Port Huron engine

Port Huron engine, 16-50, owned by O. J. Borton, Box 27, Barnesville, Ohio. The dog likes the Port Huron See Mr. Borton's letter.


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Please find check enclosed for renewal. I started my career with steam when 10 years old, helping my father Henry Loyd of St. Francis, Kansas, plow sod. He was using a 20 hp. Reeves cross compound pulling 12 disc plows. He also used this engine to thresh, pulling a 36-56 Red River Special separator. Father sold this outfit and purchased a Gaar Scott 25 hp. simple and an Avery 36-60 Yellow Fellow separator and this was really a nice outfit. It would certainly handle the grain.

Later on, in 1920, I went into the threshing business for myself. My outfit consisted of a 20 hp. Huber engine and 36x58 separator. I operated this outfit for 6 years and threshed much wheat, barley and oats. Our best run was in 1925 when we threshed 42,000 bushels in the first 20 days we were out. Then it started raining & we were slowed down by everything being so wet. On the last of the run I sold the outfit. Next year I used a second hand Rumley 28-48 separator pulled by a 20-40 Allis Chalmers tractor. Nothing quite so nice as the old steamer which I like to watch doing her stuff.

HARLAND LOYD, St. Francis, Kansas


Please find enclosed $2.00 for another year-also a couple of pictures. This Port Huron I owned in 1925 and did about everything with it. It was a good engine. So easy to handle and keep up. Mr. Ritzman may think the crank is too close center for comfort, but he must remember it is a Port Huron.

You will also find a picture of my Case 30.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Ritzman at Montpelier with Mr. Litten of Newark, Ohio.

I have owned engines since 1912 and find it hard to give them up. At present I am running an engine at Floyd Lumber Company of Quaker City, Ohio, and have been there for eight years.

Congratulations for your work in getting up such a good paper.

O. J. BORTON, Box 27, Barnesville, Ohio


Enclosed find check for $2.00 No. K4572, for new subscription for Mr. E. L. Cawl field, Ash Grove, Missouri. If possible start his subscription with Jan.-Feb., 1956 issue. If not start with March-April, 1956. I have been, trying to get his subscription for a year and I finally landed him. He is a past threshing machine operator and now a well driller. I am sorry to learn Mr. Andrew J. Baker of Ash Grove, could not see his way clear to pay his renewal. His health is failing quite a lot is 82 years old and is really a wood-worker more than a steam engine man. He has a lumber saw mill with a poor make-shift power. Sold his 20 hp. Rumely steam traction engine 2 years ago and has had trouble with the mule power internal combustion engines. He simply sold his best friend and will soon have to cease due to motive power no good. Nothing like the good old steam engine.

I wish to compliment all of you on the IRON-MEN ALBUM Magazine. This is my third compliment for you in the past three years. Keep up the good work as you have. Do not adhere to so many suggesting so many things to change the magazine. Keep it as it is. Your entire line-up is perfect. You know there are a lot of people now-a-days trying to run everything they can. So treat them nice as you always do. And your price is really about $1.00 under price for the quality you have. I take two American magazines on the steam engine line. One is $6.50 a year (a monthly), another $5.00 a year (also monthly), and they do not in any way compare with the IRON MEN ALBUM magazine and this statement is from experience. I also subscribe to The Model Engineer, published by Percival Marshall & Co., Ltd., 19-20 Noel St., London, W. I. England. It is a weekly now $8.50 a pear, 70 pages 7'x9' well printed good pictures. 'The Magazine for the Mechanically Minded', each issue always has some steam engine interesting write-ups. They dwell quite a lot on the Steam Traction Engine. I first received the magazine July 15, 1902, then The Model Engineer and Amateur Electrician, weekly at $3.00 per year. This magazine was established in 1898. Received in the U. S. via regular mail and never varies more than three days. I became acquainted with the British in World War I. I served with Co. G, 140th Infantry 35th Division, 70th Brigade. After the Armistice on Dec. 26, 1918, our outfit proceeded to Coblenz, Germany, on the Rhine River. I had experience with American, British, Belgium, French, German steam engines and boilers. Today and always, they have been a great hobby with the British. On mechanical equipment, especially the steam engine, and opposite to most Americans, they do the best first class work and use best materials with the result that they get a perfect job, thoroughly finished. Nothing slighted, in fact all the European people do good work i. e., the skilled workmen.

