Soot in the flues

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Hi dear Iron-Men Family I guess by now you have your itinerary pretty well filled, what shows you will attend and why?? And this year I'll bet the gas usage will alter many schedules but I'm sure it won't stop folks from getting to the reunions. Time does fly fast though, truthfully does it seem a year since you started on your trek last year?? And don't forget to get the show reports in as soon as possible we much prefer show reports after the shows. Sometimes people are offended because we don't put in a write-up before the events, but we just can't do that have one before and one after so as I said we much prefer the report after the big events and as I've mentioned before, try and remember the little incidents that happen that bring a smile or a tear or a good belly laugh we too are as interested in the little things that make life worthwhile as well as the descriptions of machines, engines, etc.

Our first letter this time deals with a complaint it comes from MAJOR DAVID McDAVIS, or DAVID W. DAVIS (can't make out which one) 295 E. Marshall Bl., San Bernardino, California 92404 and he writes: 'For over a year I have, as well as many of my fellow collectors, had a gripe regarding your classified ads. It seems there is a trend by those paying for an ad to leave their price out. This indicates to all I have asked, and myself, to believe their price is so ridiculous they are ashamed to have it printed. It also leads to unnecessary correspondence and phone calls (all long distance) in those items one has an interest in. I personally have the habit of passing over all ads listed without a price in your For Sale area, this leaves about 10% which I bother to read.

I believe it would be to your interest to run this in your ad column where those taking out ads can get an idea of their ad reception to the average reader.' (This is not necessarily the views of this publication, we just wanted to print it so you readers may read it.) (Personally, I do not agree with the reason David states why people do not indicate the price. BUT we would not want to dictate to them that they have to list a price. I'm sure they have their own valid reason for not stating a price.)

MICHAEL FITZMAURICE, 3480 Tuttle Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44111 is thinking of building a car powered by steam. He would like to know if anyone could offer some help, ideas or suggestions on how to get started on this project. He would be happy to hear from you.

RAY GLASRUD, 531 Avenue D, Billings, Montana 59102 is seeking help: 'At one time past, I came into possession of a poster from The Farm Quarterly, published at 22 East 12th Street, Cincinnati, Ohio. The folder advertised two books, namely, 'The Good Old Days' and 'The Good Life.'

From late correspondence, I learned The Farm Quarterly ceased publications and the receiver wrote that none of the former two books were now available.

I would appreciate your knowledge, if any, where the two books may be available at this date.'

LEO SHAKAL, Route 3, Stanley, Wisconsin 54768 sends a drawing and wishes your help: 'I have a 1/3 scale steam traction engine and have a problem with the 'safety' or 'pop off valve.' I like to carry 100 lbs. pressure and the valve pops off well and good, but doesn't stop until the pressure has dropped 10 lbs. or so and this is way too much for a small boiler.

Enclosing a rough sketch of the valve and wonder if there is someone out there with a steam engine who can tell me where the ring with notches should be turned way down to the bottom or up higher? Will return stamps if anyone can help.'

Interested in ditch diggers? Read on as this letter comes from GERALD DARR, 215 Oaklawn Avenue, Fremont, Ohio 43420: 'I am writing this letter as an inquiry to the many subscribers of your fine magazine (which I enjoy very much). I wonder if any of them ever owned a steam powered traction ditching machine. I have never read any articles concerning them.

My father and his brother owned a Buckeye traction ditcher made in Findlay, Ohio. They operated it I would say from about 1907 to 1912, give or take a few years.

They did tilling both here in Sandusky County, Ohio and in adjoining Ottawa County. My father died in 1967 and his brother in 1971, so they are not here to verify dates etc. My father related many experiences to me concerning the operating of these machines.

To mention a few such as breaking the ice in a ditch to fill the boiler with water, walking considerable distance at night to drain the boiler for a sudden unexpected freeze coming, planking your way through a small town to avoid tearing up the streets and some of the boarding 'fare' at the places or farms they were working.

After my father and his brother were married in 1914 and 1912 respectively the engine was pulled into an apple orchard on a farm where he started farming and it sat there a number of years. I think the boiler was sold separately later on. The rest of the machine was sold for junk. The related equipment was either sold or divided between my father and his brother.

Perhaps some of the readers have been involved in the operation of steam powered traction ditchers. (Gerald would be happy to hear from you.) I am looking forward to attending some of the steam shows this summer.'

An answer comes from LESTER C. NORRIS, 33 North Street, Marcellus, New York 13108: 'I noticed in your March-April Iron-Men Album unclassified photos page 9, photo 6. The engine is a 1914 Lang & Button made in Ithaca, New York. The man is W. F. Struble of Athens, Pa. who owned the engine until about 1950 when he sold it to George Van Etta of Barton, N. Y. He in turn sold it to me.

I had the engine until the early seventies when I sold it to Dave & Barbara Conroy of Clyde, New York, who later sold it to James Urdle of Canadaigua, New York.

I believe the serial number on the engine was 555 and the only one of this make still around.

The New York Steam Engine Association has used this engine on its stationary for several years.'

More help comes from CHARLES SCHAEFER, Route 1, Box 43A, Piasa, Illinois 62079: 'May-June 1980, page 13, a fellow member is in trouble with a picture of his grandfather's steam engine threshing machine.

