Sawyer Massey rear-mount plowing engine

One inch scale working model of Sawyer Massey rear-mount plowing engine the first trip out-of-doors in 1954 and yours truly, maker.

W. E. Dearing

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The 1905 picture shown on page 23 of Mar-April 1961 ALBUM is of an L. D. Sawyer engine, which firm was later the Sawyer & Massey Co. and Mr. Watson's brother William, age 85 years, living here in Regina, is a good friend of mine. William was quite enthused when I told him of the picture. We both have a lot in common, boyhood steam thresher-men followed by a life of railroading due to our mutual regard for steam. Who could not appreciate the music of an engine with Southern valve gear, making good time, rolling around and bouncing, with the resultant exhaust variations? Or just as nice, a heavy, nicely-set-up engine on a drag? We are not going to hear them any more - ever - and that makes one sad. It is nice though that we have some dear old tractor friends still alive which we can polish and play with when the opportunity warrants. Sometimes it would seem that the word 'play' should be changed to 'work'.

In the Nov-Dec issue on page 31 the engine shown was not a Waterloo but either a Port Huron or a Robert Bell, made in Seaforth Ontario, which two engines were very similar in appearance. With reference to the 'stack' shown on the following page, while far from handsome, it would serve its purpose immensely better than the later, fancy-waisted short stack but in the early days there were no overhead wires, not even many clothes lines, which sometimes did not count.

During my hunts for engines back through the years, and I can truthfully say that is over fifty years and with having found several hundreds of same, there are a few unusual items which come to mind, which probably none but real old-timers may recall such as: American Abel (maybe John Abel) steam tractor with a 'link' valve gear and a spherically enlarged fireproof stack.

An American Abel 20 hp side mounted Cross Compound engine, about 1895. A Sawyer Massey engine with a water bottom firebox. A Sawyer Massey engine, the firebox sheets of which were flanged outward to meet the outer sheets, similar to a Case, and a feature they would later on wish they could deny.

With retirement only two years away I am looking forward keenly to visiting various re-unions and trying to live over again some of the old memories. Gone though are the days when we were kids and when one's neighbors were as of our own and there is no denying that the use of steam contributed to this in large part. Long may we cherish the memories!

Chief Despatcher C. N. R.
Regina, Sask., Canada


I am sending pictures of a 23-90 Baker Special with uniflow valve which my brother Bob and I have owned for ten years. The number of this engine is 17888 and it was built in 1928. Although we are not old-timers, Bob is 26 and I am 24, we have been interested in steam engines ever since Dad's last year of threshing by steam power in 1941. This outfit consisted of a 22 hp double cylinder Peerless engine and a 36 inch Case separator. Before that Dad ran his own outfit, an Oliver Hart Parr tractor and a Red River Special separator, but the runs were getting shorter so Dad and Mr. Bus-kirk, the owner of the steam rig, decided to put their runs together. Prom time to time Bob and I got to go with Dad to where they were threshing. The sight, sound and action at the engine and separator I don't think we will ever forget. It was decided not to have a run in 1942 as most farmers were going to combines and because of the shortage of help needed for a threshing crew. The rig was kept at our place until the fall of 1942 when the owner of the outfit was taken in by that lie which took so much of the old time machinery.

In 1951 Bob heard that our uncle who is in the farm machinery business traded a power unit for a Baker steam engine. With some help from Dad we were able to buy the engine from our uncle. What a dirty, naked looking monster it was, having been stripped of cab, tanks and platform for use on a sawmill. Our idea was. to rebuild the engine as it was when new. This we did in a period of four years. The engine is reconditioned throughout. New flues, tanks, cab, platform, steam and injector line were installed.

Bob and I are members of the Miami Valley Steam Threshers and have showed our engine at the 1959 and 60 shows held at Mechanicsburg, Ohio.

In addition to the Baker engine our Dad owns two 25-50 Baker tractors, two Birdsell No.8 clover hullers a 30-56 Baker separator and a 27-44 Advance Rumely separator. Dad has been a subscriber to IMA since '52.

