Soot In The Flues

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Here we are - off on another go-round of Reunions - they have already started in some areas then too, many of the Clubs have a Spring Steam-Up that helps you get through the days 'til Show Time. Isn't it wonderful to have a hobby that gets more interesting every year? And it helps you get through the other months - just planning for the next year's get-togethers.

We've been busy here at the offices getting ready for the 1975 seasonin case you haven't seen the notices you realize we now have our First Directory off the press you've been asking for something like this - so 'tis here $1.00 per copy plus 25c handling and postage. Or buy them at the reunions or through the different Clubs. And let's hear your comments on them. Also- don't forget to get busy and send those recipes to us for our Cook Book so far I've only received three recipes and they were from the same person.

A lot of Show Reports are coming in and this is good, but many times you don't say which magazine to use them in - and it is our policy not to run the same Show Report in both Iron-Men Album and Gas Engine Magazine as many folks get both publications. If you feel they should be in both magazines, I would suggest two different people writing their views, or when sending it in, bring out the points pertaining to the magazine in which it is being printed.

Another item - many of you are sending me newspaper clippings of the Show Reports and pictures Fine, but if you want me to use them, or even parts of them in the Magazines, I must have written permission from the newspaper in which they appeared. Please, get this for us, as my limited time does not permit me to write and ask for permission.

And now onto chit-chat from the readers:A down-to-earth writing from MAURICE STEADMAN, R.R. 1, Box 20, Naper, Nebraska 68755 - 'I haven't been able to keep my subscriptions in effect, due to unstable income, but I hope now to do so in the future. I have retired and on S.S. and though not too much, I should get a steady income. You have a real good magazine for us Steam Nuts!

I don't own an engine, but I'd crawl to get to Madison, South Dakota, Threshing Jamborees. I operate an engine every fall at that show. I've been attending that one since 1966 and until it was discontinued, the threshing show which was held each fall at Niobrara, Nebraska. I helped unload two steam tractors from flat cars when I was younger, also a Case 65 HP exhibited at a County Fair in Wisconsin. It was a new tractor. I don't remember the year anymore. Was sorry to hear of Elmer's passing. I never met him, but I felt as though I knew him. I was born in Erie, Pennsylvania. Hoping the magazine can continue.' (Well, we sure intend to keep it going Maurice and thanks for the nice letter.)

Then comes a missal from ARTHUR W. PERDUC, Box 1537, Salisbury, Maryland 21801 as he reminisces - Arthur is 89 - we appreciate his writing:

'A few years ago I started making notes of some things I thought my grandchildren or great grandchildren may be interested in. (I now have four great grandchildren.) Since reading the article in your magazine by John Gasley and being a steam engine buff myself, I thought to send you some of the notes I had made and add a few more. I am not a writer, far from it. I am not even an educated man.

Some of my first memories of a sawmill were when I was six years old, my father moved his family just a few hundred yards from his sawmill. I would spend hours sitting on a heap of logs watching the mill operate. The two jobs that interested me most were the sawyer and the fireman; the carriage as it moved back and forth carrying the logs through the saw, turning it into lumber and slabs.

I mentioned before the two 40 or 50 foot tubeless boilers. I would like to mention the engine. This was a very old big mill, the cylinder was 12' x 24' and end crank, the flywheel I would say on a guess was 7 or 8 feet in diameter, the saw mandrel drum 24' or 30'. This big flywheel and small drum gave the saw the correct R.P.M., the H.P. of this engine was about 125. When I was about 10 years old my father discarded the two cylinder boilers and replaced them with a tube boiler.

When I was 13 years old my father tried me at farming. I was no good. He then put me in the mill. My job was the back leverman. I was doing a man's work and very often complimented by the sawyer. When I was 15 I was promoted to fireman. This was a challenge, but my father gave me a few lessons and I soon caught on. From 15 to 19 I worked at several jobs when the mill was not running. I cut timber and hauled it a part of the time with a yoke of steers, other times with a pair of horses. When I was 19 we had a lot of timber on the yard. I dropped a few hints to my father that I could saw; he told me to go to it. I then had complete charge. I did not have to learn to saw, I had watched it done for 13 years, and he spent his time on the farm.

