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Sacramento 24, California

On page 14 of May-June 1960 you have a nice picture of a Case 80 engine. Now I have always wondered about the hp of the Case 80. It has the same bore and stroke as the 75 but the 75 carries only 140 lbs steam pressure while the 80 carries 150 lbs. I am not too good at arithmetic, but I just can't figure how one engine can be a 25 hp and the other a 28 hp. 10 lbs. more steam pressure won't figure three more hp for me.

I have never had much experience with an ensilage blower or cutter, but I notice in the ALBUM that the blower runs 11000 r. p. m. and the cutter runs 4000 r. p. m. is that correct? If so, no wonder they pull so hard.

I also notice someone speaks of a Stevens pin engine. I have never run a Stevens, so will someone explain just what is meant by a pin engine.

And on page 5 of May-June issue you have a picture of an old locomotive that brought back many memories to me. When I was a locomotive repairman, the R.R. I worked for, had several of these old dingbats. They used them on short branch lines. Some things on them were a pain to work on first, the main bearings or journals on the rear drivers were very hard to get at and second, the tires on the rear drivers were hard to set. The new tires were seldom the right size for any engine, but slightly larger, so they could be shimmed to a fit. The shimming used was thin sheet iron and I have sometimes used two thicknesses of the sheet iron nearly all around the wheel. The shimming had to be put in from the inside of the wheel and the tire had to be trammed across to the other tire to get the same distance apart at all points. You can see from the picture that the fire-box and ash pan were very much in the way, hence the trouble. I am thankful that I soon graduated off the tire job to something a little more interesting such as side and main rods, cross heads, pistons and rings, piston packing guides, valve gear throttle grinding, etc. There were no gaskets used on a locomotive on the road I worked and all joints were ground joints and steam tight, cylinder heads, steam pipes and so forth.

And in closing I would like to tell you of the only scare I ever had crossing a bridge with a threshing rig. I had a brand new Minnie 20 hp engine and a new 36 x 60 Minnie Separator. I was moving the rig alone one evening. I had the water wagon hooked in between the engine and the separator which put the separator quite a ways back, which I thought was a good idea as I had to cross a fairly long and high bridge over a country creek.

I got the engine on the bridge and was rolling along nice and easy and was well out on the bridge with the engine when the front wheels of the separator came to the bridge. Well, you know how those old-time wooden bridges were there was about a 3 or 4 inch raise up from the ground to the bridge deck and I had to open the throttle up to be able to raise the front wheels up that rise when POP-CRACK went the bridge and it swung away over to one side about four feet it seemed to me at the time. I thought here we go and I started to unload quick, but before I could jump, the bridge whopped back the other way and knocked me down on the seat of my pants by the fire-door. When I had scrambled to my feet, we were still on top and rolling along, so I decided to stay on board and go along. She made it alright, but the grain haulers wouldn't cross the bridge with a load of wheat the next day as the center was away down and the end of the stringers were just about off their support. Once was enough for me never had any more bridge trouble.