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Hi! I want to thank all of you for your kind words of caring and sympathy in the death of my husband. I know there are many out there who can identify with me. We all know that death is a part of life, but I guess we do not realize the impact of it until we ourselves are involved in this heart-rending part of life, especially your life partner. I just imagine one never gets over it fully, but we must go on and cherish the past memories as one has to accept a different way of life. I am so glad I depend completely on my faith in God, his son Jesus, and the love of my family and friends. It helps a lot but it isn't easy, and it hurts. Well, on to each day of living, and it helps to know many of you understand.

I know by now many of you are in your glory either already on the road to the Steam and Gas activities, or checking your calendar and packing to get-a-going. Have fun, enjoy your old and trusted acquaintances, but leave a little space and time for the new enthusiasts you may meet. Who knows? You may be the deciding factor to these folks as to whether they accept and continue in this hobby, or write it off as not being as beneficial and enjoyable as they might have anticipated.

You know I love Wellsprings of Wisdom writings and excerpts by Ralph L. Woods, and the stories of men encountering God, life and themselves. Sparkling messages presented in parable that capture life's lasting values, and will bring the reader back to the book again and again. (If you ever know where you can buy this book, please let me know. I have inquired many places, but no one seems to be able to acquire it.) They make great gifts.

This time I have chosen 'The Inner Light'. Two children living happily in their father's house would often look at evening to another house standing on a distant hilltop. The evening sun painted it with glory as its rays were reflected from many windowpanes. One afternoon they started out to visit the house of the golden windows. They struggled over fields and through brush and woodland until at last the moment arrived. They stood before the enchanted house of their dreams and their hopes. But alas! They found it deserted and bleak. Dust and slime of many years had covered the panes of glass. They gave forth no golden splendor. The house was lonely, cold, forsaken. Disappointed, discouraged, afraid, they turned to go. As they did so their eyes fell on their own home in the distance bathed in the golden splendor of the setting sun.

They saw this and more than this. Their sad experience had taught them to realize the inner light, not the reflected light, which shines in every home worthy of the name and makes it one of the brightest and dearest spots on Earth, a refuge, a joy, a hope, and forever a happiness. But it was under the spell of the light reflected from its windows that they caught the full vision of the inner and true light and glory of home. And they both cried out: 'See our house; our own home is the true house of the golden windows.' Ignatius W. Cox.

And now, Dear Ones, on to the center of the column which makes it so worthwhile: your communications.

The following letter comes from EDWIN. H. BREDEMEIER, R.R. #1,Box 13, Steinauer, Nebraska 68441: 'Yes, Mr. Ted Stine of Streator, Illinois is right on the instructions on how to put a cable clamp on a steel cable. I have one sheet from a box of cable clamps that I saved.

'To Mr. Oakley Ellickson of Colorado Springs, ColoradoYes, Madison Kipp still is operating and parts can be had for their oiler. Got the name and address off of the plate on the oiler.

'I wonder what year the Young baler is at R&T 1990 show, as I'm gathering the origin and history of the round baler back to 1908. I need help to find a round stationary baler.'

TOM BULLER, 12623 Fite-Hauck Road, Sardinia, Ohio 45171 writes: 'HELP! I recently acquired some very old brass handrail which has been exposed to the weather for over eighty years. It is almost pure black in color, but still has a beautiful finish and is exquisitely made.

'I have tried several cleaners, but to no avail. I hesitate to experiment too much, for fear of damaging it.' A company in northern Ohio, which I contacted, said they had a cleaner which would restore it, but would not sell it in quantities of less than fifty gallons. Some of your annual brass polishers out there must have some special tricks. If any of you do know something to help me with this problem, please write and help me out.

'Keep your eyes on the water glass.

'This picture is of a horse drawn disk plow made by the Spalding-Deep Tilling Machine Company, patented May 2, 1911.

'It has patent dates on all the wheels and ten other patent dates on the foot rest. It has no lettering as to where it was made.

'There used to be some people I heard of around Grantsburg, Wisconsin some years ago, but I don't believe they had anything to do with it. This disk plow had a place for a pole. I have a two disk horse drawn Case plow which does not have a place for a pole. Also, I have a one disk John Deere plow which uses no pole either.

'Does anyone know where the Spalding Company was located ? It might have a cast iron seat manufactured that would have the address printed on it.' Letter sent by MORRIS BLOMGREN, Blomgren Road, Siren, Wisconsin 54872.

