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Hi Friends! Well this may be the March-April issue which certainly will herald the Spring and even Easter is in March but right now it's still winter and everything of nature looks stark and dead yet we know that within those gray drab-looking branches already life is pulsating and the buds of many varied leaves and colored hues of flowers are just anticipating the day they burst forth in all their beauty for us to enjoy once again. Isn't it wonderful? We watch and wait and expect those things to happen and they will because God is the same yesterday, today and always and the older I get the more expectation I have for tomorrow what wondrous things might be in store? Have a Blessed Easter and may you walk with God each day!

And getting into the letters from our I.M.A. Family this one comes from CHRIS C. DIEHM, 1238 West 223 Street, Torrance, California 90502. 'I read and re-read Ed Freihammer's well written letter about using a 'Bucking Pole' in maneuvering a large thresher into or through tight places on page 13 of Jan.-Feb. 1978 I.M.A. Like Mr. Freihammer, I was too young to really work, but old enough to remember when I saw the Bucking Pole method used to back a 36 x 60 Case separator equipped with Wind Blower, stacker and twin or wing feeders, between a 'setting' of 4 round cone shaped grain stacks, the steamer was a 20-65 Case.

Referring to Mr. Campbell's letter on the same page suggesting a title for the first colored front page (July-August 1977 I.M.A.). I heard the same words or orders from my Dad more than once STAY AWAY FROM THAT BELT!

I want to wish the I.M.A. Family and all the readers of Iron-Men the best for 1978.' (Thanks Chris we stand with you with best wishes for all.)

REV. GEORGE I. GOODWIN, JR., Box A, Worcester, New York 12197 wrote me recently and I thought I'd share this with you: 'Thought you might like to see this stationary that my 16 year old son designed for me. Must get his talent from his mother. I can't even draw a check.' (Thought that remark was cute too never heard that one before.)


An informative letter comes from BASIL and MARY JONES, Holbrook, Pennsylvania 15341: 'We had been trail ring for 13 months through 20 states, entering Mexico several times. Like always it was good to get back. 'Back' to us means good of Antique Acres, Bob Rogers, his friends and associates. Mr. Rogers had re-opened his Bomar Water Gardens, and was moving his equipment back from Dillon, S.C. where he had had it for several years. As always the welcome sign was really in evidence, but in place of the traditional fatted calf, Bob brought in a bushel of South Carolina oysters which he proceeded to roast for the occasion of the return of the prodigals.

Also greeting us were gas tractor man, John DeBroskey of Virginia and Billy Hall of Maryland, a prolific writer whose articles on steam power and sawmilling are well known to readers of Iron Man Album. This peerless pair were quartered in Bob's bunkhouse, which is on the second floor of Mini Museum. Parked nearby in their camper were Earl and Katherine Schwartz, from Pennsylvania. Earl, a retired locomotive engineer from the Pennsylvania Railroad, lost no time, in a few days he had three small antique upright steam engines cleaned and adjusted and running under steam just like steam engines are supposed to run. His brother, Lewis Schwartz was parked in his travel trailer several days on his way to a winter in Florida.

Mrs. Anna Thomas from Pennsylvania is in a trailer with Basil and Mary Jones. They, too are parked in the Gardens in a space very near the one they occupied in 1972. Water, electricity and sewer facilities are on all these spaces.

Prominent on our arrival was a 40' Ferris Wheel, near Mini Museum, and on a concrete foundation. Four steam traction engines in runable condition were there for all to see. One, a large two cylinder Frick, is being readied and prettied for a Thanksgiving parade in Cheraw. Two golf carts have been re-commissioned, and all three have new batteries. They are for use on the grounds, and for guests who are handicapped. They transport guests along garden paths where cars cannot travel. To be handicapped at Bomar Gardens is no handicap at all. Nooks are being made in all exhibit areas so that exhibitors can park by their exhibits.