GENE DRUMMOND, R. 1, Orient. Ohio


I have been around steam engines since I was 15 - as a straw buck in 1905 on a Buffalo-Pitts return flue and straw carrier or stacker as some call it. Then a straw carrier to engines and then to fireman in 1907. Wages as fireman was $1.00 per day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

These pictures were taken by Fred L. Davies who was General Manager for Oklahoma and Indiana territory some time between 1890 and 1900 or longer for the Minneapolis Threshing Machine Company. I borrowed the pictures from his son, Elmer, had negatives made and then the pictures.

The history as I can get it is this: In going through a creek the rear wheel struck gravel and rear wheels sprung and could not move the outfit and before they could get horses to pull same out, the boiler exploded.

Elmer Davies, the son, is now 72 years old. It would be kind of interesting if some of the old-timers would write may be they would remember more about it. I think the engine was sent back to factory for repairs.

LEO J. DOERN, Portland 2, Oregon


Reading other men's experiences in the Iron-Men Album brings to mind a rather unusual experience I had in the early twenties.

The only time I reversed an engine while pulling with full open throttle, I was firing an undermounted Avery belted to a grain separator. I was getting coal from a wagon close behind the engine when I noticed the exhaust was louder than usual and saw the engine backing up pulling the separator by the belt. I jumped onto the platform and the reverse lever being down on the platform reversed it just as it hit the wagon, and of course throwed the belt, then closed the throttle.

The man that owned the machine while working on the engine had removed the clutch that also holds the wide traction driving gear in place as it floats on crankshaft while in the belt. This gear worked out on the shaft until there was little more than one inch engaged with the driven gear to heat and stick so tight to the crankshaft that we had trouble getting it loose and back in place.

OTIS SHUMARD, Stewardson, Illinois


Mr. Whitmore has just finished making a very fine looking Baker Pan and last Sunday I was out watching him run it with his engine.

Two weeks ago I got Dad to take me to the Richland County Steam Show. There were around 34 engines there. The engines were threshing and running a sawmill, shingle mill, break, fans, and they were grinding corn. I think it was a very good show and we had a very nice time.



Seldom if ever have I had a letter from a stranger that is like one from a friend of long standing. If you can do it every time you will be a success. It was very nice indeed.

I originated in Nova Scotia and from the time I can remember until the present - lumbering has waned greatly. I can remember when a great deal of lumber came out on wagons, and in the winter on bobsleds, and the shipping was impressive. Even then it usually was not the first cut on the timberland. There was one big mill that drove the logs down the river, but for the most part it was a steam driven portable mill that went to the wood lot. The men all lived in camps at the mill. Now, there aren't so many mills and while they are of the portable size, still mostly they are located near the railroad and the logs come to it on trucks. Delivery of the lumber is usually by truck and very few cars are loaded. The mills have gone diesel and the operators find they like them. True, there is far more legislative restriction dealing with fire prevention and a steam mill can't operate when a diesel driven mill can. There is less lumbering going on and it is mostly small operations.

I don't just recall how I got on to looking for Steam Traction Engines. It may have been seeing one at a gasoline station some place between here and Washington. Ultimately, I decided to go and see it. The answer to that is that I could not find it and I know it was there. More strange - up that way I could not find anyone who knew of it or where it had been.

I bought some literature and tried to buy some catalogues. The latter are not too common and when in good condition they are quite expensive when available. I bought a catalogue of the man on the west coast who makes models of them and learned of your publication from it. I subscribed to yours for a year as well as another on the west coast and I learned a lot. One thing learned was of the activity at Kinzers.

Last fall I went to Kinzers and it was done at some cost and trouble. I had only the weekend. One Friday night I bussed to Washington, over nighted in a hotel and flew to Lancaster where I rented a Hertz car. Saturday was spent at Kinzers but I couldn't be there early for the steam-up, but I was there all of a very hot day. That night I over nighted at a motel and on Sunday I visited a friend in York and flew back to Richmond in the evening. I'm glad I did it, but it was too much to plan on doing again.

At Kinzers I saw your set-up and except that you were busy, it is my regret that I did not talk to you.

