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A Happy New Year to each one of you and may God Bless You the whole year through! And here is a worthwhile poem that applies to each of us: It is appropriately called


How often we wish for another
chance to make a free beginning,
A chance to blot out our mistakes and
change failure into winning
And it does not take a new year to
make a brand new start,
It only takes the deep desire to try with
all our heart
To live a little better and to always be
And to add a little 'sunshine' to the
world in which we're living
So never give up in despair and think
that you are through,
For there's always a tomorrow and a
chance to start anew.
Helen Steiner Rice

Isn't that beautiful? Helen Steiner Rice has certainly been given a gift from God to write such inspirational poetry her writings are so heartwarming and consoling.

Well, here we are heading into another year and only God knows what the future holds for each of us May we walk boldly forth in His abundant Life, His love and Blessings in whatever we face just wish for you in '78 your year will be great. By the way, how about some of you experienced threshermen writing in some of those stories you always meant to send, but just never get around to it. And this goes for the newcomers too we welcome your thoughts and articles that's what makes our Iron-Men Family so much like a Family.

And now onto the letters from some of our members

This worthwhile missal comes from JAMES W. CHANDLER, 653 S. Jackson Street, Frankfort, Indiana 46041: 'I have been quite busy this year and at last had time to read and reread recent issues of I.M.A. Namely, the May-June 1977 issue.

There is a letter by one Frank Burris, subject connecting rods (steam engines) the qualifications of Mr. Burris cannot be questioned I would like to add these few remarks to subject already written The locomotive and the steam farm engine are two vastly different sets of rules (in this way) The farm engine is a free wheeler and the clutch wheel and pinion to drive train, does not change this fact in any way.

The Huber Mfg. Co. of Marion, Ohio, built engines virtually without change to steel 'I' section type engine No. 9926. Before this, these engines had a shorter cast steel connecting rod which caused crosshead to heat under heavy load. We had one of these engines. The Huber Co. as well as others, came to the conclusion that a connecting rod should be 'by the rule of the thumb,' about three times the length of the stroke.

The steam locomotive is an entirely different ball game. Their wheels, that drive, are captive, that is to say, they are controlled by the direct bearing to the rail. In the case of the more successful 4-8-4 wheel arrangement, namely Union Pacific 800-814, the main rod was 128' long, or ten feet, eight inches long. The stroke of these engines was 32'. In a test run in 1938, one of these engines made a sustained run of over 100 miles per hour with a tonnage train from Grand Island, Nebraska, to Omaha, Nebraska. This was ICC sanctioned run and is mentioned to show vast difference between requirements of railroad and farm steam engines.'

RAYMOND H. REITZ, R.D. 1, Addieville, Illinois 62214, is a new subscriber and writes: 'I ran across your fine steam engine magazine at my neighbor's sale and I love it. I am a great steam engine fan. We had our own threshing rig when I was a teenagera Garr-Scott engine and a Belleville separator. I am 53 years old and retired from farming.' (Welcome to the family, Ray. I hope you stay with us and keep on enjoying the magazines).

A comment comes from GARY KAPPEDAL, Route 1, Box 7, Leng by, Minnesota 56651: 'You have a nice magazine, good clean reading, good pictures, etc. My favorite reading is where different steam men write in their ideas on making things for steam engines, using more common hardware, as supplies for steam engines and boilers are somewhat high and sometimes a problem to find.'

MRS. DOROTHY KADING, Vergas, Minnesota 56587 has a plea just hope the one that knows about this responds and all will be forgiven: 'This is a letter to the person or persons who took a hard-to-come-by First Edition book of Rollag, out of a showcase at the 1977 event. The person who took it could have gotten it by putting an ad in the paper just like everyone else who wants something badly enough. The young man you took it from has put in a lot of sweat and money and many, many hours of his time at Rollag because he loved the old steam engines and thought enough of his First Edition Rollag Book to want to show it to the public. He would have been better off leaving it home. There are so many beautiful people that come to Rollag. I don't know why there has to be a few people who will steal to get what they want. So will the party that took the book PLEASE return it to DARREL DEY, Vergas, Minnesota 56587 there will be no questions asked.'

