Soot in the flues

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Hi! I am so delighted, my heart is singing and, at least for now, I can see prayers being answered. I just hope and pray the mail keeps coming in. We have had some wonderful responses in mail since my last plea for communications and I really did feel my part in this magazine was about over. So I'm cautiously overjoyed with the letters from some wonderful folks and I'm just going to believe there will be more of the same for the year 1992.

I have just a short parable to start the New Year as I've so often used these writings from Wellsprings of Wisdom by Ralph L. Woods: It is called Community. A preacher in a rural community heard that a man in his parish had announced that he would no longer attend church services because he had decided he could commune with God just as easily in his fields and garden and among his trees.

One autumn evening the preacher called on his reluctant parishioner and for a while the two men sat before the blazing fireplace saying little or nothing, and not a word about church attendance. The man waited uneasily for the preacher to broach the subject. The preacher was aware that he would be expected to rebuke the man.

Finally the preacher picked up the tongs, lifted a single glowing coal from the fire and set it down on the hearth, and silently waited until the coal quickly ceased burning while the other coals in the fire continued to burn brightly. 'You see what happens,' said the preacher.

'You need say no more,' replied the man. 'Man cannot live alone. I'll be at church next Sunday.'

And now onto the wonderful communications that make this column and please if you wanted to write and think you can't, please don't feel that way as all you need do is just write what you would say to me if you were telling me something. It doesn't have to be fancy, beautiful handwriting or well composed, just legible, so take a pen, pencil or typewriter and WRITE! All the readers will appreciate it too. I'll be waiting for the mail!

Upcoming letter is from BILL THURMAN, R.R. #1, Box 226, Archie, Missouri 64725: 'As the show year comes to a close, I have looked back and can't believe what I have experienced this last year. Being fairly new to this hobby, having only been involved seriously three years; I just can't believe the people with whom I have come in contact.

'Having only dreamed of owning a steam engine, I wrote an article in an Iron-Men Album on how my dream came true. I however, was unaware of the benefits that came with ownership. When my article came out I had people calling just to visit, as far as Pennsylvania and Minnesota.'

'I have never met so many people willing to share with a complete stranger and make you feel so welcome; also to make your children feel good about themselves and realize there are other ways to get high, besides doing drugs.'

'At every show I have been to (12 this year) someone has always come up and hugged my kids and tells them how nice they are or given them rides on their equipment. You may not know when you do this, the pride this gives a child when he or she is special. This hobby is the best trip anyone could enjoy with their family.'

'I was also lucky enough to get on our board of directors to some this might seem just like more work; to me, I have never had more fun! The work days are more fun than the shows. I have never met a better bunch of people in my life. And, even though I'm the youngest on the board, they treat me like an equal and make me feel I am special.'

'My wife never has to worry when I'm out with the boys or where I am, as she knows this is a Christian hobby also, and that all my friends are some of the best people in the world. She does tease me however, because some of my closest friends are 50 years older than I (but I'll bet they are all young at heart, Bill).'

'I guess I'm writing this just to say Thank You. The saying is, 'the family that plays together stays together, and I feel you have made our family a lot closer. So, if you Iron-Men feel like you haven't made a difference in this world, you have! You have passed on something that can never be bought love, friendship and caring for one another. To me, that is more important than owning a 150 HP CASE, but I wouldn't mind that either.' (Isn't this a wonderful letter, Fellows, it is such a positive letter and in these times I find it especially rewarding peps one up and it surely says a lot for this great hobby. I expect we will be hearing from Bill sometime again).'

Praise the Lord! Here comes another letter from an interested subscriber of only a few years: 'I have only been into the Steam Experience for about five years. I do not own anything of steam myself and do not have any experience with steam, but I had to respond to your editorial in the November/December issue of IMA.

'I am 32 years old and I definitely would like to see more letter writing in IMA. I know that there must be a lot of information out there 'bottled up' that needs to be shared. I realize that a lot of the information would be repeated, but I think that it needs to be repeated over and over.'