One thing led to another and I learned of Holbrook's Holy Old Mackinaw. It may be out of print, but the copy I got through the local book store did originate from the publisher. I do think that anyone interested in lumbering would like it. As a start on the subject, it is fine. I think that in the back of it there is a bibliography and I'm going to consult it with the information you furnished. I bought two books from you on Logging and Milling and as you say, both were excellent on account of the fine photographs. You would have noted of course, that both books said the best was over in the areas covered by the books. Of all the lumbermen, Weyerhauser was as big as any and more provident than most and seems to have built an enterprise that will stand for some time. I think that maybe a biography of the Weyerhauser enterprise might be rewarding.

I must confess that my interest is less in logging than in the milling and I can't find much in book form. Some time ago I solicited a catalogue from the Wheland Company who advertised Saw Mill Machinery. What I got was interesting and informative. I gather that a mill is assembled from units - the overall plan can vary greatly. In short, I could see the units, but could not see the mill.

On vacation travel I ran onto a big mill in Rienelle, Virginia. I was told that it was a really big mill and only surpassed by one on the west coast. It had been Corliss powered, but now was turbine and electric. The operation is big and they may have logging roads. The name is Meadow Brook, I think. They have tours through it and I missed on account of it being Saturday. Up in Princeton, Maine, there is quite a mill - rotary head saw with an oversaw set up but not running. It is an electric mill using the public utility. It is a fast mill and big for Maine today. Their logs come down to it in a series of lakes.

Yes, Richmond is pretty big and probably too big, but after 20 years in New York City it is in every way preferable.

You did not ask me where to go in Virginia and anyway I don't feel qualified to advise. There is much history in the state and a great deal of attention is given it. You should see Williamsburg, but in Fredericks-burg there are restorations that are worth taking in. From observation and comment heard, Williamsburg is almost too spotless and some of the other restorations will give the feeling of age better. For country - the Piedmont district is more interesting to see because of the hills. From the Piedmont to the sea it is gently rolling and flattish. You can hit the Skyline Drive only a short bit from the Potomac and can follow it and a companion down the ridge of some mountains and it is very pretty. You will miss most of the big cities and towns and can come off it in many places to make side trips. This might be your best bet if you have a scenic tour in mind.

North Carolina I have not penetrated to any extent and I'm hearing it is beautiful and full of interest. There is one place there that I would like very much to make - The Outer Banks. There would be two good books to read if you were interested - The Hatterasman, and The Outer Banks of North Carolina. I can't recall the name of the author of the first, but the author of the second one is David (?) Stick. If you went there, you would hit Elizabeth City, Nags Head and wind up at the Cape Hatteras Light House. The district has been apart from the mainland and the natives talk strangely (Elizabethian English). I was not successful in having my informant mimic them. Off shore, I'm told there are hulks in the sand of shipwrecks for the coast there is hazardous to mariners.

If you were interested, in Newport News there is a really fine Museum, the Mariners Museum. It is as good in it's way as the one at Mystic, Conn.

I've seen the VW fitted for traveling as you do and it is very appealing. The VW is a wonderful piece of machinery and very practical.

As to your 'Come up and see us', most cordial and thank you. I have no idea when I might be in your neighborhood, but if I am, I just might call. It would be my luck to find you fighting to make a deadline! I would reciprocate had I any facilities at all for entertaining you, which I have not.

I don't know what you will think of this letter, but I've had a lot of pleasure in writing it. Kindly do not consider a reply called for.

Steam traction engines interest me and I think I got them connected up with lumbering on account of hearing that they were much used in connection with lumbering. I've read that a normal use for an engine was in threshing in season and in a mill the remainder of the time. Down here I guess their last stand was in the mills and obsolescence and the diesel got them to the junk dealers.

G. G. BURRIS, 620 N. Blvd., Richmond 20, Virginia


Since my last letter to the Iron-Men Album quite some time ago on the 'Coming of the Hart Parr', I would like to do a little reminiscing on the early gas and oil tractors and their role in power on the farm. I enjoy hearing some of the big ones run.

To sit under the canopy top of a 30-60 Aultman-Taylor and hear the steady rhythm of the exhaust overhead, and then as you look back, first your eye catches a glimpse of the 36x90 inch drive wheel as its bright cleats come out to view beyond the fender, ever moving forward, then you see another nine and one half feet of black fresh earth reaching far behind. Looking forward again the tempo is the same, the cleats are flashing in the sun. Power is at work.

