Port Huron Longfellow

LeRoy W. Blaker's 24-75 Port Huron Longfellow making a one hour economy run.

Leroy Blaker

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Alvordton, Ohio

I AM ENCLOSING A PICTURE of one of my 24-75 Port Huron Long fellows making a one hour economy run, October 13, 1956, on the Baker Prony brake using a 10 inch drive belt.

This is the former Avery House-knecht engine that was owned 5 miles east of Jonesville, Michigan, and I bought it from him 10 years ago. The House knechts father and sons, were great Port Huron boosters and owned many Port Huron compound engines during their threshing career. There was a steep hill on the highway near them known at 'Port Huron Hill.'

This economy run far excelled the former test made by it at the Mont-pelier Reunion in June, 1955, or any engine we have ever tested. This can be verified by turning to page 10 of May-June 1956 issue of IRON-MEN ALBUM.

At the time of the above mentioned test, the air temperature was 76 degrees, fuel and water was carefully weighed, and good Cadiz, Ohio, coal used. The tubes and firebox were steam cleaned just before the test started and firebox is equipped with a brick arch. The boiler was fed by a cross head pump, and water heated by exhaust steam. The exhaust nozzle has been enlarged and is a short 2 in. pipe nipple, or exactly the same size as the main steam pipe. That gives very little back pressure.

During the test the reverse lever was hooked close to the center notch, and steam pressure was maintained from 165 to 175 lbs. to pull this 57.78hp. load at 225 R.P.M. of engine. The maximum hp. of this engine is 93 at normal speed and pressure.

While the test was on, the draft door was not open more than one notch sometimes only one-half notch, and clear down at times. In the picture you will note the exhaust steam shows up white on the warm day the picture was taken. It is a snapshot taken during test.

The boiler was re-tube in June, 1955, also new piston rings and new metallic piston rod packing between high and low pressure cylinders.

This, being my birthday, I will not tell you how old I am, but I was born in 1889 on the prairie 4 miles west of Minden, Kearney County, Nebraska. Warp's 'Pioneer Village', mentioned in your March-April 1956 issue, is located there, and one can spend many pleasant hours looking at their fine display. Just recently, they have purchased and restored a Baldwin 4-6-0 locomotive built in 1889 that used to run on the old K.C. & O. railroad in the south part of Minden. No doubt I saw this locomotive many times when I lived there.

I started threshing 40 years ago and had 3 complete steam threshing out-fits in the field for a number of years. That made 34 years of threshing for me. After that the combine took over. I still do my own farming with gas tractors and custom sawing with steam.

Mr. wife (Lucile) and I really appreciate all you have done for the many thresher associations. We meet the nicest people in the world. Keep up your good work, and may God richly reward you.

One Hour Economy Run October 13, 1956. 24-75 Port Huron Longfellow: HP. Load, 57.78; Coal Used Per HP. Hour, 2.25; Lbs. Water Eva. Per Lb. Coal, 10.3; Lbs. Water Per HP. Hour, 23.3; Average Steam Pressure, 170 Lbs.


Unclosed please find two dollars for another shovel of coal for my renewal of the ALBUM as I certainly do not want to miss an issue.

Also enclosed is a picture of my two 65 hp. Case's taken in October of 1955. The one on the right is 'Bertha'. I have had her quite a number of years and have threshed many thousands of bushels of grain with her. Got the one on the left about a year ago and have been restoring it at odd times. It was certainly a wreck minus many parts.

I thought I was all alone in my love for steam engines until I started taking the ALBUM and went to the Reunion at Wichita last spring (1955) but find there are many more who share the same sentiments.

RAY BLACKWELL, Monta Vista, Colorado