Content Tools


My grandfather owns a 28hp. Minneapolis steam engine and although I am only 11-years-old I operate it and help repair it. Last summer we took it out to a farmers place and threshed with it for a couple days and had lots of fun. People came from 75 miles around to see us. My grandfather lives in Harris, Iowa, and last fall we took the engine to the County Fair and ran into a little trouble. Seems as how we hired a lowboy to carry it over and the planks he had for loading and unloading were not good, but we had our necks bowed and tried to get it on anyhow, which we shouldn't have done. Grandfather got it half way up and the planks broke. The engine fell off the side of the truck. When the dust cleared two wheels were on the truck and two were on the ground so we got a man with some jacks and finally got it loaded. My grandfather is Bill Albert.

PENN BLAIR, Topeka, Kansas


Written by John Kelly, 535 SE 14th Street  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

I am sitting here and dreaming Of the days of long ago how we loved those grand old  steamers as we drove them to and from.

How we had to watch the water and the lubricator too and we had to blow the whistle to call the threshing crew.

We would watch the feeder rolling listen to the engine bark and we worked from early morning often times till after dark.

There were times when we were happy, there were times when we were blue when we hit a rotten culvert and the drivers fell right through.

We would work and sweat and tussle lift and tug with might and main till we got the good old Russell rolling down the road again.

The good old days are gone forever and it makes me very sad when I think of those old steamers and the pleasure that we had.


Sure I want the ALBUM and I would contract for it to come as long as I live and I would agree to give you a mortgage on my farm to secure the contract. Rev. Ritzman! you have done a lot for us old threshermen. I hope you were as successful with some of the young threshermen when you were younger. Some of them needed guiding that you would have been able to give them. I know that some ministers were good threshermen.

One of my engineers was a minister. He worked with the threshing machine to earn the money to go to college to study for the ministry and worked one season after he had a church. We had many discussions on theology and psychology and also the part the preacher should take in the community. This boy was a hustler. One Saturday he left the machine about supper time to go to the town where he preached-about 35 miles away. He sold a new car that night, preached, and married a couple on Sunday, and was back on the job on Monday and had the engine ready on time.

ALBERT WIERINGA, Middleville, Michigan

P. S. When I renewed last year I sent in a letter that I haven't seen anything of. I thought I had a very good job. What was wrong with it?


. . . . . . In 1919 I steered a big Gaar Scott steam engine over 1,000 acres of plowing. We pulled 14 plows. Even though I was only 17 years old I could have run that engine myself. In the fall of 1920 I fired straw to a cross compound double Reeves that was also a fine engine. I also have run those old 30x60 Rumleys. There are a few old steamers left out here but not very many. When I see one it brings back pleasant old memories. I am hoping to be able to get to the reunion at Mt. Pleasant this fall.

EARL KRINKE, Haley, North Dakota


Enclosed find renewal for one year. Articles as soon as I can get them typed, will follow. Let's hope us old timers will continue to send in our stories as long as we can. It must happen sooner or later that our ALBUM will turn into a Model Maker's or showman's magazine. Let's postpone that day as long as we can.

Enjoyed Vic Wintermantel's photo of the Oskosh Hog. There is a story about a race by one of these engines. I will be going to Oshkosh as soon as the weather warms up and satisfy the story. I have written Vic about it and will send copy shortly.

ED. L. HALLE, Fon du Lac, Wisconsin


Please accept my apologies for being such a spineless nincompoop (or sump'n worse).

I guess they will have to pat me in the face with a spade to get me to forget the sight and sound and the smell of the good old steam engines.

Enclosed please find check for $2.00 to renew my subscription to IMA as it is without a doubt the best steam engine magazine there is and I like to read a new one once in awhile. I have the ones I have pretty well memorized.

I hope you fellers up there are standing the rigors of another winter.

JONAS H. WILLIAMS, 134 N. Varsity Dr., South Bend 15, Indiana


Sorry I neglected to send in my renewal sooner and if I have missed any issues, will you please send? I spent 35 years on those old steam monsters and during this time I owned and operated one Nichols & Shephard, a 10 hp., and hand feed straw carrier low down Champion 32-52; Two 19 hp. Port Huron Long fellows with 33-54 Port Huron thresher; one 20 hp. Aultman Taylor with 30-50 Greyhound separator also a 36-5' Greyhound thresher. My boy and I sawed lumber, hulled clover seed, husked corn, graded roads, filled silos, moved buildings, pulled hedge fence and hauled gravel. I had two tractor outfits which I always hated, now it is all over and I still love the old steamer. My son Tom feels the same about them and has an 18 hp. Advance Rumley Universal all rebuilt and it is a beautiful engine.

See you at the reunion in 1956. I enjoy the ALBUM as it brings back the pleasant old memories. Goodbye from a 67-year-old friend.

BOYD WOODWARD, Jasper, Michigan


Another year has rolled around so I am sending my renewal. I have every copy carefully filed that I have received since subscribing to the ALBUM. It brings back many memories of the past as I lived 40 years in North Dakota, the bread-basket of the U. S., and one had to do lots of threshing and many times when the weather was not very nice.

I threshed 27 days one season when we only made one stop for repairs and that was less than an hour.

IRVIN DEAL, Lafayette R. D. 3, Indiana


I have just received my sixth issue of IRON-MEN and to make sure I will not miss a single issue, I am requesting my renewal immediately. I am very fond of your magazine; it also creates quite a bit of interest around my office.

Among my earliest memories is the old sawmill and Russell engine my father operated in Putnam County, Indiana around the turn of the century. Much of my early experience was concerned with shoveling sawdust.

Later, the Russell was replaced with a used Reeves, and threshing was added to the repertoire. This included a used Red River Special thrasher, later replaced with a Case all steel machine. The activities were extended to include clover hulling and corn shredding. The Reeves was replaced with a new Baker eighteen horse engine, and shortly after this I replaced my older brother on the engine. We did a lot of railroad tie sawing for the New York Central, and my father devised a means of using a set of wagons with the Baker. We would make the six mile run to the railroad, unload a half carload of ties, and return in twelve hours. Later my father sold out to my older brother, and I became interested in the electrical industry.

In my early life I heard much about the Michigan Tie Company and their operations in west central Indiana. I would like to know if anyone of your readers remembers the operations of this outfit. I understand they used principally Avery Under mounts for logging and hauling. This was not a very popular engine in that part of the country.

I will try to scrape up some old photos and send in.

R. E. DILLINGER, Manager, Public Service Co., of Indiana, Inc., 319 S. Main Street, Sheridan, Indiana