Experiences of MR. REED....


Typical pose of a far-east tractor operator.

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426 Margaret Street Akron 6, Ohio

It's been a long time and much has happened since it was my pleasure to meet you over in Pennsylvania at the Well-Drillers Convention - it was at Lewistown, I believe. For one thing this company I have been working for - for the past 27 years - has been merged two times since I saw you at the convention. Mergers are splendid things, to shake off old fellows who hang on to their jobs so tightly. The first merger left 14 of us out of approximately 250 people. The last merger cut us down to four. It has been a good company to work for and certainly, I was never ashamed to say I represented the Star Drilling Machine Company or Star-drill, as it became known in recent years. As Factory Service Man and in Export Sales and Service, my work has taken me around quite a lot. Indeed it was my work which took me way over there in Pennsylvania into the hills and valleys where I found you, Elmer. Without this traveling job, I never would have found my way, so far from home to your country.

In my last magazine, the Sept-Oct. issue, I note that you have been acting up a bit. Now that won't do; an old engineer should know that the steam gauge must be given everlasting attention. If steam gets down, just hook up the reverse a notch. If you are any relation to a CASE, you better toot the whistle and shut her down, while the steam builds up. Of course, if you are part GAAR-SCOTT you can keep right on chugging. Anyway, the very best to you Elmer, and do be mindful that the Old Grey Mare might Not Be what she was, one day! So don't drive her quite so fast !

Sometime ago, you published, for me, a request for information regarding an oil burner for steam engine operation. I thought it might be possible to get something going on the burner subject as well as reverse gears, fuel consumption and associated 'interesting' subjects. Well, it never happened, but two gentlemen who noticed the request, wrote to me direct. In particular, Mr. Pritchett of Missouri gave me very complete information and put me in contact with the people who make a suitable burner. Therefore, I'm grateful to the ALBUM for their part in helping me in this matter.

Pictures A and B show an oil burning arrangement on a boiler. I made a complete set of detail pictures of the burner parts but could not talk to the engineer as he was Chinese. We did not know the other's language. The equipment was English made, located in the city of Victory, on the island of Hong Kong, British Crown Colony. The work was pile driving, to prepare the foundation for a large building. It is a difficult place to build because of torrential rainfall and steeply sloping hillsides. The date was November 1960.

The pictures are nothing to brag about -a 35 MM negative enlarged to 8x10 inches leaves something to be desired as regards sharpness. A big camera draws attention to the one on whose neck it hangs, to say nothing about what it does to the neck. Therefore, I like to carry a small camera.

Pictures 1, 2 and 3 are of a rice threshing job, fall of 1960 in the Philippines. The big island of Luzon has a rice growing area, I estimate to be roughly, 150 miles north to south and 100miles east to west. There are other areas of lesser extent and other rice growing is lands. The Philippines consist of over 7000 islands - a lot of islands and a lot of people to eat a lot of rice. And a very gracious people.