Soot in the flues

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Grant me, O Lord, to know what I ought to know, to love what I ought to love, to praise what delights Thee most, to value what is precious in Thy sight, to hate what is offensive to Thee. Do not suffer me to judge according to the sight of my eyes, nor to pass sentence according to the hearing of the ears of ignorant men; but to discern with a true judgement between things visible and spiritual, and above all, always to inquire what is the good pleasure of Thy will. (Thomas a' Kempis, taken from Tapestries of Life.)

Hi, all you wonderful people of the I.M.A. Family! If you are beginning to plan for the New Year and its resolutions, perhaps the above prayer will help you I hope so! I am certainly going to try and put it into action in my life.

Good Buddies and Gals I need more material for this column I always like to chat with you a little, but that is not what makes 'Soot In The Flues' interesting. And I'll just bet there are those of you out there who think I don't mean you but I do. If you think you have something interesting to share with all of us, please write to me. It is interesting if it has to do with the engines, the shows, or your accomplishments and also the little interesting things in your life I'm sure we would all appreciate them. It can be factual or just plain homey, humorous or serious and if you oblige me I will certainly do my best to get it in the column. The following communication comes via telephone from NEWT HOWELL, Box 457, Shelbyville, Tennessee 37160. He called the office recently looking for some much needed information. He owns a Keck Gonnerman engine and is having some trouble getting his boiler okayed by the inspector.

The engine is rusted and no number can be found on the boiler. Howell feels certain that Keck Gonnerman boilers were all coded by the ASME, but he wants to know if anyone has proof of this fact. His boiler was made in 1933, and he thinks it was coded but he can't produce the number for the boiler inspector. Tom Terning advised him that all Kecks had a code number in the left quadrant of the back sheet of the engine, but this area is too pitted for any number to be found. Howell does know that the boiler was a Broderick, number OS-295, and he has a copy of the original bill of sale for the 1933 engine #1850, but no serial number. He also has the original freight bill.

Any information on this will be very much appreciated, and I hope someone will write to Mr. Howell directly with the proof he needs to keep his engine running at shows in Tennessee. If he can find the serial number, he can get the engine repaired and operating! I know you steam engine buffs like to help one another and I am sure Newt would be gratified to find this much needed information.

'The enclosed photograph is of my dad's (Seward E. Corson) miniature steam tractor. It is one of six built in 1960 by a group of friends in Pennsylvania. This one is the only one on rubber tires, modeled after the Case. The photo was taken during the 5th Annual Antique Power & Steam Show sponsored by the South Lake County Agricultural Historical Society, Inc., held at the Lake County Fair Grounds this past July 21-23, 1989.'

This information comes from MARK A. CORSON, 9374 Roosevelt Street, Crown Point, Indiana 46307-1840.

An interesting letter about a noteworthy subject comes from LARRY D. VAN DE MARK, 209 N. Grimes, Carl Junction, Missouri 64834:

'I read your letter about boiler safety in the September-October 1989 IMA. Yes, steam engine safety and boiler safety should be very important. But, where I live in southwestern Missouri, in five minutes I can be in Kansas, 20 minutes to Oklahoma and it takes 60 minutes to Arkansas.

'I was wondering if anyone knows the boiler safety code and inspection method for these three states, and what it takes to pass the inspection, or if one inspection is good in all states.

'I am also interested in what and how to build an ASME code boiler; i.e. method, material, types of welding rods. How would a person go about getting a boiler tested and approved? I will appreciate any information on this subject.' (I know you fellows all enjoy helping one another, so if you can supply the answers, please communicate with Larry he will be most grateful and he needs a lot of answers.)

Pictured is the belt pulley flywheel side of a 20 HP Keck Gonnerman engine. Red striping on wheels was done with a red ball point pen. It is 14' long, 9' tall, 8' wide. It was made by HAROLD V. GREEN in the winter of 87-88. His address is Route 1, Box 63, Avoca, Iowa 51521. Thanks Harold and it looks real nice to me.

Pictures submitted by the late HASTON L. ST. CLAIR, Rural Route 1, Box 140-A, Holden, Missouri 64040.

'This machine appears to be a Belleville outfit because of the high wheels on the engine and the separator looks to be a Belleville. Buckner is a community in Jackson, Missouri my home county, where my great grandfather migrated to from Randolph County, Virginia.'

An interesting true story comes to us through BILLY M. BYRD, 369 Harrig Street, Madisonville, Kentucky 42431. He calls it: The Little Engine That Could and Did!

'First of all, let me state that I am a Nichols & Shepard man 150%, but you have to give credit where credit is due. Two years ago I visited the Oklahoma Steam and Gas Engine Show at Pawnee, Oklahoma. I visited with my good friends, Chady Atteberry and Fay Sullivan. It is a superb show with something going on all the time. While there I saw a size 65 HP Case that was built by Tom Terning of Valley Center, Kansas.