'I am writing to get the record straight on a letter written by Tumbleweed Red, Box 2175, Wenetchee, Washington 98807,' states LEE SUTTON, 301 Southwest Avenue, Box 55, Baxter, Iowa 50028. This is on page one of January / February issue, about halfway down on column two, concerning some tractors used on the Garrison Dam.

'I am well aware of this particular project and the way this tractor came aboutto my knowledge, Allis-Chalmers never made a 30 Crawler tractor. They made a 35 and later made a Model K which was about 40 HP.

'At the time this twin tractor was made, it consisted of two H D 19 tractors with one side of crawler taken off each one and the two bolted together at the inside driving flange. Then, two regular dozers for these tractors were welded together to make one unit and a one man operation. At that time, the dozers were cable operated. This unit was called H D 38. The company that put these together was Western Contracting Company, Sioux City, Iowa.

'I feel I am qualified to make this correction, as I have worked my entire lifetime with earth moving equipment and am 75 years old. I have operated shovels, cranes, dragline, steam driven, gasoline and electric driven machinery. I am still active and run these machines for short spells each summer. I am now at Apache Junction, Arizona for the winter months. We don't change address on mail while we are out here. Incidentally, we had snow here recently which is unusual.

'I plan on coming to Kennett Square, Pennsylvania the last of May or first of June for my granddaughter's graduation. We always come through Lancaster but never have stopped in, but this time we might stop and visit.'

Here is a request that I hope someone can fill for R. J. DAND, Box 905, Wainwright, Alberta T0B 4P0: 'I have a scale Case 65 HP steam traction engine, with a horse drawn water wagon. The tank on it is alright, but I do not like the wagon part. About all you could say for it is that it is functional.

'Therefore, I would like to put the tank on a properly built wooden wagon, and have it drawn by a team of miniature horses with one of my granddaughters driving the team, in a parade in which my steam engine is entered.

'The dimensions of the tank are as follows: 1. Twelve inches wide across the top; 2. Thirty-six inches long; 3. Radius eight inches. What I require is somebody who could make me a dimensional sketch of every part of the wagon, especially a breakdown of the parts that make up the wheels.' (I'll bet there is an engine enthusiast out there who can help Bob Dandhe will be most happy to hear from you).

A letter comes from my good friend, FRANK J. BURRIS, 1102 Box Canyon Road, Fallbrook, California 92028, of which I will share some parts with you: 'Upon receiving a winter issue of our sanctified IMA, I just about 'broke down'; that is, what is left of me. It appears that everything is going 'Gas Engine' with the middle and younger classes of old engine restorers. But as long as there is breath left in we older fellows87 for me right now who grew up with the most faithful old thresher, power plant and steam engines, we do readily acknowledge that YOU are IMA. {not really, but I give my best). We have not only matured at your most capable editing {not since November/December 1984 issue) of Smoke Rings and all that goes with it, which is now Reflections by C. H. Wendel, but we have advanced into the twilight zone of this most wondrous past. And whether we may show it in our wistfully awaiting for the next edition of Smoke Rings to come out, we are ever aware of it, and it is only the greatly increased burden of daily living in this country which makes it seem that we have neglected our attentions in overburdening you with stories.' (It is true, I do wish I would get much more material for IMA. I know there are a good many stories and information out there that need to find a way into the column. If you think you can't write, think again just tell it in your ordinary thoughts and speech. This is your magazine; without your efforts there would be no 'Soot in the Flues.')

'Consider my case, for instance, and I am certainly not asking for sympathy, for I have grown up entirely on my own and readily accept any blame for my shortcomings. However, I do love to write, but lately Dame Fortune has been a bit tough on me as I have been hospitalized three times in the past few years, involving surgery.

'Now, atop all this, and beforehand, I had been struggling to produce for my two daughters a very detailed and complete autobiography, for my mind goes back with great precision to my childhood, even to less than one year old! I just acquired a new computer of the very latest high technology a '396 monster to relieve my poor old 'Nellie' of some nine years of age since I put her together from the Heath-Zenith outfit. This letter is still written on old 'Nellie', about 1/28 the speed of my new 'Vicki', so one may ask: why the rush? But old men are like that; they want the latest in everything if they are still alive and kicking. And, I must simply have a new plaything! So, while studying the latest, I have suffered a bit of shortage of time in productive writing. Oh, I do carp through the newspapers about the worsening politics and so forth.

'But I do have in the back of my mind the submittal of a good article on valve-setting. Seems that a few of these old Iron Men, as Elmer named them, are rather sadly in need of a bit of attention in this their very heartbeat. So, goodness prevailing, I will get to it in the near future.' (I'm ready and waiting for your communications at any time, Frank.)