Is it possible for you to use a photo graph size 8'xlO', a real good photo of a 6 hp. Nichols & Shepard steam traction engine and a St. Louis Well Drill. A nice outfit. Also another panoramic photograph size 8'x36', is a fine picture of a real threshing scene with a Minneapolis threshing rig back in the good old threshing days. In fact kindly advise me the best size photos to send you, so I will know in the future. Thanks.

I will keep my subscription to the IRON-MEN ALBUM Magazine as long as I can read and see, and as long as it is printed. No doubt I will leave first. Am 77 years young. I hope to reach the 100 mark. My good old mother passed away two years ago, at 97 years, 3 months and 1 day. A heart ailment passed away without any suffering whatsoever. Got so she couldn't get her breath. In 15 minutes all was over.

I have had considerable experience with machinery made in Pennsylvania and all has been the best.

I am a Life member of the National Rifle Association of America, and 38 years an annual member in the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U. P.

Will keep on the alert for more prospects for subscribers to T.I.M.A.M. With best wishes, I am

CHARLES L. LEEPER, Leeper Machine Company P. O. Lock Box 147 Ash Grove, Missouri


F. Hal Higgins of Walnut Bottom, California, gives us some light on Mr. Holbrook, who is the author of 'Holy Old Mackinaw' and 'Machines of Plenty' with which many of you readers are familiar. Mr. Holbrook has written many books but these two to our Hobby Craft are quite familiar.

Thanks, Hal. 'Had a letter from a New York publisher the other day that indicates 'Holy Old Mackinaw' Holbrook is at it again. This publisher says they are to bring out a new kid picture book on agriculture and wanted to see some of my old pictures. Recalling a couple of meetings and one dinner with Mr. and Mrs. Holbrook in his editorial days on the 4-L Lumber News at Portland, back about 1928 and '29, I told them to have Holbrook drop in and pick out what he needed to give his book the kid-appeal when it gets out on the stands. I haven't seen him for 25 years, I guess, and would like to sit down and listen to his tales of 'Johnny Ink slinger and other fabulous men who worked around the big timber. Mrs. Holbrook was a famous actress in her younger days. I enjoyed seeing her star in a play put on in Portland by local talent one time when I was up in the Northwest for a non-stop tractor run I was helping Oregon State College put on to help promote a new Agriculture Engineering building for that institution.'


I sure like the IRON-MEN ALBUM. I have taken all my copies and bound them into one book which keeps them nice. It looks like a big book with my name printed on the front cover. I read and re-read them every so often. Wish it came oftener. I am enclosing a picture of a 20 hp. Minneapolis straw burner which I fired in Minneapolis in 1929. I sure liked to fire with straw as it is easy and it is fun. I have fired with straw, wood and coal but not oil. I have run a good many different engines, in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota. My choice is the good old Advance.

I had four; two 16 hp., one 21 compound, one 20 A. R. old style, and a 12 hp. Star. They are all good if used right, but we have our choice. Some like one, others like another and that is the way it goes.

I like to see threshing scenes. They are so interesting keep them coming.

Wishing you and yours the best of success.

O. W. BOWEN, Box 143, Woodman, Wisconsin


This is the third year I have subscribed to your ALBUM. It isn't one of the best, IT IS THE BEST. I have seen others but this tops them all. I am a city slicker who never saw a traction engine until a few years ago. I happened to get a brother-in-law that was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth, instead, it was a pop valve and he was raised on valve oil. Since I have been going around with him, (W. A. Laird) and a man by name of Morgan Hill, I have learned steam power is the greatest. One thing is sure if you want to learn about steam, Morgan Hill's is the place to do it. Often on Sunday afternoons we will fire up one of his engines and play with it. In bad weather we just sit about the fire in his shop and listen to the stories of the threshing days. Other things that are discussed are articles that have appeared in past ALBUMS.

