SOOT IN THE FLUES

Soot In The Flues

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Hi! And don't forget to change your 1975 to 1976 before too long. I've been writing the 1976 for quite awhile so therefore I'm ahead of you on that. Hope you all are enjoying a Happy Holiday Season and looking forward to the new year with joy in your hearts and love to your fellowman.

November 1st - a great day for the hunters as they took to the woods in proper attire and armed with determination and equipment to capture their prey there also were other kinds of hunters who came in campers, autos, by foot - you name it, properly attired to keep warm and armed with cash in pursuit of the object to capture, whether it be pictures, books, sewing machines, old pans, threshers and engines models, and hundreds of other items - at the Korn Krib Auction Sale at Earlene Ritz-mans.

Mother Nature favored us with much better weather than we had on September 27, the original date of sale (we had a flood) thus it was held November 1st. Personally, I was a bit disappointed in the fact the crowd did not number over approximately 300 throughout the day. We had all anticipated many more antique hunters.

I had a chance to meet a few of the wonderful folks from the Magazine Families (I.M.A. and G.E.M.) Mr. and Mrs. Ed Roberts and son of Columbia Station, Ohio, sat in the row behind me and we exchanged conversation throughout the day - they made several trips to the car with precious items they purchased.

In the row beside me were members of the John Kauffman family of Mount Joy, Pennsylvania - now I did not know John, but I wish I would have - he must have been a man of great accomplishments - I'm sure he was, for not only did he have 14 children, but there were so numerous items at the sale that he had, built by hand, as threshers, engines, etc. and so many hand painted pictures - very detailed and very beautifully done that were offered for sale and they all brought a fine price. It was quite touching to see such a representation of one family there to buy what they could of the handiwork their father (or grandfather) had fashioned. They spent over $2000 to get some of the items back and the smiles and tears made evident - to them they were worth every penny!

John Kauffman had also painted many signs and he had done two for Elmer Ritzman with the name 'Iron-Men Album Magazine' on them and a farm or threshing scene below the heading. One of these signs went to Roy Lehman of Mount Joy, Pa. who brought the auctioneer's gavel to rest at $340. I questioned Mr. Lehman later and he said - 'Well, I didn't want to go quite that high, but you see I had to have it - he was my friend and I knew him personally!'

The other sign I purchased for Gerald Lestz (our editor) under his authority as he could not be at the sale - this sign was made for Elmer when the Iron-Men Album Magazine's address was Port Royal, Pa. and Elmer carried this sign on many trips to the Reunions. He used it when he set up at the Shows to advertise his magazine. It brought $210.00 That's yours truly with the sign.

The engines were sold late in the afternoon - a Lansing - as far as we know the only one of its kind in the world and a Birdsall - both engines went to the same man - Paul Russell, Route 1, of Morrisville, North Carolina so I suppose there is another Happy Steam Man or about to be, because I believe up until this time, Paul has been mainly interested in gas engines.

Met some other lovely people from Engine Land - a Harold and Grace Sapp from Ithaca, New York; William Starkey of Laytonsville, Maryland; Howard Gibble of Mt. Joy, Pa.; and Blain Strickler of Washington Boro - sorry I did not get to meet many more, but you know the auction was their first interest and you don't get too much time to visit.

The Long Brothers from Port Royal, Pennsylvania had the auction and did a terrific job -everything was so well handled and organized, and they are really friendly, jovial fellows which makes for an enjoyable day - they even had heaters along and had them going in the tent as it was quite crispy in the morning and evening.

After the engines were sold they started to sell the books - must have been about 4 o'clock and they sold books until after 9. AND they still weren't finished (I never saw so many books!) Finally they decided to sell the rest in one lot and it went to Roy Glessner of Mechanicsburg, Roy, in turn is going to classify them and sell them to interested folks.

Many of you will remember Roy as he used to do the cartoons for the Iron-Men Album Magazine, which are missed by many of us these days. Anyhow, Roy has an ad in this issue pertaining to the books, take a peek at it - maybe there will be some books you are interested in buying.

Much, much credit goes to the Star of Hope Sunday School Class who worked, and I mean WORKED so faithfully and diligently in the food tent - they were there at 6 in the morning until 9 that evening. And the sad thing was they had prepared so much food. as I told you we expected a larger crowd, so while they did realize some profit, the class is still selling items that were not used - in other words this time we had a flood-of disappointment, but we shall Praise The Lord Anyhow - for 'All things work together for good to those that believe in God and are called according to his purpose' Romans 8:28. One thing good already - it was fine fellowship and no one failed in their duties to which they were assigned - but don't mention chicken corn soup to anyone - without protecting yourself! (We have so much left we will have to have a soup sale later on in the winter.)

All in all, with all things considered, I believe it would be stated as a good auction and I'm sure Earlene feels she did the right thing by trying to get these items of earlier history into the hands of folks who will preserve them the same as Elmer had done. Undoubtedly, there had to be some mixed emotions throughout the day as the items of Elmer's hobby were distributed to many people from different States. We trust they will be endeared to them as they were to Elmer. And so, with that, I guess we can say 'Korn Krib Klosed'.

H. L. STACKHOUSE, 236 Sunset Drive, Encinitas, California 92024 is a newcomer to the IMA Family and is interested in Case tractors and is working on a 2' scale model. (Welcome Howard, we hope you like our group).

ELMER W. STANDLEY, Box 17, Hunter, Kansas 67452 has this to say: 'I'm sending for another year of your wonderful magazine. I have read it from cover to back and enjoy it more than any paper or magazine I am taking. On page 14 of Nov.-Dec. 1975 issue there is a photograph of a Case threshing machine in operation, Engine 6 HP 18 brake Hp, $500.00, Separator 18 x 36 in. steel, hand feed, folding stacker, $300.00. And you ask if anyone could tell you the year it was built. Well, I have an advertisement post card I received in August of 1910 with the identical picture on it so that must be very close to when they were selling at that price. Good Luck and Best Wishes to All.' (Thanks Elmer for the nice comments and for the information).

D. C. GALLBRONNER, Box 1814, Charlotte, North Carolina 28232 comments:

In the Nov.-Dec. issue of IMA I am impressed by the cover picture of the Two Stack Minneapolis Steam Traction Engine and I also notice the reply of Mr. Harry Fischback of Kettlersville, Ohio to the question of Mr. Laurence Bohlmeyer in the July-Aug. edition in regard to the two stack engine of which very few were built.

The reason for the two stacks is that they were used on Double Cylinder Engines with each Engine having a separate exhaust stack. There must not have been much of an advantage in this exhaust system because many other manufacturers built double cylinder engines and used only one stack. I saw two Frick's Double Cylinder jobs with single stacks operating at different shows this past summer.

Your two Magazines IMA and GEM bring back a lot of memories to one, who when younger worked on the old steam threshing and sawmill outfits and for around fifty years has been active and hopes to continue so in the power machinery business.

SORRY! Yes we are very sorry that the beautiful picture on the cover of the Nov.-Dec. 1975 IMA had the wrong caption inside. It should have read: 'The name of the steam engine on the cover of the Nov.-Dec. 1975 issue is a two smoke stack engine built by the Minneapolis Threshing Co. in 1904. They were built in five different horsepower sizes. Courtesy of Harry Fischback, Kettlersville, Ohio 45336.' (Someone, some how put the same caption in as was in Sept.-Oct. issue for the cover picture). We are appalled at errors such as this - again please forgive!

JULIAN G. BAYLEY, Agri-press Canada Ltd. Box 39, Hensall, Ontario, Canada NOM 1XO sends an explanatory letter about the trip that was advertised in the May-June & July-August issues -

Unfortunately, we had to cancel the steam tour through lack of support. While I am naturally very disappointed about this, I think the reasons can be mainly put down to the state of the U.S. economy at the present time. We had a lot of response to our advertisements and to the various mail shots we did and we spoke to all those who gave us their telephone numbers. In the end, we had 18 definite bookings for the trip, which was just not sufficient to make it economical and give us the advantage of bulk discounts. The interesting thing was that the price wasn't criticized and I am sure if the economy was back on a normal plateau we would have been successful.

We intend to offer the tour again in 1976 and hopefully we will be much more successful. We had gone to a lot of trouble to make sure the program we had arranged was as full - 'as possible' and I can assure you we will do this again next year.

One area which did cause a problem was that we came across two small groups who had sent our reservation forms back to the secretary of their local association and they were not forwarded to us. I won't go as far as saying that that made the difference between going and not going but we do know of another dozen people who would have joined us.

I am wondering whether or not I could make an apology through the columns of your paper to all those who took the trouble to write in and also make the point that we will be 'trying again' in 1976. Also I would like to thank you for your help when the idea of this tour was developed.

