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Just received the September-October issue and on page 33 saw an interesting picture of a Wabash locomotive. It brought back memories for I know quite a lot about what happened. My family lived near the railroad crossing and I said to my Mother that the engine of the train coming sounded like it had a heavy load. I no more than said it when there was a flash of fire and pieces of metal came through the side of our house. This was about 7 o'clock at night and very dark January 1937. My father and I were the first ones on the scene but we couldn't see much being it was so dark. It wasn't until the next morning we could see what really happened. The loco had blown up at our crossing, the boiler had left the chassis and went through the air for about 500 feet down the track where the picture was taken. The railroad tracks were torn up and it was some time before the railroad could get one track open to traffic. Boiler flues were sticking in the ground yards from the track and pieces of the grates were found a block from where the engine blew. We found five or six hundred pounds of pieces in our yard. Our house was covered with mud and grass, some windows were broken but no one was hurt.

My Dad has passed away but the rest of the family are living in Adrian. I live here in Blissfield and I enjoy your Magazine very much.

H. H. ESTES, Jr., Blissfield, Michigan

The Tustin Steam-up

Ashville, Ohio-October 21st was the day set aside by the Tustins' to entertain some of their friends at their annual steam-up. It was a nice day but with a chilly wind that made the ladies scamper to the bunk-house where refreshments were being served by the Tustin ladies.

Some of the boys were exercising the 19 HP Frick, the 16 HP Russell and the 20 HP Minneapolis and also trying out the Baker fan. The Peerless portable and the Minneapolis separator did a pretty good job of threshing but it would have been very hard to build a nice straw stack on such a windy day.

Stanley Duhl, of Columbus, brought his little model traction engine, as well as Charles C. Johnson, of Springfield, who had his 3' scale Case traction engine hooked to a little Baker fan.

Bill Cleveland and W. L. Ryan, both of Columbus, had their 3/4' scale locomotives fired up to haul the youngsters around.

Everybody attending the show agreed that the Tustin's were perfect hosts, by name, J. Russell, Paul, Lewis, Ira and Billy. Over a hundred guests were present, most of whom were members of the Miami Valley Steam Threshers Association.

It seems that sometimes such festive occasions are followed by a note of sadness. Yours truly had just finished writing the above article when he was informed of the death of J. Russell Tustin of a heart attack on October 24th, just three days after the Tustin steam-up. He had worked hard for several days previous to the show and was busy putting the engines away for the winter- when he was stricken.

His brother, George Tustin, was also taken on May 19, 1961 and all who knew them feel very deeply the loss of these two fine gentlemen.

They were both skilled engineers and enthusiastic participants in steam shows in this area.

L. H. LITTLE, Urbana, Ohio


Mr. R. W. Creek, Batavia, Iowa said he read this in the American Thresherman of years ago. An engineer asked this question, 'What shall I do about a knock in my engine? When I stand in front it sounds as though it was in the smoke box and when I stand in the rear it sounds as though it was in the tool box.'

I suppose the man is dead now but would you know where it was?

Mr. Creek quoted this one from the same source.

A farmer writes 'I left my plow in the ground all winter. How can I get it clean?'

The answer 'Get a wagon box of sand paper and a barrel of elbo grease and next Fall take it out of the ground and grease it.'

Mr. Jesse H. Soemaker, R D No. 1, Kankakee, Ill. has this to say in praise of interest the Keck Gonnerman people had in their customers - - Mr. Keck instructed his night watchman to sell to any of his customers, anything any hour of the night when they came for repairs. 'Nothing was too much to do for any customer'.


In South Dakota, we are, this year celebrating 100 years of Statehood. This has brought to light a lot of antique machinery. I had the pleasure of exhibiting at our town of Wilmot an 1898 Reeves, 16 hp Cross-compound Engine and an 33 x 56 Reeves Separator, also purchased in 1898. It had been in shed since 1934 and was in perfect condition. This separator came equipped with hand-feeder and straw-carrier, but was changed as a Perfection Feeder and a Farmers Friend Blower were put on about 1910.

Also at another Event at Fort Sisseton, S. D., saw something very unusual a steam Merry-Go-Round. The engine was a 2 cylinder 'Marshall Thomson'. It had been in a shed at Lemon, S.D., since 1917 and was in perfect condition.

The thing that 'hurts' in the old engine business is to see 15 or 20 old engines put on show none reconditioned and only a few in shape to run-the rest just rusting away. It seems to me that anyone owning an old engine should be required to recondition it.

Well the steam is way down, belts are slipping and the flues are full of soot so finis.

ALEC McDONALD, Wilmot, South Dakota


I am sending you a little script about an old friend of mine. The last verse is borrowed from a real poet. I take no credit for it, although I could not improve upon it if I wanted to.

I still love to read your Magazine. I have read every issue since its inception. Every issue is in our files. That is what we think of your Magazine. Long may it live.