Hi Don welcome on board, and thanks for sharing and the question
Well I am going to be quite frank, we did cheat a little, we did use a modern grease for lubrication especially in places where prying eyes were not allowed--one of the reasonings being that the historic equipment was very expensive to repair so we used a top quality lubricant to allay wear, thereby extending out the intervals between forced repairs--
We were quite aware that in the 1860's modern lubricants hadnot arrived on the scene in any great quantity at first only in industrial centres like Massachusetts, Chicago, Pittsburg, and New York and the predominant lubricant in the frontier regions was beef tallow and lard at that time.
This was a common question by visitors --"what did they use for lubrication then". We of course said lard and tallow which was highly regarded and rendered down from the slaughter of animals for human consumption
Also Goose grease was used as a rub on for colds,lard was mixed with many things for many purposes also
I am quite interested in the mentioning of the boiler heating system you use--it brings to mind the one we installed at UCV to heat water for the woolen mill
It was widely used in England, I will try and describe it for everyone--The boiler in an upright low pressure vertical tube boiler, connected to pipes that lead to the attic space about 20 feet above the boiler--in the attic is a heat exhanger just another closed tank full of water with tubes inside for the steam to pass through
The way it worked is unique--the boiler is low pressure--7lbs sq in-- and saftied at that pressure--as the water boils it of course produces steam which rises up the vertical pipe to the tank in the attic--there it heats the water and cools back to condensate,--running under gravity back down another pipe to the boiler--the 20 foot height gives it enough pressure to inject itself back into the boiler so it just keeps circulating--if it happens to overheat the safties blow to relieve the pressure.
This system is closed and only needs a periodic injection of some water from an ordinary water source--it works like a dream--it was urprising how much hot water one can get from an armful of wood