On Friday night of the week I became 21 years old he came in the mill and paid the men $1.00 per day of 10 hours. He paid me $1.50 per day as sawyer.

When we finished that contract of timber, my father sold the mill after 38 years of saw mill operating, and I had saved enough money to attend business college. I was then 22 years old and spent about nine years in the sawmill. This finished my career with the sawmill.

A short show report comes to us from FLORENCE COX, Route No. 5, London, Ohio 43140, on the Miami Valley Steam Threshers Show:

'Good Morning: -

This is a good morning to live with my memories, of last July, at the Miami Valley Steam Threshers Reunion.

The ground is white with snow. The thermometer is 6 degrees above zero. Last July the weather was perfect for our Miami Valley Steam Thresher's show.

Our show was the best one we have ever had in the 25 years of the Association. As it was our Silver Anniversary, we had 25 Steam Engines, lots of old tractors, gas engines and old farm machinery. Some things I had never seen. (I have lived all of my life on the farm) In other words we had a SHOW.

We had people from 24 States, Three foreign Countries, New Zealand, Canada and Denmark. The Folks from New Zealand had such a good time, they spent two days looking. They bought our Anniversary Book, buttons and badges.

Guess we printed too many Anniversary Books, as we still have some left. Perhaps we can sell them at this year's Reunion, which is July 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th at the Madison County Fairgrounds.

I would like to know what other Threshers have for entertainment in the evening. As money is hard to come by, we want to have good entertainment but not have to pay out too much cash. We want to please everyone that comes to the Show, but HOW???'

Perhaps you will get some suggestions, Florence - on what to have for entertainment - I would think you could use perhaps local talent, or maybe a Dancing School nearby would be happy to put on a showperhaps have a Square DanceFiddler's Contest keep thinkin' you'll come up with some good ideas, I'm sure!

CLARENCE MIRK, 2362 No. 85th Street, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin 53226 would like some information or pictures on an Avery steam engine built about 1904. It was a top-mounted engine, double cylinder, 22 HP. It was an experimental engine and only three or four were built of this model. His father owned one of them.

A new organization called Cracker Barrel Days is attempting a second show this year at Wapakoneta, Ohio at the Fairgrounds there. According to JAMES R. WYCOFF, R.R.3, Box 200, Wapakoneta, Ohio 45895, they had a small show last year and are trying to grow a bit more this show time. James has been appointed Chairman of the Steam and Gas Engines Committee and would appreciate all the help he could get - information, etc.

CARL B. ERWIN, 100 S. Elm Street, Newkirk, Oklahoma 74647 says: 'I would like to put in a word of praise for the advertising power of the I.M.A. I have had several ads in it and have never failed to get what I wanted.

Also, I like the way you put words together. I always read Soot In The Flues, first.'

Thank you very much Carl, that's the nicest compliment I've had personally for a long time and I'm glad to hear the advertising is getting some results.

CHARLES S. GUMTOW, 15 Ballard Ave., Apt. B, St. Augustine, Florida 32084 would like to know if the following companies still exist and if so, what is the present address of each: 1. Tiny Power Steam Models, run by Charles V. Arnold & Son. 2. Denison Live Steam Models. He says the first one used to be in Oregon years ago and the second was in Cleveland, Ohio at one time. (I feel I should know something about these for the names are familiar, but I can't seem to find anything on them - so I'm turning to my ALBUM Family - if you know you can let Charles know about it, but I would like to know also.)

LOIS BROWN, 426 Marian Street, Dover, Ohio 44622 mailed us a bit of news and she entitled it 'Steam Whistles Lead to Wedding Bells.'-'Jim Sloan of Route 2, Dover, Ohio, the newly elected vice-president of The Tuscarawas Valley Pioneer Power Association, Inc. announced that his son, Larry, (also active in the association) met Jane Toole of Route 4, Cadiz, Ohio -whose family is active in the Stumptown Association through the shows at Stumptown and Dover and now have plans to marry.'