I have collected many of these old early tractors in the past few years and have them stored in modern steel buildings. In getting these tractors, I have driven many thousands of miles and had many interesting experiences.

The last tractor to go into my sheds is a 1913 two cylinder Titan. This is an interesting 45 hp piece of machinery with its tank and screen cooling system, 360 degree crankshaft and two flywheels.

I have two Nichols & Shepard Oil Gas Tractors, most pleasing exhausts of any two cylinder tractor I have ever heard. I am much interested in these tractors and would welcome hearing from any owner or former owner of one either direct or through the pages of the ALBUM.

I also have a 20-75 Nichols & Shepard double-rear-mounted steam engine.

GLEN W. THOMAS, Route 4, Ottawa, Illinois


As some of you may know, I had the misfortune of contracting a heart condition a little over 4 years ago. It was bad enough that I just couldn't carry on my work anymore. My work was, at the time, instructing new buyers, as service-man and trouble-shooter, for a big agricultural-irrigation-equipment sales and service Co., handling the Peerless deep-well turbine pumps, mostly sold with gear-head angle-drives, powered by gas, gasoline, diesel, and butane engines up to 250 hp, direct-connected thru 'U' joints, never flat-belts; but, some small sizes used 'V' belt drives. A few were sold with electric motors directly connected; but, with these the speed wasn't readily variable, as is usually so desirable in sprinkle irrigation. This speed variation is so easily obtained by using the multi-cylinder internal combustion engines. I never had any contact with a single-cylinder, or double-cylinder engine being used for heavy irrigation, recently, in and around the San Antonio area; but, I did have years ago in the south tip of Texas where there is so much irrigation. This company handled Continental, I. H. C., and Waukesha engines, mostly; in the 4 and 6 cylinder types. But such engines are of the high

speed, high-power-output models, which kinda got on my nerves because of the high-speed roar!! Now, I'm just doing a general Fix-It-Shop repair work and my heart condition has improved somewhat but I'm not making much money now, either. That's the reason I just couldn't attend a single antique Power Farming Show in 1960 as I would have liked to. The only such show I ever attended was the one at Wichita in August, 1959.

I still enjoy my old time farm gas engine collecting and restoring hobby very, very much! And, I sure do enjoy my version of the 'Krueger Fan'; it is fine in applying an effective load to all engines, steam and gas, up to 8-10 hp. I now have 15 old-model gas engines. They are:

International 3 hp. 'M' kero., No. B46323; Stover 6 hp, kero., No. PX 145214; Krueger-Atlas 5 hp. gaso. No.30616; Otto 5 hp. gaso. No. 12856; International 6 hp. gaso. No. JA844E (1907); Hercules 5 hp. kero. No. EK 280957; Associated 'Chore-Boy' 1 hp. gaso. No.32885; Stover 1 hp. gaso. No. K94843; Lauson 'Frost King' 3 hp. gaso. No.7525; Samsco 5 hp. kero. No. DB4918; Atlas 5 hp. gaso. No. 31699; Cushman, model 'C' 4 hp. gaso. No. 14425; Fairbanks-Morse 'Z' 6 hp. kero. No. 248985; Cushman model 44, 8 hp gaso.No.4607; Fuller & Johnson 'N' 2 hp. gaso. No. 13016.

I don't find many more engines outside of the junk yards here. We have 3 yards where one might expect to find a badly broken-up engine once in a while but even the broken-up ones are rarely found any more. I at least try to get their name plates. I got most of my engines from farmers in this vicinity. I frequent the junk yards quite regularly because, in this way I do often pick up parts of gas engines such as carburetors, governor parts - perhaps an igniter, but rarely; sometimes a pulley or conn-rod splash-guard; muffler; etc. I usually pay 4?? lb. for the stuff but never do find an engine in good condition at the yards. The only engine I bought from a yard is my 3 hp Lauson with 16' clutch-pulley, otherwise it's just a few parts now and then. I have not yet found a fellow who is interested in our hobby locally. Did write to one in Raymondville, Texas, but haven't heard from him to date. There are two men in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, south tip of Texas, each of whom has a Case steam traction engine restored but I've never been down there to see the men or their engines - it's heck to be poor!!