Keep up the good work, I'll be waiting for the next ALBUM to arrive.

HERMAN E. CARNEGER, 295 Buffalo St., Conneaut, Ohio


I certainly do enjoy the ALBUM and am enclosing my check to renew for another year. I never tire of reading it over and over again.

I was born on a farm in 1901, thirty five miles south of Kansas City, Mo., and have lived and owned a farm ever since. Surely no one could have been permitted to live in a better time. Since I can first remember, I have always worshipped the old Steam Engine and no power since their passing has ever come to equal them. I do hope that some day they will return to their own with some sort of atomic reactor. I think it is quite possible. I have a 22-66 Frick which I am putting into top condition.

FLOYD ATKINSON, Harrisonville, Missouri



J. F. PERCIVAL, Box 822, Watertown, South Dakota

I have been a subscriber and reader of the IRON-MEN ALBUM for the past two years. I have every copy carefully filed away with Floyd Clymer's old steam engine book, and I call this my second Bible.

The Old Testament tells of what took place before our Savior's birth the ALBUM tells us all that took place before the birth of the Gas Tractor and the Combine Harvester.

The story of Boaz and Ruth the Gleaner is told in Holy Writ and the ALBUM tells about the grain separator with the 'Ruth' self feeder. The Bible speaks of separating the chaff from the wheat. The ALBUM tells how our friends did, it with their favorite make of threshing machines. The resurrection of the old steam engines are told by friends of the old days in the ALBUM. These old engines would like to join in singing, 'We Once Was Lost, But Now We Are Saved.'

A 20 hp. gasoline engine powering alfalfa seed thresher in Lake Botton area of the San Joaquin west side. This was the in between link. Between steam and gasoline tractors. It replaced a steam Enright built in San Jose and was itself replaced by a Best gasoline tractor about 1910. Photo from Lloyd Burr, whose grandfather operated the old steam Enright in custom threshing of alfalfa.

The Bible says, 'Come, let us reason together', and the ALBUM says, come, all of you to the Thresher Reunions, all over the country 'Cost to cost.' Jesus said, 'Suffer the little children to come unto me'. The ALBUM says, take all the family to the Reunions, Babies, Kids, Teenagers, Mom, Pop, Grandma, Grandpa, everyone from one to a hundred and one.

I love the pictures in the ALBUM An old engine, a grizzled old man and a group of children like the one on pages 16 and 23 of the January-February 1956 issue. I like the Ladies Page, Jan.-Feb., 1956 and hope we get more of the ladies to tell of their nice bobbies. I like the pictures of Model engines with an old engineer or a nice boy looking over their work with pride and thinking 'I did it all myself', and it runs.

A small advertisement in the ALBUM will help you find some things you need for your hobby, or engine. It could help you sell the parts you do not need. It sure is a great little magazine and as long as I live I will be a subscriber.

More power to the ALBUM and the steam organizations everywhere. May they grow and grow and grow. May their Faith, Loyalty and Pressure never get low.


Have just received my May '54 copy of the ALBUM. My trip to the wailing wall seems to have resulted in my stepping on somebody's toes or bawling on his shirt front, to wit: Mr. Hal Higgins of Walnut Creek, California.

Dear Mr. Higgins;

Gathering from your seeming slight undertone of contempt that my mention of Matteson brought about, I gather he must have been an in-law or relative back a generation or so. People have felt that way about them for one reason or another. I take it for granted that since I have been classed with a few of the Holt Historians, I mention a couple more names to mull over, namely; M. L. Campbell of the U. S. Patent Office and Mr. F. C. Beach, late editor of the Scientific American, from whose lists I took the names and dates. These lists found in the Encyclopedia Americana Volume 15; pages 281 to 285 inclusive.

