SOOT IN THE FLUES

Soot in the flues

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Greetings to each and every one out in Iron-Men Album Land--I bet I caught you at that engine--just oiling it up a bit or shining it here a dab---or replacing a part or touching it up with paint as you go eagerly through each day until the season evolves into one of those beautiful days when you look forward to a wonderful season again as Spring glides in and without too much time ushers you into Summer, which means Steam Shows--Hooray!

Do many of you have trouble sleeping? I think we all have had those nights--here's just a bit called WELL EARNED SLEEP-Make a rule, and pray God to help you to keep it, never, if possible, to lie down at night without being able to say, 'I have made one human being, at least, a little wiser, a little happier, or a little better this day.'--Charles Kingsley--think on it--in that paragraph is certainly a little something we are all capable of doing.

That made me think of something that happens every Christmas here in Harrisburg--am wondering if it is done in other parts of the United States. Christmas Day, many Jewish friends go into the hospitals and take over as many jobs as they can, so their Christian friends can be home with their families-- isn't that wonderful? I still say there is a lot of good in this world--it just is never published as much as the bad news.

This letter comes from JERRY MOORMAN, R.R. 6, Box 159, Greensburg, Indiana 47240: 'In regards to your unclassified photos, picture number 4 in the Nov.-Dec. issue is of the 1957 officers and members of the Pioneer Engineers Club taken at Rushville, Indiana.

Seated in the front row L-R: Bill Meister, Walter Hood, George Meister, Tony Hood, vice president Lawrence Porter, treasurer Anthony Moorman, president Ray Jones, and Everett Huber. The gentleman in the center of the picture with the suspenders and ribbon is Nelson Howard, our first president. The engines are Nelson Howard's 50 HP Case and Ray Jones's 12 HP Russell.'

WAYNE CONNELLEY, Box 237, Stanfield, Arizona 85272 would like to have any information on the PRIMM Engine Company of Marion, Ohio such as what happened to the company and records. Any one out there know -- let Wayne hear from you.

This article with some pictures that might be of interest to many Christian folks, especially service men that were around this vicinity comes from CARL B. ERWIN, 106 South Elm Street, Newkirk, Oklahoma 74647:

'Dear Anna Mae: -- Have you ever visited Lourdes, in southern France? Millions of people have in past years, and I think it has been time well spent.

While I was working with the 20th Engineers in late 1918, I had a few days vacation in the Pyrenees, and several of my comrades asks me to bring them some kind of momento from Lourdes. They seemed to attach value for any kind of trinket or postcard, but it must actually come from Lourdes. As for me I was very much interested in the 'Road of the Cross' and the indescribable beauty of the Basilique. While I am not an expert judge of sculpture, the groups of bronze statues seem marvellous. I am enclosing postcard views of the road of the Cross and the Church. Of course, you may publish them in the IMA if you think they would be of general interest.

You will notice that the hill is bare in the scene of the crucifixion. I went back with my daughter in 1964. The marvellous statues and the Church are as beautiful as ever, but the timber has grown until it would make sawlogs. I'm sure you saw the movie, 'The Song of Bernadette' in which Jennifer Jones won an award for her magnificent portrayal of Bernadette. My wife--I lost her to cancer 16 years ago--enjoyed that picture so well. I regretted it so much that she was not there to see Lourdes when my daughter and I went in 1964. Southern France had changed very little in '64, they say that it has since then. One thing about the movie which you will recall is that it was made during the war when Hitler's men held France, so it had to be filmed in California. It would have been so much more beautiful if it could have been made on location. Lourdes is so beautiful. The river there is a lot like your own Juanita in Pennsylvania.

All in all my trip to France in 1964 was enjoyable. I found people that I knew, and learned the address of others that I had known. I obtained the addresses of some of my old comrades through an old friend that I found in France. However, they have all passed on. I don't know of a single man that I served with in the 20th Engineers.

Well, perhaps you are tired of this idle chatter. The French call it 'bavardage.' (No, Carl I have never been to Lourdes--as of yet in my life I have not been a traveler. Enjoyed your letter and pictures and am hoping some of the readers will--I'm sure it will probably touch on many folks in the memory area.)

On one of the Christmas cards was a few notes--it comes from G. E. SHELMAN, Union Star, Kentucky 40171. 'Dear Anna Mae and Family--Hope this card finds you and yours well and preparing for the Holidays.

Enjoy reading your stories and happenings in the I.M.A. This is a good magazine filled with good news, events and information. I can't do without it. Keep up the good work. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year. (Thanks so much George--best to you also.)

I still have my high wheel Reeves-- the only one in the state of Kentucky.

Perhaps you folks may be able to help DR. DAVID W. LARSON, 408 Altapass Road, Spruce Pine, North Carolina 28777--He is interested in finding out whether it is possible to build or buy a wood-fired steam operated electric generator for a single private home to use. (I would imagine you can, but I don't really know of what he is inquiring--so will turn it over to the competent readers in hopes you will be able to write Dr. Larson.)

