SOOT IN THE FLUES

SOOT IN THE FLUES

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Hi! Dear friends and family of Iron Men Album, this is your time of year, isn't it? I know you are in your glory packing and shining up the engines and eager to see what the summer of 1988 has in store for all the steam and gas engine buffs. And don't forget after all the fun, new friendships, and the acquiring of news and new items, don't forget when you are packing to come home to pack up some great stories and memories to bring back with you and then send some to me and we can share with the IMA family.

This item came to my attention and I thought it most important to pass along to my IMA family. All the time, our representatives in the Congress of the United States receive many interesting letters. This one concerns open competition for both producers and consumers of our great nation and of course, the foreign competition. Personally, I think it is great to have trade relations, but sometimes I wonder if we don't abuse this system. For while we like to support our country, we find sometimes merchandise from other countries consumes quite a bit of our trade and does not do much to help the workers in our country. I think you understand what I am saying. I found this item quite clever and it is entitled Only In America:

'He drove his German car made of Swedish steel and Argentine leather to a gasoline station, where he filled up with Arab oil shipped in a Liberian tanker and bought two French tires, composed of rubber from Sri Lanka.'

'At home, he dropped his Moroccan briefcase, hung up his Scottish tweed wool coat, removed his Italian shoes and Egyptian cotton shirt, then donned a Hong Kong robe and Taiwan slippers.'

'More comfortable now, he poured a cup of hot Brazilian coffee into an English coffee mug, set a Mexican placemat on an Irish linen tablecloth atop a Danish table varnished with linseed oil from India. He filled his Austrian pipe with Turkish tobacco and picked up a Japanese ballpoint pen with which he wrote a letter to his congressman asking support for measures to protect American industry from imports.'

Isn't this a gem? I think it may be a bit exaggerated but I know for sure I bet every American home has quite a few imports amid our American dwellings. I thought you would enjoy it. And now, on to our letters.

'I'm enclosing some pictures of unloading a 32-132 HP Reeves C.C. engine at the National Threshers Association Show. The engine belongs to Brodbeck Family of Ottawa Lake, Michigan.'

'The other picture is a 22 HP Advance Rumely Universal steam engine. It is pulling a 6-bottom plow and belongs to Graham Sellers, Coldwater, Michigan at the Northeast Indiana Steam and Gas Show at LaGrange 4-H Fairgrounds, Frank Miller at the controls, Marvin Beckel, helper. The engine belongs to me,' writes RAY WENGER, 305 Liberty Road, Sturgis, Michigan 49091.

A touching letter comes from BELVA BALBOUR, RR 1, Portland, Ontario K0G 1V0: 'Dear Iron Men Album: To you and all good friends interested in the grand magazine you put out, I simply want to say for Larry and myself another hello and thank you.'

'Since I wrote, we had to discontinue our subscription, which had been enjoyed for a number of years, due to Larry's illness. Some good souls have been doing good work which we appreciate very, very much. To be remembered by folks you never met, when shut-in the hospital, a chronic care stroke patient, it is a heavenly morale booster and I assure you brought tears to our eyes. We could hardly believe the mail we got. Several kind men wrote Larry, sent clippings, good cheerful messages and pictures of engines, etc. I do not need to name names here as each know what they did, but Larry's phone chat today said 'You'll never guess, I even got mail from England.' He was so pleased, and I said 'I'll write our thanks at once.'

'I hope you can carry our thanks in some way and tell all they have helped our spirits so much by their thoughtfulness and taking the time to do such a good deed.'

'Larry changes very little and the mail like engine mail can please him more. I read his mail over and over to him and visit often as I can. He is about twenty-five miles from home and getting the best of care and is still interested in participating in all activities that go on which is such a help for him and all. He eats, sleeps and feeds himself with one hand and gets around in his electric wheelchair, which he manages very well. He enjoys music, church services, and company and his mind is very good, considering. You know strokes never build one up. Please do what you can to express our gratitude and keep up the good work.'

(The best thing we can do is reprint Belva's letter, and hope you keep up the good work, folks!)

DAVID D. WALKER, 4910 Emerson Road, Sacramento, California 95820 would like to hear from any of the readers of the Album that could give him some information on scale model plans of the Reeves traction engine, preferably the Canadian Special. If you can help him out, please let him know.

