Soot in the flues

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Hi! Out there to all my long time friends and the many new ones we acquired down through the years did you realize, we're almost through another year??? But it's true, the slower we get, the faster the time flies by I just came upon this missal in my Tapestries of Life book I think I will try very hard to follow this in the New Year and that will keep me more than busy May I be no man's enemy, and may I be the friend of that which is eternal and abides. May I never quarrel with those nearest me; and if I do, may I never devise evil against any man; if any devise evil against me, may I escape uninjured and without the need of hurting him. May I love, seek, and attain only that which is good. May I wish for all men's happiness and envy none. May I never rejoice in the ill-fortune of one who has wronged me. When I have done or said what is wrong, may I never wait for the rebuke of others, but always rebuke myself until I make amends. . .May I win no victory that harms either me or my opponent... May I reconcile friends who are wroth with one another. May I, to the extent of my power, give all needful help to my friends and to all who are in want. May I never fail a friend in danger. When visiting those in grief may I be able by gentle and healing words to soften their pain... May I respect myself... May I always keep tame that which rages within me.. .May I accustom myself to be gentle, and never be angry with people because of circumstances. May I never discuss who is wicked and what wicked things he has done, but know good men and follow in their footsteps.

And now, let's turn to the letters that are so enjoyable STEWARD ESPLEN, RR 2, Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada asks: Did you ever hear of a Haggert steam engine? I have one and a Sawyer Massey dated 1893.' (Help him out Fellas).

Steward, you mentioned some articles and pictures you have, but no dates on them. Please do send them along and just sit down and write about them. We will really appreciate it. Maybe through that, we might discover the date from some knowledgeable steam buff.

As I stated last month I would have one of Frog Smith's columns reprinted this month as he had sent it to us. Frog's address is 99 East Mariaba Avenue, North Fort Myers, Florida 33903. His column is entitled Cracker Crumbs.

This particular time it was titled 'Higher Alcohol Tax Stirs Tea Party Interest': 'It is a good thing that pencils are cheap, plentiful and easily erased. The government has to buy them for successful politicians who make it to Congress. Just think how many they wear out trying to figure out new taxes and what they come up with isn't worth the pencil or the paper.

'Now somebody is trying to raise taxes on what some old folks take to make them rest better, cure their colds or to use orally and externally when they get snakebite.

'Oh well, it was the drinking habit that started the war that made America supposedly a free nation. But it wasn't alcohol. Every school kid knows how King George Ill raised taxes on tea until it brought on a revolution, and King George got a licking. The Boston Tea Party was not a formal affair.

'The Boston Tea Party gave America a taste of what over taxation can do, and taught the king a lesson, too. But congressmen today figure they are smarter than the country bumpkins who won the Revolutionary War. Now some are planning on raising the tax on alcoholic drinks. Well, Prohibition didn't do that, but it sure stepped up the production of liquor of the kind that has never been taxed.

'I still remember seeing a cartoon in 1908 showing Georgia's new source of irrigation when Prohibition struck that state. The picture showed a keg with an open spigot in Chattanooga and the liquor flowing south while a keg in Jacksonville was covering Dixie like the dew.

'Prohibition started working wonders right from the start. White Mule suddenly came into its own. The price of moonshine soared, shiners prospered and mobsters became more dangerous than marijuana smugglers today.

'The buying of whiskey by mail and having it shipped by express became so important that even the schoolchildren took notice. When my desk mate was asked what was Jacksonville, Florida famous for, instead of answering that it was an important naval stores shipping point, he said, That's where pa gets his liquor from.'

'Although Prohibition was a failure in keeping whiskey from the public, it was educational for another growing problem. It helped train more drivers for staying alive on the roads at high speeds than driving schools did.

'Driving fast, often without lights on mountain trails with one eye on the road and one over a shoulder is a feat to be proud of.

'I knew one driver named Whidden who used a drawbridge as a hill to get away with a load of imported Scotch. The revenue men were right behind him when he came to a drawbridge that was being raised. The revenue men had time to stop but my friend didn't. He landed right side up beyond the bridge and by the time the bridge could be lowered, he and the loaded Packard were safely hidden in a palmetto thicket where there were no tracks left to show.

'Several men have made history by quenching the public thirst during Prohibition days, one of whom I knew personally. That was the onetime famous Florida Rum King who earned his name by running imported stock from the Bahamas to the Florida East Coast. With a 12-cylinder airplane motor under the hood of what was apparently an ordinary pleasure boat, the revenue men had nothing that could stay in sight of him. No name please; but, personally, at home he was one of the best neighbors I ever had.

