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Since the Advance is one of my favorite engines and I like the Marsh valve gear, the recent articles by LeRoy Blaker, Edward Hutsel and Joseph May were very interesting to me. I have engineered two different Advance engines with Marsh gears a total of six threshing seasons, also several different engines with Woolf and Link gears, and I certainly will not agree that the Marsh is the 'worst' valve gear.

I agree with Mr. May in that I do not think a clear exhaust or 'bark' is an indication of economy or efficiency. I think engines with a short distance from exhaust port to nozzle such as the Advance simple or Avery under-mounted will 'talk' louder than where the exhaust steam has to travel farther and maybe thru a heater. The tandem-compound Advance engines have a soft, muffled exhaust, this means to me that the expansive force of the steam has been used in the cylinders to produce power instead of making a bark up the stack. Advance engines are usually considered as very economical so the Marsh gear must not be too bad. I understand Advance Rumely tested other valve gears on their new engine, before deciding to use the Marsh gear.

I have found the Marsh gear easy to care for and keep snug. I believe the small number of joints and the short, easy motion accounts for this. And in spite of the lack of extra notches for the reverse lever the Advance seems to handle as easy or easier than most engines, running slow 'stiff-geared'.

The large, heavy strap and arm of the Woolf and other single-eccentric gears, with considerably more throw than the travel of the valve-stem, along with the sliding block, guide and pivot all add up to many joints with possible lost motion and noise. I am not trying to say that the Woolf is the 'worst' gear, I like the sound of a well-adjusted Case as well as the next man, but I will not agree that the Marsh is the 'worst' valve gear either.

I agree with Mr. May, that a properly designed valve seat will not wear uneven from 'hooking up'. When the valve opens to 'lead' at one end the other end slides off the raised edge of the valve seat, if not made this way it could possibly wear shoulders on the seat even with fixed cut-off gears. I would be inclined to believe that with reasonably good water and good lubrication it would take a long time to wear a shoulder even if the valve stopped short of the edge of the valve seat.

O. R. ASLAKSON, New Rockford, North Dakota


The IRON-MEN ALBUM Magazine is a wonderful book to read for anyone that was brought up on the platform of one of these great steam engines.

I enjoy every word written by these men who knew about and worked with steam until gas took over.

The last four years I threshed, I used gasoline motors, out of cars. They worked, but did not have that something that steam had.

To hear the whistle in the morning away off on some hill calling the help was a great thrill to me. It would echo back and forth between the hills days that are gone but not forgotten.



At the request of hundreds of my Reunion friends throughout the country I will try to introduce myself to the thousands of readers of the ALBUM. I was born July 3, 1957 to a full bred Chihuahua mother and father. I am registered in the American Kennel Club as CHIPPY GINGERSNAP. . . So much for my history. I started following steam engine shows last year and to date have traveled well over 15,000 miles with the Boss and the Editor of Iron-Men Album. While at Pontiac my good friend, Leo Clarke, and some ladies in the women's (also men's) hobby building stated they would like to see my picture in the 1961 yearbook at Pontiac, Illinois, so Leo snapped my picture and believe you me I am very proud of it and grateful to all the nice people who requested it. I have badges and ribbons from most shows and have been made a life member at several. The Boss made a picture frame for me with all the badges, cards and ribbons surrounding my picture. This is one of my proudest possessions.

So - once again - thank you for your interest in just a little fellow who looks forward to meeting you at the Reunions -- and I always wear my badge -- and proudly, too!

Yours for bigger and better Reunions, I remain Just CHIPPY


I am on the engine in the picture above and my two brothers are on the tank and tool box. My mother and aunt are standing in front and my father is in front of the husker.

My father started to thresh when just a young man, long before there were traction engines. I have heard him tell many and many a threshing story! I was about 12 years old when I began putting in full time during the threshing season.

I threshed until 1938, then combines began to take over. One of my brothers did some threshing and my other brother kept away from it.

