Soot in the flues

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Hi! to our wonderful I.M.A. Family - big summer coming up and Reunions just about to be in full swing throughout the next four months and I know you are all ready and anxious to get steamed up! Don't forget and let us hear about your little notes of interest as well as the biggies.

Recently my hubby and I attended my High School Class Reunion a belated 40th which means almost 41st - what a time - it was great! We've had one big reunion when we were out 25 years, but some of them didn't get to that one and made it this time. We only had a class of 60 when I graduated and there were 32 of the class there and more with the mates and guests. Funny though how so many of them really changed, except a couple of us around here (Ha Ha). Isn't it fun and a joy though to relive some of the school days (daze)? Some people will never attend class reunions, but we love them; but then we love people. In June we're attending Ed's 48th - they had one at 45 years and liked it so much they decided to have one in between 45 and 50th - and we're ready to go. Who knows now that we have more time, perhaps we'll keep in better touch with some of them.

Time for one of my Wellsprings of Wisdom stories from the book of Ralph L. Woods. This one is called Man's Dream and Destiny and titled The Greater Fool. A potentate of ancient Asia presented his court jester with a beautifully wrought wand and said: 'Keep this until you find a greater fool than yourself.' The jester good-naturedly accepted the emblem of magic and flourished it on special occasion. Some years later the ruler was dying and asked to see the jester, of whom he had grown fond.

'I wanted to say goodbye; I am going away on a long journey.'
'Where are you going to?'
'I have no idea.'
'How long will you be gone?'
'That I can tell you it is forever. I know nothing more about this journey I am about to take.'
'What have you done about providing for your well-being on this great trip?' asked the jester.
'Nothing whatever,' replied the king. 'There is nothing to be done.'
'Since that is the way you feel,' said the jester, 'take this wand. You are the one to whom I should give it.'

And now on to our communications: 'After seeing one of your magazines I had to write,' says BLAIR T. GRUBE, 100 Kissick Lane, Freeport, PA 16229. 412-295-3526.

He continues: 'You know there are bigger engines!! (Yes, we do, Blair, but go on.) I moved a 50 HP Bessemer from Worthington, Pa. to Porterville, 35 miles. This engine is approximately 17' long and weighs 10 tons. It is one piece base with a compressor built into it. Your book kind of talked up a 25 HP which really would be dwarf to 'Bessie'. (We love stories about all sizes.)

'It is being mounted at Portersville's Show Ground. Ten yards of concrete have been poured, the engine set and now being restored. Eight inch casing is the exhaust. A building is built; see picture. Two big tanks, cooler tanks, one 10' and the other 8' by 8' also had to be moved. Five 48' to 56' by 5' tanks, 1 accumulator, 2 compressor tanks, air starting tank and after compressor tank also had to be moved. She was in a building 25' by 14' and office 12' by 5', all had to be removed. She was loaded on an Auto Car tractor trailer rig with a six ton come-a-long. Been quite a project!' (I'll bet it was, Blair, sounds like you had a lot of excitement and fun. I've typed up quite a few stories like that too bad I don't know just where they are in our magazines, but maybe some of our good readers will like to get in touch with you and chat about them. Hope to hear from you again sometime.)

ORVILLE McCAULEY, Route 3, Box 94, Nixa, Missouri 65714, phone 417-725-3610 called one day and we had a real nice chat. Orville wants to know when Harris Machine Works at Belleville, Illinois started making steam engines. And I'm sure if you care to give him a call you'll enjoy speaking with him he'll tell you about Silver Dollar City and 1800's and lots of goodies. Why not write us a story, Orville? (According to the Encyclopedia of Steam Traction Engines by Jack Nor beck, the Harrison Machine Works was established in 1848 and incorporated in 1878. The company made only 839 steam traction engines.)