'At the time Prohibition was creating the new industry of bootlegging and fast driving, the revenue men were learning a few things, too. It was 60 years ago when a revenuer was watching for a black sedan loaded with whiskey to approach St. Petersburg from Clearwater. Night was coming on when the man decided the sedan was not coming, ended his vigil and headed for home.

'An aged man whom he knew flagged him and asked for a pull out of a mudhole in the then unpaved road. The law man obligingly gave him a pull. The old man tried to pay but the officer refused all pay. He climbed back into his car and headed for town, not knowing that the old rattletrap Model T Ford was the black sedan he was watching for.

'Many tales are told of the early citizens of Florida, some of which never die because they have too much truth in them to decay. Old Bone Mizell, the most colorful cowboy ever to live or die anywhere, wasn't a moon shiner but he was famous for his consumption of it. So much in fact that when he came into camp too full for sociability, the boys decided to teach him a lesson.

'After he rolled into his blanket and went to sleep, they piled dry grass and pine straw around where he slept and set it on fire. Then someone threw a pine cone at him to wake him. But all he did was to raise a corner of the blanket and peer out with, 'Oh, oh dead and in hell. Just what I expected.'

'This is history but Fort Myers of today is so modern that people find it hard to believe that Fort Myers ever gave a moonshiner a new still when revenue men caused him to lose his old one.'

A satisfied subscriber writes and tells us: 'What a thrill to stumble upon something as wonderful as old days of farming. What a job they had to put food on the tables!'

This comes from JOHN BELDEN, 806 Center, East Alton, Illinois 62024. John continues: 'I just got started on a new past time with 'steam tractor days'. My first real steam show was Pinckneyville, Illinois. The magazine is great as I receive your Iron-Men Album magazine and Engineers and Engines.

'Another thing about the old steam tractors is how they were built. I work in a small foundry. And it would be interesting to know how, back in those days in the 1800s, they cast some of the parts to make the tractors. Also the big steam trains making the big wheel. Maybe you may know someone that knew how that was done.

'Thank you for your magazine as it is great and I'll never stop taking it.'

IONE NASH HOGAN, 920 W. 1st, #42, Junction City, Oregon 97448 is looking for information on her father, who was considered to be a 'Master Blacksmith', from about 1895 till his death in 1926.

'I only have faint memories of him as he died when I was still a child,' she writes. 'Some have told me that he was a 'hard working', 'hard-drinking' Irishman, who learned his trade from his father in New York state. Censuses show that three of his brothers also became blacksmiths. They all started in New York and then gradually moved to other states. Some say his parents, Philander and Cornelia Nash went to Pennsylvania before moving farther west; this would have been long before 1900, possibly as early as 1875 or so.

'My dad's name was Earl Nash, better known as Richard, actually 'Dick Nash'. Aside from New York and possibly Pennsylvania, he also lived and worked his trade in Illinois, Idaho, North Dakota, California and Nebraska, where he died in 1926, in Lincoln.

'I'm looking for any tidbit of information anything at all that would help prove his existence, other than mere statistics. For instance, a former neighbor of ours in North Dakota (he's some ninety years old) has written to tell me that my dad often liked to brag of having shod, several times, that famous race horse, Dan Patch. Maybe he did; maybe he didn't, but at least it's more than dry census information.' (Maybe one of our readers in these states has some information if so, please do let Mrs. Hogan know.)

A short letter comes from WILLIAM FRYE, Brandon, Minnesota 56315 as he says, 'I surely like the IMA magazine and read every page and then reread them. It is an interesting magazine, educational and valuable. I'm really interested in steam shows, antiques, etc.

'But I don't agree with someone in the 1984 issue of Nov-Dec. IMA on the bottom of page 17no doubt that is a 32' machine thresher, but it's not a Case. Case has grain elevates oft opposite side of machine. I wonder how many other readers noticed that.' (It has been known to happen that it is possible for the negative to be printed wrong, which would put the wheel on the opposite side.)

D. B. GARDNER, Box 342, Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada TOA OVO sends this: 'I am writing to your company, hoping that you can furnish me with information of addresses pertaining to the manufacture of wooden farm wagons in the United States or Canada prior to the second World War.

