SOOT IN THE FLUES

SOOT IN THE FLUES

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Hi! To all our dear friends and enthusiasts of the bygone years of the steam engines on the farm. And this is the time when everything pertaining to the reunions will be in full swing and the engine buffs will be in their glory. I wish you all a wonderful season and enjoyment as you reminisce with your old pals and probably meet some wonderful new friends.

I often use my Wellsprings of Wisdom book to relate some of these very interesting stories, by Ralph Woods, stories of men encountering God, life and themselves. Sparkling messages presented in parables that capture life's lasting values. The one this time is called HUMILITY.

A tired farmer, oppressed by the noonday heat, sat under a walnut tree for some rest, and as he sat there he looked at his pumpkin vines and said to himself, 'God is really very foolish and inexperienced. He puts big heavy pumpkins on a frail vine that has so little strength it has to lie on the ground. And then he puts small walnuts on a big tree with branches that can hold a man. Any man could do better than that!

Just then a breeze dislodged a walnut from the tree under which the farmer sat, and the walnut fell on the critic's head. The old man rubbed his head ruefully and said, 'It's a good thing there wasn't a pumpkin up there instead of a walnut.'

And now on to our communications. We have quite a few pictures this time and a lengthy article that I think you will find very interesting. Thank you folks, and please keep the letters and pictures coming to us. These articles and snapshots are what makes the magazine so interesting.

MIKE HALL, 44W059 Empire Road, St. Charles, Illinois 60175 needs help from the Iron-Men Gang: 'I'm restoring a toy electric motor for a friend of mine and one of your Gas Engine Magazine contributors, namely Jim Gehringer. I've recently hit a snag, and could use your help.

'The motor is a 'Weeden'. Someone has operated on it and messed up the commutator and brush holders. Both are missing.

'Since I am trying to bring it back to original, or close to it, I would appreciate any help if you could tell me where to get these two parts, or pictures. All I really need to know is what they look like, and I can fabricate new ones.

'I have the rest of the motor pretty well cleaned up with all the old nickel plating stripped off and ready for the plating tank. I'm enclosing a couple of pictures in the hope that someone might recognize the little fellow. Incidentally, do you suppose that Chuck Wendel might have some knowledge along this line? (How about it, Chuck?)

'I have a number of toy motors in my collection such as Knapp, Porter, etc. but no Weeden.

'Needless to say that I look forward to Iron Men and Gas Engine, both of which I thoroughly enjoy.

'I will certainly appreciate any help I can get on this matter.'

'In early spring last year, Albert Horak and I went to Comfort Tile Yard in Tecumseh, Michigan to look at the diesel engines,' writes TROY PAWSON, 5463 Pawson Road, Tip-ton, Michigan 49287. 'One engine is a 3 cylinder with 10 inch bore and 14 inch stroke. The other is a 5 cylinder with 10 inch bore and 12 inch stroke. We talked with the owners and they told us that we could have the engines if we took them out without hurting the building in any way.

'We decided the best way to move the engines was on a trailer. We used two I-beams on a truck axle for our trailer. Next the flywheels would have to come off so the engines would fit on the trailer. I made a puller using a 30 ton jack. This worked very well, even in a hard pull. 'Next was to get the engine on the trailer. The engine sat on cement and was bolted down (the bolts were five feet long). We took off the nuts and jacked up the engine, cut the bolts off with a torch, even with the cement, using 3 inch pipe about 5 inches long for rollers. The engine was lowered back down on the rollers. The trailer then was put in place. We were then able to pull the engine on the trailer. This took about 2 hours. We chained the engine down and started home.'

ANNABELLE NELSEN, P.O. Box 353, Bird City, Kansas 67731 writes as follows: 'This fall we will have our 36th Annual Antique Show at Bird City, Kansas, and the steam engine whistle has certainly echoed down through the ages. The sons of the men who started the show are the old-timers now and they have some sons and grandsons, also granddaughters engineering the steam engines.

'I'm sending a poem I wrote to be in the Iron Men Album.'

STEAM POWER

The young man walked up to the old steam engine,
He said, 'I would like to be an engineer.
I can shovel in the coal and pour in the water,
I can steer the wheel and pull the throttle.'
Well, the old timer looked him straight in the eye,
He said, 'Son there's a lesson you must learn as time goes by;
You can shovel in the coal and pour in the water,
But don't underestimate steam power.'
The young man learned as the years went by.
Then a young lad walked up to his old engine one day.
He said, 'I can shovel in the coal and pour in the water,
I can steer the wheel and pull the throttle.'
Well, the old timer looked him straight in the eye.
He said, 'Son there's a lesson you must learn as time goes by;
You can shovel in the coal and pour in the water,
But don't underestimate steam power.'
See the black smoke roll from the mighty steam engine;
Hear the whistle echo down through the ages.
See the proud old engines standing in a row;
They're King of the annual antique show.
Will there always be an engineer To steam up the old engines through
the years? Will the black smoke roll from the
mighty steam engine? Will the whistle echo down through the ages?