An interesting communication and suggestion comes from CAMERON BROWN, Box 1283, San Juan Bautista, California 95045: 'I read your publications with great interest. A friend of mine who has fished Alaskan waters tells me that there are two large stationary steam engines in the derelict structures around Steamboat Bay on Noyes Island. Noyes Island is one of the small islands west of Prince of Wales Island. By no means are these the only steam engines abandoned in the wilds of southeast Alaska. They are probably not 'abandoned' in the strictest sense, but belong to heirs or absentee holding companies.

'Machinery in the Pacific Northwest often is in surprisingly good condition if exposed to uncontaminated rain water. Within range of the salty aerosols from marine wave action, the climate is far more aggressive. The two engines in question are described as being practically in working condition.

'I thought it would be worthwhile to inform you of this probably untapped wealth of industrial artifacts. Perhaps some of your more affluent and resourceful readers can mount an expedition.' (Think about it. Maybe something can be done.)

This letter comes from ANDY MICHAELS, 302 Highland Avenue, Plenty wood, Montana 59254.

'I should write this to Joe Dill, Route 1, Box 26, but I thought others might be interested.'

'There were three makes of push binders in general use hereMcCormick, Deering and Avery. On the first I had six horses when used as a binder. They were hard pullers and in heavy grain the bundle tyer never stopped since they had a six horse hitch. They used six when they were used as a header.'

'The Averys were easy pulling and never used as a binder, so they only needed four horses. The twelve foot cut (all were twelve feet) was very nice in flax. Flax was lumped in bunches. They had no wheel in front, a heavy cast iron weight held the tail wheel down.'

'We used a chain attached to the frame and cut many acres with tractors in front. Also pulled the barges when stacking. You dropped the full barge, pulled up and used manpower to hook up the empty.'

'Greetings! As an ex-Naval Marine Engineer, I would like to comment on a few lines of verse from an article, 'Kinzers Report 1987', in the January/February 1988 IMA magazine,' writes ROSS JOHNSON, 287 Aldercrest Road, Toronto, Ontario M8W 4J9.

'First, I would say your magazine has been enjoyed over twenty years and a very useful part is the classified ad section. It has been used to advantage many times.'

'The verse is from McAndrew's Hymn, written by Rudyard Kipling. It tells the musing of a Chief Engineer, on the night watch of a passenger ship enroute from the east to England. It is lengthy and begins:

'Lord thou hast made this world below the shadow of a dream,
An' taught by time, I take it so, excepting always steam.
From coupler-flange to spindle guide I see Thy hand, O' God,
Predestination in the stride of yon connection rod.
John Calvin might have forged the same, enormous, certain, slow.
Ay, wrought in the furnace-flame My Instutio.
I cannot get my sleep to-night, old bones are hard to please.
I'll stand the middle watch up here, alone with God an' these:
My engines, offer ninety days o' race an' rack, an' strain.
Through all the seas of all Thy world slam banging home again,
Slam-bang too much; they knock a wee the cross-head-gibe are loose,
But thirty thousand miles o' sea has gied them fair excuse.
Fine, clear an' dark, a full draught breeze, wi' Ushant out o' sight
An' Ferguson relievin', Hoy Old girl ye'll walk the night.
His wife's at Plymouth; Seventy-one, two, three since he began
Three turns for Mistress Ferguson and who's to blame the man?'
'It does go on. To all, best wishes for 1988 from Ross Johnson.'

JOE HABEGER, 900 N.E. 8th Street, Madison, South Dakota 57042 sends this: 'Several of us here are restoring a 1907 Case portable, boiler number 18,348, which I understand is a 6 HP unit. The flywheel is the only original part we have of the engine. The missing engine parts were taken off many years ago, perhaps during or before World War II and the boiler was then used to heat a sheep-dip tank. We advertised for parts in your March/April issue and if we do not find enough originals we will use as many of the ones in the enclosed picture as we may need.'

'We wondered if someone could identify the parts we have (see photo). What is it? The only mark of any kind is #433S on two collars that fit on the crank-disc shaft. The engine bore and stroke appear to be 7' x 10'. There is no evidence of a reverse or cut-off mechanism.'

'When the work is completed it will be donated to Prairie Village and the plan is to use it to generate steam for the blowers on the two locomotives when we steam them up and to run an 18' thresher that is also being restored this year.'

'We would really appreciate hearing from anyone who can help us find parts or give useful information on this project.'

'I have acquired a Cletrac crawler tractor in running condition with a serial number 7520,' writes SVEN HENRIKSEN, 572 Williams Road, Hemmingford, Quebec J0L 1H0.

