Soot In The Flues

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Well, by the time this issue of  I.M.A. arrives, the shows will be in full swing around the country and I know many of you are out there enjoying every minute of the Reunion Season. Hope you meet many old friends and make some new ones too. Don't forget to give us the little stories that make for good reading you know, things you probably wouldn't think would be interesting for the magazine; but we are interested in those little details and fun things that happen.

I have a letter from WESLEY J. TRATHEN, 3025 N. Dayton, Flint, Michigan 48504 and he writes: 'I am able to identify the unclassified photo #4 on page 27 of the May-June issue. This photo shows the dedication of the monument to the first steam engine show and was on the Leroy Blaker farm at Alvordton, Ohio.

The person on the left is Merle Newkirk who funded the monument and on the right is Leroy Blaker on whose farm the show was held for several years and then moved to Montpelier and then again to Wauseon.

This monument is a Port Huron drive wheel on which is mounted a bronze plaque. With a reading glass the plaque can be read 'Site of the First Steam Traction Engine etc.' (Thanks Wesley for the information am sure many will enjoy the description of picture.)

From HARRIETTE C. BLACK, Librarian and Curator at The Newcomen Society of North America comes this information which will be of interest to many of you folks: 'This is a letter to the Editor: I'm sorry I didn't get to read this March-April issue of The Iron-Men Album until today as it will arrive too late to be included in your next.

It is in reference to 'WHAT WATT DID,' on page 29. Much as I dislike arguing with a man who has written 'An Encyclopedia of World History,' i.e. Mr. William L. Langer, in this case I must. Thomas Newcomen invented the first workable steam engine and demonstrated what it could do in 1714, a generation before Watt was born. When Watt was called in to repair a Newcomen engine there were 900 of this type engine in use not only in the British Isles, but as far a field as Hungary. Two years later, Watt invented the separate condenser. I do not deny that Watt was an inventive geniusbecause he was, but let's give credit where credit is due.

I enclose a pamphlet giving a good background on 'our' Thomas, as well as information about the Newcomen Society in North America. We are a branch of the Newcomen Society, for the study of the history of engineering and technology, housed in the Science Museum, London SW7 2DD, England.'

BURT DILLON, 359 N. 29th Street, Battle Creek, Michigan 49015 asks: 'Have you any information about the largest steam tractor ever built? I heard a man at Dowagiac, Michigan had this tractor several years ago. He bought and rebuilt steam and gas tractors. I thought maybe you had pictures about this one.' (Sorry, Burt I can't help you out, but maybe someone in Engine Land can answer you.)

DAVID WEYAND, R.D. 3, Box 51, Rockwood, Pennsylvania 15557 says: 'In the edition of the March-April I.M.A. Magazine, I have found a match for one picture under unclassified photos. The picture was in Jan.-Feb. Vol 18, No. 3 of the 1964 edition. As it read courtesy of Rolland Buslaff of Route 5, Waukesha, Wisconsin. It is Herman Colkentine's outfit taken at Edd Kolhas in 1915. It is a 15 HP engine-whole Case outfit. I hope you can find the missing information for the remaining pictures. (Thanks Dave, and we're finding this is a very interesting page for the readers - we will print all letters we receive as describing them.)

HAROLD BEDDINGLER, 4480 Winding Circle, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80917 would like to know where to write for plans and castings to make a Case threshing machine as he has a 3' scale Case 65 HP engine. (Anyone know?)

More information on the unclassified photos come from SCOTT SOMERVILLE, 3366 W. Harper Road, Mason, Michigan 48854 as he says: 'In the May-June issue of I.M.A. photo 4 looks familiar. I found the story in the 25th Anniversary of the National Threshers Assn. Inc. book.

The photo is Merle Newkirk and Leroy Blaker shaking hands over the final installation of a bronze plaque bolted to a Port Huron drive wheel. The plaque reads: Site of the first steam traction engine reunion in U.S.A. June 30, 1945 by Leroy Blaker and the organization of the National Threshers Assn. Inc. June 26, 1948. Photo was taken by Leroy Blaker himself.