'I am a member of the local Historical and Museum Society being mainly interested in steam and gasoline tractors which over the years brought me in contact with American Society of Agricultural Engineers (Michigan) and it is that helpful band that gave me your address. I am aware that Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, is the center of what is left of the once universal Horse Power Era as I once saw an interesting TV documentary about that state, so it seemed logical when the AG Engineers suggested I contact your firm.

'Any information you can supply would be most helpful and also material on bobsleds and other horse-drawn vehicles. I hope your readers will be able to help in this matter.'

'Anna Mae says that more letters are needed,' writes CHARLES P. HARTMAN, Route 1, Rocky Comfort, Missouri 64861. (That's right, Charles, and we're glad to hear from you.)

'When I read all the very interesting articles, I feel that I have so little to offer, for it has been many years since I operated that wonderful old equipment, and I am not able to own any of my own.

'There are many things that concern me beside the loss of so many of those old machines, and so much of our time in history that I think was the greatest that any civilization has ever enjoyed. Not only have we lost the machines, and a great way of life, but because of our greed, we have lost some of the quality of life, and also of the product.

'With the combine and field harvesters has come a grain of poorer quality. When wheat or any grain is separated from the stalk in the field, the grain will shrivel, but if left in the straw, it will continue to feed from the straw, or stalk, so I believe that with all our modern ways has come a loss in the quality of life.

'Perhaps I am an old fogy, but I shouldn't be as I am not quite 90 yet, but as I compare these different life styles, I must confess that when I consider the alternative, growing old is wonderful!

'And as the Good Lord gave us the greatest computer ever made, the human brain, that has been collecting memories since even before we could talk; surely the Almighty did not intend for all of this to be wasted.

'So to all the other old fogies out there, like me, if someone suggests that you are living in the pastas they have me just admit it and say 'How sweet it is!' ' (Isn't that great, folks? Let's hear from some more old young in heart fogies. We love you all and your comments.)

A letter comes from DAVID W. REIERSEN, Asst. Curator/Conservator of Carroll County Farm Museum, 500 S. Center Street, Westminster, Maryland 21157 (301-848-7775): 'The Carroll County Farm Museum is currently in the process of gathering information regarding a number of agricultural artifact. This information will prove useful in our conservation/restoration of these objects.

'We recently purchased a number of books from the Stemgas Company which have already proven very useful in this project. One book in particular entitled, Album of Historical Steam Traction Engines and Threshing Equipment No. 1 has a great deal of valuable information regarding threshers in general. Unfortunately, it did not have the information that I was looking for at this time. Would it be possible to furnish me with the information regarding the thresher listed below or guide me towards a source which may possibly have the same?' (This is why I'm putting this letter in the column, Dave, in the hopes one or more of our readers may be able to help you.)

'I have copied as much information from the thresher as possible and have included several numbers which may or may not be the model number: FARQUHAR THRESHER MODEL #17358 (taken from the brass plate in front). Hart Grain Weigher Co., New Hart Model, Peoria, Illinois (from a green decal on front of the thresher). 'Hart Junior' last patent date, Feb. 9, 1926. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated. Enclosed are photographs.'

Many of you folks will be glad for this letter from L. J. PALMER, R.R. #1, Box 453, Albion, Indiana 46701 as he tells us: 'I have been going to write about the whistle code for sometime but just kept putting it off. It took Ed Bredemeier's request for a whistle code and Anna Mae saying 'Do it now', in the Sept-Oct 1986 issue, IMA, to get me in gear. By the way, Ed, in general the code is easy to learn until we reach 128 years old, then it can take a little longer, so you can choose which one of the next 50 years you want to learn it before it will take longer.

'The steam traction engineers' whistle code that we have used is as follows:

No. 1-Morning and at noon (1 long). This indicates the area or place of work.

No. 2-Engine going to start and begin work (2 short). This is a warning to get clear of the machinery about to start. Also signals the crew to be at their work positions.

No. 3-Engine going to stop (1 short). This lets everyone know that the engine and machine it is running is about to stop.

No.4-Low water supply (1 moderately long and 3 short). This signal lets the water haulers know they must hurry to the engine with a fresh supply of water.

No. 5-Grain haulers should hurry (3 medium short).

No. 6-Current job or day's work is completed (2 long). No. 7-Fire or distress (rapid succession of short sounds).

'I would suggest to all steam traction engineers a universal whistle code be known and used. The four most important ones to have signals for nowadays would be nos. 2, 3, 4, and 7.1 am sure a lot of variation in whistle codes existed in different parts of the country, but maybe through correspondence and this column the four most important ones or all of the above codes can have a universal signal all across the country. A steam engine using the whistle codes is like the modern day CB radio only the steam whistle is a lot more reliable. An engineer using whistle codes can tell all the children his engine can talk through its whistle. When the threshing, sawmilling, etc. crew rely on the whistle codes the engineer will probably tell everyone, 'Please don't play with my Toot Toot.'