Let's look back at a few of these dates. Sam Lane of Maine 1828 thresher, Andrew Meikle of England 1788. I also found since Hohlfeld of Germany, who also invented a thresher in 1756, reference Howe's Eminent Mechanics copyright of 1846 page 324. Your history of the combine development makes for some fast getting around for that day and age. The reciprocating saw tooth cutter within double guard fingers for reapers was invented by Obed Hussey in 1833. Had anyone built a combine in the late 1820's or early thirties, how would he have cut the standing grain? Considering the communications and news coverage of that period, I can hardly comprehend how Lane in Maine or any one in Illinois or Tennessee, have applied this first necessary part of a combine to their machines on such a short period of time as usage or adoptions of new ideas were not so fast at that period. How could the boys of the later forties and even the mid fifties have built and used combines ? The patent office records show that the inclined elevator and platform for reapers was not patented until 1858 by a J. S. Marsh. Without an elevator to carry the straw to the cylinder a combine would run into labor for someone and that would drive the boys off the farm for sure.

I cannot see any connection about my statement: 'This is the guy who put the skids under us', and the old king you mention, as I was admitting to the beginning of the end. Only a fool won't quit when something is licking him until his liver is hanging out. It has been said, 'He who fights and runs away may live to fight another day, etc.' The connection seems about as logical as naming a bull Lucy, meaning no disrespect to any of the opposite sex bearing this name as I know several very nice persons so named. God bless them.

I have enjoyed your articles very much and hope to see more of them, and if Matteson should cause you any upset I wouldn't let it bother me, as I am sure he has passed to his reward by this time. Through a typographical error or my handwriting being what it is, the 'W' in my name got turned upside down making Bremer instead of Brewer as it is written on tax and papers of the like. The ALBUM serves some of us ex-threshers as a wailing wall where we can shed a nostalgic tear now and then and feel better for having done so. 165 head of horses and mules strung out on five harvesters is a fair sized bunch but just two days ago I saw 200 head of mules strung out on ten boxes of Borax in a store. Through the medium of television people are becoming acclimated to astounding sights very rapidly almost to the point of casualness. So while you are putting up your mules and horses for the night, I'll take a look at the lacing on the feeder belt as it looks as though it is coming loose, like I'd better do from this yarn and go climb into the arms of Morpheus. In closing let me say we must always have a moderate amount of controversy so as to prevent stagnation and yet not a too excessive rapid progress as can become demoralizing and at times even destructive.

OSCAR G. BREWER, 7517 Woodland Ave., Maplewood, Missouri


Enclosed are a couple scoops of coal to keep the fire up for another year; Why don't you give a short description with the pictures in the magazine? I refer in particular to the picture of Joe Rynda with the ancient return flue Avery in Nov. 1955 issue. Why not tell where he got it and from whom and when. I would be interesting to know who owned these engines in the first place. I noticed the markings on the trailer say Geneva, Nebraska 5.12.54. As I formerly lived not far from there I would have liked to have known more about the engine. Also give us more histories of threshing machine company's like the recent Avery write up. I think it would be a fine thing to have a question and answer page. What do you other fellows say.

I read with interest the letter by Marcus Leonard of Salina, Kansas, (I came to California from Kansas) about the engineer running his engine with loose drive key in the connecting rod causing a heavy pound and the engine wrecking itself. I do not think the pound caused the damage. My opinion is that the key being loose, the stroke of the piston was lengthened causing the piston to strike the cylinder head causing damage. I have gone to run a number of engines where the piston was striking the cylinder head, owing to the shims in the connecting rod not being properly placed. In starting an engine I had not previously run, I always listened for that knock and corrected it before I would put the engine to work. I have seen a few letters from old engineers complaining about the Case engine not having large enough boiler and dome and stating they were bad to foam and prime on that account. I operated a Case engine for many years both in belt and pulling plow. and I never had a Case engine to prime. True, the Case does have ; rather small boiler but for that very reason I can run a Case on less water and coal than any other engine I ever run, and I have run many of them. I do not mean the others were not good as I could mention many good engines among them, Reeves Russell, Advance, N & S, Minneapolis, Wood and several others. I am inclined to think the men who had the trouble with Case pulling water carried their water too high. The first Case I ever run, I proceeded to see how much water was over the crown sheet when the water level was at the bottom of the glass and I found there was plenty. I carried about 2' of water in the Case, not over 3' and on a hard pull on the draw bar only 1 to 2' and the old Case never primed and had plenty of dry steam.

