Great Railway Character


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This picture also taken Oct. 27, 1961 at the Friends Bible College Homecoming and Sale. It is the Stillwater 10 hp No. 2723 made by Minnesota Thresher Co., Stillwater, Minn. Does anyone know of any other Stillwater engines besides this one and the one that Forrest Pense of Harvard, Nebraska has? I borrowed some parts from his engine to use as patterns to make some of mine. This engine is over 76 years old and I have a Kansas Boiler Certificate on it.

Grandfather Hoffman and his two brothers were the first to own a steam traction engine in that valley. It was a Huber separator and engine. After several years Grandfather sold his interest and bought this Peerless.

The Summer of 1918 they were threshing and had a breakdown at the straw carrier and had to stop. While the men were all in the back end of the barn floor, the front end of the boiler blew out. (The cause the stack had never been covered and the flue sheet and boiler were eaten by the acid formed by the water and soot.) One piece of casting hit the casting under the thresher cylinder and broke it in two pieces. Some of the pieces were sticking in the barn doors. No one was hurt. That was end of 'Dick', which is what Grandfather called this engine.

The men in the picture are from left to right: Samuel W. Hoffman; Abraham Enterline; Lester E. Enterline; Uriah Snyder and Peter W. Hoffman. The two later ones being my Grandfathers.

Apparently the charmin' character adornin' the face o' my post-card presentation comes from out around 'your neck 'o the woods'. Sometime ago however, she migrated to St. Louis, Missouri, and now rests proudly and peacefully at the National Museum of Transport, Barretts Station Road, (near M. P. R. R. tracks), St. Louis 22, Mo. and our gigantic emigrant - that grotesque hunk o' pure American science is one of Chesapeake & Ohio's efficient 2-8-4's; Berksline type, built by the American Loco Co. in Jan. '44. She once rambled o'er and 'round the Blue Ridge mountain slopes back in the forties. Now, she's just a monumental figure to an era when transportation meant railroads and railroads meant steam. Perhaps Blue ridge mountains are literally 'starved' to echo her stack music, the tone of her deep-throated whistle, the clangin' o' her rods, an' the chimin' o' her luxurious bell with its slightly different ting than that o' that cold hearted 'Behometh' that purrs the diesel that, so sleek and powerful, rides with poise and pride, the history-haunted rails made famous by our 'Blue Ridge' Miss, her 'Candid Colleagues' and their forefathers - this is rather fictional, yet is self-evident and perpetuates the fact of my great concern o'er the loss of so many of our familiar steam Friends. And to this paragraph, may I add - even as a 'Monument', our ole 2727 still remains in glory in the eyes of the Nostalgic Steam Admirers, despite the mighty stunnin' blow by that heffer that purrrrrs - - - that so called 'more efficient Diesel'.

A Plow Test at Purdue University, October 14, 1911 with 3 oil-pulls and a 50 bottom plow. This plow unit broke (he world's plowing record of the period by turning over a stubble field at (he rate of an acre every 75 seconds. The unit, biggest built at the time, turned over 7 acres every mile it traveled. The engines pulling the unit were operated on a kerosene distillate costing four cents a gallon. They consumed 22 gallons of fuel per hour which amounted to six and one-half cents per acre.

Locomotive Boiler made in Japan, located in Formosa. A Boiler is a boiler wherever you find it. The one shown is at a sugar refinery in Central Formosa. It was made in Japan and used on the railway as a locomotive during the time the Japanese were running things on Formosa. General MacArthur changed the deal there and among other changes was this locomotive turned into a steam generator for the factory. Photo made in May of 1958. The fire box is just about the right size to set an old hen in. They must have had good fuel.

Sending a picture of a little engine. I made it 3 or 4 years ago. It took 2 years spare time and nearly every Sunday to build it. It's built after a 1909 American Abell engine my Father used to thresh with. Specifications are bore 1, stroke 2', hind wheels 11 x 5 wide, front wheels 7' x 3', boiler diameter 5, flywheel 6'. You can see the hand pumps for pumping in the water over the hind wheel. I've water tested it to 160 gauge pressure and 75 PSI working pressure. The car behind it is a 1958 Pontiac. Was at Pionera in Saskatoon 58-59 You can nearly see the game cock in the smoke box door, as that was the American - Abell slogan, 'Cock of the North' line. Made all castings of aluminum. 9 copper flues. It steams pretty good as long as you keep the wood and water in it.

 The machine and engine were owned by a man named John Frail who is the man shown behind the engine in the picture and whom has the full beard.

I am not sure what the make of the separator or engine was but with the steering on the opposite side from the flywheel I do know it would really be something to set and run.

I have subscribed to your magazine for many years and thought that this picture would make a good one for your ALBUM.

My Gaar-Scott that I got two years ago and fixed it up with a new smoke-box and stack. I overhauled it and runs like a top. It came out in 1906 and has done a lot of work, but the boiler is as smooth and nice inside and out. I tested it to 250 lbs. cold and nothing leaked so I set the pop at 100 lbs. but it will work on 50 or 60 lbs. It has a Baker Bal. valve and it works fine had it up to Mansfield-Richland Co. Reunion the last two years. The picture is of engine and myself in the parade. I had in on the fan and it worked fine. No. 14368, 13 hp.