C. E. MIKEL, Route 3, Box 268, Edwardsburg, Michigan 49112, would like to know if anyone knows where the book on Steam Valve Gears of Farm Engines is printed. It was compiled by Frank L. McGuffin, 1963. Are these being printed anywhere, fellows?

W. A. (BILL) BARTEL, P.O. Box 6398, Bakersfield, California 93306, tells us: 'We'll be holding our own Steam-Up at Vista, California on newly leased property of an original Spanish Land Grant in October of 1977. Our plans for a Million Dollar Museum to house and show the best of Southern California's immediate collection are almost formulated. This beautiful spot is in rolling hills about five miles from San Diego. It was once a way station for travelers between Mexico and San Francisco and is of great historical interest regarding its past and colorful background. This is where the original writing of the book 'Ramona' was in setting. Would like to send an article from time to time to let all the folks back East know that we too are very active in the antique gas and steam engines. California is not all freeways and spectacular show places and nature sights.' (Fine, Bill, send us those articles and we wish you well with the new project).

DALLES M. FIDLER, Clarinda, Iowa 51632, writes us a nice letter: 'I am 77 years young. I have been around steam engines all my life and am still running a 19 HP Port Huron at Eshelman's Show; also teaching a young man by the name of Greg Hart to run a steam engine as I don't know how long I will be able to stay with it.

I can say one thing. I came from a steam engine family. My great-grandfather, my grandfather, my father and three brothers were all thresher and sawmill men. My grandfather on my mother's side was also a sawmill man.

I think the cover on the July-August magazine was great. I ordered and have received a copy which I will frame.

I have owned 12 different engines and have run several others. At present, I have six small ones including a Creators that runs an Edison cyl. phonograph.' (Nice to hear from you, Dalles. Sounds like you are young in many ways.)

A letter comes from ERVIN M. HORST, East Earl, Pennsylvania 17519 (Lancaster County, R.D. 2, Box 18). 'I've gotten your magazine for years and I'm enclosing a picture and would like to ask if anybody can identify this whistle. It is 24 inches long and 6 inches wide, has a brass plunger to get different music. I also have a Nightingale whistle, with a bird on it, that says The Nightingale, Pat. appld. for Number 5669.'

ED A. FREIHAMMER, 4236 N. 62nd Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53216 has some information on some activities of long ago: 'Once again I'll offer as a suggestion a demonstration at Shows how the steam engine and thresher used to manage entrance into the farmer's yard in the days of narrow (town) gravel roads. Maybe others too would like to see what once to me was the start of a day or two of great excitement, when I was too young to really work, but old enough to remember

The engine and thresher pass the driveway, engine unhitches, moves forward and hitches up to bucking pole against front end of separator. Then with a rope around the tongue of the separator and two or three men on each end of this rope, the steamer backs up to push the separator while the (rope) men steer the separator into the driveway. Inside the yard where there is space to turn around, the engine turns, then is rehitched to bucking pole to push thresher into the barn engine forward. The men still hold the rope, steering Beware, broken toes and legs!' (That's really using Manpower things are so mechanized today we don't even stop to think of this type of moving, do we?? Thanks Ed!)

We wish the Douglas County Historical Steam and Gas Show Inc. a great time this year when they hold their first official show on July 21,22, and 23 located off I-57 on Route 133, two miles West of Arcola, Illinois. They will feature steam & gas plowing, threshing, sawmilling, etc. and other attractions such as quality antique and arts and crafts sale by invitation only. Other doings I'm sure you'll be hearing more about it. One to contact for information is Fred Nolan, R.R. #2, Arcola, Illinois 61910.

RICHARD D. FARQUHAR, P.O. Box 744, Wilmington, Ohio 45177, would like any information about the Farquhar Engine Company. Can you help him out, Buddies?

