Caldwell Industries was a supplier of live steam castings, plans and parts.
CALDWELL INDUSTRIES FORMED
- In the first half of 1967 Bill and John Matlock made a discovery. Something that they wanted was readily available in England, but not in the United States. By July, a full scale investigation was in progress. Over a year later in September, 1968, Caldwell Industries of Luling, Texas had been formed and was publishing their initial catalogs.
- There was a time when every toy store carried small steam engines. But not any more. Caldwell Industries feels that from the youth will come the machinists and engineers of tomorrow. They carry a complete line of electric and alcohol fueled toys.
Open Column Launch Engine
About 1972 Caldwell Industries introduced a new product they called The Open Launch Engine, or River Queen Engine. It was a simple, single cylinder, single action engine consisting of standard stock equipment (no castings).
Daris A Nevil wrote:
- Sometime around 1975 I saw an ad in a magazine for Caldwell Industries of Luling, Texas. It was an ad for a small open-column steam launch engine. I was intrigued, especially because it was cheap, around $20. I ordered one of the kits. A catalog came along with the kit. I was fascinated by the models in the catalog, especially a set of castings for a 4-6-2 Pacific locomotive in O gauge. I didn't know a thing about castings, machining or building steam engines, but I wanted to do it.
- The open column launch engine was very simple. It consisted of various pieces of cut bar stock (no castings) and some nuts and screws. I showed the kit to my uncle. He was working for a machine shop at the time. He ordered a kit and built it. Then he built a scaled up model 4x the size of the original. Both ran very well on compressed air.
- "River Queen Open Column Launch Engine Kit Plans", Edelstaal Technical Institute
- Popular Mechanics, February 1973, pp 162-163
- Live Steam Magazine, February 1973
- See "Building Victoria" for a smaller open-column engine, Live Steam Magazine, July/August 2016