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.
Passign of Otto Matlock
The following notice appeared in Live Steam Magazine, December 1971:
- Otto (Bill) Matlock, age 64, of Luling, Texas passed away on September 9th, of an aneurysm. He and his son, John, had formed Caldwell Industries in 1968 to supply the Live Steam hobby and was looking forward to retiring from the oilfield work in which he has spent most of his life and devoting his time to the new business.
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