'I hope a positive response to establish a universal whistle code will come about. If we can prevent one broken thumb accident from happening it will be worth it.

'I enjoyed the letter from Frog Smith. I would like to read some of his experiences in each issue.' (So would we keep 'em coming, Frog.)

H. J. BENNY, 137 W. Garfield #510, Del Rio, Texas 78840 writes: 'In your IMA July-August, you have written 'A man in the right with God on his side, is in the majority, though he be alone.' That is the first time I have seen that in any magazine in the last 40 years. I love to read and have taken this magazine for years.

'When I was a small boy of six years old, I sat on the water box on a steam engine while it pulled a thresher threshing my father's oats stack. I was in my glory and in the 30s I ran a stationary steam engine that ran a brick factory. It was a 1 cylinder Erie engine. I also had to reset the foundation as it was not set correct on a level foundation, and after I reset it, you could hardly hear it run. 'I have seen many steam engines, but the old steamers on the railroad was the best. I do not know why they were removed. I guess one reason is the young generation want push button jobs.'

Two photos come from STEVE HINEBECK, Route 7, Box 334 A-l, London, Kentucky 40741. He thinks the readers will enjoy them. Maybe we'll get some people excited enough to send in some of those pictures and write some of those stories that need to be told.

This photo shows the late Justin Hington walking beside his Rumely plowing engine with Harry Woodman see of Dowling, Michigan at the controls. This plowing demonstration took place in the late 1960s at Hington's farm near La Motte, Iowa.

'Could one of your readers out there please explain how an injector on a steam engine works?' asks ROSS ABENDROTH, Route 1, Greenville, Wisconsin 54942.

He continues: 'I've seen cross sectional diagrams of the Penberthy, and even had the internal part out and in my hand to look at, but can't quite grasp the concept. I know the steam goes through and picks up the water along with it, and it was explained that it was the velocity of the steam that picked up the water, and I've seen that the orifice tapers a little like a carburetor venturi. I guess I know where the steam and water are going it is just that I can't figure out why the steam at say 50 lbs. pressure goes through the injector, picks up the water and back into the water in the boiler still under the same 50 lb. pressure like electricity traveling in a circle of wire without a generator to push it. I hope somebody can come up with the right words for me.'

DONALD POTTER, 13324 Balfour, Huntington Wds., Michigan 48070 sends this: 'The past three days, Oct. 3, 4, & 5th, I operated again the Port Huron steam traction engine restored by volunteers at Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan. It was quite an attraction powering either a grain separator or corn shredder on the Harvey Firestone birthplace farm relocated from Columbiana Co., Ohio, to the Henry Ford founded Greenfield Village and Museum.

'I've been unsuccessfully researching to find factual information on the proper operation and adjustment of an up and down sawmill, commonly called a MULEY mill. The carriage and saw is on the second floor of the supporting building with the power source either water or steam power, in this instance, steam, on the first floor level. The saw reciprocating vertically cuts only on the down stroke as the carriage moves the log at a constant steady rate into the saw. I'm looking for substantiation that the teeth edge of the saw must be slanted towards the log to properly clear the cutting edge on the up stroke, thereby eliminating excessive thrust deflecting the saw blade off line.

'I would appreciate IMA assistance to obtain some information.' (Keep watching the mail, Don. You may hear from some of the readers.)

And now dear ones, it is time again to be on our ways into a New Year that holds what??? But whatever, let us enjoy each moment to the fullest as you pray 'Open our eyes, O heavenly Father, who hast filled the world with beauty; open, we beseech Thee, our eyes to behold Thy gracious hand in all Thy works; that rejoicing in Thy whole creation, we may learn to serve Thee with gladness' (from the Book of Common Prayer). How beautiful and may we take the time to do this.

And some knowledgeable groups of words to think upon A temper is a valuable possession, don't lose it. Work is the best thing ever invented for killing time. Nobody raises his own reputation by lowering others. If you are criticized, you have either done something worthwhile, or refrained from doing something foolish. So, CONGRATULATIONS! Then, again, perhaps honesty is the best policy because it has so little competition. Bye, bye, love you all, you have been such a good part of my life.

STEAMcerely, Anna Mae