The other officers serving the Tuscarawas Valley Pioneer Power Association during this year and the August 1975 Show are: President - Verle Baker from Dover; Secretary - Bob Scheetz from Massillon; Assistant Secretary -Dale Prysi from New Philadelphia; Treasurer-Earl Scheetz from Massillon; 3-yearTrustee-Frank Shutt from Sugarcreek; 2 year - Trustee -Whitty Beachy from Sugarcreek and 1 year Trustee-Jim Sutton from Minerva.

Had a nice visit with some Iron-Men Family readers early in February Mr. and Mrs. George Neal and Mr. and Mrs. John Cannon and James Neal (brother of George) stopped by the house to see me. We had a real good chat and they brought their scrapbook to show how their club is progressing. They'll be having the Second Annual Show this year - Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association. They're all fired up with the upcoming show and the 'doings' of the Club and why not?

We all went out and visited Earlene Ritzman then and she was kind enough to take the folks through the Korn Krib (Elmer's Museum) which they really enjoyed - even if we did all freeze-how about it? Good Luck to you with the Organization and thanks for stopping to say 'Howdy'.

And if you'll take note in the magazine you'll find a Display Ad entered by Earlene as she will be having an Auction Sale this fall -many interesting items to go to folks who will cherish and enjoy them as much as Elmer had enjoyed preserving them. Keep watching if you're interested - for further information on the Auction.

THOMAS JENSEN, 559 Sheldon Road, Palmyra, New York 14522 also stopped by to exchange some conversation in February. I think he was out for a ride and had stopped here - we weren't home and he went on down to Lancaster and called Helen Ament at the Lancaster office - then on his way back, he found us at home. Seems Tom is retired and enjoys jaunting about -we enjoyed talking with you Tom and thanks for the picture (He took a snap of our house and then gave it to us - looked real niceand a very kind gesture.)

The Maryland Steam Historical Society, Inc. held its annual election of officers at the Armacost Farm Center in Fowblesburg, Maryland. Elected as follows: President, Mr. Gilbert Wisner now serving his ninth term as president. He deserves a lot of credit for his outstanding work and cooperation during the past years. Mr. William Hopkins was elected to be the Vice-President. Mr. Hopkins is well known in Carroll County and he has served in official duties here in Maryland. Mr. Mertice Masimore of Pleasant Hill, Pennsylvania was elected as 2nd Vice President. Mr. Masimore is a watchmaker and he has been with us many years. Mrs. Margaret Merkle was again elected to serve as Club Secretary. She has held her position for 18 years and has done a superior job. The Treasurer, Clark Ensor of Baltimore County was also re-elected to serve as he has done so faithfully in the past years. Many thanks for an outstanding job.

Board of Directors included 17 other people - sounds like they have a well organized board of officials. I'm sure they are all getting 'up steam' for the upcoming show in September.

After their meeting, they had a movie titled 'Hampstead Firemen's Parade-1947', which brought back many memories. (Marshall L. Matthews, Publicity Chairman sent us this report).

BERNARD M. ROBINSON, 1527 Squaw Creek Road, Fostoria, Michigan 48435 writes us: 'Im trying to get information on the Lunkenheimer steam whistle in the November and December Iron-Men Album magazine. I sent a letter to the adress in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, but never received any answer. I wonder if I used the proper procedure?' (I'm not quite sure what Bernard is speaking of, as I looked and looked through that issue and couldn't find anything about the whistle. If you know or can help Bernard, please do!) I'd like to enter this poem written by Mrs. Viva M. Boehm, Bock Lane, Baden, Pennsylvania 15005. Mrs. Boehm is a member of the Northwest Pennsylvania Steam Engine & Old Equipment Association, Inc. and had written this poem to use at one of their banquets-I think you'll enjoy it.