I am 13 and my family owns a 22 HP Advance Rumely. We get I.M.A. and I read it all. I think you do a good job so I thought I would give you a little help.' (Thanks Scott, it's so good to hear from the younger generation.)

Looking for help is GREGOR F.P. DIETMANN, 9801 Seaman Road, Middleport, New York, 14105: 'I am restoring an Ottawa Log Saw and would like some information on this saw. I have been to several steam and engine shows and nobody has ever seen one of these saws, like I have. The plate on the engine says Ottawa Log Saw Number C27945, made in Ottawa, Kansas. It is a two flywheel hit and miss engine, but this one has a circular saw blade hinged to the motor belt driven. It must be original as everything is green with yellow striping. I would like to know how this saw was set up and used. When I got it, it was mounted on a concrete base and used as a buzz saw to cut fire wood.' (If he's getting any help, it will have to be from you readers let him hear from you.)

WALT THAYER, Box 2175, Wenatchee, Washington 98801 gives us some more data on unclassified photos: 'In the March-April 1978 I.M.A., Bruse Goss of Coldwater, Ontario, Canada asked about antique boat mags and builders of marine engines, so gave him the address of S & D Reflect on 121 River Street, Sewickley, PA. its a steamboat magazine. American Steamwheel Assn., 4600 Lexington Drive, Oak Crest, Stubenville, Ohio; Ed Jan Di Carlo Waterways Journal, 21 Union Street, St. Louis, Missouri. All have names and address of builders of marine engines. There are other publications about steam boats, but I only subscribe to S & D Reflector and American Steamwheel Assn. Both are very good publications.

Also in reference to unclassified photos, I.M.A. March-April 1978 #1 is a separator (in the drink); 2 looks like a very old Case, Avery, Minneapolis or Aultman-Taylor; 3 probably an old Case steamer; 4 threshing in the barn I've helped to do lots of this in Wisconsin 50 years ago; 5 sawing hardwood logs into lumber. Maybe building new house for teacher of nearby school. I got my 'larnin' in a school like this the tractor might be a Russell; 6 mechanic working on what looks like a Russell; 7 pitching bundles from stock to separator. (Thanks for all the suggestions on the pictures, may get some others thinking and writing.)

WALT THAYER also sent along some information on an old depot that was being renovated by some old train buffs - as follows:

NORTH LAKE, Wis. (AP)-Dressed in work clothes and wearing a conductor's cap, Richard Hinebaugh proudly toured his latest project recently.

It was a wooden train depot built in 1889 and that he had moved to North Lake 60 miles from Trevor, Wis. After 2 years of renovation, the bright yellow depot is ready for passengers.

Hinebaugh, whose regular job is a tool room machinist, is president of The Kettle Moraine Railway, Inc., a summer excursion line that runs 3 miles from here to Merton and back.

In 1972 a group of railroad buffs, including Hinebaugh, purchased the line from a railroad. The group also acquired several cars, including two steam engines. 'We wanted to see this kind of equipment saved and operated,' said Hinebaugh.

A hobby-turned-into-a-business, the railway gets volunteer help from Hinebaugh's family and fellow railroad enthusiasts.

Two letters came from DONALD A. COPPOCK,1408 S. Lea, Roswell, New Mexico 88201 beginning: 'Threshing along the Stillwater River' 'Enjoyed reading Ed Freehammer's letter in 1978 Jan. -Feb. I.M.A. about using a (bucking pole). We called it a push pole to maneuver a thresher or separator into, or through tight places. It takes skill and lots of practice to become proficient in the use of the push pole. I have watched my father many times make the swing with a Port Huron engine and Aultman Taylor separator into the barn lots to make sets, in all types of barns including bank barns.

This kind of barn is very common in Miami County, Ohio and has the separator in line with the driveway of the barn. In this position, with a push pole and the tongue of separator chain to the push pole, push the separator into the barn, guiding the separator with the engine. Most of the barns had either a wooden or a cement floor and we made the final set by hand.

Many times I have ridden on a separator through a driveway of a barn guiding the straw blower, through the rear door of the barn.

