in a mixing chamer of about 1.7 cubic feet, rather phenominal! The forced air blower housing was about 30" in diameter, Originally the Lamont drum was on top of the coil stack in the flue area making the boiler much higher but it may not have provided enough Lamont coil circulation to protect this directly fired upon helical coil. The latter version the 16" diameter recirculation drum was alongside the coil stack and it may have included a forced recircualtion water pump driven off the end of the large blower shaft So the papers are out there but I know of no results of the effort. Possible Dave N. would know of the outcome. So many forgotten efforts by many that were developed. Anyone know where there is a rare 3 cylinder double acting front engine Delling car?
Best, George
Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 25, 2011 06:05PM
Hi,,,The reference to the crank problem was subtle,,something like 'a damper was fitted',,,,or,,,,The crank had larger journals,,,,it did not mention a failure,,,
This may have been in Davids papers,,
Cheers,,Ben,,, p/s,,George,,we had 1" snow day before,,,just thot you'd like to know,,,haha,,CB
Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 25, 2011 09:18PM
Here are the IH patents from my database:

1418372 1922 French Charles A Refractory Material and Process of Making the Same
1474898 1923 French Charles A Fuel Burner
1466709 1923 French Charles A Vaporizing Fuel Burner
1539111 1925 French Charles A Instantaneous Fuel Burner and Method of Burning Fuel
1608589 1926 Engstrom Gustav W Pump Controlling Means
1582921 1926 French Charles A Vaporizing Blue Flame Burner
1613879 1927 Engstrom Gustaf W Pressure Regulator
1632125 1927 French Charles A Boiler Regulator
1685279 1928 Engstrom Gustaf W Tractor
1696892 1928 French Charles A Semi-flash Boiler
GB-312775 1929 French Charles A Boiler
1703228 1929 French Charles A Boiler
1729102 1929 French Charles A Automotive Boiler System
GB-303715 1929 I Improvements in Condensing Appliances for use with Self-propelled Steam-driven Railway Cars
1751579 1930 Engstrom Gustav W Transmission Mechanism for Tractors
1797910 1931 Engstrom Gustaf W Condenser System for Rail Cars
1819663 1931 Walker Earl C Lubricating Device
1864286 1932 Walker Earl C Condenser System for Rail Cars
1900003 1933 Walker Earl C Burner
1955797 1934 Engstrom Gustaf W Oil Burner Controls
1983539 1934 Engstrom Gustaf W Steam Propelled Railway Vehicle
1983593 1934 Engstrom Gustav W Steam Propelled Railway Vehicle
2164225 1939 Walker Earl C Liquid Fuel Burner

And the follow-on Ryan Car Co. project

1934661 1933 Faverty Clyde B Steam Power Plant
1915166 1933 Ryan William M Steam Boiler System
1941885 1934 Faverty Clyde B Steam Condenser Controls for Moving Vehicles
1981618 1934 Faverty Clyde B Railway Draft Vehicle
1964703 1934 Ryan William M Steam Power Plant

Other Charles French patents

1824988 1931 French Charles A Water Level Indicator Apparatus for Steam Power Plants
1971177 1934 French Charles A Steam Generating System
1977436 1934 French Charles A Liquid Fuel Vaporizer
1996238 1935 French Charles A Steam Generating System
2002288 1935 French Charles A Liquid Fuel Burner
2005541 1935 French Charles A Fuel Vaporizer and Burner
2031306 1936 French Charles A Liquid Fuel Vaporizer and Burner
2039790 1936 French Charles A Method and Apparatus for Burning Oil
2122684 1938 French Charles A Vaporizing Relatively Heavy Oils
2122685 1938 French Charles A Oil Vaporizing Apparatus
2123887 1938 French Charles A Fuel Vaporizer
2637637 1953 French Charles A Apparatus for Vaporizing Liquid Hydrocarbons
1681530 1928 French Charles A Automatic Fuel Regulating Device for Steam Power Plants
Co-invented with Waterman. Corrugated sylphon opens and closes carburetor butterfly valve.
1698947 1929 French Charles A Air Sealing Apparatus for Steam Power Plants
Co-invented with Waterman. Pump design prevents air from entering pump.
1731458 1929 French Charles A Steam Powerplant
Helical inflow boiler, circ pump driven by feed pump pressure with built in eductor.
1733658 1929 French Charles A Fuelizer for Hydrocarbons
Co-invented with Waterman. Heated chamber vaporizes heavier oils to provide clean combustion.
1737581 1929 French Charles A Apparatus for Controlling Automotive Steam Vehicles
Co-invented with Waterman. Sliding cam, poppet valve, throttle interconnected to maximize eff.
1744111 1930 French Charles A Vaporizing Blue Flame Burner
Burns heavier oils silently without soot, electric ignition, fan aspirated.
1879163 1932 French Charles A Steam Pressure Regulating Device
Regulates fuel and water to boiler based on pressure.
1946682 1934 French Charles A Steam Generating System Automotive semiflash with ejector circulation, water storage.
2113252 1938 French Charles A Oil Burner Combination of vaporizing burner and carburetor.