'I wish to know what year this unique machine was built. I have compared my tractor with that shown in The Agricultural Tractor 1855-1950, by R.B. Gray, and find some differences, as follows.'

1918 Cleveland 'H'12-20 HP., 1,200 r.p.m. Weldley 4-cylinder engine. High-tension magneto ignition; fan, pump, and radiator cooling; steering byplanetary compensating differential gears; dutch, double plate; sliding-gear transmission three forward speeds, 1 to 3-1/2 m.p.h.

'(1) My Cletrac has only one speed forward and not three. (2) There is no take up idler pulley on the flat belt for the water pump and fan. (3) The front track wheels have five spokes and not four. (4) There is a tool box under the operator's seat. (5) The seat has a high-rise back. (6) There are mud deflectors over the suspension bridges. (7) There are no brakes of any kind.'

'This machine seems to have been painted grey with yellow lettering. I have seen pictures of 1920-22 Cletracs in green, please advise. Enclosed please find two photos for your study. Any information would be appreciated.'

'I am hoping to enter this tractor in our 3rd Annual Chateauguay Valley Antique Association Show to be held in Rock burn, Quebec on August 20 and 21, 1988.'

This letter and picture comes from JAMES L. GRAHAM, 229 S. Riverside, Ames, Iowa 50010: 'I found this picture among my father's things. It was taken in 1897 in Lyon County, Iowa, of my grandfather George Graham and his brother, Robert, who ran this threshing rig.'

'The Gaar Scott engine (it says Gaar Scott on the front) looks different than any pictures of Gaar Scott I have seen. However, people who know say it's a possibility it was built in early 1890's and should be 18-20 HP.'

'The water barrels are interesting but I am curious about the covered wagon with Dexter on the side. Was it used for sleeping or what? Dexter, Iowa was the hometown of George and Robert Graham.'

'The names of the other men in the crew are George White, Alex McNutt, Sam Markey, Milo Crouse, Dodds, Stuart and Johnson. I don't know if they were from Dexter or not? Another question: what was a Dallas County threshing rig from Dexter, Iowa doing in Lyon County over 160 miles away?'

'In 1897 George was 30 years old and still single but Robert got married the same year. If anyone can give me more information from this picture please write.'

You'll enjoy this letter from DANNY E. BLACK, Route 1, Box 16, Seneca, Missouri 64865: 'I would like to introduce myself as this is the first time I've written. I see you need more material and I felt guilty. I knew that I had to do my part and contribute to this fine magazine.'

'I get so much enjoyment from it. Sitting down and writing is a real struggle for me. It's a shame because I feel I could write a book from these three short years. The amazing people, the amazing tractors, and their amazing experiences are overwhelming to me.'

'I've only been in this hobby of steam tractors for three years, but I do have a background in steam production from the Navy, power utilities, and industry. The thing that got the fire lit in my firebox was the day I met Marion Nicholson from Wood-burn, Iowa. I had gone to watch things sell at an estate auction of Ben Markley's at Carthage, Missouri. I have weakness for auctions so I find them very interesting. Anyway, I think I had my nose stuck inside one of the steam tractors when up walks Marion and says, 'Are you buying today?' And I said, 'No, I don't think so, because I think the tractors are going to bring too much for me.' Then he introduces himself and I introduce myself. Well, we ended up talking all day about the tractors and we formulated a plan on how we were going to bid on the tractors the next day.'

'Well, our plans went sour when the auctioneer didn't sell them like we thought he would. Then Marion comes up with a new plan for me. He says, 'Find out the guy's name and address, from the clerk, that bought the Aultman Taylor. Maybe he'll sell it! This plan worked out for me. Carl Tuttle of Howell, Michigan bought it and when I got hold of him, he said that he bought two tractors in the area and that he didn't especially want to haul them both back to Michigan. He said he would sell me the Aultman & Taylor and haul it to my house for me. And I said 'Great!'.'

'And this is how I came by my first tractor, a 30-60 Aultman & Taylor Serial No. 8632. I'm calling it a 1914. I'm hoping that someone out there can verify it for me. Please write me if you can.'

'It was a most exciting time to have not only gotten my tractor, but I discovered later that these two individuals are premier steam tractor men, that took the time to get me off on the right foot. And their enthusiasm is very contagious.'

A letter comes from our good contributor FRANK J. BURRIS, 1102 Box Canyon Road, Fallbrook, California 92028. He tells us, 'I am enclosing a Xerox of six items which I found in old archives while cleaning out a part of the garage. Possibly you may see fit to publish same.'

