LETTERS

Harvesting

HARVESTING FLAX IN FIVE INCHES OF SNOW, 15 DEG. BELOW ZERO - PHOTO IN WARD CO., N. D., JAN. 10,1913.

C. A. Conklin

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In the last issue of Iron-Men Album I noticed Mr. Howard Comp peeking out of his 1916 Advance Rumely bomb shelter. By the looks of the picture I would say it is a 12 or 15 HP. Now Howard, did you back into it or did you turn around inside? I have tried both ways but find it quite inconvenient which ever way I do it, say nothing about doing the work after you are located inside. Now as to safety measures, you are on the right track. The man behind the gun must know his onions if he don't want to go to the moon. I also noticed on the opposite page Mr. Elmer Allshouse's article about building his own boiler and asking the Department of Labor and Industry for specifications on boilers. To date you have not received them and I bet you never will. I think I know why you did not get an answer for your request. But at present I would rather not say. I have also built many boilers in the past but could never get a rating on them. My father was a boiler maker for many years and he taught me the trade, and believe me, without this experience I would never attempt to build one.

Now will someone tell me why the different states will not license a boiler that is made outside of a boiler factory? If a man has the know-how and has a good certified welder to weld the boiler and it is made of open-hearth steel, having tensile strength of at least 55,000 lbs. per square inch and the stay bolts are properly spaced and it will stand the required hydrostatic test, why do they refrain from giving a license. I feel that a boiler like this is much safer than some old kettle that's over 60 years old and is still used at some of our steam shows.

I am a director of the Zumbro Valley Steam Shows, therefore my interest in model boilers. I hope that in the near future a national meeting be held of all steam show fans. It could be held at some place convenient to all. Each unit to send one or two delegates to this meeting and elect officers for a term of two or four years. I bet there would be more threshed out at this meeting than there is grain threshed out in all of our steam shows put together. Well, the steam is going down and so am I. I hope all the steam shows in 1962 have a very prosperous year.

Eisner Machacek 714 Union St. North field, Minnesota

THE GAZETTE

To The Gazette. The accompanying photograph affords an idea of how 200 acres of flax were harvested during December and January with a blanket of five inches of snow on the ground, and the mercury from 15 to 30 degrees below zero.

The late and wet harvest season made it impossible to cut the grain at the proper time. After we thought the crop was lost we secured binder engines and mounted them on the rear of the binder to drive the mechanism independently of the bull wheel. The bull wheel and binder were then mounted on ordinary bob-sled runners. The horses merely had to pull the binder through the snow while the binder engine, by means of a chain drive to the pitman shaft, cut the flax. In this manner we were able to save over $3,000 worth of flax which would otherwise have been a total loss.

We covered the lubricator and carburetor of the motors with cloths to protect them from the cold winds. We heated the water each morning before starting and ran all day. The weather was very unfavorable, some days blowing so hard we could not work at all. The days we were a field the temperature varied from zero to 25 degrees below. We cut one day when it was 30 degrees below zero. We finished on Jan. 24.

At the start we tried cutting without the binder engines and could not do it. We therefore know that we could not have saved the crop without the use of the engines. We figured that left until spring it would all be lost, as it would all fall down by that time.

C. A. Conklin Ward Co., N. D.

LETTER

Many of you will be saddened to learn of the passing of John Jenkins. He will be remembered as the white-haired old gentleman with the moustache, seen at the reunions, who always had steam up long before most engineers even had a fire. John was born in Genesee, Illinois, Oct. 21, 1882 and passed away June 5, 1962 after a lingering illness. Left to mourn his passing are three sons and one daughter. His wife preceded him in death in 1950. Mr. Jenkins was an active member of the Church of Christ.

My being a close friend and neighbor, I will try to write a little of his life. When John was still a small boy he moved with his parents to Iowa. Several years later they moved to Missouri where John first became interested in Steam. As a result of this interest he was promoted from off-bearer to engineer on a saw-milling job at the early age of 16. Some time later the Jenkins family moved back to Iowa where John hired out to work around all kinds of harvest machines as well as garage mechanic and farm hand. Finally the day came when he was asked to go along to Canada with a fellow to run his big Under mounted Avery breaking prairie sod. This proved to be quite an event in John's life. When this job was over he returned to Iowa and became owner of his own steam outfit, a 16 H. P. return flue Huber. In all he owned eight or ten steam rigs; his favorite being a 30 Russell Compound, a large engine for this part of the country. A picture of this engine appeared in the May-June 1962 Album. For around forty years he served this community in all types of work, from threshing and shelling corn to playing his guitar at dances. It will have to be said that there was never a more eager hand when asked to mount the footboard of a steam engine nor anyone more proud to be there.

John Jenkins and Quentin Shultz are sitting on the engine and Bill Shultz is sitting on the back step.

These past twelve years since the loss of his wife have been devoted entirely to a timely hobby. With his farm shop to work in and the steam gatherings to attend, the loneliness of his loss has been softened. Countless evenings, I have driven the three odd miles to sit and listen to old experiences in a jargon only an old thresherman could possess. He was the last in the Groswold community of a rugged breed of men, who, these days could spread himself over three threshing rigs, shell corn on the side and more often than not work far into the night moving on the road or making repairs in order to insure an early start the next day.

Next to his family he loved the old Steam Engines which had served him so well in his life's work of threshing, shelling, shredding, silo filling, grading, sawing, plowing. He did them all. A lifetime spent doing everyday what we chase all over the country to see now. This writer wishes he had been born fifty years sooner.

So with John's passing a door was closed on an era. He was the last of the genuine old-timers who coaxed his engines over rotten bridges and down weed choked roads of the Groswold countryside.

Quentin W. Shultz Rt. 2, Groswold, Iowa

LETTER

As a 77 year old who has spent a good share of his life running a steam locomotive, I want to tell you how much I enjoy your Album. I grew up on a farm so it has brought back a lot of nice memories when the neighbors really 'neighbored' and we thought steam was really wonderfulwhich I still do. Your magazine proves that folks today are still neighborly if just given a chance. After a long time of reading train orders, book of rules and formal worded bulletins, those down to earth letters that you print give me more faith and trust in my fellow man.

My best wishes to you and all yours.

Steve Cook 824 Berry Street    Toledo 5, Ohio

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