BOB McMILLAN, Box 52, Miami, Manitoba, Canada ROG 1HO sends this: 'I would like to know if anyone has records of Case threshing machines. How many were made? Also serial numbers and year of manufacture? I have a book of Case steam engine serial numbers. I would like to know or hear from anyone who can tell me any information on the above. Thanks!'

This picture comes from LOUIS MILLER, 807 Pine, Georgetown, Texas 78826: 'I have just bought this thing and the man I bought it from said it is an old Case steam engine tender. Hay anybody out there ever seen one of these? The lower part was for water and the top for coal. I would be glad to hear from anybody that has ever seen one.' (Not I Louis--how about you readers?)

From CLARENCE E. CARLSON, R.R. 1, Ogden, Iowa 50212 comes this letter: 'Have been going to write for a long time. I have a 50 HP Case No. 32851 built in 1915. It is or was quite unique as the cylinder head was at an angle so the name Case was not horizontal like it should be. I think this engine was sold in Nebraska. Pioneer Village--owned it at one time. I would like to hear from someone that knew this 50 HP Case.

Also I wonder if anyone has a picture of the Reeves gas tractor. It had a radiator that was about 3? feet across and was set crossway of the frame as was the motor. It had a loud bark and you could hear it for miles, probably a 30-60 or thereabouts. I sure would like to see a picture of one or better yet a catalog.

There were two of Reeves tractors here at Ogden.

LAWSON W. ZARING, Route 1, Box 305, Shelbyville, Kentucky 40065 writes: 'In regards to the unclassified photos, I.M.A. Jan.-Feb. 1980, page 8, photo No. 1. I believe this is a photo of a Case steam engine wheel; of course, I do not know where.

I own a J.I. Case 65 HP engine which has wheels on the cleats positioned the same as that photo. The Case literature does not explain this type of wheel. My engine also has heavy duty front wheels and a wide road ring. If anyone can explain this wheel, the whereabouts, and or about the cleats--write. Thank you.'

JOE PARKS, Route 1, Princeton, Wisconsin 54968 says: 'I am researching the rise and fall of the M. Rumely Company. As you know this company purchased a number of other concerns including the Northwest Thresher Company. The Still-water Public Library, Stillwater, Minnesota has relatively little information on the formation of the Northwest Company and its sale to M. Rumely. I am indebted to Sue Collins of the Stillwater Library for much assistance. However, I would appreciate hearing from anyone who could supply information on the formation and the sale of this concern.

A good suggestion to all comes from HICKOK & SON, Amboy, Minnesota 56010: 'When engine guys write someone for parts or information, please send along an addressed envelope which is stamped. Sometimes we can't read the address and also those stamps are counting up and if you send self-addressed stamped envelope, you're a whole lot more apt to get an answer.'

This letter is from one of our friends overseas and comes from MARTIN HUNT, 2 The Shingles, Bredfield, Woodbridge, Suffolk, England: 'I am writing to you in the hope that the readers of your good magazine may be able to help the local historical society, of which I am a member, in researching the history of a local firm of millwrights and steam engine builders. The firm in question is called Whitmore & Binyon, although they sometimes assumed the name of Whitmore & Son or Wickham Market Iron Works.

From research so far conducted, we have found out that they had an agency in New York. Therefore, it is quite possible that some of their products may still be in existence. These may include milling machinery wind driven pumps, steam engines of stationary, semi-stationary and portable types. We are especially interested in information about the latter, but any information about their products will be greatly appreciated. We are hoping in due course to publish a history of Whitmore & Binyon and any data received will be acknowledged.'

The following communication comes from BASIL JONES, Bomar Water Gardens, Cheraw, South Carolina 29520: 'We came South a bit early this year, Anna Thomas came with us, and we arrived before Halloween. Orion and Mary Holen beat us here by six hours, but had to leave for a few days. Mary is known for the hamburgers she makes at steam shows, and Orion for the steam models he makes and exhibits. Next to arrive were Mr. & Mrs. E. S. Young, from New Brighton, PA., on their way to their wintering spot at Winter Garden, Florida. Not knowing about Bomar's trailer facilities, they had parked their trailer at a state park near Cheraw. 'E. S.' is a recently retired steelworker. No doubt they will attend the Zolfo Springs show, and get to Haines City for the Oderkirk show.

Our 28' travel-trailer, unattended for six months, needed only groceries to make it habitable once again. Then old friends were contacted by phone, and plans were made to meet again. Earl and Kathryn Schwartz of York, PA., plan to be here on November 20. Earl, a retired locomotive engineer used to pull passenger trains on the Pennsylvania Railroad.

There is less and less heard about the energy crisis; perhaps because people are realizing the seriousness of inflation. On our way South an overnight stop cost the three of us more than $38.00 just to stay all night. Next morning pancakes cost $2.25 and coffee was .40?. That constitutes as great a rip-off as that of the oil companies. And with less reason!

Pulling a trailer is still the cheapest way of spending a winter in the South. Usually an overnight stop is $5 or $6.00. Mobile home parks can usually be had for not much over a $100.00 a month. Most of them are delightful places to spend a winter.