As well as threshing grain every fall, we successfully operated a husker and shredder for a number of years. We did most of our threshing in Cass County, Michigan. It isn't considered a big grain county, but we had a good run every fall. In those days we had a few very small jobs. We called them 'Set Jobs' and charged $3.50 for them. For several years when I started out, we fed by hand and had no wind stacker, just the old straw carrier -- had no bagger, just the old slide boxes. I might say, it kept a man busy sliding if the yield was anything at all! More power to the ALBUM!

MILLARD E. SECOR, 206 Ashland, Dowagiac, Michigan


THE ALBUM brings back memories of 1915 to 1917 when I was a bundle-pitcher and later hauled the water wagon for the Minneapolis Steam Engine and Minneapolis Thresher. It operated in Empire, Forests and Taycheedah townships which are in Pond du Lac County, Wisconsin, and seasons ran to about seventy-five days. I still remember this one at one farmer's place:

The owner of the steam rig carried a spare evener for the water wagon which was usually carried on top of the grain separator. That day, the separator man forgot to close the door above straw rack and fell on the straw rack. The evener shook back and fell on the straw rack and fell into the blower and everything smashed badly. A number of large pieces went out the blower into the straw stack which was about 16 ft. high and the farmer who was building the straw stack got scared and jumped off. I later hauled the water wagon and just about knew how to run the Minneapolis Steam Engine at that time.

I've been a member of the Horseless Carriage Club for many years. (Sometimes their Gazette carries pictures of steam engines and steam cars.) If you should have interest in the car club, write me as I can supply membership blanks and information.

NORBERT GILGENBACH, Route 4, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin


BERNARD LEO DALE died June 17, 1960, at his farm home Briercrest, Saskatchewan, Canada. He was born February 9, 1893, at Leon, Iowa, and moved to the Briercrest district with his parents in 1904. He resided there continuously until his death.

Bernard Leo Dale was widely known in the district where he resided, as a musician, a hunter, a curler, a successful farmer and as an enthusiastic hobbyist interested in steam engines, steam railroading and pioneer western farming machinery. He owned the last steam threshing outfit operated perhaps in Western Canada and during later years often exhibited it at local fairs. He sold the outfit only last fall and it is being placed in a private museum in British Columbia. The J. I. Case carries a current certificate of boiler inspection.

He was also active in the Western Development Museum at Saskatoon and for the last several years attended their annual Pion-era days, helping to operate the pioneer steam engines and farm machinery on display. He also took a similar part in the annual provincian fair at Regina. One of the highlights of his steam engine career was the planned meeting of the last steam locomotive of the Canadian National Railroad at the Briercrest crossing and his own J. I. Case steam traction engine, arranged through Mr. W. E. Dearing, Chief Dispatcher of the CNR at Regina. Through their common interest in steam engines Bernard and Mr. Dearing had become close friends and the meeting of the last two steamers of their kind only last year resulted in widespread publicity.

He had traveled extensively in the United States and Canada and for the last several years spent four or five weeks every summer traveling up and down the Rocky Mountains between Banff and Jasper National Park. Practically all of his travels were recorded by camera and he made many friends on these trips and had planned another trip this summer.

He was always interested in guns and hunting and had several rifles and shotguns, not antiques, but guns that he currently used in hunting. It was very interesting to find among his effects, several hand written stories of various phases of his life. One was about guns and hunting, another about his interest in steam railroading and another about his threshing operations from the early days down to the time he sold his old J. I. Case steamer. The stories are remarkable in their clarity and description of detail and the ease with which they read; and all the more remarkable because he was never much of a pen and pencil man.

One phase of his life about which he did not write was music. However, he was an accomplished musician, playing a number of instruments including violin, piano, banjo, and drums. In earlier years he always played for dances and at concerts and when he wasn't playing he was dancing. In fact he rarely missed a dance in the neighborhood.

