Saving a Youngstown Landmark

The Tod Engine

Rick Rowlands standing on the
Tod Engine before dismantling.

What is 20 feet in diameter, 25 inches wide, and weighs 75 tons? The answer is easy for old Brier Hill steel workers. They all know that it is the flywheel of the steam engine that drove the rolling mill at the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Brier Hill Works between 1914 and 1979. What they might not know is that the entire 260 ton, 4,000 horsepower stationary steam engine is now preserved in a new industrial museum on the east side of Youngstown, Ohio, thanks to the efforts of the Rick Rowlands and donations to the Youngstown Steel Heritage Foundation.

The history of steel making in Brier Hill, the beginning of the William Tod Company, the discovery of the Tod Engine, and the engine’s dismantling and moving to a new engine house is all recorded in a booklet titled “Tod Engine Saving a Youngstown Landmark”. This book was published in April 2009 and may be purchased by visiting As a historian I found the 92 page booklet with numerous photographs fascinating reading and highly recommend it to all who are interested in Youngstown steel making beginning in 1838. Equally informative is the above web site which begins where the booklet leaves off.

The Tod Engine is now housed in a steel building located at 2261 Hubbard Road in Youngstown, Ohio, and may be found by following Route 62 and 7 about one mile north of the old Truscon Office Building on Albert Street. The Tod Engine Heritage Park is not officially open to the public, but is expected to be open beginning in May 2010.

Publisher’s Notes: Special thanks to Funeral Director Dan Becker of Struthers, Ohio, who called my attention to the existence of the Tod Engine Heritage Park. Dan also provided the funding for the purchase of the Tod enginehouse building.