Bob Rogers has been in the hospital for three weeks. X-rays showed a spot on a lung. A biopsy indicated it to be non-malignant. He says he is 'back in the saddle again.' He is in his office today, and he wants his friends to know that the latch string is out, and trailer parking is available as per usual.'

Another letter from far away comes from M.A. TAYLOR, (a registered firearms dealer), 75 Moor View Road, Woodseats, Sheffield 8. U.K.: 'I write not as a gun dealer, but as a traction engine enthusiast. The old muzzle loading guns I mostly deal in, are very comparable with steam, for each has to be understood and coaxed to get the best out of them.

In the course of my wanderings, I acquired an American engine, a 22 HP special twin Buffalo Pitts N Y. The shop number is gone, so I'm not knowing the number and only guess its about 1905 - 10. (The next part I cannot make out very well in deciphering the letter as it is hand written and the paper had been torn and pasted together and only parts of the words were showing, but it went on as)--looted, even blown up with dynamite. However, I've hunted up most every part including new cylinders--it's a twin--and bed so that it now is well on the road to restoration once the tube plate, tubes and typically Buffalo smoke box bottom is renewed.

Reading through years of old Iron-Men magazines would seem to indicate that Buffalos are quite scarce now in the U.S.--no photo of one in steam and rarely a mention. They did export a great deal though. I know of no other in U.K. South America and Australia bought them.

I wrote to Mr. McPherson in Ontario. He has a 14 HP in steam and there's another one in the United States, again 14 HP. They comment on the rude?--their view-- design of Buffs and frown on the engineering standards of the Henry Ford cast iron engines, old rattle to bits etc. U.K. makes them built to last. U.S. makes them to a price--for a certain time, however, the Buffalo was the No. 1 at steaming chaff and would go where a man could walk, probably refers to the lightness on soft ground. I'm quite happy I don't have dyed in the wool opinions and prejudices. The Buffalo will do me and will look grand at Rallys. Iron-Men makes good reading, I read a pile a few months back, hopefully--due course, I hope to contribute.' (Don't mean to hurt anyone's feelings, but this letter was very hard to understand, that's why I always try to translate everything I can--because sometimes, even if I don't understand it, you learned steam enthusiasts will be able to know what he is trying to tell you.)

From WALT THAYER, Box 2175, Wenatchee, Washington 98801 comes some reports on pictures. 'This is regarding unidentified photos in Jan.-Feb. 1980 edition. 1. Looks like Bull wheel from a grain binder or else a rear wheel from a steam tractor. Appears to be on permanent display as it's fastened to a concrete base and appears to be other 'old iron' nearby. 2. It's a homemade and maybe portable sawmill. The man probably operates the carriage, cut off and off bearer. Looks like hardwood timber and saw looks about 4' diameter. 3. Looks like something from Disneyland and all but the driver are looking at something very interesting on their starboard side. Looks like something from the sunny South and well-matched teams and harness. 4. One look at the wheels and I'll say it is a homebuilt wood burner. Probably built from parts of other engines. Boiler looks like one from some old laundry and flyball governor and whistle could have come from a Case tractor. A good rig for sawing lumber, firewood; or power for small grain separator; silo filler or clover huller. It's an 'oldie.' 5. It's a Case, about 75 HP, see name below stack, and separator might be a Case or Rumely. Tractor in background might also be a Case. Probably at some eastern engine show. On page 22 it looks like a horse at head of 32 mule team and maybe one or two on offside near center of teams--on each side of fold in the picture--It wasn't unusual to mix horses and mules in multiple teams. This is probably a Western location, as they rarely needed that many teams on eastern combines. The combine looks very much like a Holt and the period would be early 1920s or maybe earlier. My back still aches from picking sacked wheat up out of the stubble near Ralston, Washington in 1936. Used to get a load before breakfast to 'work up an appetite.'

Your magazine is like 'home brew'--it gets better with age!'

Following is a drawing by DALE MARTIN, 2021 153rd S.E., Bellevue, Washington 98007. This was sent in by Walt Thayer, Box 1275, Wenatchee, Washington 98801 along with his letter printed above-- The writing for the drawing is: Denver and Salt Lake 216 on Devil's Slide Trestle.--A September snowstorm indicates the coming of winter and eight months of continuous operation of a rotary snowplow to keep this rail line open. Just ahead of the Mallet locomotive lies the Continental Divide and Corona Pass at an elevation of 11,660 feet. To the right of the engine is a 1000 foot drop to the valley floor and Middle Boulder Creek. Corona Station consisted of some two miles of wooden snow sheds to protect the railroad from 100 mile an hour winds and snow depths to thirty feet. In 1928 the railroad was relocated through the six mile long Moffat Tunnel some 2400 feet below the pass. Today this railroad grade is a Forest Service recreational road.

That's it for this time friends--so until next issue,--keep writing us of your adventures in Engine Land-- get those engines tuned up because 'fore you know it--it'll be steamin' time again.

NOTE TO RALLY CORRESPONDENTS

Because of the large number of rally and show reports we receive, and our desire to carry them all, we must limit the length to 1,000 words, and shorter if possible. We do not limit the pictures, if they are good and sharp. With shorter stories, and more pictures, we can give you better magazines.

----Gerry Lestz