(We are sorry too the trip did not finalize as planned and certainly wish you much better luck in the future, Julian. Thank you for sharing your letter with us - I'm sure many folks that could not go were interested in knowing the results).

GENE A. DRUMMOND, Route 1, Orient, Ohio 43146 says: 'I want to thank you for printing my article on the 30 HP Avery my brothers and I own. I have gotten much favorable comment on the article in the 1975 Nov.-Dec. issue page 37. To answer the question most often asked: NO - the engine is not for sale. In fact, since the Album picture was taken, the Avery has been completely dismantled, sand blasted, painted and is now being restored back to original as when it left the Avery factory at Peoria, Illinois in 1910.'

JAMES E. ANKNEY, 1047 Holgate Avenue, Definance, Ohio 43512 has an old Emerson Brantingham tractor that has two wheelingham tractor that has two wheels in front and one large wheel on the rear, no. 20806, 12 draw horsepower. He is wondering if any of the Iron-Men Album readers know any more about this tractor.

LOWELL NEITZEL, Route 2, Box 286, Mora, Minnesota 55051 wrote to tell us he has a 6 cylinder Wisconsin water cooled 95 HP straight tank. According to the manufacturer that built this engine, it is one of three known left in the world (comments, anybody?)

STEVEN R. BENHAM, Dept. of Geology, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia 23185 asks: 'I would like to know if you, or any of your friends know of any good books, either in print or not, on the construction techniques and principles used in the building of traction engines which were built in the early 1900s, including Keck-Gonnerman, Case, Aultman-Taylor, etc. I am also interested in making a steam engine model and would like help on information on where to write for plans and etc. for building a model.'

A communication comes from A. R. LAVATURE, 602 W. 12th Street, Trenton, Missouri 64683 -'Having used there old machines in daily routine on the farm in Vermont for many years prior to World War II, I have a strong feeling for them. In my travels and discussion with owners and users of them, I find it rather sad that they are now falling into the hands of speculators, buyers, dealers whose sole aim is profit from their exchange. For those of us who enjoy their function, when belted up to an equally old mill, saw, pump or other tool, their acquisition is now becoming expensive or prohibitive.

Perhaps, however, some of these fine old engines that were relegated to the hedge row, ditch or dump will find their place in someone's care, who will take the time to make them once more into an operating machine. A pox on those who hoard them for profit! (Did I hear a lot of Amen's just now?)

Last month I had a nice visit with Mr. and Mrs. Howard Latham of Denton, North Carolina. They stopped in for a chat as they were on vacation and traveling up this way. They were telling me about their show which is held at the Denton International Airport -this year was the Fifth Fly-In and Thresher's Reunion.

This is interesting for the Shows are doing quite well and they have no organization, no members, no fees - some folks just decided to get together five years ago because they saw a need for a rescue truck and building. So under the leadership of Brown Loflin, Route 3, Box 240-B, Denton, North Carolina 27239 and Howard Latham, they started by just having a community day and since Brown and Loflin own an airplane and both are pilots, they gave plane rides - at a fee of course, and the first show realized $400.00. They have since built the building and have the rescue truck. They are now working on a building for the South Davidson Volunteer Fire Department. This year they realized $1800 - I think they said that was just from the food they sold as they do not charge or have money making activities. But they really have the interest of the community and they all get out and work together - isn't that wonderful to hear good stories like that insert of all the sad things the newspapers report.

Now, when they have their shows they have combining, sowing, threshing, and old time machinery, corn meal grinding, gas engines, moonshine still, antiques on display and other items. The show is held for two days and they have entertainment each night. -Country music on Saturday and Gospel Sing on Sunday night. Sounds real homey!

They also boast the original gold ore 'stamping' machine from the Coggins Mine at Eldorado.

They are growing and I'm sure we will be hearing more from the group and we say 'Hats off to a fine bunch of concerned citizens. Good luck!'

And that about winds up this column as we look forward to a New Year together - my advice to anyone for the future - PRAY! -PRAY! - PRAY! - What this country needs are more people who pray more, and more people who prey less. - Prayer doesn't change God, but changes him who prays. - And this I found and thought it worthy - 'I sought my soul, but my soul I could not see. - I sought my God, but my God eluded me. - I sought my brother, and I found all three.'

Bye Bye and God Bless each one of you