In the floral parts of the Gardens camelias are at their end-of-summer best. Delicate blossoms that somewhat resemble rose buds, on trees 10 to 20' high, are just begging Mrs. Thomas to photograph them: delicate pastel shades, almost waxy in appearance. The Gardens feature more than 40 varieties of camelias. Some will be blooming until March. We plan to return by Easter. The steam show will be on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday after Easter, when the flowers, including azaleas, dogwood, and camelias will be at their best. P.S.: We always look forward to each issue of I.M.A.'

GERALD KNEPPER, R.R. 2, Ada, Ohio 45810 is very interested in knowing where any information could come from on the Advance steam engines. Also would like to see a color picture to use in restoring same.

TOM McCUTCHEN, Superintendent, Milan Field Station, The University of Tennessee, Route 2, Box 133, Milan, Tennessee 38358 wants to know if some of you readers could help him with information on steam whistles. He writes, 'In July, 1976, I ran an ad and sold a brass Powell Chime Whistle to a lady in California. Before running the ad, I showed the whistle to a collector friend and asked his opinion. He stated that it was 'all there' and in good condition and gave me an idea of how much to ask for it. When the lady in California received the whistle she reported that it arrived in good condition, but a portion of the bottom section was missing and it would not blow without it. A small disc that fits down inside the bottom section, air travels up from the bottom out and around the disc to create the whistle. I have asked everywhere about the disc and got on no information. Could anyone help me with information and especially if they know where I could locate one of these discs for a brass Powell chime whistle ' - 2' diameter - 10' tall.'

From many miles away, COLIN WEAR sends queries for the readers of the Iron Men Album. Colin Wear, 23 Arlewis Street, Chester Hill, Sydney, Australia 2162. Could someone tell him more about a small thresher he has just found. The details are: Pennsylvania Thresher #3 (built 1912). Built by Heebner & Sons, Lansdale, Mont. County, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. He would like to know the correct way to set it up and work it. Please see photo. Also, could someone date his Buffalo-Pitts 16 HP single cylinder traction engine #9857?

S. BRUCE GOSS, R.R. 3, Coldwater, Ontario, Canada LOK 1E0 would like to know if there is a magazine for antique boats and marine engines. He surely would appreciate address of the publication. (I really don't know, maybe you can help him.)

Some information comes to us from EDMAR TANGEN, 305 Sinclair Street, Box 416, Bottineau, North Dakota 58318 as he tells us: 'In regard to Photo #7 from the unclassified file on page 23 of the January-February issue of the Album, I think the man driving the engine on the high ramp is maybe Harry Wood man see.

I am an old subscriber to the Album, and have most of the copies from the early 1950s.

I was pretty sure I had seen a picture similar to #7 in one of the old copies, so I started looking through them, and sure enough, if you will look on page 77 of the July-August 1971 issue of the Album you will see a picture almost like #7.

It looks like he is driving a different engine on #7, but I am almost sure it is the same ramp with Harry on the engine. I guess he made a practice of demonstrating that drive at the steam shows.

That looks like a very steep ramp, so it would take a good man at the throttle to handle the engine.'

Looking for some new types of entertainment at the Reunions? Write Eiffel G. Plasterer, R.R. #5, Box 245, Huntington, Indiana 46750, phone 219-356-6047. He presents what is called 'Bubbles Concerto' an unusual and fantastic soap bubble exhibition with musical accompaniment. A show that is good for all ages and events. He also has other entertainments as science demonstrations, illustrated lectures, sorghum making, etc. He is interested in the steam equipment, organic farming, natural foods, machine shop, welding, etc., a man of diversified interests maybe just what you're looking for to add to the entertainment of your reunion. Eiffel was a good friend of Rev. Elmer Ritzman. I remember many years ago while visiting Elmer, he put on a show at the high school quite interesting.

Two stories come from The Old Storekeeper - ART DICKEY, Corydon, Iowa 50060 as he relates: 'I saw in the July-August issue of Iron-Men Album 1977 where Mr. Gerald Lestz wanted some new inventions. Here are a couple I did for our club newsletter.

