988 - 8th St., David City, Nebraska
In an issue of the Iron-Men, Mr. Smith of Truro, Iowa, asked about a Double Cylinder Huber. So here is the experience I will tell you about. I was born in 1893. In 1903 I remember when Mr. Marushak and Geo Spatz of Abie, Nebr. bought a 12 HP and a 32 x 52 Huber threshing outfit. This Engine didn't have a friction clutch. It had a sliding lever that pushed two pins into the arms of the arrangement on the shaft. Something just like on one model of a regular sewing machine. It wasn't supposed to be engaged unless the engine was stopped, otherwise it was hard on the pins. The separator had a Huber feeder then and a swinger straw carrier and they used this rig for two years. In 1905 they were going to trade it and get a larger outfit. They went to Lincoln and first thing when they came to the Huber House they saw that new Double Cylinder what was called by some dealers as a 22 HP The larger cylinder was horizontal and the smaller one was upright, pretty close to the left side drive wheel, and the bottom of the cylinder was about 16 inches from the ground. The salesman told them that the Huber Company made only few of them and that they are going to be in great demand. That was 5% sales talk and 95% B.S. as everybody found out that bought one. Anyhow, this said George Spatz was a young man then and was so stuck on that set up that they bought that engine and a new 36 x 56 Huber Separator. This Separator had a blower that was half upright in the rear and wasn't gear driven, but had 4 extra idler pulleys where the blower belt made some fancy snake turns. Our country around here was noted for Case Separators and I saw a lot of grief with the Case Belt tightener on their blowers. So we have to give the Huber some credit for arranging four idlers and on that set up. It had to be alright as one could reverse and the belt would stay on. In 1907 I hired to them to haul water for stack threshing. George was 22 years old then and was a good engineer and a better mechanic than the average person but he had one strike against him that really wasn't his fault. He was forgetful. And that was bad with that model Huber. That one cylinder being hung where it was so far down would accumulate water as soon as the engine was stopped. He would forget to open the relief cocks when starting. Once the cylinder head on that small cylinder blew out. As the cylinders each one had its own independent steam pipe of live steam he shut the steam off and we would thresh with the one cylinder and to be honest nobody would know the difference as this engine didn't exhaust as a simple double would. He would order a new head and when it came he put it on and it wasn't more then two days he forgot again and this time the eccentric tore off, but didn't disturb anything on the big cylinder. Both these cylinders were operated from one eccentric wheel on the crank shaft. Well, he ordered the new parts and we threshed until they arrived and he put them on. The same thing happened again in a few days, only this time it broke a piece of the crosshead of the small cylinder. But the cross head slides and the pin were intact so we could run it that way, just the piston and the piston rod were left idle that time and he ordered them. When they were replaced that was the last time anything happened to that engine to put it out of working condition as far as the small cylinder was concerned. Every lime we used that one cylinder only. I noticed that it would take one tank water a day less and about 500 lbs. of coal less. I hauled water to the same rig next year and Mr. Marushak ran the Engine. He never forgot about the relief cocks and we didn't have any trouble in that respect.
I remember that when I started to haul water I was instructed, never to follow the rig up hill until it has passed the peak. It paid off once with this same rig. They were going up a very steep long hill, the engine was laboring pretty loud and all of a sudden it sounded like when the belt comes off on a heavy load. As I was at the bottom of the hill I looked up and saw the separator crossways on the road and everything was quiet.
When I drove up there the whole thing was in a mess. The engine wasn't uncoupled but as the separator was crossways the engine rammed into the side and it broke the rear axle on the separator on the lower side and it was a miracle that the separator didn't upset down hill. There were a lot of parts broke on that one side. In three days we were threshing again. This was the last job that year and the engine was traded the next year for a single cylinder Huber. One of these Engines would be worth a lot of money if they were in existence. To bad somebody didn't save one.
Forgot to mention what happened to the engine going up that hill. The clutch pinion on the crank shaft split.