LLOYD M. CAMPBELL, 6281 McCommas Boulevard, Dallas, Texas 75214, comes up with this bit: 'Here is a title for the first colored front page (July-August 1977 of I.M.A.) This could be my Dad in Central Nebraska, about 1904, saying to me: (Stay away from that belt!') I've heard it many times.'

Had a call from one of the members of the Lake Region Pioneers Threshermen Assn., Dalton, Minnesota, and they would like to challenge other clubs to see who has the largest collection of steam engines. By next issue, they will have their list inthey believe they might have the most large steam engines.

Chatting with us through his letter, ROLLAND E. MILLER, 271 Wales Avenue, River Edge, New Jersey 07661, writes: 'I thoroughly enjoy each and every copy of I.M.A. There are so many informative and educational articles. A recent issue mentioned outdoor bake ovens. A neighbor of ours had one of those many years ago. Could anyone give me information on the construction and use of these ovens? I can remember seeing my neighbor operate his only once.

I enjoy the summer shows and hope to attend several this coming season. I was at Kinzers in 1976 and was disappointed in not seeing the Water Ram demonstration. The man who had it was ill. Hope to see it this year.

Hope you all have continued good luck with all the activities you're involved with and that you enjoy good health.' (Thanks Rolland, and Bless You, too).

R. W. RALEIGH CREEK, Batavia, Iowa, reminisces: 'Hello World! Just a few lines in regard to the old steam engine days. First Father bought a 12 HP until 1909. Well, there is where I got in on the job. I started the fall of 1907. I stayed with Father until 1914, then he lost his health and sold out. He died in 1917.

Well, I had to stay in the game, so in 1915 I ran a 12 HP Nichols Shepard pulling a Russell 28-48 separator (A Russell runs hard). That year the grain grew in the shock to where it was like threshing manure. Then in 1916, I went working for a great old man by the name of Ran Snider. He had three outfits, a 20-60, 22-65 and 25-80, two 36-48, one 40-72. I had the 20-60 and I was in charge of the whole machine.

Well, I made a name for myself, so I kept on for three years. Then by that time Father was gone and I had lost Mother, too. In 1912, and I, being the oldest boy, I went home to take care of three brothers and one sister which were all born from 1901 on up. Well, I batched and made a living firing on the Rock Island.

Then in 1918 I got married and we had one happy life together. Now in the spring of 1919, I bought a 20 HP engine and a 32-52 Advance separator, second hand rebuilt from John M. Brant of Bushnell, Illinois. I didn't like the Woods engine so I traded it back to Brant for a 20-75 Advance engine which was one good engine. Then I went back to Brant and got one Fisher and Davis sawmill.

By that time, it was road grading time. So I went back to Brant and he had just traded for a 30-60 Aultmann Taylor here close to me. I gave him $900 for it and went to pulling the grader for townships at $3.00 per hour, the same as my neighbor was getting with his new 40-72 Case.

So after being in the threshing and sawmill work for years, I took house moving on as a business. In fact we went broke in 1928, and got hold of a good house and moved it ourselves, with a lot of help from the good neighbors, and we still live in this house. Then in 1943 I threshed my last jobs. Then it was time for the counties to do all the road work, so that just left sawmilling. There is when we met a timber and lumber man and sawed for him four years and during that time I had worked up quite a bit of house moving on the side. Well, Mr. Hoenshell ran out of timber so I had a good chance to sell my mill. So then all that was left was house moving and I had quite a business.

I have worked over a big part of the Southeast corner of Iowa. When I turned 80, I had my oldest grandson working with me, so I turned it over to him and he is doing a good job of keeping the circle I had worked. In fact, he has made the circle still larger. Right now he is working 80 miles from home.

Well, looking back over the 70 years, I can't see but what everything fit into place pretty good. So all you good people out there come to Mt. Pleasant Show and I will be by the sawmill and I would like to meet you!'

And now that brings this column to an end and another of Helen Steiner Rice's verses:

Show me the way, not to fortune and fame,
Not how to win laurels and praise for my name
But show me the way to spread 'The Great story'
That 'Thine is the Kingdom and Power and Glory.'