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Allis-Chalmers

The big Allis-Chalmers triple-expansion engine is dead, but not to Walter Wilson and Daniel Hoffman. These men are, respectively, division foreman and manager of pumping and maintenance for New Jersey’s Hackensack Water Company; but back in the 1940s they were just starting there as two young engineers fresh out of the Navy, and the engine was very much alive. In fact, it seemed like home to them: “When you were up at the top there,” Hoffman says, gesturing to a lofty catwalk close under the high roof of the pumping station, “and she was going, it was just like being on a ship at sea.”

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