'I so well recall back in the early 60's when we had occasion to pass through Harrisburg on a Sunday morn, we were so fortunate in finding Elmer in attendance at his Sunday School in Enola. I have a fond picture of him standing on the steps alongside me in a salutary pose. That dear old fellow! What hath he wrought!

'I am still trying to 'sell' my second book to some unwary publisher. But then, I have not sold the first one either. All they seem interested in is murder, sex, mystery! I should have spent my time watering my 33 fruit and nut trees instead of carping about political conditions, etc. I did put up the finest apple and pear sauce you could ever taste this last summer right off our own trees. Perchance you come by, I will serve you a real treat.' (I wish!) (I'll be waiting for your letters and articles, Frank anxiously).

J. S. GOULD, 520 W. Jefferson St., Naperville, Illinois 60540 comments: 'The time has come for all good Port Huron men to take up Leroy Blaker's banner, and come to the defense of the grand old Port Huron Engine and Thresher Company.

'I am referring of course to my friend John Schrock's urgent plea for help in finding the correct stack for his tired, mangy old 'Tiger'.

'It was with a sense of surprise, and then indignation, that I learned that a cracker-jack engine man like Mr. Schrock would blame his steaming problems on a stack, and indeed a Port Huron stack at that! Blasphemy! Leave that exemplary piece of engineering on that 'Tiger', John. Perhaps it will teach that Hoosier engine a thing or two about making steam, and lots of it. Ask the user!'

'I own a Mogul Jr. 1 HP, International Corp. Tractor Works, Chicago, 111.,' comments RALPH GEHLSEN, R.R. #1, Westside, Iowa 51467.

'This is cast in the water hopper block. Under the grease, it's greenish yellow colors. I thought they were red?? Could you tell me the right colors?' (Now, fellows, that I don't know. Ralph sent some scrapings off the Mogul thinking that might help, which doesn't mean much to me. They just look blackish, brownish does that mean anything? If you can give Ralph some answers, he would most appreciate it.)

'In answer to the desperate letter from John Schrock, I would suggest he use a Case smokestack. One word of caution: the engine may lift the grates along with the fire and have more steam than the old Gaar knows what to do with. On the other hand, John may think some of us have helped him enough with the stack on the engine already,' writes your friend in Illinois, JOHN HULEY, 720 York Street, Chenoa, Illinois 61726.

The information pictured above and below on this page was sent by D. HOY, R.R. #2, Box 209, Eau Claire, Wisconsin 54703 in answer to the request of Oakley Ellickson, in March/April issue, page 12, concerning the Madison Kipp oil pumps and the address of the company.

Many of you folks will recognize the name VINSON E. GRITTEN, 401 Burwash Apt. 313, Savoy, Illinois 61874 (new address). Vins has contributed a lot of good stories to our IMA and is sending some more in the future, he tells us, which we will be eager to receive.

I thought you might like to read part of my letter from Vins and why his new address. 'Since I have corresponded with you, Hazel and I have moved to a retirement center in the South Edge of Champaign, Illinois. Some of our friends call it an 'Old People's Home', but it is all in fun so we do not care. Especially since we are old people. (Not at heart, I'll bet).;


'We decided at our ages, still being able to make decisions, that it would be a good time to make a change. We have been here two years and like it very much. You probably know of similar homes, so I won't go into a description. It is nice to be able to leave and not worry about your possessions. We have security, dinner in a beautiful dining room, some maid service, limousine service, many other things all for one reminder at the end of the month.

'I am sending you a story or two that you may be able to use. I have several, since I am putting a lot of them together in a little book for my boys. Other people have asked for one, so I will try to get the thing together soon.'' (That sounds good to me, Vins always look forward to any of your writings may be you could slip one of these books in this way).

L.S. CLARKE, 511 E. Benton, Oxford, Indiana 47971 sends this picture of his 23-90 Baker engine. The men pictured from left to right are Glenn J. Brutus, John Hess, and Eric Brutus, all from Pine Village, Indiana.

JOHN B. MULFORD, 8894 Upper Lake Road, Lodi, New York 14860 sends the answer to Oakley Ellickson's request in March/April issue, page 12, for the address of Madison-Kipp Corp. It is 222 Waubesa Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53704. Thanks John, probably quite a few folks will appreciate this gesture.