'(1) A pencil drawing to sketch my idea for a steam traction engine as conceived in the good old year of 1915. I was then 12 years old, and dreamed this one up from discussions with a fine mechanically-minded school chum, John Williams. This was during the time of a one-room schoolhouse, and there was not an engine of any sort anywhere near. I did borrow the idea of a frame from the undermounted Avery idea; but the engine consisted of a single-cylinder vertical as likely borrowed from Case.'

'The only threshing machine in the area pulled into the neighbor's yard in 1912; and it was a sweep horsepower with hand-feed thresher, slat stacker, owned by 'Zip' Young of nearby View field, the one story country center later made famous by a government balloon ascension. Yes, South Dakota was quite open in those days. Later, in about 1916, five farmers went into cahoots and purchased a Case 20-40 gas tractor and 28 inch Case separator. To this day, I have regarded that outfit as one of the finest, rugged and most serviceable outfits ever designed anywhere! Case should never have put a fan on the later 20-40's; they did not need it and it proved only a nuisance. The later high speed gas tractors emulated the automobile and necessitated a fan, water pump, etc.'

'(2) This was a Perfect Attendance Record from the above country schoolroom, which harbored all school grades from 1 to 8; after 8, if any farmer's child chose to go further, he must move to town. Note this old record is from 1912 and is in mint condition; more than may be said for the subject student at present.'

'(3) Now here is a similar record from 1916, which is included to reveal the teacher's name of Bernice Kern, undoubtedly the most inspirational and class-loving teacher who ever trod over the face of this earth! She had all sorts of interesting projects for the girl students, but her interest in the boys was to inspire them to be studious, analytical, and inventive. It was because of her urgence that involved in my young mind the idea of a quick-action monkey wrench as depicted following.'

'(4) My elders always said that I was born with a monkey wrench in my hand. I guess it must have been this one. A one-hand operated gadget that surely could never be guaranteed to do the job.'

'(5) My first 'Union Labor' card, when unions were just coming of recognition in the railway business during 1919. I had stayed out of school two years, just prior to high, because of manpower shortage during World War I and comparatively extremely high wages. And while I became associated with the locomotive boilermakers and machinist helpers in this effort, everyone outside the master mechanics and foremen of engines became enrolled in Maintenance of Way and Railway Shop Laborers as shown in the title. This card and its folder are both in mint condition after all these years!'

'(6) May not be worthy of further interest; it was issued during my last year of country school. Father moved us from the Belle Fourche area of Meade County in South Dakota. He quit farming and began employment in maintenance with the railroad company. It was then that I finished the 8th grade and became apprenticed to the locomotive boys in the same C&NW shops at the division point in Pierre. The experiences there would fill a good-sized volume.'

'Oh, yes, while I did not quite make that distinctive traction engine as originally designed way back then, I did get around to 'Luellabelle' as she appeared on the cover of IMA, issue of November/December 1981. But the old 'roundhouse' experiences with steam locomotives, both coal and oil burning, are as vivid today as though I must get up in the morning and go back to work. We took everything for granted to exist forever in those halcyon days, but now, long since, the roundhouse, turntable, tanks, bins, and car repair yards have all been dismantled. Even the fine old passenger depot, one of the finest on the line, was dismantled and made into room for a tourist motel installation!'

The following item on prayer I feel is quite worthy of your reading, and perhaps it will help someone today.

PRAYER

The Lord always hears our prayers,
But He does not always say, 'Yes!'
Sometimes He says , 'Wait'
Sometimes He says, 'no'
For He has something better for us.

God's delays are not denials
He has heard your prayer;
He knows all about your trials,
Knows your every care.

God's delays are not denials,
Help is on the way,
He is watching o'er life's dials,
Bringing forth that day.

God's delays are not denials,
You will find Him true,
Working through the darkest trials,
What is best for you.

When God does not immediately respond to the cries of His children, it is because He wants to accomplish some gracious purpose in their lives. If you are waiting for an answer of some heartfelt petition, don't become impatient. Commit the matter into the hands of your loving heavenly Father and trust His wisdom.

And in closing, every man must live with the man he makes of himself. D.L. Moody once said, 'A holy life will make the deepest impression. Lighthouses blow no horns, they just shine.' If trouble drives you to prayer, prayer will drive the trouble away. If you are a stranger to prayer, you are a stranger to power. Bye-bye, folks! Love Ya!

STEA Mcerely, Anna Mae