'It was perfect in every way. Not too big you can stand on the ground and reach everything on it. It can be hauled on a trailer behind a pickup truck and it doesn't take a truck load of wood and coal to get it hot. When it pulled 21 HP on the prony brake, that caught my attention.

'I got to thinking how nice it would be to own one, with the boiler inspection laws getting stricter and we don't know where it will end. These engines have the ASME stamp and National Board number and can be taken anywhere in the U.S.

'I called Mr. Terning and he happened to have one on hand. He came to Madisonville with the little engine and while here, ultra sounded my 16-60 Nichols & Shepard. That way you know the thickness of the boiler shell and fire box sheets and you know where these things are placed. Mr. Mahlon Giffen came with him and most of the attention was given to the little Case.

'I had to fire the little engine up that afternoon. We hooked it up to a cut-off saw and it really did talk to us then we hooked it drawbar to drawbar with my 1952 8N Ford tractor. It was a draw, but if the ground had been dry, I believe the Case would have pulled the tractor; but the tractor's rubber tires kept shedding the mud while it built up on the engine's steel cleats!

'Then the big test came. The Tennessee-Kentucky Thresher-men's Show at Adams, Tennessee. I put it on the Baker Fan. It did a great job stomping the ground and telling everyone who it was and what it was doing. People crowded around it. I borrowed a small sawmill from Mr. Willie Joe Emmick, which would saw about 8 inch stuff; the little Case played with it.

'Then came the tractor pull. I asked to pull the sled just to see what it would do. Some didn't think it would pull the slack out of the chain with an inch of water in the glass and 150 lbs. of steam feathering at the pop. I started with it going 105 feet and 3 inches and that would have gone further but hit some soft ground and the drivers started spinning. Talk about surprised people!! To be honest, me included, although I have been accused of trying to chisel the Eagle off the smoke box door to put N & S on it and trying to figure out a way to put another cylinder on it. I am more than pleased with the little engine. It proved itself in more ways than one and was a joy to run and handle. The nice part about the whole thing is, you have no trouble with boiler inspectors.'

Byrd also sent the following Golden Roll item.

CARL DONAHOO was born April 24, 1903 on a farm in McLean County, Kentucky near Calhoun. While growing up, he worked around wheat threshers and tobacco plant beds steaming where he acquired his great love for steam engines, on attaining manhood. He bought his first engine, a Russell. The boiler wasn't too good and had to be scrapped. He then ran engines for other people, several different makes, but his favorite was the Nichols & Shepard. He was a mechanic for the International Harvester Company and also did repair work on steam engines.

In 1930 he bought a 16-60 double cylinder rear mount Nichols & Shepard engine which he ran until 1964 threshing wheat and steaming tobacco beds. From 1964 until the early 1980's he steamed beds with a 65 portable Case boiler. The writer acquired his Nichols & Shepard in 1968. Mr. Donahoo would still run it in parades and at the Tennessee-Kentucky Threshermen's Show as long as he was able.

He was a member of the Tennessee-Kentucky Assn., and several years ago, he was honored as 'Old Steam Man' of the year. He was also honored as an 'Old Thresher' at Mount Pleasant, Iowa. He ran a shop where he repaired all kinds of equipment. And it was well known that if Mr. Carl couldn't fix itthrow it away, it couldn't be fixed!

He left us on August 1, 1989. His work here on earth done, to go onto his Heavenly reward. This kind and gentle man will be sorely missed by all who knew him. People said about him, 'What he says, it's that way.' He was never heard to utter an unkind word about anyone. His wife of 66 years told me that she had never seen him mad, just aggravated. He leaves his wife, a daughter, four sons and several grand and great grandchildren. The writer knew him as a dear friend and he leaves a void that cannot be filled. After an impressive funeral service where the funeral home was filled with floral offerings, he was laid to rest August 4, 1989.

In closing, I would like to relate this small example from Words of Wisdom compiled by Ralph L. Woods I find them quite revealing and uplifting. This one is 'The Hearts Door' When Holman Hunt's painting, 'The Light of the World,' was unveiled, an art critic thought he had found an error in this representation of Christ standing in a garden at midnight, holding a lantern in one hand and knocking on a door with the other hand.

'I say, Hunt,' said the critic, 'there is no handle on that door.'

'That is correct,' replied the artist. 'You see, that is the door to the human heart; the door can only be opened from the inside.' (Did you folks ever notice that before? I think that painting has much merit check it out the next time you see it.)

Before chatting with you another time, I must, as usual, leave you some Food for Thought A little oil of courtesy will save a lot of friction. Truth doesn't hurt unless it ought to. The greatness of our fear shows us the littleness of our faith. And in conclusion here are Seven Things You Will Never Regret1. Showing kindness to an aged person. 2. Destroying a letter written in anger. 3. Offering the apology that saves a friendship. 4. Stopping a scandal that was wrecking a reputation. 5. Helping a boy find himself. 6. Taking time to show your mother consideration.7. Accepting the judgment of God on any question. That's all for now. Love you all.