Soot in the Flues

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Hi! It's that time again-when the steam fiends are out traveling and hitting all the Reunions and Shows and I'm sure, enjoying it thoroughly. And this being the Bi-Centennial year, I imagine the organizations will really outdo themselves in putting on interesting and entertaining events pertaining to the history or our wonderful country. I know, there are many folks who will want to list all the things wrong with this nation, but I for one, still think it's the best country around. I don't think we relize the freedom we have that other countries have never enjoyed. Why can't we point all the good things that are results of this land? I'm all for waving the flag and am still proud of America.

J. M. MIKE POWERS, 309 Cabin Road, S.E., Vienna, Virginia 22180 says: 'I would like to share a bit of useful information I found in a 1903 Engine Guide. RULE FOR FINDING THE PROPER LENGTH OF BELTS - Add the diameter of the two pulleys together; multiply by 3-1/8; divide the product by 2; add to the quotient twice the distance between the centers of the two shafts, and the product will be the required length. (Personally, he lost me after the first two directions).

In the same publication was this advice for the preservation of books: TO KEEP DAMP FROM INJURING BOOKS: A few drops of any perfumed oil will prevent books from being injured by dampness; this remedy was well known and appreciated by the Romans, who used oil of cedra to preserve their valuable manuscripts.

I suppose your readers will have to file this with their store of otherwise useless information since the author did not describe the method of applying the oil. Incidentally, this 73 year old book was in marvelous condition and the faint odor of corriander oil could be detected when the book was opened.' (Thanks Mike, a little bit different talk, and note worthy).

JAMES W. CHANDLER, 54 Taylor Street, Frankfort, Indiana 46041 writes us on an explosion of long ago.

'I have a table full of mail from Jan.-Feb. IMA. Also many phone calls from as far away as California.

Here is an accurate account of an explosion of a boiler in our neighborhood, 1923. You may choose to title this 'Reeves' also. Identical pictures were sent in by Homer D. Notes tine of Lewistown, Ohio for the 1950 album. A scanty description was given then.

From memory by James W. and Fred Chandler, Frankfort, Indiana. Date: first evening August 8, 1923.

Our father, Charles W. Chandler came in early saying 'Come on, we are going to Piqua (a short distance) to see a boiler explosion that just happened.'

When we arrived, not many people were there. In photo I, the water wagon was about left edge of 'pix,' and was blown toward corner of barn in photo II. That is what the attraction is in photo II. This water tank had side caved in and had cut sod in yard sideway so the ground was skimmed like a plow mark. The smoke stack went up and came down directly north of the house. Photo I. . .the boiler shell let loose at front pedestal.

The shell, then flew about in line to right of Photo I view of firebox, approximately 400 feet, cutting off corn about head high across lane south of house.

The heater, interceptor box, etc. were also found at this location, a few feet away.

Photo I was taken from near lane fence, where engineer was blown through. The owner of the farm was sitting on the ground by the water tank with other members of the crew.

They had planned to thresh the next morning and had quit because of a shower. Then it happened.

The fire box turned over backwards or 180 degrees, the cab under it. The front flue sheet with flues, still clinging to it is visible in both photos.

Charles W. Chandler was a steam man of some renown, in several states. Both he and his brother-in-law, B.H. Colon, concurred on the analysis of cause of explosion. . .that the Reeves 20 HP compounds had been stored with front end low. This never drained to dry, causing deterioration and subsequent failure of boiler shell. This is my position today, yesterday and tomorrow.

It is most difficult to get performance out of a machine that is not built into it.

And today, I have a personal horror of Reeves as such, U.S. style.

The ratio of boiler trouble, as to other makes speaks for itself.

I received another letter from JAMES CHANDLER about a month later - it follows: (And let me hear state, I do not think for one minute that James wants to start an argument - these are facts that folks are bringing out as they know them - so please don't write me and complain about it. I think they are interesting and many of you will dig into the situation and find out for yourselves, if these are the items that interest you. I don't believe anyone purposely sends us false information on engines - I believe at the time they send the data, they feel it is authentic - I do hope you are all broad-minded enough to look at it in this way also. We, as speaking for the magazine staff, try to be fair in presenting the material sent us, and we appreciate the opinions, BUT if it causes hard feelings or heated controversy, then the letters will not go in the column. So far, we have had no bad comments Herewith the second letter of Mr. Chandlers:

In reference to Mr. Hussong's phone call to you. . .your column 'new' March-April IMA. Mr. Hussong called me, but it wouldn't matter anyway. . .Ed Peacock was a millionaire (perhaps twice over).

He told me 'he owned the engine, Reeves #6660'. . .that was good enough for me. But to add weight to my words, Steam Engine Directory of June 1959, compiled by Mrs. LeRoy W. Blaker of Alvordton, Ohio, lists E. M.

Peacock of Fulton, Mo.; (1) 32 (simple) #6660; (2) 20 HP Reeves #4098; (3) 16 HP Reeves missing number.

I showed how to locate number of this type (Canadian special). It was #7909. (4) 13 HP Reeves #1635.

There are 16 additional engines included in the Peacock collection.

I believe Mr. Hussong was some surprised to learn, I knew Peacock. I am not arbitrary, but just giving you background. . .and am not given to much 'Bull,' or remarks off the top of my head. This is why it grieves me some, to see printed, something, that is not approaching fact. Example Case 80 #35,824 being 3rd from last engine built. There were 20 or 22 after that.

A New IMA 25-85 HP N & S #12,577 being one of the last of N & S. There are many in #14,040's around. On even number alone, there is 1,463 engines to #14,040. At the rate of N & S production, this would hardly be near end of production. The same problem shows up in the 'Brant Huber ' going to Smithsonian Institute.

