Spalding's Corner

Looking for Clues to Mystery Engines

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Last issue’s “mystery” engine generated four correct identifications of what is a fairly obscure steam traction engine.
The first correct identification came from William R. Vandermaas, Howe, Ind., who wrote:

“While looking at my last issue of Steam Traction I arrived at the Spalding’s Corner column to, again, try to identify the mystery engine. I enjoy that column so much but have not until now made a response. I’ve done quite well figuring out the various models pictured.

“I’m pretty sure this issue’s photo shows a Lang & Button engine, manufactured in Ithaca, N.Y., around 1900 or later. From the information I have the drive wheel tread would indicate the build date to be from 1890s to early 1900s. The big toolbox between the steering wheels, the high mount water tank and the star cast into the smokebox door (slightly off center) make identification easy.

“I already have a copy of Prof. P.F. Rose’s handy little book, but if I should happen to be the lucky winner, I shall give the book to a young ‘in just getting started in steaming.

“Thanks for the good job on a great old magazine, keep up the very good work.”

Jonas Stutzman, Brad Vosburg, Paul Stolzfoos and Luke Nelson also correctly identified the engine. Congratulations William, your copy of Prof. P.F. Rose’s Steam Engine Guide is on the way! Also, we should note we received two correct answer’s to the “mystery” engine in the September/ ­October 2005 issue, not the single answer we reported. Apologies to Curtis Cook, who also identified the 10 HP 1884 Gaar-Scott.

This month’s mystery engine comes, as usual, courtesy of John Spalding, 112 Carriage Place, Hendersonville, TN 37035 (genesis 645@aol.com).

As ever, a free copy of Prof. P.F. Rose’s Steam Engine Guide goes to the first person to correctly identify the engine, by mail.

Good steaming!

The Golden Roll

Alfred W. Kraus passed away Oct. 21, 2005, in Joliet, Ill. He was born Oct. 15, 1948, in Belleville, Ill.
Al enjoyed attending the Central States Threshermen’s Reunion’s Steam School each year. Al was also a member the Central States Threshermen’s Reunion in Pontiac, Ill.; the Will County (Ill.) Threshermen’s Assn.; the South Lake County Agricultural Historical Society, Crown Point, Ind.; and the J.I. Case Heritage Foundation.
Submitted by Mark A. Corson, Crown Point, Ind.

John P. Edris, 81, La Porte, died Sept. 29, 2005, at his home in La Porte, Ind., with his wife by his side. John was born March 13, 1924, in Michigan City, Ind., to Louis A. and Mary P. (Bedora) Edris. On Nov. 28, 1953, he married Amaryllis “Amy” Kassube. He is survived by his wife, one sister, Geraldine Phillips, Trail Creek, Ind.; and several nieces and nephews. One sister, Joan Nelson, preceded him in death.

John was the retired general manager of the Water Station in Long Beach. John was one of the founders and general manager of the Hesston (Ind.) Steam Society. He also was one of the founders of the Great Lakes Museum of Military History. John was an active member of barbershop quartets in the area, Elks Lodge 432, New Buffalo Yacht Club, Moose Family Center 980 and Skwiat American Legion Post 451. He was a U.S. Navy veteran.
Submitted by Mark A. Corson, Crown Point, Ind.