SOOT IN THE FLUES

Soot in the flues

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Hi! I mean you out there - the one with that trailer hooked on the back of your car - what's that in it?? Oh, some models to show at the reunion! I thought I recognized the machinery and you traveling down Highway U.S. that's a nice camper you're pulling behind you. What? you say I ought to open the door and see the items we have to take out to get in well, that's all right I'll bet you sell a lot of them at the next show and like as not you'll come back with a lot more bought from other places and to you in that spiffy - not too old car - is this your first year that you really don't have to hurry back you say you're retired now! How nice and you're going to take in a few shows? Don't get bitten by the 'steam bug' or you won't be retired for long you'll be out hunting and working and restoring and painting etc.   but then that's the fruits of retirement isn't it? doing what you really enjoy and then it isn't work. Good Luck to all of you keep those smiles on your faces and love for fellow men in your hearts - and enjoy our wonderful land and its wonders.

Well, I guess I could really go on and on, but I want to pause here and tell you a story worth repeating   I had the opening devotions at Sunday School recently and the Lord laid it upon my heart to build my comments around the 'tongue'   we all have one you know - and none of us ever use it properly all the time. I typed some statements (humorous, thought provoking and common sense ones) and handed them out to everyone and had them read them aloud - also read from James Chapter 3 about the tongue (have you ever read this?) Anyhow in my searching I came across this little story I want to pass on to you - it will be good for us all to remember (and as I told the story I blew some feathers out over the church that I cut from one of my hats - you know, I doubt if I would have been able to pick all those that were sent out purposely -read it - and don't forget it).

'I've gossiped about my neighbor,' the woman confessed to her minister. 'One day I saw her stagger about the yard, so I told a few friends that she had been drunk. Now I find her staggering was caused by a leg injury. How can I undo this gossip I started?'

The minister excused himself for a moment, returned with a pillow and asked the woman to follow him to the side porch. He took out a knife, cut a hole in the pillow and emptied the feathers over the porch railing.

A small breeze soon scattered tiny feathers all about the yard, among shrubs, flowers, even up in the trees. A few feathers floated across the street, heading for unknown destinations.

The minister turned to the woman. 'Will you go out now and gather up everyone of the feathers?'

The woman looked stunned. 'Why that would be impossible!'

'Exactly,' replied the minister sorrowfully. 'So it is with your gossip.'

And now on to the letters from our IMA family. The first one is from Walt.

WALT JOHNSON, Mackay, Idaho 83251 writes: 'I really enjoy your magazine. However, I would appreciate a chapter now and then on explaining, for instance - what compound and cross compound engines are. In other words some of the terminology I do not understand. I am just getting interested in steam engines and some of the terms are new to me.' (Could you please drop him a letter with some information, or better yet, why not write an article for the newcomers to the hobby?)

From one of out teen-agers - this writing - 'I have been reading the ALBUM for the past few years and I thought I would drop a line and tell you what a wonderful magazine you have. I just received my Gas Engine Magazine and I feel it is just as good. I am a young steam enthusiast of fourteen years old. I have a small collection of gas engines. I love steam power much more than gas, but I can not afford a steam engine.' (There you are Veterans, a young vociferous steam enthusiast - perhaps he'd appreciate a note from you).

This young man's name is TOM OLSON, Box 605, Coon Valley, Wisconsin 54623 and he is looking for information on a Sandow gas engine made by Detroit Motor Works. I know many of you folks are both steam and gas enthusiasts, so I thought it was well worth the while to put Tom's letter in this column also.

In the September-October 1974 issue of Iron-Men Album on page 39, you had a photo under Lost in the Files and in Nov.-Dec. issue, page 8, you had several answers as to the name of the engine. Also in Jan.-Feb. 1975 issue, some more replies as to the history of this engine and data.

I am the present owner of this engine. It is a 30-90 tandem compound Russell, No. 16430 and I have a fairly complete picture history of this engine up until now from the time Mr. Stoner purchased the engine through the restoration period it is now in. My wife and I work on this engine when we have spare time and we have it just about completed, including partly rebuilt. This comes from RICHARD E. LEONARD, R. R. 1, Box 91, Willard, Ohio 44890. (Send us the story and some pictures, Richard, I'm sure the readers would be interested).

From a regular contributor, AR-LO JURNEY, F3 Kingsland Trailer Crt., 520-75 Avenue, S.W., Calgary, Alta., T2V OS2, comes this cheerful and welcome message:

'If it is possible - I would like to say that, the Iron-Men Album' is getting better and better; the possible part being, it has already reached a high 'plateau' of perfection that one wonders at the possibility of it getting better!

ONE FOR ALL!! And 'all' love it! This little bit of gosspi might bring a smile to your lips after a strenuous day, when any of my friends get their IRON-MEN (this also includes yours truly), each tries to call another on the telephone to brag a little - for example the conversation goes something like this, 'Did you get your Iron-Men in the mail today? Oh, boy, you're in for a treat. When you do, be sure and read such-and-such an article by so-and-so. You know, he says exactly what I've been trying to tell you guys for a long time. Be sure and read it.' We all kid another in this way.'

'A successful year to a great magazine!'

In a business letter from TOM DOWNING, R.D. 1, Box 149A, Ellwood City, Pennsylvania 16117 writes: 'How do you like our letterhead? We are trying to look a little more like we knew what we are about - We have bought new grounds at Portersville, have most of the brush cleared and burned leaving some nice shade trees we never had before, but, hauled and sawed some logs and got the trusses built for a building so we have not been idle. With a little luck and some divine help we should be about as ready for this show as we'll ever be.' (Tom is with the Northwestern Pennsylvania Steam Engine & Old Equipment Assn. Inc. - their upcoming show will be the 13th - they used to meet in Zelienople). (How do you like their letterhead?)

