Robbins Donates 100 yr old Steam Engine to Union Thresherman’s Club in Symco, WI

It was a bitter sweet week in the Robbins White Lake, WI plant. After calling the White Lake mill home for nearly 80 years, the Universal Unaflow steam engine was removed from the boiler room and donated to the Union Thresherman’s Club in Symco, WI . The steam engine was installed at the Robbins mill in the 1940’s and at that time, powered the mill during the day and many of the company homes in White Lake at night. It was regularly used until the year 2000.

The steam engine is a Skinner Universal Unaflow with a 500 kilowatt generator that was likely built in the late teens or early 1920’s. The engine consists of two main parts – the actual steam engine and the electrical generator. Each weighs approximately 60,000 lbs. Due to its size and the location in the plant, it had to be blocked up and moved by hand with small machinery rollers. To assist with the removal, one of the last remaining service technicians that worked for Skinner Engine Co. was brought in to help. He volunteered his time to make sure the engine was preserved during the removal.

The engine and generator are being donated to the Union Thresherman’s Club in Symco, WI, a very unique and dedicated group. It will be installed and put on display on their 38 acre site (for more info about the Union Thresherman’s Club visit their website: