SOOT IN THE FLUES

Uniflow engine before restoration

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Hi! to each and every one of you folks in Iron-Men Album Land hope you're getting your fill of steam engine hobby and related hobbies (I'll bet some of you are saying you'll never get your fill). July-August issue already and as this issue comes out, the steam shows are pretty well into full swing 'Swingers for Steam 'I guess I could call you that!

Before I get to the letters, here comes another story from Wellsprings of Wisdom called The Eternal Tidal Force (you steam men will agree with methis is beautiful power from the greatest power available). Story goes like this: 'I am told that when the great Hellgate Bridge was being built over the East River in New York the engineers came upon an old derelict ship, lying imbedded in the river mud, just where one of the central piers of the bridge was to go down to its bedrock foundation. No tugboat could be found that was able to start the derelict from its ancient bed in the ooze. It would not move, no matter what force was applied. Finally, with a sudden inspiration one of the workers hit upon this scheme. He took a large flat-boat, which had been used to bring stone down the river, and he chained it to the old sunken ship when the tide was low. Then he waited for the great tidal energies to do their work. Slowly the rising tide, with all the forces of the ocean behind it and the moon above it, came up under the flat-boat, raising it inch by inch. And so it came up, lifted by irresistible power, the derelict came up with it, until it was entirely out of the mud that had held it. Then the boat, with its subterranean load, was towed out to sea where the old water-logged ship was unchained and allowed to drop forever out of sight and reach.

There are greater forces than those tidal waves waiting for us to use for our tasks. They have always been there. They are there now. But they do not work, they do not operate, until we lay hold of them and use them for our present purposes. We must be co-workers with God.Rufus M. Jones.

And to the letters this one from BRUCE McCOURTNEY, Syracuse, Nebraska 68446: 'In the March-April 1979 I.M.A. I find on page 28 the unclassified photo of an old Rumely steamer in picture No. 1 probably a 12 or 15 HP. My father had one of them when I was a kid. I'm now 73 years old. Picture No. 2 is obvious and No. 3 looks like the pretty girl was real mad to upset a separator. No. 4, I believe, is a Minneapolis. No. 5 is an Advance.

I have every issue of the Iron Men Album and love them all. Keep them coming!'

RANKIN J. MELLOTT, Star Route S, Box 283, McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania 17233 asks your help: 'I am confused about the water pressure. Can you tell me how many pounds of cold water does it take to equal 125 lbs. of steam pressure on a steam boiler? (Rankin is anxiously awaiting an early reply.)

GARY KAPPEDAL, Route 1, Box 103, Lengby, Minnesota 56651 writes: 'On page 95 of Floyd Clymers Album of Historical Steam Traction Engines, there is an engine that fascinated me, and that is a 1912 J. Kemna, Breslan, Germany. 230-310 HP, said to be the largest steam traction and plow engine (from HP standpoint) ever built. Note cable spool: engine intended for cable plowing as well as general traction work.

I'd like to find out how an engine which appears to be of general purpose size (20-60 HP our size) is capable to crank out twice the horsepower as a giant 150 HP Case, 140 Reeves, 150 HP Best and so on, which are much bigger than it in size?

Maybe someone out there has some literature or information on this super HP steam traction engine and can tell me their secrets?' (Hope so, Gary hope someone writes you.)

A letter comes from WALT THAYER, Box 2175, Wenatchee, Washington 98801 with lots of information: 'I goofed! The editor is right. The book R.R.s of Nevada & Eastern California is only one book and a very good one. I was thinking of another fine book at the same time which is Yuma In The 1850s, a story of Yuma, Arizona and the lower Colorado River, Gila River with photos of steamboats on both rivers, along with photos of the old military post. Other good books are Sternwheelers Up The Columbia; Fish wheels on the Lower Columbia, Ferryboats on the Columbia River, Steam boating on the Upper Missouri River and The Sound of Steamers. They are about the history of early day steam boats and ferries around Vashon Island and nearby ports of Seattle and Tacoma, Washington and Portland, Oregon. My sincere thanks to Mrs. Marjorie Stanley of Burton, Washington (on Vashon Island) for giving me an autographed copy of this very good book.

Nowfor your (mystery photos) in the May-June edition. 1. It's an Advance Rumely and the photo was printed from wrong side of negative, as the lettering is backwards. The man looks like Art Eickmeyer of Wenatchee, Washington, or his brother, but probably isn't. 2. Probably an old Case or Advance Rumely. 3. A real old timer as you can see by the straw carrier at right of picture. This machine was built before blowers were invented. 4. Two Little Ones a small Minnie or Buffalo Pitts with a happy little boy beside it. 5. Time out from sawing logs to sharpen the saw. Probably sawing rough lumber with the type of saw being used. Looks like oak, maple or basswood logs. Elm doesn't make good lumber.

We brought it to the home of Mr. Marion Schneider of Pinckneyville, Illinois where we did most of the restoration work. Mr. Schneider and I did most of the restoration. I designed the smoke stack and had it fabricated of steel here at the Du Quoin Machine Shop. The water tanks were designed and fabricated in Paul Fieker's shop at Stotts City, Missouri. The restoration process was begun in October 1977 and it was completed for the Pinckneyville Threshermans Show in August of 1978. There is indeed a great sense of satisfaction in restoring an engine like this. We also appreciate the assistance that Mr. Schneider has given us. If it were not for his supervision, we could not have accomplished this monumental task. Mr. Marion Cook of Du Quoin did the necessary machine work for me

Pictured is my A.D. Baker 21-76 Uniflow engine before and after restoration. This engine is owned by myself and my brother, Paul Fieker, of Stotts City, Missouri. It was formerly owned by Al Kitowski of Route 3, Nashville, Illinois. It was called to my attention two years ago and I went to his farm to see it and managedto purchase it in July 1977. Courtesy of Rev. Fred E. Fieker, 20 S. Hickory, DuQuoin, Illinois 62832.

In answer to Brooks Jones question about the Holt traction in I.M.A. May-June 1979 issue Holt first replaced the 2-rear wheels with a short set of caterpillar trucks, but left the front wheel for steering. That was before the steering clutch was used, or invented, for the Caterpillar type tractors. The Holt family has a private museum of Holt machinery at Stockton, California with much of the credit due to the late F. Hal Higgins of Woodland, California. He was also Chief Advisor and Instructor for the Agricultural Div. of the University of California at Davis, California.' (Thanks for all the data, Walt.)

WM. C. SCHRADER, Neligh, Nebraska 68756 says: 'I've been wanting to write you for some time to tell you how I enjoy the magazines and your column. It really is the highlight of the magazine. Been reading the Gas Engine Magazine for 10 years. I collect gas engines, but am not an avid collector enjoy running those I do have. I really like steam engines best, but don't have one. I've been able to run one though, several times in the last few years.

I have been trying to trace the history of a Port Huron steam traction engine, tandem compound, 19-65 HP, Model #8443, that used to belong in the 20s and 30s to a local thresherman, Fred Pederson. After World War II he sold this steam engine to C. F. Hargis of Bergman, Arkansas. The engine was shipped from Neligh, Nebraska to Pruitt, Arkansas in November 1948. Now this is down in the territory where they have the Ozark Show and I thought maybe some of the boys down there could tell me what happened or where this engine is, and if C. F. Hargis, or his relatives, are still around there especially Dewey L. Erwin of Harrison, Arkansas might be able to write me some information. Mr. Hargis said this engine was shipped to Pruitt, Arkansas to run a lumber saw.

I might add this engine was bought new in Lincoln, Nebraska, June 29, 1921. The shipping weight was 20,100 lbs. and was the last Port Huron steam engine sold from the Lincoln, Nebraska distribution center. This engine threshed many thousands of bushels of grain around Neligh, especially to the west, up the Elkhorn Valley.

