R. J. Smith and K. A. Petersen


R. J. Smith and Karl Petersen  

Smith had a machine shop in a garage building in Midway City and turned out whatever he could to make money.  At one time he made lots of Serpollet throttles and at other times lots of air atomizer fuel nozzles.  The VW was a steam conversion as was the Jaguar. 



R. J. Smith and Karl Petersen with the VW conversion.

Karl Petersen    

Karl Petersen “caught” in the act of winding steam generator coils of copper tubing—ummmmm!

“Educator” Buggy   Educator Buggy

Rear view of the “Educator” Buggy in running trim. Built by Richard J. and Helen S. Smith of Midway City, CA


R. J. in the Educator Buggy, K. A. Petersen standing behind him.

The best vehicle ever was the Educator Buggy which very unfortunately was wrecked in a car wreck on the way from California to a Greensborough, North Carolina Steam Meet.  There are detailed blueprints for this vehicle and its steam system but no one has constructed one and until there is an existing and good running buggy no one will probably attempt it.

6 cylinder "Merc"    

A 6 cylinder “Merc” conversion by Smith and Petersen, complete with feed pump.

“Merc” 4 cylinder Engine on  

“Merc” 4 cylinder Engine on
cradle type E, Fan Brake for test,
Pressure: ~200 psig
Temp:     ~390° F.
RPM:     ~200
Exhaust Pressure – Atmospheric: (14.7)
Water Rate this test: 23.7 lbs/H.P. HR


Water Flow Control Valves   Miniture Ball Valves

Pressure Compensated Water Flow Control Valves as
built by R. Smith of Midway City, CA.
These are the $75.00 Models.


Miniture Ball Valves as made in R. Smith’s Shop. These are of ¼” and 5/16” tube sizes.

parts the Rotary Valve   Feed Heater Coil

Some of the parts comprising the Smith rotary Valve, Pat. Pending


Feed Heater coil for R. Smith, Designed systems. Exhaust steam flows axially over coil element.

Sue Smith   REg Seden of Arleta, CA

Sue Smith at the Lathe, turning out precision parts for steam equipment at the Smith’s shop in Midway City, CA.


Reg Seden of Arleta, CA takes delivery of his 4 cylinder “Merc” conversion at R. J. Smith’s shop in Midway City — other “Merc” conversions are in the foreground.

XK-E Jaguar Roadster  

XK-E Jaguar Roadster installation of steam plant began October 1st, 1970. Photo taken this date October, 10th. Photo notation: October 10, 1970.