'Take Mr. Gehman's pleas for assistance as proof that this information needs to be repeated.COME ON PEOPLE, if Anna Mae's column dies, what is next?? This steam hobby is fragile enoughlet's do our best to help keep it alive. I hope that this positive note for steam and Anna Mae is only one of many.' (And so do I Jeff, thank you very much, this is what we need, someone to get on the bandstand and incite those folks who have some material for the column.) This most welcome communication comes from JEFF C. FORWARD, R.D. #1, Box 130A, Bouckville, New York 13310. Jeff is a member of New York Steam Association, Inc.'

I'm feeling really hopeful now as SCOTT L. THOMPSON, RR #2, Box 30, Tremont, Illinois 61568 writes: 'C'mon Boys! We can't lose this fine lady and the only column that lets us steam nuts express ourselves! Keep those cards and letters coming to Anna Mae!

'As for my contribution, I recently purchased a 1913 (so I'm told) Rumely Ideal 36' thresher, one of the old wooden 'humpbacks'. Does anyone know where the serial number was stamped on these beasts? The original Ruth feeder has been replaced with a Heineke at some point. I would appreciate conversing with anyone having experience with either the thresher or the feeder.'

'It is in pretty good shape, just needed a lot of minor 'monkeying with' (bearing shims, new feeder chain, new grease cups, etc.) but we still ended up working on it right up to lunchtime on show day to get her running right!'

'Also, if I could add a little constructive criticism on show reports. Now we all love to see what's going on with our neighboring shows, but let's face it, the usual rundown of events at one show pretty much sounds like another. 'We threshed, we baled, had X number of tractors, etc' Concentrating on some unusual occurrence, event or feature can make your show report much more interesting, especially, when there are four or five in an issue. Also, everyone loves to see his name in print, but a lengthy list of names of everyone who had an exhibit there, while thrilling to the exhibitors, means little to the other 99.9% of the readers. (How do the majority of you folks feel about this statement?Anna Mae)

'Now, please don't stop sending those reports in, but if we could all concentrate a little bit more on what makes your show 'unique', it might help boost interest in your show and IMA. Finally, as others have, let me urge you older fellows who lived the life we younger guys can only dream of with these machines, share your experiences and photos. What may be just bygone memories to you makes thrilling reading to us!'

'So come on every one let's get those letters, articles, photos and new subscriptions flooding in, and MAKE IMA live up to its greatness.'

'Sorry to read that your 'Soot in the Flues' might be discontinued due to lack of letters and communications of interest. Here is one for your column that you or some of your readers might be able to answer in the way of information about the following subject:' (Normally I wouldn't print the first paragraph, but I am so elated there are some folks out there wishing the column to continue, I surely thought it was a booster.)'

This discussion comes from J, STANLEY ROSS, 330 N.E. 53rd Ct., Ocala, Florida 32671 as he continues: 'I have never read anything about the Bryan steam tractor in the IMA issues since I have been a subscriber, which has been for some time. I believe it was built in Peru, Indiana in the twenties. My oldest brother bought one sight-unseen and had it shipped by rail to our home in Ohio from somewhere in the Northwest. It was not properly anchored in the boxcar, so it was pretty well banged up when it arrived. The railway agent told my brother to keep track of repair expenses as the railroad company had insurance on it and would pay whatever it took to repair; which they did.

'My question is how long were these steam tractors made and when were they discontinued? 1 have an encyclopedia by Jack Norbeck, but it does not mention the Bryan steam tractor. I see that there is a new third edition Norbeck and I wonder if it might be more up to date and have the history of the company. I would buy the latest edition if it had the information I'm interested in finding. (In checking the third edition of Jack Norbeck's Encyclopedia of American Steam Traction Engines, we find no reference to the Bryan tractor.)'

'My background will tell you why I'm interested in steam. I was raised on a dairy farm in the northeastern section of Ohio, where my dad had a sawmill. We operated during the winter months. We had a Russell steam engine to power the sawmill which my brother and dad helped me to rebuild. We used the Russell to run a thresher and silo filler (ensilage cutter).