'Having subscribed to I.M.A. almost from its inception, I have enjoyed a host of articles, reports and pictures. One of particular interest in the March-April 1983 issue is the one about the MacDonald Company and their arrangement with the A. D. Baker Company to produce engines of Baker design in Canada. Question: Did any other U.S. company(s) have similar agreements with Canadian firms to manufacture engines in Canada? If so, perhaps that could be the subject of a future article in I.M.A.' (How about it, Fellas? Know anything about this? And anyone out there to write an article? If you can answer the man, please write GEORGE W. MAIRS, 6150 Pincney Road, Pinckney, Michigan 48169. Let us know, too.)

Perhaps you'll be interested in reading the letter from W. BEDELL BOSSART, R.D. 2, Box 229, Export, Pennsylvania 15632:

'First, let me say that I greatly enjoy I.M.A. but wish there were more saw mill pictures and articles. My father and I obtained a manual Frick mill about four years ago and began to saw part time. We learned much about sawing and realize that there is much yet to learn. I would be most interested in trading sawmill stories and/or sawmill pictures with any of the I.M.A. family of readers. If anyone would care to swap me a sawmill story, picture or tidbit of advice, I'll send in return a picture of our mill (we are using diesel power now but hope in the future to get a steam unit as back-up) taken with a 1910 5'x7' Seneca view camera (another of my hobbies). Thank you for your attention.'

'In Nov-Dec. 1982 issue you published some identification I had sent in for a previous request in a former magazine. Thank you for that!' writes HARVEY GLOEGE, Box 158, Glenwood, Minnesota 56334. 'Since that you asked me for a photo of the 36' x 56' Aultman-Taylor separator my father owned new in 1912, which was exactly like the one I identified on page 16 of the Jan.-Feb. 1982 issue. I wrote that I have a picture taken in 1912 of that machine but I cannot find that one, but have another taken in 1927. This is picture #1. The Aultman Taylor 1912 separator owned by George and Herman Gloege of Odessa, Minnesota. My uncle Herman Gloege is separator man.

'I also mentioned that my father also had a 1912 30-60 gas Aultman Taylor engine. I'm enclosing a picture of it belted to that separator the day the picture was taken in 1927. It is owned by the above mentioned owners. That is me running the engine at age 19. The picture was taken by a neighbor girl of the Eli Steen Farm, Ortonville, Minnesota, where we were threshing that day. Her name was Loville Cronen, whom I later married in 1932 and she is still very much with me. We celebrated our 50th Anniversary this past June 20, 1982 in the Methodist Church here in Glenwood, Minnesota. I'm numbering that photo #2.

'I mentioned in that letter I also owned a 1913 Case 60 steam engine, S/N 29136 (Photo #3) and a 1916 30-60 Aultman Taylor gas tractor (Photo #4). Both were taken the same day in 1958. On both photos is my grandson, Johnny Gloege when he was a little shaver. The picture was taken on the Pope County Fair Grounds here in Glenwood, Minnesota. I had threshed on the grounds with both engines that year, as I have many years. My grandson is now married and is a high school teacher and coach in Princeton, Minnesota. They presented us with a great granddaughter in June 1982 for a 50th Anniversary present.

'My uncles and other relatives were threshermen and owned Aultman Taylor engines and separators. I have been the Chevrolet Oldsmobile dealer here in Glenwood since 1946. I originally came from Odessa, Minnesota where my father was a John Deere dealer from 1922 to 1930. I grew up on threshing machines and ran them since I was 15. We lived on a farm in Lac Qui, Parle County, Minnesota. I have enjoyed the I.M.A. very much over the years. I especially have enjoyed your writings, Anna Mae, you make it so interesting and it's so good to read your comments, philosophy and also the spiritual things you contribute. Please keep up the good work.' (Gee thanks, Harvey, you just gave me the inspiration to keep going onand I hope I got this letter presented as you would want it.)

We recently heard from Carl and Pearl Akerland, Box 307, Unity, Saskatchewan, Canada SOK 4L0 for when Carl sent in his subscription, Pearl wrote us the following letter: 'I wanted to write and tell you of the museum we have started in our town of Unity. The town bought the old C.P.R. station from North Unity and donated it to our museum. The station was built in 1910 and was used until 1974.

'Carl helped, along with many other volunteer workers in moving the station three miles to the museum grounds on February 10. The weather was real nice for that kind of work.

