Flying in the Piper Cub

Collected letters ranging from free breakfast to the "all-fired itch"

The Flying Thresherman and his Wife, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Fuller, Minneapolis, Kansas. See Mr. Fullers letter, "About the Days of the Past."

Ralph Fuller

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FLYING THE PIPER CUB
Had to pop off, so will write a line or two. Flying in the Piper Cub is Bessie, Rita (our little dog), and me. The picture was taken during our annual Free Fly-In Breakfast. This was the fourth annual Fly-In, when over 250 people that fly in are served breakfast. We had a large crowd this year.

In addition to our regular program we had three dandy steam traction engines in operation. You can see these engines to the right, in the tilled field. The large one is our 20-75 double Nichols & Shepard of which I am very proud. Another swell engine, without canopy is a nice clean 6 h. p. Russell brought in by Lyman Knapp of Blackwell, Oklahoma. The third with canopy is a Rumely brought here by Pete Rose of Garber, Oklahoma. It was nice of these men to bring their engines for a little show. You can also see the Baker fan, that we tried out the engine belt power with. This was not a Steam Engine Reunion but it certainly was an added attraction and we loved it.

We get the IRON-MEN ALBUM, also Engineers and Engines magazine. I can hardly wait till they arrive. I read them, every word in them.

My brother and I are very proud of the Nichols & Shepard line of engines. He just purchased a 16-50 single, which he will get very soon. By the way, we have a 12 h.p. Advance boiler for which we would like to buy an engine, also we have a 16-50 N&S boiler we could use an engine for. If we can't get engines that belong on them, we would be interested in some other single cylinder engines to go on these boilers and just make good portable engines. If you have or know of something to offer we would certainly like to hear from you. They were both junked years ago and only saved the boilers. The 16-50 N&S was our last steam engine in about 1920, not knowing that some day we would again want it.

I remember the 35 h. p. double N & S our father purchased new in about 1914. It was such a nice big engine but we discovered that it had been completely junked years ago. Hope we can find one somewhere again.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. I remain a loyal Steam Friend.

DAVID P. MARTENS, Fairview, Oklahoma

KEEP THE STEAM ROLLING
When I received my last ALBUM I noticed it would expire with the next issue so here is a check for $2.00 to keep the steam rolling. On October 8th, Gilmar Johnson had his big doings. Five large steam engines, three models, three hand fed separators, shingle mill, log sawing, one large, one small mill, corn shredding, etc. A nice crowd of between 10 and 12 hundred were there, many from Iowa and Indiana, among other places which made it a swell turnout.

We had lots of rain lately so crops of all kinds are very good here. Wishing you good luck, good health and keep the ALBUM coming.

GEO. W. CHRISTIAN, 3115 Clinton Avenue So., Minneapolis, Minnesota

BEAT MY RECORD?
I wonder if anyone can beat my record? Last week I sold my corn sheller and ended my 62nd year of shelling. I started operating steam engines around Champaign, I11. I left there in 1905 and when I came back for my father's funeral in 1928 an old man came up to me and wanted to know if I was Jesse Barber. I told him 'Yes,' and he wanted to know how old I was when I started to run a, steam engine. I told him 'About 12 years,' but he said he was at my father's place when I was 9 years old and I was running the steam engine while shelling corn. This makes it 62 years in the business, and being past 71 I am now quitting. I think the first steam engine was a 12 h.p. Center Crank.

JESSE R. BARBER, Levina, Iowa

I CAN JUST REMEMBER
Am enclosing check for years subscription to the ALBUM. I have enjoyed this bit of reading. I can just remember the old steam and gas powered rigs and have fed many a bundle to the later small rigs.

In this part of the western United States they had very few of the big rigs like you show and there is not one in existence here to my knowledge. I did however, see many of the steam rigs in England during the war and enjoyed watching them work and also the two tractors that worked a plow across a field on a cable. I have a 1910 Stanley Steamer that I play with, but no big steamer so I will have to content myself by enjoying your pictures and stories.