We are writing this because we know he had a lot of friends who will wonder why they do not hear from him. We have collected all the names and addresses we could find among his papers and will send each of them a copy. Louise and I (his brother) were able to leave Dubuque the morning following receipt of word and arrived in Moose Jaw two days later. It was impossible for Lester (his brother living in Los Angeles, Calif.) to get away. It had been raining for two days before we arrived and it rained for two more days after, making all unpaved roads absolutely impassable. The funeral had to be postponed a day and transferred from Rouleau to Moose Jaw. Internment had to be delayed till the following Monday however, the weather the following week was very pleasant and we had an opportunity to get a lot of necessary work done and found out how helpful and sympathetic real friends and neighbors can be at such a time.

PAUL D. DALE, 1251 Adeline St., Dubuque, Iowa


In the early 1900's our father purchased a J. I. Case Threshing outfit consisting of a traction engine and separator. I think the separator was perhaps made by another company--but together it made a wonderful 'outfit' and everyone for miles around would come to see it 'thrash' the wheat and other grain. I can remember distinctly the picture of a scrawny half starved chicken painted on the Separator with the caption beneath 'Fattened on the grain from the straw of this separator' indicating, of course, that very little grain was left in the straw. Tsk! Tsk!

The threshing outfit was carried from farm to farm and the 'patrons' fed the crew and often served them an abundance of fried ham, chicken, vegetables and sweets of the section and season. Sometimes they even had to spend the night -- as it was before the age of automobiles and going home and back again next a.m. would take up too much time.

After the wheat was fed in bundles into the separator (the bands on the bundles had to be cut to feed it in correctly and evenly) then it went through the process and the straw flew out the back and the wheat poured out the side into a half bushel measure and emptied up by the Measuring Man. The measure was pulled by a little lever on a clock device and when the crop was completed the meter showed the total (that is, if each measure was pulled by and clicked the lever). A large wheat sheet was spread on the ground to catch all that scattered.

One day a young man and his sweetheart came to watch the process and he asked for permission to feed the Separator. He had on his Sunday clothes even to his king-sized pocket watch. In some way the watch was caught in the shuffle and went through the separator. Only a few links of chain and some tiny wheels and a battered case remained to mark the once-prized possession.

ANNIE LEE DAY, Porter dale, Georgia


Greetings to all: If I don't owe you at the present time, I soon will, as time has no speed limit these days. Just credit my account and keep the wheels turning. I enjoy your little magazine very much.

For your personal pleasure, please take a look at my drilling rig on location since May 2 and due to complete the job in a few days. It has been a sort of vacation job for me, but the weather did not smile very much on me. The outfit is better each year as I improve, renew and build up the equipment. In another year or two, I hope to have it where all I need to do is to spend my spare time looking at it, and sit on G.S. platform box -- when it runs, the NOISE just is not there. It is a nice machine to work around.

I'm wondering if it would be an interesting subject to ask the readers for methods, ways, and particulars of using fuel oil for fuel instead of coal. I'm working on it now, but I'm not sure about the brick work needed in the firebox and other details. I'm in town and the women are getting rough about my smoke on wash day, etc. I would appreciate any sketches - drawings - or particulars of anyone having oil-burning experience on a boiler similar to the G.S. 22 hp engine.

The main thing is -- I don't want to burn up my boiler doing any experiments. I want to be sure of the brick work in the fire-box and the burner details. Otherwise, I'll keep on fighting with the women.

CLARENCE M. REED, 426 Margaret Street, Akron, Ohio


When Emmit All suffered a slight heart attack two weeks ago, something happened to the all schools' day Parade, and folks noticed that he and his calliope were missing from the accustomed place. Immediately Mrs. All began to receive calls from folks who missed Mr. All and his music box.

For the past five years, Mr. All has been putting the calliope in the parade with Butch Wagner playing it, and it had come to be accepted as a fixture in the line of march.