'We now have a steel Quonset 48 x 96. Also, two country schools, one of which I attended for eight years. It was called East Bank School #3525. We have a nice collection of old furniture, dishes, tools, etc. We also have a George White steamer which has been in several parades. Also have gas tractors, machinery and an old fire truck.

'Our museum is growing with the help of donations from many interested persons. We also put on card parties and raffles to make money. We also look forward to I.M.A.' (Well, thanks, Pearl, and many good wishes on the growth of your museum.)

Here is just a nice note from a man who knew Elmer many, many years ago and I thought perhaps there are a few more folks out there who might know CARLTON JOHNSON, Clio, Michigan 48420 and have all the issues of the magazine from the beginning. He writes:

'I am an original subscriber to the Iron Men Album, starting with the winter issue, 1946, and have all the issues from then until present.

'Rev. Elmer Ritzman and his wife came to our place one afternoon about 4:30 in 1946 and he talked of starting up a magazine on steam threshing and etc. I encouraged him on the idea and said I thought it would be a wonderful project. I was using a steam engine at that time for threshing and continued for four more years to do so.

'Rev. Ritzman and his wife stayed overnight, had breakfast and left to look up another person to see what they thought of the idea. I have enjoyed the magazine ever since.'

'I am one of the few steam engine men left, ' says R. W. CREEK, R.R. 2, Box 8G, Batavia, Iowa 52533. 'I started firing father's 13 HP Peerless in 1907. I was a mere lad then and I never missed a Fall Run until the combines took over. Then I went into the sawmill and house moving. Being I had two lines of business, I sold the mill.

'I'd like to tell of my sawmill experience. I had a good mill, all made on old separator trucks; 28' was all on the wagon. That left it to where I had to put a joint of track on each end. It had a good carriage with twelve axles and four head blocks. I put on a new set works with a foot receder attachedand that really increased my output. Then we could average twelve thousand foot per day. I had a 50' bottom saw and a 42' top, both inc. tooth, a saw dust blower and two log turners; one kick back and one power. I powered this mill with a 60 Cat which had a 14' drive pulley and 28' pulley on the saw mandrel and with a 450 REP that made the saw 900 RPM.

'Now I read in your Album where some sawyers run their saw with a quarter in lead. I don't see how they can. I only had not over a thirty second and my saw was always cool. I liked the small bottom saw and large top saw. I had a good edger, also ran off the mandrel. And with two off bearers men, one the. edger and I always had a good man on the carriage. With a foot recede, I could turn my log coming back and right back in the saw and never stop the carriage. You can't do that every time but with the square side back, the foot works just fine!

'Well, that is about all this time. I am on crutches and have been for four years and as I said it has been a long time since 1907.

'If nothing happens, this June I will be 89 and we are going to celebrate our 65th Wedding Anniversary November 20,1983.' (And he signed it Raleigh and Alta Creek. Well, Bless you both on your 65 years together and thanks for sharing your letter with us.)

This engine is a -scale from a 65 HP Case. It is five feet three inches long, weighs 600 pounds, 3 HP. It took 2000 hours of work to build. It burns coal. Built by H. L. Bolton, Reece, Kansas.

GILBERT T. SCHNEIDER, Route 4, Box 179, Chilton, Wisconsin 53014 has two Oliver 70 tractors. One is Oliver 70, S/N 241357 and the other is Oliver 70 Hart Parr S/N 204364. These are row crop models. He would like to know how old they are and what year manufactured. He would also like to know care and instructions on them. If you are interested in same or can give him some data, please write.

RANDY Mac DOWELL, 9350 Valley Bend, San Antonio, Texas 78250 encloses an old steam engine photo owned by a friend. He would like help in identifying its make and year and information from an instruction manual can you help him?

In closing, I must leave you with a few thought provokers2/3 of promotion is motion Life is like a grindstone, and whether it grinds a man down or polishes him depends on the stuff he is made of. The best way to wipe out a friendship is to sponge on it. True prayer is a way of life, not just a case of emergency. Bye Bye, Love ya all, keep writing and have fun this summer.