If you have any questions or would like to write me about your part in this hobby, feel free to write any time. I'd sure enjoy hearing from you yes I would!!!

T. H. KRUEGER, 1615 San Francisco St., San Antonio 1, Texas


Mr. A. C. Wallis of Tracy, Calif., who is a locomotive engineer on the Southern Pacific Railroad, and who has also had many years experience with traction engines in saw mills and threshing in the Midwest, located and purchased a 6-ton Austin-Western steam road roller, minus the wheels, stack and the control levers were broken off, in a junk yard in Stockton. The engine and machinery was in good condition, and he also ran across a later model of the same make roller, but powered by a gas engine. Its wheels and roller fit perfectly on the steam powered job, so he purchased both and had them moved over to Loren M. Wade's place near Tracy, and he proceeded to restore it. The job is now complete, and the enclosed pictures tell their own story. New levers were made, a new set of grates and ash pan were made and installed, converting it from an oil burner to wood or coal fuel. It runs fine and is certainly a snappy sounding engine! The engine and boiler were built by Farquhar, with a butt-strap boiler carrying 150 psi and double, simple 6x8 cylinders.

In August, I went up to Oregon, to assist and take part in Harvey Mikkelson's annual Steam Festival and threshing bee. Went up on the train and Clarence D. Kruse met me in Portland and took me to Harvey's and back. Clarence has 6 engines of his own, a threshing machine and has had many years of steam experience. On Saturday, August 19th, Clarence and Harvey headed for town with the 12-36 Case pulling the 22x 36 McCormick-Deering separator, following the 16 Russell towing the 22x36 Red River Special machine, and Carl Kirsch, of St. Paul, Oregon hauled water with his little 6 hp Russell engine. Bringing up the rear was a man with a fine team of horses who pulled the old 30 hp Case portable engine. In the afternoon, Wm. Hermans coupled up and pulled the the Red River Special machine out to a couple stacks of wheat and belted up the Russell and threshed one stack of wheat - - the weather was hot and a nice breeze was blowing. All of the engines were lined up and out of their sheds and ready to go. Sunday morning it dawned grey and it had rained during the night in Portland. Out at Harvey's it was cloudy but Harvey said it would be raining before noon. It did, and he didn't put on threshing that day. But around noon, it cleared up, a breeze came up and after lunch, the parade was held and threshing commenced. Harvey and Rod Pitts coupled up the 12-36 Russell engine to the 22x 36 McCormick-Deering separator, pulled out and set the machine and belted up to start the threshing. The 12-36 Case was belted up to the Red River Special machine at another stack and threshing commenced in earnest. Clarence D. Kruse and I mounted the 22 Advance engine and belted up to the big fan, and it made the Advance really work! I fired for Clarence; he also did some threshing later with the Red River Special machine. Rod Pitts and his twin brother, Richard, were on their regular engine, the 20-70 Nichols and Shepard and having a great time; Norris Young was operating the 16 hp Russell tandem compound and took his turn on the fan. One of the star attractions of the show was the newly restored 15 hp Westinghouse engine, owned by Willis Smith, of Springfield, Ore. This engine was built in 1885, and is all complete and original, even to a portion of the original leather belt.

He told me he only had to clean and paint the engine, put some new boiler jacket material on, and rebuilt part of the drive' belt, as when he found the engine, it was located in a sawmill that had fallen in, and the belt had been partially exposed to the weather. It has only one speed, instead of the 2-speed change over on the smaller Westinghouse engine. Who said the V-drive belt is new? He belted it up to a fan and it ran right along.

