Rt. 1, Vicksburg, Michigan
Courtesy of Lew Rineholt, Rt. 1, Vicksburg, Michigan
'Walking is faster, but steaming's more fun' say Ray Noel and Betty Conroyd after their trip to work on this 20-80 Baker. 'People looked at me like I was a monkey in a cage, and it took 47 minutes to travel the mile and a half from my house to the plant. It was worth it though, because it's something I've wanted to do since I acquired my engine.
The engine, which formerly belonged to Ted Boven, is now the property of Lew Rineholt. Ray had provided parking space at his home for the engine. Although he owns a steam engine of his own, Ray used this one for his journey since it is equipped with rubber-covered wheels which can be driven on pavement.
Betty Conroyd is a steam engine fan too and when she heard Ray's plans she asked to join him. So she arose at 5:45 a.m. and drove to the Noel home in Portage. There Ray's wife served breakfast. It takes an hour to get up enough steam to move the engine, therefore Ray was stoking the fire when Betty arrived. On the drive to work, Betty steered while Ray tooted three steam whistles and fed the fire: Their arrival was greeted by astounded Upjohn (they are employees of the Upjohn Company at Kalamazoo, Michigan) companion workers who could hardly believe their eyes or ears.
The picture and caption is self explanatory with a few exceptions.
The young lady, Betty Conroyd is also a steam fan and no wonder her Aunt married a Steam Engine-named LeRoy Blaker of N.T.A. fame of Alordon, Ohio. (Heard of him?) Ray Noel holding the wheel on was very disappointed in the picture for it does not show off his mast ache (baseball variety, 9 on a side). The girls go wild over this, that is all but one, his wife. You see he uses mustache wax valve oil and it rubs off on the pillow slips. Ray is Secretary of the Michigan Live Steam Club and a very hard worker. He has a nice CASE 1240 and entertains his neighborhood with it.
The President of our club, Mr. Steve Green did live a mile north of Kendall, Michigan but now lives in Kendall no Steve did not move, the Village Council was so anxious to have an old steam engine in their town that they voted to extend the village limits one mile. Steve has an unusual engine, a 19 H.P. PORT HURON which he claims came from Iowa, way out in the corn country. The writer has seen wood burners, coal burners and straw burners, but this is the first time he ever saw a cob burner. We thought this quite unusual but Steve says 'Oh heck, most of my neighbors are using cobs also'. When out that way we like to drop in at Steve's place, not to see the old steam engine, but to get a big piece of his wife's blueberry pie. He has several acres of cultivated blueberries, a sight to behold at harvest time. The welcome sign is always out at Steve's.
Wish more readers would send us photos of their old machinery. What if it has been published before? Did you ever hear of a re-run on TV? Do you ever pick up old copies of the ALBUM? Still enjoy them don't you?
Some of you men have looked across the breakfast table and saw the same sight (may be with her hair down and girdle off) for forty years. Yet as we grow older we appreciate them even more. Lets swamp Erlene with photos until the ALBUM is as thick as 'Serbuck and Monkey-Ward'.
Regarding the BAKER 20-80, factory number 1077was delivered from factory at Swanton, Ohio Sept. 26, 1914. Sold and shipped to Saranac, Michigan near Grand Rapids. The late Tom Smith called it the Century Model. It should hold together for one more year, and I think the guarantee runs out then, 50 years.