LARRY PALMER, R.R. 1, Box 453, Albion, Indiana 46701 sends this picture: 'plowing demonstration at the 1988 Midwest Old Settlers and Threshers Reunion at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. 50 HP Case engine owned by Mike Parker, Fairfield, Iowa. Mike Parker and Larry Palmer are on the engine. Photo taken by Craig Det-wiler, Spencer, Wisconsin.'

'I would certainly be remiss if I didn't inform you and the readers of the Iron Men Album that a Steam Engine Economy Rumely Run is planned for the Darke County Steam Thresher Show of July 6, 7,8, 9, 1989 with several different makes of engines that are going to participate and with competent officials. The results will be quite interesting,' states WILLIAM O. NASH, R.R. #2, Box 169, Winchester, Indiana 47394.

A letter from JOE GRIVETZ, 3920 N. 165th Street, Brookfield, Wisconsin 53005 tells us: 'Enclosed is a picture of yours truly. The picture shows me with a 30 inch steam gauge I saved from a large power plant. It weighs over 200 pounds and served as the main gauge for 28 boilers that ran 11 turbines. I always enjoy receiving and reading your magazine.'

Another picture comes from DONALD WERTH, Rural Route #3, Box 105, Lincoln, Illinois 62656: 'I'm sending a picture of my 22 HP Keck Gonnerman engine #1693, built in 1923, and my 32x54 Keck Gonnerman thresher #6963, built about 1940. I restored this engine and thresher about 1984. Hope the readers enjoy it.'

'It has been a long time since I contributed anything to print in the Album. Of this, I am ashamed. During the fifteen years that we represented Stemgas at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa we always encouraged people to contribute stories and pictures,' writes DURWARD STEINMETZ, R. 1, Box 168, LaFarge, Wisconsin 54639.

(We are happy to hear from you again, Durward!)He sends along an article called:

Steam Cooked Sweet Corn

I just can't recall what inspired our version of steam-cooked sweet corn over 40 years ago. I do not recall anyone telling me that they did it, or describing their procedure or equipment. Surely, someone, somewhere, does it in much the same way we do. With us, I am sure it was just a takeoff from our custom of burying eggs under the tobacco bed steaming pan. When the area under the steam pan was finished, the eggs would be steamed, baked, cooked take your choice. They were really not much different from a regular hard-boiled egg. The shell effectively prevented any loss or contamination of what the hen put in there.

For a good number of years, I have known a Wisconsin engine show that offered steam-cooked corn for sale. People bought it eagerly and pronounced it delicious. I just smiled and let them do it their way, but I would say to my wife, 'They don't have steam-cooked corn. They just have a unique way of heating water. It is still boiled corn with a lot of flavor lost in the water and thrown away.'

I have never watched the full procedure, but it went something like this: A large open-topped metal tank was filled with water to an appropriate depth. Steam from a good-sized boiler was piped to it, released below the water line. After a considerable pre-heating period, the water was hot enough to cook corn. The corn was put in, and when nicely done, was removed and sold as 'steam-cooked.' At least, they left the husks on, which may enhance the flavor, and for sure, makes cleanliness easier and more certain.

I thought of this as an isolated case and thought someone surely used dry steam as we do. Now, I find out it is done much the same way other places, and even large sweet corn festivals, where tons of corn are cooked using a large container of steam-heated water to cook in, and they even removed the husks before cooking.

The first few times we cooked corn with steam, we used just equipment that was on hand. Even the best equipment one could wish for is simple and inexpensive. A tobacco steaming pan was much too large for the number of people involved. We spread fresh green sawdust on the ground for cleanliness, laid on a few sawmill edgings and laid the corn on the edgings. We turned a pan, which was intended to cook sorghum or maple syrup, over it and banked a little with sawdust. Steam from a medium-sized traction engine was run under it for thirty minutes. I am sure corn can be cooked in less than thirty minutes, but we usually put potatoes in too; so we have always used the 30 minute timing. I am sure we used much more steam than was needed, but no harm could be done by it. This is fully expanded steam and has the same temperature as boiling water, not the higher heat it would have if under pressure. Some of the steam condenses and goes into the ground. The rest escapes as vapor into the air. The corn is relatively dry at all times with no flavor or food value boiled out. Surprisingly not much steam is required. The time and fuel used while heating the water is saved and the hazard of working around a large container of boiling water is eliminated.

The method was rather unhandy, so years ago I came up with the following: We have a basket, like egg producers used to gather eggs. It is 9 inches deep and 14 inches in diameter. We stuffed it very full of corn if there are enough people to use that much. I put a wood block or a couple bricks on the ground to set it on. The top half of a 55 gallon steel drum makes an ideal cover. Be sure to clean out any oil or chemicals it may have contained. Leave the large bung in place and attach the steam hose or pipe to the small bung, it we don't have a traction engine steamed up, the little 4 HP vertical boiler at 90 p.s.i. pressure is plenty of steam. I believe it would still be enough steam if you left the barrel higher, and put in two or three baskets of corn. If you don't have a basket, one can be easily made of wire mesh. A common bucket with good-sized holes cut in the sides and bottom, or a cloth or mesh bag would work.