'When we got the Bryan tractor we used it also to do these jobs and I can truthfully say it did the jobs with ease. As I remember the Nebraska Test on farm tractors showed the Bryan to be 15 HP on the drawbar and 80 HP on the belt. It was a two cylinder engine which was operated on 800 PSI, and as I remember it was a water tube boiler with a kerosene burner. It took just minutes to bring it up to operating pressure.'

'Here's hoping your column continues for a long time as I read it first of all articles and really enjoy it. Take care and, God bless all in IMA.'

WILLIAM J. STEWART, 308 S. 12 Street, Independence, Kansas 67301 writes: 'My Nov/Dec issue of Iron-Men Album arrived the other day with the picture of the Case portable boiler on the front cover. I glanced at it and read inside that it owned by a man in Salt Lake City, and thought nothing more of it. Today while looking at the magazine lying on the coffee table, I admired the mountain background. Then it dawned on me the scene is familiar. This boiler must be five or six miles south of Salt Lake City. The large mountain in the center, directly back of the steam dome, is due east of Salt Lake City. I looked at this scene three times when I was in the Navy and flying my 'Swift' airplane home on leave from Mare Island.

'The highway (now Interstate 80) follows the gap between the center and the right hand mountain. It is also the low altitude route through the area for small airplanes, like my Swift, that have difficulty climbing high enough to go over the ridges. The last time I came through there (after I retired from the Navy) I was flying from Casper to Sacramento with a stop at Salt Lake City in my 1949 Cessna 190. This time I was at 11,500 feet and flew across the ridge just north of Salt Lake City. Immediately crossing I had to descend 6,500 feet in about 10 miles to enter traffic pattern for landing at Salt Lake City. Nice way to travel.'

'In 1971 my wife, Mary and I read in AOPA PILOT about a steam engine show in Haviland, Kansas with their airport just a half mile away. We loaded our camping gear and flew the Cessna 190 to Havil and for our first steam show and a delightful one it was on the local school grounds. There we met Ernie Bressler and he invited us to the Bird City steam show, and we went, flying in on the strip on the Roy Kite farm. We flew into there twice. Then the show moved to their present location on their own grounds. We camped at the airport a couple of years and were furnished a car to drive by Ralph Crawford (St. Francis). One year we camped in Ernie Bressler's backyard. We made many friends.'

We don't fly anymore but try to drive to as many shows as our busy schedule will permit. We have flown into Mt. Pleasant several times. Our favorite of course is Antique Engine & Thresher Assn., at Bird City big enough to show a lot of equipment; small enough to be personal and friendly and you can see what is going onI love it!'

Interesting data comes from STEVE DAVIS, R.D. #2, Box 842, West Winfield, New York 13491. Steve relates: 'I recently discovered about 50 pieces of very early steam engine literature. I do not presently have it all copied and sorted. I am sending along four sheets from one of the earliest pieces I have ever found, namely, the A.N. Wood & Co. 1859 catalog.

'To clarify what they are, the very dark sheet is a poor copy of the catalog cover. The reason for the poor quality is that the paper is finished with a blue metallic surface. The sheet headed 'circular' is the first page and the reverse of this, or page 2 is the sheet headed 'Price List'. The last sheet headed 'Price List-3' of course, is next. The remainder of the catalog, I do not believe would be of interest in the Iron-Men Album.'

'The No. 1 (new style) engine is what is now called the skid type engine even though tiny wheels are attached. This was called a portable engine in the terminology of the times1859. When this engine was moved about, obviously it had to be placed on proper wheels and axles I and when this became necessary, it was apparently up to the owner to devise the means to do so as the manufacturer did not provide any such apparatus.'

'Noteworthy features of this engine are the following: lever and weight safety valve, crude governor with valve above the mechanism, single arm crank on connecting rod as opposed to the later disc type; and the unusual engine bed which apparently is also the means by which the exhaust steam reaches the stack.'

'The No. 2 (old style) engine is most peculiar and possibly illustrates what our first American steamers may have resembled.'