About this time, Carl Kirsch brought out and set up his beautiful and completely restored 21 inch Sterling hand feed machine with slat straw carrier and belted up his 6 hp Russell to it. A load of bundles were threshed and it worked to perfection. I believe it threshed the nicest and longest straw of anything in operation that day. About 3 o'clock another rousing rain came up and brought things to a halt. But, after about an hour, the sun came out, another nice southwest breeze sprang up and the hum of the threshing machine was again heard. I helped pitch a load of bundles, as some of the grain was stacked, some in the shock, and by 5 o'clock, all the grain was threshed, belts thrown and rolled up and everything headed for the big machine shed. By 6:00 o'clock, everything was put away, and we just sat around and visited. Harvey always has something new at his show each year, as well as continued activity of some kind. The crowd was estimated at about 6,000, which was good for the weather. The 7th annual threshing bee was a success. Harvey had shopped his 16 hp Advance engine last winter, and has obtained an old Fordson tractor, also a regular Farmall, 1932 model which has been completely repainted and restored to original appearance and running order. Likewise the old Fordson is in for similar reconditioning. A 7 hp John Deere single cylinder engine has been restored and added to the growing collection. Ernie Burnett, President of the W. S. F. A., was on hand, running the 50 Case, Jeff Richardson was around for awhile, and Roy Heinrich was around, lending a hand wherever necessary. Leon Gifford tended separator, as he usually does. The evening before, a Steam Fiends dinner was held in the restaurant in Silverton with about 75 Fiends in attendance. Business was transacted and slides shown, some of the Pio-een-era reunion in Saskatoon, Canada, at which Jeff Richardson, Harvey Lively and Walter Mehmke, I believe, all took part in last July, running engines. I also showed some slides of Harvey's 1959 threshing and Glenn O. Nice's last threshing. Everyone had a nice time and I believe the annual business meeting will be held in Oregon again this year.

The week previous to Harvey's show, Rod Pitts held a local threshing with just the local steam Fiends participating, using his 16 hp Advance and 32x54 Case separator to thresh with and his 12 hp Russell to haul bundles. Carl Kirsch also did some threshing with his Sterling and Russell engine, for a shake-down I guess. We also got a steam threshing organized and under way here in California too. Loren M. Wade has asked me to be on the lookout for a machine for him, and I located a good 28x46 Case rice thresher close to here. After getting him and the owner together, the machine was purchased and hauled over to Loren's place near Tracy, and after doing some work on the machine, including changing the grain elevator and putting on another, we belted up the 50 Case engine and turned over the machine for awhile to limber it up. On Sunday, October 16th, we threshed with baled oat hay as the grain, which worked well. But, the heavy wind blew off the drive belt, and we decided to finish threshing the grain some other time. However A. C. Wallis was on hand with his steam roller, Glenn Weagant had his little portable steam electric generating plant on hand and both were steamed up and with the Tinkham boys and a friend of theirs from Reno along, there was quite a lot of activity and fun had by all. Loren also had his little 4 hp upright engine hooked up to Glenn's boiler and it ran along, with 2 other little model engines. Glenn's plant consists of an 110 volt AC generator, 2 hp upright automatic steam engine and small upright boiler, mounted on a w-wheel trailer and burns coal. The trailer is wired up with lights for night operation and furnishing a heavy load for the engine too. Glenn is now building a little steam car, using a Loco mobile for steam power. More on this after he gets it finished. The Tinkham boys and Dr. Rushmore, of Reno, Nevada, held a steam threshing demonstration last September in connection with the Washoe County Fair, using 240 hp Case engines and a 28x46 Case separator; also hauled the kids around in a couple of hayracks. Glenn furnished power for the PA system too.

JACK K. WILLIAMS, 1121 Hilltop Lane, Modesto, Calif.


I started out at 17 years of age on a 12 hp Frick, threshing with my Uncle at 40?? a day. I only weighed 105 lbs. so I could not handle it, only on good roads. That winter, I fired a 15 hp. Frick in a sawmill for 50?? a day and my board. I kept on going and at 20 years I ran a new 13 hp Reeves. Boy! Was she a dandy! I kept her shining like a gold piece.

At the age of 21, I bought an old Gaar-Scott. My brother and I sawed wood and ran a sawmill with it. Then we got a 12 hp Advance with a 32x 52 Advance sep. Hand Fed and then we traded it for a 13 hp Reeves and a Colean Sep. 32x52. The engine was too small and so we traded it for a Buffalo-Pitts Double Cyl. 18 hp which was a very good engine. We sawed a lot of lumber with this engine and then I sold out and went to Bushnell, Illinois, and went to work for the John M. Brant Co.