EMERY A. WHITE, Grand Junction, Colorado

I FULLY AGREE
Just looking at the receipt I got from Gilmar Johnson and I see it is about time to renew, to use Gilmar's words, 'to the biggest and best little magazine out.' I fully agree with this — only thing wrong is it is too long between issues, but well worth waiting for. I had the opportunity to attend me to start, stop and reverse an engine and I had never touched a throttle with steam behind it, so that made a very complete day for me. The same man let my nine-year-old boy pull the histle which was a thrill that will last a long time. He was so excited about going that he was awake at 4 A.M. My dad, my boy, another neighbor and I left home at 6:15 A.M. and were home at 9 P.M., and an enjoyable day was had by all. Enclosed is my renewal for another year's good reading.

INGVARD K. HAUGHENM, Rt. 1, Hannaford, North Dakota

SUB-CONSCIOUS, DREAMY REST
Hi there all you nice people. Here comes my renewal to fire up steam for another year. Just could not be without it. Just received my magazine today, and will settle down for a deep, subconscious dreamy rest while I read EVERY WORD FROM COVER TO COVER, not once but twice at least. Wish you best of success for the coming year.

LEONCE C. BULLOCK, 935 Santiago Street, Santa Ana, California

GIVES ME THE ITCH
First, please excuse this paper but it is the best I can find. Thanks a lot Karl, for the nice letter some time back, in response to my inquiry. I hadn't given a thought to the fact that you are a shut-in, you have my sympathy. I was in the hospital five days — a little surgery — was away from work two weeks, that was, enough to remind me what a wonderful blessing it is just to be able to get out of bed in the morning and feel like eating a good breakfast and go to work I work in the Tool Room at the Bendix plant here. It is somewhat monotonous — much the same thing over and over, just watching a machine eat steel — but the feeling that exists between myself and supervision is better than I even hoped to find 20 years ago for I have worked on jobs where supervision was definitely poison ivy.

Received the ALBUM today and the first thing I saw was my name. I did not think I would see that but thanks. I wish the ALBUM came more often. I prefer it to any other magazine I have ever seen. The only thing is that it gives me the all-fired itch to get myself one of those ugly, smelly, old black things, and you can be sure that if I was certain that I would never need the $ $ $ for bread and butter I would be getting myself one of them.

Well Karl, I did not mean to bore you with all this but I hope you will accept it in the spirit in which it is sent.

Confidentially, I have no business with one of these here writing machines, strictly the Hunt & Peck system but maybe you can read it. Enclosed find a check to renew my subscription. Tell Elmer that even though he is Methodist and I am Presbyterian i still hope and expect to meed you fellers some day. Wishing you and yours and Elmer and his the best of everything and of course a Happy New Year.

JONAS H. WILLIAMS, 134 N. Varsity Dr., South Bend 15, Indiana

PICTURE OF MY 50 CASE
I am enclosing a picture of my 50 Case which I recently bought and am now restoring to as near original condition as possible. On the engine is my 72-year-old father, David T. Crow, a veteran steam thresherman and saw mill operator. He threshed with steam until 1941 and still continued to use it on the saw mill until 1945.

I first subscribed to your fine magazine last September while I was attending the Pontiac Reunion. I have always been fascinated by a steam traction engine, but it was at Pontiac that I resolved to get an engine and do what I could to help to perpetuate these disappearing wonders. I enjoy learning of the various shows and reunions which are being held all over the country. It is my hope to get the few men still owning machines in our section of Pennsylvania to organize and do what we can to preserve the tradition of the steam engine.

I am already making plans to attend at least one of the larger reunions this year, and shall expect to see notification of them in the ALBUM.

PAUL F. CROW, R. D. 1, Box 470, Charleroi, Pennsylvania

ABOUT THE DAYS OF THE PAST
Am enclosing $2.00 for a subscription to the ALBUM. I know I am going to enjoy it so much. I am like so many of the old time steam threshers, I am getting somewhat on the other side of the hill and think a great deal about the days of the past. I began my engineering days at the age of 16 and continued every year until the gas tractors replaced them and am now nearing the 63-year-old mark and as far as I know I'm the only man in the state who was an old time threshing engineer and who now flies his own airplane. My wife and I both fly our Vagabond Cub.

RALPH FULLER, Minneapolis, Kansas

LOVED THE OLD THINGS
I operated steam traction engines for a number of years and for different parties. I sure loved the old things, still do and were they still working. I have no doubt that come threshing time I would be found on an engine platform. Those days are gone forever, I suppose, however, I am not sure that it is for the best. I don't like combines and were I a farmer I wouldn't have one on the place. I don't like gas engines either.

O.R. MANN, 233 W. Jackson Street, Virdin, Illinois