When the separator was not in line with the driveway, using a push pole with a man on each front wheel of the separator, it guided the separator into the barn. In the early years of my father's threshing days, Delmer Coppock, my father's brother, was the engineer. Uncle Delmer has told me and the story was verified by Jim Robbin, many times with a double Garr Scott engine. Delmer Coppock, as the engineer, and my father, Harley Coppock, on one front wheel of a separator would make sets in all types of barns.

In 1927, my father purchased a new Huber tractor and the push pole was soon discarded, because we found out the separator could be maneuvered with the Huber to almost any position, eliminating most of physical labor in setting a separator.'

(Second letter) 'In the early 1920s, the A. D. Baker Company built an experimental model of a steam driven traction engine, used for threshing called a Steam Tractor, using some type of a condenser on the exhaust and engine was fired with crushed coal. Mr. Sam Rapp, a thresher who lived east of Covington, Ohio, tried this experimental type of steam driven engine, but it wasn't successful. Several years later, Harold Loury, who lived in Pleasant Hill, Ohio, and worked for the Banting Machine Company, told my father the A. D. Baker Company was still trying to perfect the engine. If any I.M.A. reader has any information on this engine, I would appreciate hearing from them.' (Now, there is information, and a request for some data - help him if you can.)


We received information from a paper put out called PROJECT 1225, Michigan State University Railroad Club, MSU Museum, East Lansing, Michigan 48824.

PROJECT 1225 is published by the Michigan State University Railroad Club, which is restoring Pere Marquette steam locomotive 1225 for excursion service. The club is open to anyone, and dues are $5 a year. Write the M.S.U. Railroad Club, M.S.U. Museum, East Lansing, Michigan 48824.

The following is taken from the February, 1978, Issue No. 38 of PROJECT 1225:

Despite another Michigan winter, some progress is being made on Pere Marquette 1225 here at East Lansing. It's almost all indoors, though, where some of the engine's smaller parts are being repaired or remade. Maching continues on the equipment for repairing the throttle. The value stems, shown here being removed along with their spools, will be refinished. One winter project that slowed because of the appalling weather is the renovation of 1225's cab interior. The cab will continue to be a bit draffy until the weather improves enough to let us continue welding the new sides in place, and to reinstall the sliding windows.

Just a newsy letter came along with subscription from MARVIN GREEN, R.R. 1, Boyden, Iowa 51234: 'Dear Anna Mae Yeah I know I should send dues to Helen but I don't know her, so I'll send it to you. It's wet here and still raining, not much snow but cold, over 60 days below freezing and mom and I took off January 30 for Texas in a 30' Cobra trailer. Got it a year ago we went to Texas once and other trips. It's a dream home on wheels. What it didn't have we put on it. Even have a 300-300 Watt Honda Plant stored in trunk. Was to Dalton and Albany, Minnesota shows and no hook ups, so battery was down and had to use jump cables (too dumb to unhook it from car). Farm was sold in 1976. July 23 and 27 had a heart attack, so guess I'm over the hill. Got our first grandchild April 9, 1976 and we're married 45 years August 27, 1977. How's that? Put on a 16 x 24' family room, has big window and window seat, Franklin stove, clothes closet and made bedroom bigger and closed in it too. Never had one downstairs before. When it was 20 below and more it felt good, looking out. We sure enjoyed Texas but from 22 below to 92 above in a week's time?? So much fruit and other things to eat all around us. Truck loads going by all the time. We'll try and get to as many steam shows as we can.'

It's with deep regret we announce the death of  MAE BABER, R.R. 2, Brandon, Wisconsin 53919 just received the notice when we were expecting to receive her column. Many of you folks, I'm sure have enjoyed her 'Country Echoes' as she has written many years for the Iron-Men Album. Her column in May-June issue was quite typical of Mae, you knew she knew God personally and had him first in her life, and also, next to that was her family of which she spoke many times. She was quite a writer and author of poems, that she entered many times. We will miss her writings and we send our deepest sympathies to all the family. And, I think that about winds up the column for this issue will leave you with a few mind tuggers There is no better looking glass than an old friend A friend loveth at all times Better friends can no man have than those whom God hath given Love is the clue to human love; love is the clue to the love of God. Bye bye and God Bless.