Dear Friends: Well we got back from 'Old Threshers' at Mt. Pleasant all tuckered out. We were sitting around here in the old General Store talking about all kinds of engines. The blacksmith, 'we call him BS for short' anyway he said he did not see how come someone smart hadn't come up with an engine running on the many fuels which hadn't been touched yet. So we asked him what he had in mind. He said 'Now look at popcorn. That little grain of popcorn can explode and turn itself into maybe 5 to 10 times as big as when it started out.' So he thinks that if somebody would make an engine, like a diesel only instead of injecting fuel oil into it, inject popcorn into the cylinder instead. Think of what could happen you could eat the air pollution! Now he says 'You could fill the oilers with melted butter and flavor the popcorn the same time as lubricating the piston. There is no reason why you couldn't attach a salt shaker to the exhaust valve rod and salt the popcorn as it came out the exhaust. Nobody would complain about the small of popcorn floating through the air.'

You know there is an old saying: 'You can't have your cake and eat it too', but in this case you could take a drive and eat it too! So I'm kicking this idea out to some of you inventors as we don't want to cash in on it down here. As the government has designated our area a poverty area and if we make too much money, we would lose our rating (and we sure don't want that to happen) so we'll let someone else get rich on the idea.'

Then the second story of inventions:

Well I think I have found the way to solve a big part of the nation's energy crisis. However, as usual I'm turning the idea over to the Club as most people wouldn't understand it.

It all came about just before election time. My son-in-law, Norman Nickel, and I were fooling around with a little hot-air engine he had made, and just by chance I turned the radio on. A politician was on the radio telling what all he would do if he was elected. That little hot-air engine started running and we hadn't even put any fuel to it.

Now we were sure that the hot air from the politician was making this engine run, but to be sure we took a tape recorder and recorded several tapes of speeches from various parts of the country and all political parties. We have been experimenting since the election and sure enough as we play one of these tapes the hot-air engine will run. Son-in-law, Norman, says that if there was a hot-air engine belted up to a generator in the basement of every courthouse it could supply all the electrical needs of each county in the country. And just think of what if a big one was located in Washington D.C.!!! Why we could be trading the Arabs electricity for oil.

So I'm passing the idea on to any of you who desires to become rich. There is an old saying 'Your friends like to see you do well, but not too well.' And I just got too many friends and don't want to lose them by becoming rich.'

From JAMES W. CHANDLER, 653 S. Jackson Street, Frankfort, Indiana 46041 comes this missal in relation to the photo on bottom of page 23 of Jan.-Feb. 1978 I.M.A. (right side). 'I gave this snapshot to friend, Elmer Ritzman on one of the two times he was a guest at our home at 412 West Walnut Street, Frankfort, Indiana. I thought there was a description on back, my usual practice. This is a 30 HP double cylinder compound Port Huron, number about 7000 and it belonged to Whiteman Brothers of Michigantown, Indiana. Fred (the late) Whiteman, on engine, was not a small man (gives a clue to size of this giant). She was working at 200 lbs. boiler pressure when I took this shot, and working hard as exhaust shows.

Thank you for printing my letter. Mr. Burris probably would have preferred my using a Southern Pacific engine, but I was reading a Railway Mechanical Engine magazine showing Union Pacific engine and describing the magnificent run by this fine engine.

I wrote Mr. Lestz concerning the printing of the 'Treasured Moments' July-August 1977 issue. Do you realize the James W. Chandler is one of the very few originals left? It brings a tear. But what an honor to be numbered with those people, I know most of them well. Thank you in the name of the Lord!

(We wish Mrs. Chandler a speedy recovery and covet prayers for same. Mr. Chandler says she just had major surgery, Nov. 14th.)

JOE GRIVETZ, 3920 North 165th Street, Brookfield, Wisconsin 53005 asks: 'I was wondering how many stationary steam engines are still running in the U.S. and Canada? not the collector ones, but the engines still powering the factories and mills daily. We still have several in Wisconsin and will send the list to Iron-Men when complete. I hope other states could do the same. (There's a suggestion for some of you fine researchers.)

And in closing let me give you a few words from the Bible: 'For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. Song of Solomon 2:11-12. K.J.V.

And I know as you are enjoying the Springtime you are eagerly getting those engines ready for another busy season Bye - Love ya!