Halloween Holocaust

None of the help stayed very long or completed the season

Threshing rig

Clarence Angst

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Clarence Angst writes......

Here is a snapshot of our threshing rig and most of the crew taken in 1912. It's a 24 Hp Port Huron Compound and 3656 Aultman Taylor Thresher. My father, David, is standing above the feeder and I am at the throttle. It was a great combination.

Dad started out in 1893 with a 10 HP Buffalo Pitts Engine, 36-56 Separator and spent some 50 years threshing, shredding, hulling clover, also had a saw mill which had quite a record. I was always glad when we could get the engine out and put it to work I loved. That: with the surfacing of the roads and the smaller machines coming in the old standby's seemed to disappear, so now it is more or less a memory. However, with the birth of the Thresher Reunions it sure refreshes your memories. I manage to take in 3 or 4 reunions every year and enjoy them very much.

Well, I guess that's enough chatter for now. Keep the old safety a popping.

Clarence Angst, Winona, Minnesota

John J. Ohms writes......

As an engineer I have had much experience running Rumely, Advance, Harris 'Jumbo'. All were good workers but this 20 HP Minneapolis was my favorite. It was owned by Fred Yakel, Evansville, Illinois. I ran this engine for 4 years, threshing, road grading, corn shredding and saw mill work. These pictures were taken in 1917. The engine was built in either 1914 or 1915. Mr. Yakel and I are on the engine. I am leaning on the drive-wheel. I don't know which I loved the most, the engine or Fred's daughter. I didn't marry either of them.

John J. Ohms, Rt. 2, Box 620, Traverse City, Mich.

E. A. (Frog) Smith writes......

Just thought I'd send you a snapshot of a little steamer that I built more or less on a dare. Last year while firing a big dredge boat, I told the Chief engineer that I intended building a live steamer, to put in the Fort Myers Steam Show during the Pageant of Light Week Festival in honor of Thos. A. Edison, adding that I had no lathe or other precision tools.

He swore that I could not make one to run without a lathe and other shop equipment. But I did, using only a ' electric drill motor and proper bits, hacksaw and file. Cylinder is cast of white 'pot' metal from old auto carburetors, as is connecting rod, eccentric butt and strap, steam chest and main bearings for the 5/8' crankshaft. Valve is slide with ports drill holes, and 3/8 stroke. Cylinder dimensions 1'' X 1 and counterbalanced crank throw came from a lawn mower engine with crankshaft and pin sawn off and re-drilled. The govern or balls are dummies, like their maker.

The toy is patterned after an old-time box-frame Atlas side crank, once so common for saw-mill use. And to keep the picture authentic, I shall make the boiler return tubular in a furnace and maybe construct a little saw-mill to match.

I am sorry the Steam Engines Magazine folded but glad to see the Album improved in size and paper. Keep up the good work.

E. A. (Frog) Smith, 219 Hubbard Street, North Fort Myers, Fla.

Harold George writes......

Here is a picture of my wife and I just starting out for a ride on Thanks giving Day.

There have been many people that have stopped by to look at ray engine, even some from several states, and everyone had a smile on their face. Most of them would like to own an engine.

I hear of so many people that have to sell their engines because they have to move and have no place to place to take their engine. I think something should be worked out so that someone with room would keep an engine or two for at least a year or more until the people could get a place to keep it. I have a few acres here and I would let a few people that live close enough to leave their engine or separator, etc. here for a year or two, free, but they should carry insurance on them. I would do all I could to protect them but I wouldn't want to be responsible for them.

I enjoyed reading the article about Arthur Heiland's 6 HP Huber. He wrote and told me he was working on it last spring when I ordered some parts from him. It is a real nice looking engine.

Also, the picture on page 20 shows another 'steam friend' I have never met, Mr. Roselle Rasich. I bought some parts from him also.

I agree with Mr. Dave Gilson, there should be a course for young and 'new old' engineers since there are hundreds of future engineers that should know boiler safety and how to take care of engines.

Harold George, Route 3, Mexico, Mo.

O. W. Strand writes......

I was just a little shaver when I first fell in love with steam engines. You guessed right. I was born on a farm. What a happy time of the year when it was threshing time. Some way or another I would always get on the good side of the engineer and firemen. Did I ever envy those two fellows that took care of that grand old steamer. I never bothered the tankys much. As a rule they got me to ride the water tank ocassionally and that meant I had to help push and pull that pump handle.

I was overjoyed when, at the age of 15 years, my Dad gave me permission to fire the 25 HP Northwest Steamer for the late Nels Barner, near Benson, Minnesota. That Northwest was an unusually easy steamer. The only objection I had to it was cleaning those 60 odd flues every morning before firing up.

My third year of firing was for Erik Hall at Erickson, Manitoba. The first morning I steamed up his Case the thermometer showed below zero. I began to wonder if I had not got into the wrong pew. The Manitoba threshing started out bad but ended in fine shape.

When I reached my 18th birthday I got my first engineers license. Then I got the job as engineer for Charley Rose at Benson. His engine was a Huber return flue. This was an excellent year for threshing and our machine put in a total of 52 days.

During my four years of threshing with steam my blood became so thoroughly soaked up with steam and cylinder oil I doubt it will leave me even If I live to be a 150.

The past 27 years I have operated a blacksmith and welding shop. Some time ago the happy idea of making some sort of an engine hit me. A replica was the easy way of doing it. The result was a very novel trash burner. I have it standing on my front lawn, less than 25 ft. from a highway, so I often sit in the house watching the car drivers and their passengers gaze at the steamer.

O. W. Strand, Clarissa, Minnesota