ROBERT M. SMITH, Box 67, East Selkirk, Manitoba, Canada ROE OMO is very much interested in all the data he can get on the Stanley steam car - especially the engine and boiler. I know there are some other Stanley steamer fans out there - so drop Bob a line when you can - he'll appreciate it.

Last issue I had in my column a poem by MRS. VIVA M. BOEHM, Rock Lane, Baden, Pennsylvania 15005. Following is 'a letter from Mrs. Boehm' (I think you will enjoy it as she trys to explain the hobby of collecting the priceless relics).

'We the members of the Northwestern Pennsylvania Steam Engine and Old Equipment Association, Inc., of Harmony, Pennsylvania, are making plans for our Thirteenth (13) Annual Show. Since our country, the U.S.A., is approaching its Two Hundreth Birthday, in 1976, we decided it was a good time to buy property, so we could have a home for our display. This we are doing, and will have our thirteenth annual show at our new home, August 1, 2, 3, 1975, at Portersville, Pennsylvania. If our hopes and dreams materialize, someday, we will have a Museum. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could have it by 1976?

Our display is much like the human mind. If we don't use it, it becomes senile and worthless.

Most of our machinery had long ago been replaced by newer, more modern equipment. Many of the pieces were basket cases when the owner acquired them with rusted, missing parts that could no longer be purchased. The thinking cap was put on. The mind went to work. What do we have in that treasured junk pile that we can use to make the part? Boxes were emptied on the floor. Eyes were glued to each item as it was examined. Ha, Look! I think this should do. Days and weeks. The article was repaired and painted. That's 'Labor of Love,' and there is a happy boy, be he 10 or 90 years old.

You have to do it to know the joy of restoring old equipment, be they large or small, knowing you could do it. And you did it.

You may ask, why do we do it? We know all these things are part of our being, that people of today have to look to yesterday to build for the future of tomorrow.

Many people seem to think that life was easy and things just happened today. No so. We know of a 1912 case traction engine with power steering. Almost 30 years later they used it in the automobile.

Many little treasured articles are handed down from generation to generation, many of them as old as our form of government. They were brought here from almost every nation in the world. Some can be traced to the Eighteenth Century.

Why do we have them? Because someone before us wanted to give us something to remind us of our heritage. To some people they are worthless; to us, our relics are priceless.

We have several young members that are doing wonders restoring old relics. They are as dependable and comfortable with us in our senior years as with folks their own age. There is no generation gap when it comes to an engine or an old piece of equipment to be restored. They all become little boys with an old toy, building a new one.

We will be happy to show you our treasures at our new home at Portersville, Pennsylvania, August 1, 2, 3, 1975. On Sunday, August 3 we will have church service. Hope you can find time to enjoy our show with us.

Our grand-daughter says we are so stingy with our relics, that we would steal the cheese from the mice before we would part with one of them.'

Keep Smiling - It's Contagious, Viva M. Boehm LAURENCE BOHLMEYER, R. R. 2, Shipman, Illinois 62685 is pondering on a machine of the past - perhaps you can help him. 'Sometime back about 1910, a machine threshed in our neighborhood. It was a double cylinder with two smoke stacks - a cylinder exhausted up each stack. That was the only engine I ever saw like that and I have never seen a picture of one like it. Have been wondering if someone has a picture that could be printed in I.M.A. I think the engine was a Birdsall.'

A call for Help from JOHN HALE, 1225 - 7th Avenue S.E., Rochester, Minnesota 55901 as he writes: 'Being a Steam Nut and subscriber of yours, I am attempting to build a steam calliope. It would simplify the operation if I could contact someone who would have specifications of pipes, valves, etc. Could you help me contact someone of this knowledge?' (I hope you get some letters, John).

From JOHN THOMAS, Jordan, Minnesota 55352 - Box 181, 308 Syndicate Street, comes the following poem entitled THE THRESH-BEE OF 1974

Here's to the engine both gas and steam -
Here at the Threshing Bee are to be seen:
The men here, are as boys as in days of yore -
The women are girls again even when they're four score.
It's great to be here and see all the smiles-
Even some have come from quite a few miles
It's quite a revelation to the young boys and girls-
To see what the old generation can do when thry try.
Some of the old engines are better than the new
For they were built to last more years than a few,
The builders of them took pride in their work
Where the workers nowadays all want to shirk.
I want to be here next year with some of my own-
For I take pride in my work and want some for my own,
I want to set up a blacksmith shop as of yore-
Authentic in detail and show things and skills of yore.

(I think John is trying to give us a view of the happy threshing shows -some of the lines don't rhyme, but the thought is definitely there - and all poetry doesn't rhyme).

And now, while you're buzzing around to the shows making up copy for the show reports I think I'll sign off - do make some new friends, get some more new ideas and I know you'll have a wonderful time.

Don't forget the big Auction coming up in Enola, Pa. on Sept. 27, when the gavel will start the bidding for the items in Elmer's Korn Krib - and the collection of the late Elmer Ritzman will be up for sale - there are many interesting items, as salesman's samples, many different pictures, books, catalogs, antique items and two steam engines. Look elsewhere in the magazine for the ad for the details. A sad day, memory-wise, but then again a day of fulfillment as Elmer wanted his items to go eventually into the hands of other interested collectors who will preserve them as he had done.