Interesting facts from the life of BRUCE McCOURTNEY, Box 121, Syracuse, Nebraska 68446 add to our letters this issue, as he tells us, 'I am 85 years old, born January 13, 1906.

'My father had three steam threshing outfits when I was born. I cut my teeth on the rear rim of a beveled gear Aultman-Taylor engine. He also had a Stevens and Rumely steamer at that time.

'My father and I, through the years, owned 43 steam engines of various makes. I ran my first engine, a 16 HP Aultman-Taylor, the summer I was nine years old. Dad would set it in the belt. I did the rest. He let me pull a barn too, that year. He also moved buildings of all kinds. The next year, he let me pull a house with a Russell engine. I still love Russells.

'Dad bought, sold, traded, etc., in engines through several years. He only owned one new steam outfit 15 HP Case engine, 32 Case separator the rest were used outfits. We would box them up in winter, and breakdowns were few through threshing season.

'I owned four Russell engines. Dad owned three. I owned two Aultman Taylors, one 20 HP #9365 and an 18 HP, #9057. Dad owned four Aultman Taylors. We had Reeves, Nichols & Shepard, Minneapolis, Case, Port Hurons, Advance-Rumely, Gaar Scott, Huber, Avery, Baker, etc. I owned one Russell 16 HP, code boiler #17085, built in 1927flywheel was 12' wide.

'In the January/February issue 1991 is a picture of a cut-off steamer. I would bet it's an Aultman Taylor, page 10.

'I put an old A & T through a; bridge when I was 14 years old. I got beat up quite a little, but the engine looked somewhat like the picture on page 10. We sold $35.00 worth of parts, saved a few parts and junked the restevery thing that wasn't broken was bent. The man mentioned the proper use of cable clamps on page 10. The best way is braid the cable eyes, etc. in the ends of cable like is done in logging on the West Coast and other places.

'We braided all our cables for all kinds of cable work. We, in later years, had two big Mack winch trucks and one Ford winch truck, International etc. Between my father and I, we had 23 steam engines at one time. I like them all, but Russell, Aultman Taylor and Port Huron were my favorites.

'I am well acquainted with M. K. Schroeder of Syracuse, Nebraska and his Buffalo Pitts on the cover of May/June.

'Thanks for listening and Good Luck to all.

'P.S. I sold a Case, a Russell and a Gaar Scott engine in the last three issues. I'm out of engines nowI'm an orphan.

'I have ridden four steam engines through bridges. It takes the fun and pleasure out of running steam engines.

'M.K. Schroeder and wife, Dorothy, got the bug when I let them run my Russell and Case and Gaar Scott engines in 1960. I knew where a good Buffalo Pitts was and it was for sale, so they bought it.'

BOB PERKINS, 302 Fountain Creek, Palestine, Texas 75801 tells us: 'I have a question for someone in Steam Land, but it refers to the Rumely tractor. I have known for some time that a real operator knows how to adjust the water intake of the engine according to the load, but I have never heard anyone explain why, when or how much. Would this same theory work for a large hit and miss, say 8 HP and above? I'm sure someone out there has the answer. Keep up the good work!' (Can you answer this, fellows? Let us all know.) Say, fellows we are still receiving correspondence kicking around the correct formula for determining horsepower. While we cherish our role as providers of a forum for steam engine buffs, we think this particular issue has been exhausted. Those of you who are still disputing the accuracy of different formulas might want to correspond directly with each other from here on out.

Tractor, Ft. Keogh, Montana, 1915. Jack E. Haynes photograph, courtesy of the Haynes Foundation Collection, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana.

In closing this timeI came across the following, this most interesting description. Sound like anyone you know?? It is called 'I Have Noticed.' 'Everything is farther away than it used to be. It is even twice as far to the corner and they have added a hill. I have given up running for the bus; it leaves earlier than it used to. It seems to me they are making the stairs steeper than in the old days. And have you noticed the smaller print they use in newspapers? There is no sense in asking anyone to read aloud anymore, as everybody speaks in such a low voice I can hardly hear them. The material in dresses is so skimp now, especially around the hips and waist, that it is almost impossible to reach one's shoelaces. And the sizes don't run the way they used to. The 12's and 14's are so much smaller. Even people are changing. They are so much younger than they used to be when I was their age. On the other hand, people my own age are so much older than I am. I ran into an old classmate the other day and she had aged so much that she didn't recognize me. I got to thinking about the poor dear while I was combing my hair this morning, and in doing so I glanced at my own reflection. Really now, they don't even make good mirrors like they used to.'