'The boiler resembles the outward shape of a return flue boiler, but is not. Apparently the firebox is integral with the shell and a tube sheet, probably containing a small number of the early large diameter flues, resides within. A primitive crank-operated throttle valve is visible on the side of the steam dome. The governor is hard to interpret from the meager details in the picture. It seems to be linked to a part of the engine and not to the steam line. With none of these presently in existence, many of these details will, of course, never be known for certain.'

It is this very lack of knowledge about these early attempts to harness the power of steam that makes the subject so intriguing.' (Perhaps this writing will spark some other data, how about it Fellas?)

An interesting letter comes from BILL WARREN MUELLER, editor and publisher of Steam boating, Rt. 1, Box 262, Middlebourne, West Virginia 26149. His letter: 'This past month I purchased an 18 foot steam-powered paddle-wheel boat from its last owner in Des Moines, Iowa. Actually, I should say that I purchased what remains of that boat since it has been so badly abused and neglected.

'The reason I bought such a relic (it was built about 1969) is that I am so impressed with the workmanship and talents of the original designer and builder, Fred J. Golinveaux of Waterloo, Iowa. My intention is to restore this boat as much as possible to its original state and this is the reason I am writing to you.'

'I have attempted to find out more about Fred J. Golinveaux and his work, by writing to the Waterloo, Iowa, Courier. The editor very kindly wrote me a letter in which it is suggested that Mr. Golinveaux was also involved in other steam-related projects (a steam-powered golf cart!?!).'

'I am asking if you can help me find out more about this man, his work, and, in particular, this boat. I'm thinking that, since Waterloo, Iowa, is practically in the middle of steam tractor country, he may have been active in this steam hobby also and you have had him as a subscriber or have had articles about him and his work. If you don't have anything, perhaps you could publish a notice that I am seeking information on this man. I would appreciate greatly any help you can give.'

'If I can gain more information, I could contribute an article about Fred Golinveaux and his projects to your magazine. Mr. Golinveaux was a true craftsman and artist something we don't find very often in our times.'

The following is excerpted from a letter from the editor of the Waterloo Courier

Mr.Golinveaux died January 14, 1975. He was born October 8, 1883 in Black Hawk County. He married Ruth Fagan, 1916. He served in the European Theater in the Army in WWII. He was employed by the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad as a fireman. His wife, Ruth Fagan died February 5, 1985. She taught school in the Waterloo area from 1911-66 and moved to Alabama in 1979.

A story from a 1966 Courier tells how Fred built a replica of a real Lady Gay that once was a paddle-wheeler on the Mississippi River. Most of the work was done in his garage at the house where he lived 52 years. The original boat supposedly measured 43 feet by 185 feet. He apparently pulled the boat on a trailer between his home and the Mississippi. It was propelled by steam generated from a gas system of some sort.

A 1973 Courier story mentioned that Golinveaux was working on making a steam-driven golf cart for a guy in Alabama.

(Fred Golinveaux sounds like a most interesting man, and from the data sent, maybe one of you folks will remember something. Go back into your memory bank and see what you can come up with. We just may find out a lot more!)

This letter comes from CARL M. LATHROP, 108 Garfield Avenue, Madison, New Jersey 07940. 'Hang in there, we need each other. Your column is, in effect, a 'letters to the editor column.' Without it there would be no forum for the readers of IMA. With your background at Stem-gas I could see the column as having an editorial flavor as well, yes, even an op-ed function. So, perhaps now is the time to begin an adjustment to the content.

'With that in mind let me tell you of a recent experience. I have just now returned from a visit to Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The occasion was the attendance at an Elder Hostel educational week. There I met Dave Lowe who is the Project Manager for the Western Vancouver Island Industrial Heritage Society's restoration of the McLean sawmill. This steam powered mill had operated from 1925 until it closed in 1965. It was slowly slipping into a state of decay beyond which restoration would have been impossible, until the Society came up with a plan for restoration as a tourist attraction and the preservation of the artifacts of a past industrial era.'

