IN THE GOOD OLD STEAM DAYS-
I want to tell you how much I enjoy your ALBUM, also the good pictures. I am a M.K.T. RR Machinist here at Warden Shop, Waco, Texas. I served my apprenticeship in the good old steam days.
I belong to several of the steam hobby clubs and found out about the IRON-MEN ALBUM in this way. 1 spent part of my vacation last year in Northern Minnesota and while riding the bus, I noticed a man sitting across the aisle reading a locomotive manual. Of course I was interested and asked if he was a railroad man. I found out he worked for the Canadian National Railway as a superintendent and machinist and as the conversation continued I found still another railroad man who joined the conversation and he introduced me to your magazine. This was John H. Seeling of La Cross, Wisconsin, and I had a very pleasant trip with steam and engines being the main conversation. He sent in my name and I have enjoyed reading it ever since. Years ago we had many steam engines around Waco, but the second World War claimed most of them for scrap. I sure wish I had one. My hobby is collecting steam locomotive builder dates. This is the plate on which you find the builders date. There are various shapes and also tell where the locomotive was built.
J. O. JOHNSON, 2805 Proctor Avenue, Waco, Texas
BOY, AM I AT HOME-
I have been laying off writing you, but I think your magazine is great. So keep it coming. I am an old steam engine lover, 44 years of age.
I started firing when I was seven years old. My uncle ran a 20 hp. Case for the county-grader and rock crusher. I would have more fun on that engine than playing with the other children.
I was running them for the state when I was 16, mostly rollers. When I was around 19, I bought an old traction engine, 15 hp. Case. It came out in 1908. Gearing was bad and they would say you are going to get killed with that engine but I threshed some with it, did a lot of sawing, and also steamed tobacco beds with it. Guess I would still have it but when the war broke out they had scrap drives and there was a good engine fellow who was going to junk a 20hp. Case, which came out in 1918 with fuel bunkers and jacket, so I bought it and let my old one go in its place.
I still have it, use it steaming tobacco beds, tobacco in case, to strip saw and to grind some limestone here on the farm.
I would rather listen to a steam engine pulling heavy than to any music I ever heard. I have a Case tractor, came out in 1943, Model L.A.I. It is a good one and I thresh with it about six weeks a year, some years a little longer. I shred corn, generally around five thousand shocks a year, bale some hay with an old pickup baler, Ann Arbor block type. The shredder is a Rosenthal 80, the thresher a Case 22x36, and a Gaar Scott saw mill.
I have operated the Best Caterpillar five ton, they call it; Holt Caterpillar, ten ton; several different Cat., Gas and Diesel, Cletrac, I.H.C., Allis Chalmers; several wheel types, old Avery, Case, I.H.C., Gallion, Kelly Springfield, Titan, Mogul, and all the late models.
But none of them give me the thrill that an old steamer does, loaded heavy. Reach up and get the throttle with about 125 lbs. steam. OH! BOY, AM I AT HOME.
GARRIOTT COOMBS, R. D. 1, Campbellsburg, Kentucky
A NOTE FROM FRED-
'The best laid plans of mice and men.'
As per recent issue, I expected by this time to be in Provo, Utah, but circumstances beyond my control have changed my plans and I will be a resident in Westminster Hospital (Military), London, Ontario, (Can.) and I would appreciate receiving news from all my old friends and would very much like to receive any snapshots of reunions, which you might care to send to me.
Kindly accept this as my Christmas card for this year. If it is not possible to meet at a reunion now, I will look forward to the Great Reunion when we will all meet once again.
'Happy to meet, sorry to part, happy to meet again.'
FRED McPHAIL, Westminster Hospital (Military), London, Ontario, Canada
A CANADIAN OUTFIT
Am enclosing my $2.00 for renewal. I have been receiving the ALBUM for the past year and really enjoy it. I noticed in your Jan-Feb. 1955 issue one reader was commenting on not seeing many Canadian makes of engines and threshers in the ALBUM. I am enclosing a picture of a Waterloo outfit, manufactured at Waterloo, On-lario. This was a 25hp. Steamer and 36-56 separator being used in 1928. This outfit was owned by my father, Thomas Walls, and Dave Middleton. This engine was bought new in 191:3 and had an Alberta High Pressure boiler and carried 175 lbs. pressure. It took considerable time to steam up, but after being steamed she was easy to keep going, As can be seen in the picture she was fired with straw with the exception of one fall when she was fired with coal. This engine was very quick starting and considerable care had to be taken in handling the throttle when in the belt. My dad run the engine and Dave the separator. I fired and helped look after this engine for six falls threshings. The run usually lasted from 20 to 35 days. All my life I have been interested in steam engines of all makes.
GLEN H. WALLS, Fobrisher, Sask., Canada