Two Dot, Montana
I enjoy reading the magazine very much as I am sure other people do also. I think it is about time that I should contribute something, so here it goes.
One of the first and foremost reasons for this article is so that when the magazine comes I will not be able to read the want ads first due to the fact it is so thin. Were it not for advertising and pictures I could read next week's newspaper through it.
For part of this I lay blame to some of you old duffers that like to read these magazines but forget to contribute anything.
Also it seems that as you editors and owners go to shows in the summer you might find some old-timer and record his history and try to persuade someone to write rather than just try to sell your publication. If you think I am playing the devil's advocate, you are exactly right.
I have been reading articles in the magazine by such fellows as Jack Beamish, Chady Atteberry and John Forney and thought that I had better set some of their thinking straight. They seem to have lost all or most of their common sense.
I sure don't agree with Jack that the bore does all the work and the stroke just goes along for the ride. I find that the stroke is a very important factor in steam engine design as well as in many other things.
We hear a lot about common sense in this article, then the writer makes a statement such as his information is based on accurate data and not second hand information from hearsay or assumption. However, I do not think that he is old enough to have seen all of the events he speaks of first hand. So it is common sense that tells me he is using second hand information and as far as records are concerned I am sure they were not all written by an unbiased firm. I am sure they were written by company employees and advertising departments.
Another thing that I find very strange is why did the Beamish family use the smaller Reeves engine on the larger separator, if the Case engines were so much better and stronger? I wonder could this mean that the Reeves was possibly a better and stronger engine than the Case? How about it, Reeves owners? We need to hear from you.
Also the old Red River separator I am sure was a babbit bearing machine and would have run much harder than the later steel machine which should have had roller bearings plus many other features, that would have made it pull much easier.
Here again we must use common sense and realize that the stroke only goes along for the ride. By using this theory you will see that we can do more work and pull a heavier load with a seven inch bore, than we can with an eleven inch bore. But being quick in thinking you will say they had two seven inch cylinders on the Reeves. Now I suggest you do your arithmetic and you will find that two seven inch bores still do not equal one eleven inch bore.
I read in Mr. Forney's article that he spent a lot of money on Wolfe valve gears, which I am sure is true, but he will have to look a long time before he finds a faster acting gear than the late style Wolfe gear.
Then we read about his gear problems. Well, let me tell you if he chipped teeth on Aultman Taylor gears it was not due to poor construction, but was due to poor maintenance on the part of the owner. He speaks of Universal engines being built right, although if you look engines over, Aultman Taylor had a much better design. Mr. Forney speaks of how good Mr. Terning's 40 HP Avery is granted that engine is probably the best Avery around bar none. Also that engine was put together by a few good men who knew how an engine should be put together and I don't mean somebody from the Avery Company either. I kind of like his comparison between the Case engine and the Model T Ford. It seems to me that he paid a great compliment to Case engines, maybe more than they deserved. He was right on one point; that is, they were cheap.
Case might have used the best steel but they sure used the least of it. Until Case started building the late style engines such as the 30, 40, 50, 65 and 80, there were many places where they were entirely too lightly constructed. Again I say Case engines were cheap price wise in comparison to other engines. Being somewhat short on steel where it was really needed such as in the wheels. I am sure if they had not changed their design it would have affected their sales.
In Mr. Atteberry's article we read that in 1911 all Case boilers were redesigned so that they could be sold in Canada. However, he does not tell us that before that date they were not allowed in some provinces. I also like that the comparison chart between the 65 HP Case and the 25-75 Russell. Mr. Atteberry said that he used the 65 HP which is rated 10 HP less than the Russell. However, if you do your arithmetic you will find that the Case is actually larger than the Russell in sq. in. cylinder area. I know if you were to park a late Russell 25 next to a late Case 65 you would find many things on the Russell superior to the Case.
Also if you wish to win I would not put a 65 Case up against a 25 Russell. I really don't know if this article will ruffle any feathers, but I am sure some of us are getting a little tired of hearing how poor some engines are in regards to a Case or an Avery or Russell.
I sure wish we could hear from some Reeves owners Advance, Gaar Scott, Frick, Sawyer Massey, George White or any other for that matter even Kitten or Westinghouse.
The real problem is that Case did not have all of today's Case people for sales representatives. If they had had Mr. Atteberry and Mr. Beamish and some other Case lovers they would have sold 50,000 engines instead of 35,000 plus. Also the garment companies would have sold more overalls and knee patches for same. Also surgeons would have made more money operating on knees due to the fact of all Case firemen having to spend all day on their knees firing.