They were a jobbing house that sold Gaar-Scott, Wood Bros., Minneapolis, Rumely and then later the Advance Rumely and Oil Pull. They handled a full line of oils and supplies. I worked in the shop as a mechanic. We took down and rebuilt all kinds of engines. I stayed with them until 1926, I saw the old steamers were going out, so I quit and came to California where I grew lemons for 25 years.

But to get back to some of the fun I had trouble shooting - you see I was on the road most of the threshing season. One time, I started a man out of the shop in the winter time as we wanted to get the rig out of the shop. It was a 20 hp Single Rumely, also a separator, Well, he got out several miles the first day as you know it was down around zero. Well, he called in the next morning and said the engine wouldn't run and so they sent me out. I took a helper with me. You would open the throttle and she would turn over a few revs, then quit. Reverse and same thing. I checked governor, throttle, all OK - as you know they have a long heater on the side of the boiler and I put my hand on it, and it was as cold as ice as the side of the engine was on the windy side, so I told my buddy to give me a steam hose and I held it along the heater for a five minutes and then I told him to open the throttle and you should have seen the ice and water shoot out of the stack. It was funny! The engine would turn over and then bounce back on compression.

Another time they sent me to see what was wrong with a 20 hp Advance Rumely. He said the Illinois River could not keep it full of water. The first thing I did was to check the valve setting. Well, it was off some, not too bad - a good warm job, steam 175, a hot day, threshing crew waiting on you. Well, I got it set and started up. no better, a clean bark on one end, blow on the other. I could not figure it out, if valve bad blow both exhausts, it sounded so queer - bark blow. I stood and looked at it and then I said, 'Shut her down'. He said, 'What are you trying to do now?' I said, 'Fix your engine'. You see, the Advance has a three way cylinder cock and he had piped the live steam from the steam chest into the cyl. cock pipe and that was where I got the blow when I got it coupled back where it belonged. We started up and you should have heard that engine bark. Then he said it was funny a company would put out an engine that way. Well, I said, 'You are a liar, I have seen lots of Advance engines and never one piped like that'. Then he admitted he did it to drain the steam chest.

I surely got a thrill being back at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, last September 1960 and seeing the old steamers once again and to get hold of one once more.

LEROY PILLING, 611 D. Avenue, National City, Calif.


I live in East part of Tennesee. It's not a big threshing place. Steam was used to thresh and sawmill. The country is pretty hilly. It was sure some show to see the big steamers pulling steep grades and threshing. Most of the machines were small, about 22x36. I have a 16 hp Prick steamer now. I use it for parade work. I go to Kingsport, Tenn. every 4th of July Parade and parade also in Greenville, Tenn.

We don't have any Thresherman's Reunions in this State that I know of. I sure would like to see one started. I know of a few steamers and could put on a small show to start. I believe I could get about 6 engines together.

I was at Brookville, Ohio to steam show in 1959. It sure was fine. I intend to see more. Let's all try to keep up this good work.

CLAY PHILLIPS, Fall Branch, Tenn.


When I was living on a small farm near Martinsburg, Iowa about 1907, I was about 11 years of age and I was really a steam engineer and a thresher fan. I have been, since 1906 getting my collection of steam engines and thresher, clover huller books collected.

Now, I had been writing to all the companies that made steam engines, threshers, corn shellers, clover hullers, etc. as fast as I could get their addresses, so among several different companies, I wrote to the Aultman-Taylor Machinery Co., at Mansfield, Ohio for their catalog for 1907.

In due time it arrived and later on I also got a letter from their branch office at Des Moines, Iowa that there would shortly be a Mr. Kelly from that office call upon me on a certain date to sell me a machine, etc. I got sorta scared and never told my Dad, but I told my Mother about it and soon after, in the next 2 or 3 days, this man arrived hiring a livery rig as the auto was scarce in those days and my Dad was gone and I hid in the bedroom.

Later Mother got me out to talk to this Mr. Kelly. He was a big fat guy and when I came in the yard to meet him, he just laughed and told me he would send me a catalog each year and that as soon as I was big and old enough, he expected me to buy an Aultman-Taylor rig from them. Well, he went off and went over about 2 miles from where we lived and sold a thresherman a return flue Aultman-Taylor engine - so the trip paid off for them after all. Some fun.

J. R. GORHAM, La Plata, Missouri