Thanks again and I hope to see the column continue for many, many years the good Lord willing.'

WILLIAM P. KILPATRICK, R.D. 1, Box 182, Glen Moore, Pennsylvania 19343 sends this picture of a coal-fired steam boiler and engine. It was made in Newark, New Jersey, 1865-1885 by George and Lysander Wright. From what I can understand, George was probably the salesman and Lysander, the machinist and boiler maker. Bill is interested in any information concerning this machine.

Another letter regarding previous request as CHAS. UMPHREYS, Box 327, Platte City, Missouri 64079 writes: 'I was reading in Soot in the Flues about Brooks Jones wondering about the article in the magazine about the Holt steam tractor. Caterpillar Tractor Company put out a book in 1954 titled (50 Years on Tracks) that explains about Holt taking wheels off and putting tracks on in place of wheels. I got my book from a Caterpillar dealer and you might get the same book from a Caterpillar dealer or from Caterpillar Tractor Company at Peoria, Illinois.'

C. H. KNEPPER, JR., 312 Hardin Lane, Palm Bay, Florida 32905 seeks your help: 'I am in the process of planning a steam-powered automobile and I need some help. I know the basic principles behind steam power but I need to know more of the mechanical aspects of steam power. I have done considerable research in the libraries of this part of Florida but have not come up with anything that has been of any help. Mainly I am looking for plans to build a small, 12 volt electrically heated boiler and plans for converting a small, one or two cylinder lawnmower or outboard motorboat motor over to steam. I am very serious about this project as I am a firm believer in steam power ever since I first saw the Stanley Steamer's smooth, effortless operation.

If you do not have any plans such as these, I sincerely hope you can recommend someone who might be able to help. Anything you can help with will be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.' (see ad) An interesting letter comes from JOHN BERGREEN, 4564 E. San Gabriel Avenue, Fresno, California 93726: 'I have been a subscriber for the Iron-Men Album for some 15 years or more and read it cover to cover.

I'm writing to ask a question I got my first engineer license in 1925 and operated our 32-110 Reeves cross compound for threshing until 1935 at Osage, Saskatchewan, Canada.

In 1925 the rain held off the last week of threshing until the first few days of November. There was snow on the ground and about 4' of frozen soil under it. The cold weather dried the wheat and we decided to thresh. I filled the boiler on the Reeves and banked the fire. The weather was clear and about 10 below zero. The next morning we took off on a six mile move with the Reeves pulling a Nichols & Shepard 40-60 separator, a 10' by 24' cook house and a 10' x 18' bunkhouse, all on steel wheels.

The 10 below zero was bad enough, but facing a 12 to 15 mile wind made it real nasty. We had not traveled a mile when 4' to 6' ice cones shaped up on all wheels. This made it so bad we crawled along at 1 miles per hour. Everything was ramming and jamming. I held on to the steering wheel with both hands. My brother Laud was fireman and brother Gum was separator tender. We all watched for something to happen and finally it did!

We had only driven 1 miles and were crossing a road, with ditches on each side where 1' deep and sloped. As the engine's front wheels entered the last ditch, the ramming and jamming broke a front axle steering chain and one front wheel jammed under the boiler, with the front of the engine 1' below the rear, there was no water in the glass. I drove that engine out of there and didn't melt the soft plug and it wasn't in reverse.

I would like to know if any reader could give an opinion of how to handle a situation like that one.

A surprising thing tooth at wheat was frozen dry and good quality.'

And now it's time to leave you with a few quotes to ponder: There's not a RIGHT WAY TO do a WRONG THING.-----------True patience means waiting without worrying. People look at us six days a week to find out whether we really mean what we say and do on the seventh.---Our business in prayer is, not to prescribe but to subscribe to the wisdom and will of God; to refer our case to Him, and then leave it with Him. It is reasonable to expect a child to listen to your advice and ignore your example. Bye-bye love you all!