I have Encyclopedia of American Steam Traction Engine, by Jack Norbeck. Mailed out by Farm Journal Inc., Washington Square, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19105. In this 320 page book, on page 92, J. I. Case Company top left corner is a picture of Wilmer Bouray's steam engine. His address is Box 56, Haray, Nebraska 68943.

This 12 HP J.I. Case steam traction engine, built in 1894 is owned by James E. B. Zeger of Leola, Pennsylvania. It appears at the Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical Association Show at Kinzer, Pennsylvania.'

A vote of thanks comes from BILLY M. BYRD, 369 S. Harrig Street, Madisonville, Kentucky 42431: 'Many thanks for printing my letter and the pictures of the engines in the May-June 1980 issue. J. R. Erdle of Rt. 4, Canadaigua, New York wrote me and identified the unknown engine as a Watertown made by Hood & Bradford, Watertown, New York. He has one of the only two Watertown steam traction engines left. So now the engine is identified thanks to you and the Album.'

From DAVID J. I. GRAY, 119 Turtlecove Lane, Huntington, Long Island, New York 11743 comes an interesting missal: 'I am currently preparing an article for the British journal, 'Steaming,' the subject of which is British steam engines in the United States.

Although I am aware that between 1888 and 1914 many Fowler steam ploughing sets were exported from England to the United States, I have not, as yet, located one or established if any of the engines still exist. I have not found anybody who remembers ever seeing any of these machines. I know that Fowler engines were in use in the New Orleans area and in the Islands of Hawaii and Manila.

In addition to this, I also know that Aveling & Porter sent to the U.S. tandem steam rollers with vertical boilers, I believe, around the time of the First World War or soon thereafter.

I am also led to believe that the design of the Buffalo-Springfield vertical boiler steam roller was based on the imported Aveling & Porter machine.

While I have personally found examples of Buffalo-Springfield rollers of this type, I do not know if any of the Aveling & Porter rollers are still in existance in preservation. I have been told that there is a British steam wagon located at Steamtown in Vermont so, before long I shall take time to go and see it. There also was a very rare example of a Howard cable ploughing engine, which for many years was at the museum in Dearborne.

In more recent years, several British engines have been purchased in the preserved state and brought to the U.S. I know, for example, that a pair of Fowler ploughing engines from the Buckinghamshire area came to the States in the early 1970s but I do not know their whereabouts now.

At about the same time a Burrell showman's engine left the U.K. headed across the Atlantic to the U.S. and, here again, I do not know where it is today.

Of course, I have been to see the Burrell tractor that came out to the States in 1954 and is now in the possession of the Museum of Transportation in Boston and I included details of this engine in a previous article written for 'Steaming.'

I should be very grateful if any of your readers could help me with my article by sending to me any information at all that they have relating to British steam engines in the United States and, of course, any photos that they may have will be most welcome.

I should be only too happy to reimburse any expenses in sending me this information or supplying me with photographs and would be happy, of course, to give acknowledgements in my article.'

This letter comes from MELVIN R. GRENVIK, 115-1st Avenue N.E., Kenmare, North Dakota 58746: 'I would like to offer what I can in response to the Soot in the Flues letter from Wilmer Bouray, Haray, Nebraska in the May-June issue.

The engine in the picture sent in by Mr. Bouray is a J. I. Case center crank single cylinder manufactured from 1894 to 1897 and in sizes from 12 to 16 horsepower.

I have no idea what make the thresher might be. Judging from the vintage of the engine, the separator seems to be one with a straw carrier, before the wind stacker (blower) came into general use. No doubt some reader will recognize the machine.

Our magazine continues to be tops my best to all the staff.'

EDWIN H. BREDEMEIER, Route 1, Box 13, Steinauer, Nebraska 68441 sends this: 'Enclosed are two pictures of a 2-hole corn sheller. Can anyone help me identify the sheller make? I found it while scavengeing for parts to complete my horse power corn shelling outfit. Best wishes for 1980.'

A letter comes from G. A. NITSHE, Providence Farm, Monroeville, New Jersey 08343 stating: 'I have the only grist mill operating commercially and using stones-in the state of New Jersey. I power it with a Witte 2 HP engine #B46762. Would any of your readers be able to help me ascertain when it was manufactured? Much thanks!'

Some help comes from EDWARD I. CUMMINGS, 4060 S. Grant, Englewood, Colorado 89110: 'In regard to the picture on page 13 of the March-April I.M.A. Magazine-Yes, that is a tender of a Case steam engine. A friend of mine had a 12 HP Case engine with a tender like that on his engine. I think it was a 1900 model engine. Before moving to Colorado, I lived in Phillipsburg, Kansas and owned three threshing machines.'

If you can help JOHN H. HARRISON, 4301 Bruceville Road, Vincennes, Indiana 47591, please let him hear from you: 'Can anyone tell me the date of manufacture of my Nichols Shepard single cylinder traction engine (side mounted), 20-70 HP, engine #13887? Also need to know the proper color scheme for this engine.'

In closing, I'd like to send along this little poem called Neighborhood Prayer by Michael J. Smajda:

God, show me love, not anger; Offer me hope and not despair; Make me wiser than my ignorance, Give me cause to truly care, About the people who live around me And the community in which I live For I do want to love my neighbor In this world of take and give.

That's it for this time, friends, have fun this summer following the steam hobby and remember this thought to ponder When God measures men He puts the tape around the heart, not the head.