I usually turn on about all the steam the little boiler will make with wood fire the first few minutes. Then it can be turned down to not lose pressure when the boiler needs water. The sharp edge of the cut barrel is all the seal to the ground that is needed. If you do it on the lawn, you will have a round spot of dead grass. A 1/3 scale model engine will furnish plenty of steam to cook food. I am sure a system could be worked out to use even the real small models.

Safety first, always! Don't attempt to rig up this simple outfit unless at least one person in the group is knowledgeable on boilers and steam piping. Do not attempt to save steam by completely enclosing the cooking chamber. Pressure could build up and a terrible explosion would occur. Don't even place heavy weights on the open bottom cover that I described. When standing on its own weight, a fraction of a pound of pressure built up will raise it enough to release the excess and there will still be plenty enclosed to keep right on cookin'. The garden varieties such as Golden Bantam make better steamed corn than the high producing variety used by canning factories. It should be picked the same day it is used, preferably before the sun has heated it.

Someone will ask, 'What about worms?' Well, what about them? If it is your custom to throw wormy ears away, go ahead and throw them. The worms aren't going anywhere. If you cut away the damaged area, the worm and his work are still neatly in place, and can be cut away easily. Corn should be husked and eaten as soon as possible after steaming. It is very hot to handle. With a little practice a few quick jerks and it is clean. Silks come off cleaner and easier than raw corn. You would need to grip an ear tightly to be burned.

We have also made steam-cooked molasses for about 35 years. That is another story with more sophisticated equipment. Again the product is much different from the fire-cooked variety.

I can also make the world's best cup of coffee with steam. This also requires very simple equipment. With some chance that someone would be scalded, I will not describe how to do it.

Cooking with a steam jacketed kettle is one method with which I have had no contact or experience. Sure sounds like a great way to cook almost any food that isn't drained after cooking. Let's hear from some of you people who have been doing it.

This communication comes from STAN WINCK, 585 Cleveland Avenue, Marion, Ohio 43302. 614-383-4871.

A group of interested individuals, including officers and members of the Marion County Steam and Gas Engine Society, met late in 1986 to discuss plans to honor Edward Huber, builder of steam engines, tractors and equipment bearing his name. Marion, Ohio was the location of the Huber Mfg. Co. and the Marion club calls itself 'The Home of the Huber.'

In 1987 and 1988 many things were accomplished by this group including the induction of Edward Huber, posthumously, into the Ohio Senior Citizens' Hall of Fame and the establishment of the Huber Museum.

This museum, which has already outgrown its capacity, is located in the same room where Edward Huber began his business with the building of the revolving rake. The association has been incorporated with the state of Ohio. The Grand Opening for the museum was held February 4 and it will be open every Saturday, 1:00 to 4:00. There will be special tours planned during the time of the Marion County Steam and Gas Engine Show held this year June 15, 16, 17, 18.3

Huber engines and tractors are a special feature each year at the Home of the Huber, but this year the Hubers will share their spotlight with the Cockshutt history. The Huber Mfg. Co. built the first Co-op tractors, an Ohio line of equipment, which was later purchased by the Cockshutt Co. of Canada.

The show activities of antique tractor pull, fiddler's contest, slow race, belt-up and starting contests and the kiddy tractor pull, as well as an exhibit of vintage motorcycles, will provide entertainment and fellowship for all.

We received two pictures from L.S. CLARKE, Box 274, Oxford, Indiana 47971. Following are the details: 'It is a 23x90 Baker Counter Flo, Serial No. 1458.

'I have specifications from A.D. Baker's file in his original handwriting, a copy of course, acquired for me by Mrs. Kathy Reyfert.

'It was purchased in 1973 from Al New at Pendleton, Indiana. The engine came out with Uniflow Cyl. It was taken back to the factory and they replaced the Uniflow with a Counter Flo. I do not know why.

'I grew up with Baker engines. Myuncle, John Sanders (now deceased), sold them for the Dietz Machinery Company at Blooming-ton, Illinois.'

'Enclosed is a picture of the steamer my Dad and his brothers owned,' writes WINSTON TAIT, Box 31, Meota, Saskatchewan, Canada S0M 1X0.

'Their descendants can't agree on whether it is a Case or a Rumely steam engine. Hopefully, someone can name it!

'I remember in the late thirties crawling inside the firebox to seal a flue end. Shortly afterwards a lumber mill at Big River, Saskatchewan bought it. My brother has attempted to locate it, but he has had no success.

'They pulled a 14 bottom plow and drove a 48 inch separator in the fall.

'I enjoy reading your magazine from cover to cover.'

In closing I always have to leave you with some 'food for thought' items; following are some worthwhile linesGod is BEFORE me, He will be my guide; God is BEHIND me, no ill can betide; God is BESIDE me, to comfort and cheer; God is AROUND me, so why should I fear? What we need in these hectic days is a Christian CALMplex.

And with that, Dear Friends, I'm going to say HAVE A GREAT SUMMER!