A family from West Kansas came through Indiana on #1-70. They called me on the phone and said, 'Why was a Huber dated on boiler 1921, labeled the last Huber built???' They knew and had seen later ones.

People  have their own little stories and don't want them upset. Huber built to #11,724 which is a far cry from Brandt engine #11,541 almost 200 engines.

The reason they called me is I had given in printed matter, that Huber boilers were built to 1924, in fact, to September 1924. This, in itself, is no great secret. There was an insurance policy issued with 'all Ohio Standard' boilers by number and date built. They were in effect for seven years. My father had letter from Huber notifying him of demise date of the last insurance policy. . .September 30, 1931. . .which would coincide with all facts and date put out by me.

Almost every day brings mail about the article of Reeves #6660 and the other items.

I did not intend to write a book but I believe the contributors should be more accurately informed on their subject matter.

GERALD HAIGH, 5390 Las Llajas Canyon Road, Simi Valley, California 93065 has written a book entitled (Straw Roads) which has ninety pictures in showing how people lived in Simi Valley from 1908-1960. In it he mentions the Bates Steel Mule and he has such  little material on it - he would appreciate hearing from anyone if they could tell more about it and if anyone has pictures he could see. I believe he would like to elaborate on this particular engine in the next book.

GARY TUNKIEICZ, 7514 - 60th Street, Kenosha, Wisconsin 53140 recently purchased a C and CC Case tractor. He would like to know if the first two digits of the serial numbers indicate the year of manufacture. He also would like to know what year the last models C and CC were built.

STANLEY A. SCHAFFER, 737-5th Avenue, Ford City, Pennsylvania 16226 tells us: 'I have been a subscriber to the I.M.A. for many years and needless to say, I look forward to each new issue. I am a Model Steam Engineer and have attended steam shows all over the East. I have befriended people from all walks of life and made many acquaintances in our similar hobby. We hobbyists eagerly look forward to each new Steam Show Season and contribute to what we think is an interesting segment of the whole steam show picture. I can assure you that our exhibits are expanding rapidly as can be attested to the fact that many steam show officers are coming up with expanded facilities to accommodate the increasing number of model engine displays.

(Stanley has an article in this issue) I have never written an article of this type before, but I think it is time to blow our horn, so to speak. (See Model Engineer's Viewpoint).

An interesting story comes from RALPH BLY, 13 Mohican Street, Shelby, Ohio 44875: 'My father-in-law was a steam thresher and used an Aultman Taylor steamer and an Aultman Taylor thresher, later a 30-60 Rumely and Huber 4 cyl. tractor. That was about 50 years ago. He subscribed to a Thresher-men's paper and in it was a very amusing story dealing WITH EXPERTS.

A company building threshing machines sold a machine to an old thresher. When the machine was delivered, the new owner requested that the company send a man or help, to get the machine started. At that time, all the field men were out. The President of the company contacted a promising young man working in the factory and asked him if he would advise the old thresher on how to adjust the machine. The young anything about running a threshing machine and did not think he would be of much use. The President told him to do the best he could do as the old thresherman was a valued customer.

The young man went on his journey. The job was started and the old thresherman wanted the young fellow to do the necessary adjusting; as the young fellow did not know about adjusting the machine, he would ask how the old thresherman would see it, and the old man would tell him and that was the way it was adjusted. The machine worked perfectly. The young man returned to the factory.

Months later, the President called him into the office. He said, 'I just had a visitor, the old thresherman was here, that you helped start his new separator. He said that you were the best factory man that ever helped him. I thought that you told me that you did not know anything about starting a separator.'

The young man said, 'Well, I did not. I asked the old gent how he would make the adjustment and he would tell me and that was the way I would do it.' (Comment-Experience is the thing that counts).

--May be, but the young man was very perceptive and he used his wisdom when it really counted!

R. G. JACOBY, Marengo, Iowa 47140 states: 'In reply to James W. Chandler I.M.A. art in Jan.-Feb. 76 issue I.M.A. 7-6-52 and E.&E. 5-65 back cover shows Reeves 32 HP 6660 for sale by W.W. Danuser, Tulsa, Oklahoma. E.&E. 10-58-8 says - rebuilt 6660 new flues, front flue sheet, coal bunkers, water tank, cyl. heads, valve cover, eccentric arms, chrome plated rods, stainless steel eccentric arms, needle bearings. E.&E. 12-65-23 - O. R. Aslakson says 32 Reeves brought to New Rockford, North Dakota by Howad Pross of Luverne, N.D. I.M.A. 7-64-4 at Charles City, Iowa. It was not under steam. It will be in 1976. E.&E. 9-56-24 shows 16 HP hi-wheel owned by Ed Peacock and I.M.A. 9-68-41 shows same engine owned by Geo. Jackson, Fort Scott, Kansas. Ed Peacock told me number was lost when he got it. E.&E. 10-56-12 and I.M.A. 1-59-18 shows a 16 HP hi wheel by R. G. Jacoby, 7869, It was later cut up for scrap.' This is in answer to James request to know the whereabouts of #6660.

And that's enough rambling for now, but to leave you with a few thoughts-The life of duty, not the life of mere ease or mere pleasure, that is the kind of life which makes the great man, as it makes the great nation.-----Far and away best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing-----I desire to see in this country the decent men strong and the strong men decent, and until we get that combination in pretty good shape we are not going to be by any means successful as we should be.-----Who said these thoughts?? Theodore Roosevelt.