'Ventures of this type require large sums of money. Often the level of finance is beyond a volunteer organization's grasp. Canada has a unique way of financing such endeavors and one that we might keep in mind. It is called the National Heritage Trust. It gets its income from the national lottery. Having been brought up in the Methodist Church, my mother sang in the choir (referred to as the War Department) and my father was treasurer, gambling was off limits. However, the facts of human psyche being what they are these will exist and so the fruits of these regulated games of chance could find a worthwhile end use.'

'A restored historic site always remains the property of local government but is managed and operated by a volunteer organization. A society prepares a proposal which is passed upon by a government entity such as, perhaps, the City of Port Alberni who in turn makes application for the funds. This was the case with the Society's restoration of a two truck, 42 ton, Shay locomotive which is now the property of British Columbia Hydro & Power Authority but is maintained and operated by the Society.'

'One of the rewards of travel is to see and experience how others live out their lives. I thought that this was an interesting concept.'

Just before deadline, we got this letter and pictures from BLAKE MALKAMAKI, 10839 Girdled Road, Concord, Ohio 44077. 'Please don't quit now there's plenty of people out there to write for the Album, it's just getting them motivated! Lots of people can tell stories of their past experiences, but getting them to write it down is another thing. If they would just tell their stories to a tape recorder, and have someone in their family transcribe it to paper.

'Well, here's a little bit on the Scheidler Machine Works of Newark, Ohio:'

'Newark is a fairly small city just east of Columbus, where at one time there were five manufacturers of agricultural steam engines: Blandy, Holmes, McNamar, Scheidler, and Walker. All these companies built a line of portable engines intended mainly for sawmill use. McNamar, Scheidler, and Walker also built traction engines. There were more Scheidler engines built than the other four combined.'

'In the 1850's, the Newark Machine Company built a line of portable engines designed by Joseph E. Holmes. The company failed in the late 1850's, and the operation was run by a receiver, John H. McNamar, until 1861. In that same year, John McNamar and Reinhardt Scheidler, a young machinist from Germany, formed a partnership Scheidler and McNamar. They built engines for some time.'

1920 Scheidler traction engine purchased new and now owned by Mr. Schlutz of West Virginia. Picture taken in 1982 at the North Central West Virginia Steam Show by Blake Malkamaki.

The only remaining building of the Scheidler Machine Works as it appears today. Note corner of building under signthis is where building was re-bricked after explosion in 1903 which killed Mr. Scheidler. Photo taken August 1990 by Blake Malkamaki.

'The partnership was dissolved by 1881, due to personality differences between Scheidler and McNamar Scheidler was much more adventurous and experimental, trying and changing ideas constantly. During his lifetime, Reinhardt Scheidler held more than 67 patents for his improvements in steam engine design. Some of his engines had steam domesothers had a super heater that served as a steam dome. Some had a balanced 'D' valve some had the Scheidler piston valve. Most of the Scheidler engines had their valves on the 'outside' of the cylinder, with the valve linkage on the end of the crankshaft, out from the connecting rod.'

'Probably the best known peculiarity of the Scheidler engines was their lack of stay bolts in their crown sheets. Scheidler did not stay his crown sheet in the customary way, using instead crown bars hot riveted to the underside of the boiler wagon top. This weakness cost Reinhardt Scheidler his life. At 4:30, on the afternoon of April 29th, 1903, an engine under test in the factory blew down her crown sheet, killing Mr. Scheidler instantly and injuring several men near the engine. The flywheel from that engine traveled through an arc and landed on First Street, breaking like it was made of glass. The rest of the engine was propelled some 50 feet and lodged on the corner of the Scheidler building. Today the repaired brick corner still bears mute testimony.'

'The Scheidler Company continued building steam engines until around 1925. The principle building of the Scheidler Works still stands on First Street, presently occupied by the Consolidated Electrical Distributors Company.'

'Some of the information of the Scheidler history is from William T. Richards' History of the Scheidler Machine Works, Newark, Ohio, taken from the Stumptown Steamer, March and April, 1974.'

I hope this adds some to Soot in the Flues. The personalness of the Album is what makes it the best!'

And in closing may I wish each and every one of you God's blessings in the forthcoming yearn one of us know what is in store for us, but we do know God knows all about our future so relax and ENJOY 1992.