I noticed in a letter from Mr. Arterbury of Blackwell, Oklahoma, the joke about the contractor who had a Huber to pull his other engines out when they got stuck. Just out of curiosity, I would like to know what make and size of engine he used to hang on the front end of his Huber to keep it from rearing up when pulling the other engines out. 

I. L. LONDON, Sacramento, California


Renewal time again I wish every two dollars I spent brought me as much pleasure as this does.

As I write this, the school board meeting I attended last night is still fresh in my mind and I just wonder what has happened to the old Community Spirit. Everyone is now wanting to send their children to town to school. The one-room school is not good enough for people. So their is a lot of squabbling among neighbors even to the not-speaking stage. Back in the old threshing days people had to get along but it seems something of the pioneer spirit has gone with the sound of the Threshing Engine Whistle. Taxes going up every year maybe we are living too fast.

Wishing you and your paper the best. Keep it coming

QUENTIN W. SHULTZ, Griswold, Iowa


Enclosed is my check for another year of the ALBUM. Would not want to do without it. It is truly fine.

I have lived on a farm all my life but never owned or operated an engine, but I always loved them. First one I can recollect is a Port Huron. In my time I have worked around the following makes of engines: Rumley, Case, Aultman-Taylor, Advance, Stevens, Avery and Baker. I have my favorites but like them all.

Keep up the good work 

EVERETT SHORT, Yale, Illinois


Please find enclosed check for renewal for another year. I would not want to get along without this wonderful magazine. I read in it where come folks would like to have it larger and more often. That would be quite an order and the material might not hold out so long. Any steam fan could stand more reading but I am satisfied with it just as it is and look forward to receiving it.

I started out as a boy with a turbine we made with 5-gallon kerosene cans and a hand made turbine, but it would run wheels all over the building. The fire went under and around the can and it produced quite a bit of steam. When I got older I handled our Buffalo-Pitts.

W. J. PRESCOTT, Machias, New York


Please renew my subscription as I do not want to miss a single copy of your fine magazine. Some day I expect to own a steam engine, when I can find one that an ordinary man can afford to buy. I know the locations of several engines but most of them are being used on sawmills and are not for sale. I have been promised first chance when they do decide to sell.

At the present time I am building a one inch scale model of the J. I. Case engine and have the boiler, engine and wheels complete, so am now working on the boiler fittings. Would be glad to hear from any of the old timers who are still interested in steam and if someone is really interested in obtaining an engine for a souvenir, I might be able to help them as I know the location of practically every engine in this part of the country.

Thanking you for the biggest little magazine and wishing you many successful years.

ALVA HULBERT, 807 So. 22 Street Mount Vernon, Illinois


I owned and operated a Wood Bros. 22 hp. engine and 36x58 steel separator for 18 falls. I liked it very much but traded it for a N & S 28x54 separator which I run for 22 falls and I still have it. I used the Wood engine for power on the N & S and as the run loved the Wood engine as it handled so nicely and was easy to fire, and had plenty of power. I was the engineer on the rigs I owned as long as I used them for power. I sold my engine for $50.00 for scrap and have kicked myself ever since. Some day I hope to buy another steamer. I have operated the display engines at Joe Rynda's and was through the Wood Bros. plant years ago. It was really large.

Best wishes to the ALBUM as I really do enjoy the pictures and letters.

ERNEST F. EGGERTH, Rennick. Iowa


Please renew my ALBUM, $2.00 enclosed. I enjoy it very much as I am an old thresherman and practically grew up with a steam engine as that was my fathers work. I took it up as soon as I was old enough and threshed in Indiana, Montana, Minnesota, Canada and North and South Dakota.

I run an engine for the same man in North Dakota from 1909 till 1923, threshing and plowing. Now at the age of 70 I am retired on account of ill health but I attend and enjoy as many of the conventions as I can.

A. B. SHETZLE, LaGro, Indiana