Mr. All is an old-time steam thresher who retained an interest in the early day engines. A few years ago, he read of a steam calliope and immediately he conceived the idea of acquiring one of these instruments, but that was not as easy to accomplish as he first thought for these steam calliopes have gone out of existence that is, except for four throughout the whole United States. Mr. All read of one and made the purchase, then he conceived the idea of rebuilding and changing the sixteen whistles to twenty-eight. As a result the calliope had reached the peak of perfection this year in readiness of the May Day Parade.

Special effort was given to get the instrument in condition for the parade. Mr. All spent much time repairing and adorning the Case steam engine that furnishes the steam and pulls the calliope. It was ready to go when fate intervened. The calliope had also undergone changes with the addition of some new bells, commonly called whistles.

'I can't get the whistles any more,' he said, 'and I can buy the tubing so I make the bells, and I have overcome a lot of undesirable tones. '

Expressing his disappointment at the turn of events which precluded participation in the parade, Mr. All is looking forward to his recuperation in time to be entered in the Old Settlers' Picnic at Marion in October. His services have been in demand in other festivals which include the Lindsborg hyllings fest, Saline County Pair, and on one occasion he took his calliope to Eldorado, so it is no wonder folks around McPherson missed Mr. All and Mr. Wagner in the latest parade.

EMMITT ALL, 520 S. Ash St., McPherson, Kansas


On page 12 of the July-Aug. ALBUM, you ask to guess the make of engine on the top of the page. It is a Minneapolis Return Flue engine. The reason I call it a Minneapolis Return Flue is that as far as I know they used round spoke wheels on all of their return flue engines. If you will notice the steam pipe from the dome to the engine, there is but little of it outside of their boiler. It comes up out of the top of the dome and crosses over the top of the dome to the other side and goes down through the dome into the boiler, back to the smoke stack a little way, then out through the left side of the stack to the cylinder. You can see a shaft just back of the dome on two bearings. This is a part of the Wolff Reverse Gear that they used. The block guide is on the left end of the shaft. Also, they had the clutch and reverse levers on the right side of the smoke stack, the clutch lever next to the stack and the reverse lever on the right of the clutch lever.

I had the pleasure of driving the engine in the picture below the Minneapolis engine on page 12, owned by Mr. Andrew F. Hesse of Marble Rock, Iowa, at the Cedar Falls Reunion of 1959.

EMIL W. MARTZAHN, Route 2, Greene, Iowa


I guess I am a poor or very careless engineer to let steam and water get as low as I did. You know, when you get to the last issue, that's letting it go too far on as good a thing as the Album. And I mean just that! Wouldn't care to miss one issue for anything.

Yes, I threshed a little with my machine this Fall, but I have to pull it with a gas tractor as I am not yet an owner of a steam engine. I sure hope to have one in my possession one of these times.

I am enclosing some pictures taken the day we threshed (1959). See pictures elsewhere.)

INGUARD K. HAUGEN, R. D. 1, Box 39, Hannaford, North Dakota


The Oklahoma Farmer Sportsman recently published a picture of a dilapidated house and washed-away fields, a scene typical of the dust bowl country. It invited its readers to write a short story in connection, offering a prize for the best narrative.

An Indian descendent from the Georgia Cherokee was given the reward, over 2604 entries. His story was titled, 'Maybe Indian Was Right After All'.

Picture shows crazy of white man, make big tepee, plow hill, water wash, wind blows soil, grass all gone. Squaw gone, papoose gone too. No chuck. No pig. No corn. No hay. No cow. No pony. Indian no plow ground. Keep grass. Buffalo eat grass. Indian eat buffalo. Hide make tepee, Mocassins too. Indian no make terrace. No build dams. No give a dam. All time eat. No hunt job. No hitch hike. No ask relief. No kill pig. Great Spirit make grass. Indian no waste. Indian no work. White man heap crazy. Get more crazy all the time.

Sent in by: JOHN J. MENCHHOFER, 3520 W. 12th St., Indianapolis, Indiana