Don't quote me on it cause it is hearsay, but I was told the railcars were converted to diesel after a period, cheaper to maintain if all the stock had the same powertrains. From every indication I can find, these were probably the most advanced light steam systems of the era.

Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 27, 2011 04:48AM
Listen to a burner howl on this Bryan tractor. That’s the way it is on a lot of Stanley’s driving down the road with Ottaway burners.

Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 27, 2011 06:00AM
Rolly Wrote:
> Peter
> My 1920 735 with a rebuilt 20 HP Stanley burner
> with the # 56 bit and 6000 holes could burn 6 gal
> per hour, more then the car could handle and no
> burner howl.


What were the jet and mixing tube ID's on this burner?

Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 27, 2011 08:15AM
I don’t remember the tube size it was standard for the grate. I made up jets from #60, #59, #58, & #57. and ran the fuel pressure as high as 150 PSI but settled on the standard #60-0.0400 and around 125 PSI
The thing is when you make a burner for a Stanley burn more then you need it shuts off more often and you loose the superheat, its better to have the burner running most of the time. Knowing the burner could handle more you can always turn up the fuel pressure when you need it.
Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 27, 2011 06:57PM
Thanks Rolly; I have heard of several 20hp burners with 1.625" ID mixing tubes, and I think(?) that is the standard size. About 2.125-2.25" for the 23" Ottaway (with .062-.070 jets), but all I know about their firing rate is that it is more than 4gph. Good points on varying the fuel pressure and about superheat. The boiler I am looking at has less reserve than a Stanley and its burner should cycle more often; perhaps Sched 80 superheater for more "superheat reserve", if needed, and tuning the superheater length for the vehicle and typical driving conditions. I am planning on a steam thermometer at the engine and many experiments. Right now zeroing in on starting points. Parameters for a really powerful burner with no howl seem a better starting point than the "known howler" Ottaway!

One interesting instrumentation option I am considering is direct-read thermometers viewed by tiny dime-a-dozen remote webcams linked to a laptop computer for both recording and real-time instrument-panel display. These cameras are golfball-sized and smaller. There is software which can split the screen to display a dozen or more different camera views [remote gauges in this case] at once. Remote webcams in hot zones might need small insulated & aircooled housings with glass windows. Kind of an updated version of Peter Barrett's 1980s/90s videotaped gauges.

Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 27, 2011 07:39PM
Peter keep an eye on E-Bay for an Alnor Pyrometer 8 to 16 position 1200 F meter's. I’ve picked up several. I have one16 position. Hears one with two positions. Keep looking.


Also Omega has some digital readout ones but they require a voltage input. I picked one up with six positions on E-Bay.

Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 27, 2011 10:59PM
Hi Rolly

I have had a lot of experience with thermocouple indicators in general and the Alnor Pyrometers in particular. Thermocouple sensors come in two general types, grounded and ungrounded.

The grounded thermocouples may have a metal sheath that the thermocouple is welded to. Otherwise, the thermocouple may just be a couple of lengths of thermocouple wire that are inserted into a small hole in whatever you are measuring and peened together. In either case, the thermocouple is electrically connected to what ever you are measuring. Grounded thermocouples are often used because they are convenient or give faster response.

Ungrounded thermocouples may still have the sheath, but there is no electrical connection. Ungrounded thermocouples may just be a pair of thermocouple wires twisted together and hanging in free space.

It is important that both thermocouple leads be switched if you are using grounded thermocouples. If you have more than one grounded thermocouples and only one lead is switched, the thermocouples will interact. The older Alnor Pyrometers often only switched only one lead. They have separate connections for each lead, and it appears at first glance that both are switched, but that may not be the case.

To be sure, put one thermocouple in hot water and read the temperature. Put a hot air gun on the thermocouple you are not reading and see if there is any change in the indicated temperature of the hot water.

Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 27, 2011 11:26PM
Whistling Burner...... Correspondence between Stanley dealer "B.C." to customer "F.W. Parker", March 5, 1920 " In regards to stopping the whistling of your burner, there are several adjustments which can be made that might help in overcoming this. If the opening in the burner nozzles has become larger than the sizes of a 62 drill, this would undoubtedly have a tendency to increase the whistling. If this is the case, the ends of the nozzels can be peened over and remade out to the proper size. The lack of a cable in the main vaporizer might cause this trouble, and it has sometimes been found that to have the openings of the nozzles different in size, the whistling has been lessened, that is, by having the right nozzle smaller that the left, or vice versa. Lowering of the main fuel pressure has also often helped in lessening the whistling , the best pressure being determined by trials with different pressures". winking smiley It was also listed in the correspondence that the models 730 and 735 should be using a number 58 main jet nozzle. The model 70 should be using the 62 main jet nozzle.
Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 28, 2011 01:01AM
From that corospondence it sounds like the flame speed was too far off from the vapor speed when the whistling occurred. Changing the fuel pressure or the nozzle diameters both effect that relationship. In my opinion 99% of all burner noise is created by an imbalance in this relationship, and all my books point to this as the major cause of burner noise.

Most of the time the flame is pushed out to the end of the vapor cone and just before extinguishing, it jumps back to the orifice to start over again. When the flame jumps in position, it also surges from a small flame to a larger one. The continued flame jump makes a popping sound and the frequency of this sound will often lead to the cause and correction.

If you were to slow down the vapor speed and the noise frequency dropped, that would show a slow down of the flame pulsing, then continue along that path until the pulsing has stopped.

Peter Heid
Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 28, 2011 04:39AM
Hi Peter,

You might be onto something here. I calculated that the total grate opening of Rolly's quiet 20hp burner is about the same as the standard fewer/larger-hole burner plate, yet with the same (standard) jets, mixtubes, and max fuel pressures. The smaller and more numerous holes in Rolly's quiet burner should reduce the fuel/air mix flow velocity out of the grate openings -- enough to keep mix-flow speed below flame speed and prevent flames being "pushed out" and "jumping back"? This also fits with the many reports of jet-size reductions and fuel pressure reductions reducing or eliminating burner "howl" & "whistling".

Hi Rolly,

Thanks for the link; I will investigate these pyrometers. Looks good! In a different department: I am considering measuring burner firing rates by putting fuel pressure tank on an accurate digital scale, recording tank/fuel weight at beginning and end of run, maintaining a constant fuel pressure at burner, accurately timing burner runs, and then doing the math. Draining and volume-measuring pressure-tank contents after a timed run is another option. What method do you use?

Hi Kerry,

Thanks for your experience-based tips on pyrometers. Duly noted! I know a couple sources for these kinds of pyrometers. They look like excellent and accurate instruments.

Hi Pat,

Thanks for this very rare and interesting period information on practical Stanley burner noise-reduction. It is good that this information is being archived here, for future reference. In the past, potentially-important documents would disappear into, and shift between, various private collections, and would remain inaccessible to researchers. I have spent some time recently searching and re-reading old/forgotten Forum posts on various topics, _very_ useful. Many folks here "Forum-archived" lots of excellent information, years ago, and the archiving/info-access work continues.

Using different-sized jets, right and left, sounds kind of weird -- but apparently it quieted some burners! I wonder if anyone has tried that recently. Maybe somebody will read your post, try it tomorrow, and successfully quiet their steam car burner(s).

Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 29, 2011 06:29PM
Hi Peter B. and Rolly

I have got to quit posting when I have had no sleep for a day and a half! The test I gave to see if both leads of the pyrometer are switched implied the use of grounded thermocouples and a jumper wire with alligator clips connecting the sheaths of the two thermocouples.

If only one lead of the pyrometer is switched, all of the positive or negative leads of the thermocouples are connected together inside the pyrometer. You can see this with an ohm meter, of course, but you have to be very careful not to apply the ohm meter across positive and negative connections of the pyrometer. The ohm meter puts out a current that may damage the pyrometer. Thermocouples put out a very low signal- only a few millivolts.

Re: Stanley and White Burner Howl
April 29, 2011 07:00PM
I recommended Alnor Pyrometer 8 to 16 position because I have used them quite often and never had a problem with conection. You can find them very reasonable on E-Bay. It tell you on the bask of the meter how to connect it. But thanks for your consern, its appreeated. Photo of one in my 1920 when I installed the Derr boiler.

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