Soot In The Flues

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HI! Hope by the time this magazine reaches you the snow will all be gone right now it's been melting a little bit each dayI pray it continues that way and that folks will be spared the disastrous floods and devastations that could be and somehow just comes to my mind right now 'And what is as rare as a day in June?? Well, this is the May-June issue, so we'll just look expectantly towards those balmy days ahead.

I've been wanting to tell you folks that the pressure of handling the growing magazine, becomes at times a bit too much for me, so Praise The Lord, I have someone helping me several days a week and many of you know her remember Kitty she worked for and handled the whole magazine business end of it after I had been so ill in 1966 with encephalitis.

She had a nice experience this past weekend when she, and husband, Earl and daughter, Cathy went as team members to share the Lord at a Lay Witness Mission out on the other side of Pittsburgh. She was happy to meet up with one of our Iron-Men Family members, and his wife, who were also there working for the Lord. His name is Tom Downing and he hails from Ellwood City, Pennsylvania 16117. And from all reports the Mission was quite fruitful. Hallelujah! While I don't know Tom personally, as soon as Kitty mentioned him, the name was very familiar, as he has sent numerous articles for both our magazines and I felt as though I knew just who she was speaking about. Reunions for the Lord's work are even more exciting than the steam and gas ones try it and see!

A letter comes from LOWELL BOYCE, 11003 River Road, N., Gervasis, Oregon 97026: 'Keep up the good work! I'm a young steam engine owner of a 12 HP Russell 15815 traction engine and was wondering if any of your readers could tell me what year the Russell Company started using the Bull as their trademark? Be looking for your answers!'

I wanted to mention was so sorry that I was not home when Herbert Reese and his wife stopped by to see me. Heard they stopped in Lancaster office and everyone enjoyed their visit. You'll have to try again folks!

The photos that have been printed from the (unclassified or lost file) always draw some comments this letter comes from MAX ZIMMER LEIN, R.F.D. 1, Sandwich, Illinois 60548: 'I have some information on Photo #7 from your page 23 of Jan-Feb. I.M.A. 1978. I took movies of this demonstration September 21, 1963 show. It was called Mississippi Valley Steam Show and was held on the farm of the late Justin Hinghten, near either LaMotte or Zwingle, Iowa. The engine was a Case, horsepower unknown. Operator was Harry Wood mansee, Dowling, Michigan. This photo with engine at top of the ramp tells you that Harry made it to the top, but that's not the whole story.

As he started up the ramp, as he reached the one half way mark, he stopped paused a moment without going backward, then on up to the top. Then back down one thirda pause and ahead till front wheels hit level, then back down half way, then up again. Again down two thirds pause up nearly to the top, then gently all the way down. Harry does this and keeps right on smoking his pipe at the same time.'

Photo taken October 3, 1952 by the late Tom Smith, who founded the 'Engineers and Engines' magazine. Front row seated:-; George Bednar, Minneapolis, Minnesota (now Mora, Minnesota); Web Mooney, Nortonville, Kansas; Gilmar Johnson, Frederic, Wisconsin. 2nd row:-, Henry Luck Singer, McK ettrick, Missouri (with beard); Mrs. Lyle Hoffmaster (?), Peoria, Illinois; Rev. Elmer Ritzman, Editor and founder of Iron Men Album;-; Mrs. George Bedner; Mrs. A. J. Goodban, York, Nebraska; Mrs. Web Mooney. 3rd row:-; William Herpst, Elmwood, Wisconsin;-,-,-, Mrs. Tom Smith, (Mary Lou) (tall one in back); Mrs. Gilmar Johnson;-; A. J. Goodban. 4th row on Advance Rumely Engine: Paul Curtis, Frederictown, Ohio; Lyle Hoffmaster; L. K. Wood, Mendon, Utah. Other names I can't place are: T. E. Deripser, Wichita, Kansas; Fern Detrick, Miami, Florida; Raleigh Waltman, Auoca, Iowa; A. E. Schadt, Ft. Luston, Colorado; Eddie Richardson, Missouri and Frederick Blanth, Tower Hill, Illinois. Though by now, many have passed away, at that time it was 'one big happy family.' Submitted by Gilmar Johnson, Route 1, Box 309, Frederic, Wisconsin 54837.

An informative letter comes from GILMAR JOHNSON, Route 1, Box 309, Frederic, Wisconsin 54837: 'Thanks for your efforts at keeping our old Album goingit must go on!

Maybe I can get in my two cents worth on those unclassified photos in the centerspread. I am glad you are running these. I presume they got lost in the shuffle, so dust them off and maybe spur an added interest in the Iron-Men Album.

In Volume 32, #3, I reckon the man in photo is familiar to many an old timer if you went back to the 50sL. K. Wood, Mendon, Utah, was a steam fan who came to Mt. Pleasant show many consecutive years. At that time it was a steam show and we steam buffs got acquainted in a hurry (am enclosing a photo taken back when).

In Volume 32, #5 picture (am glad you number them). This identical picture was sent to me in the late 50s with the following writing (16 HP Scheidler engine and Scheidler sawmill owned by Archer Bros., Summerfield, Ohio.) Picture was sent to me by Frances Archer, Zanesville, Ohio. Interesting picture indeed, evidently taken while school was in session, back when the three R's were fundamental.'

Here's a letter that might DEVELOP into something: It comes from H. BENNER HOEPER, P.O. Box 3562, Alexandria, Virginia 22302: 'I was first introduced to I.M.A. by my brother in Lockland, Ohio while on a visit there. I enjoy reading the magazine. It takes me back to the time when I was a youngster, not because of the steam or gas engines, but because I recall what a thrill it was to see the threshing machine in action.

The reason for the letter is this: I am in amateur filmer who shoots in 16mm. I have for the past several years wondered if among the steam engine fraternity in this area (Washington, D. C., northern Virginia, Maryland) there is anyone who would like to collaborate with me on a film or films about steam engines or about the restoration or operation of steam engines.

I have the equipment for shooting the film and even for recording sound. My interest starts just for the fun of it. I do not know if there are any films of this kind. It would be interesting to know if there is any interest among the steam-engine fraternity in showing such a film at their meetings. Such a film is not likely to be a best seller, but a few copies would probably return the cost of filming. It is not my idea to make a commercially successful venture, but to document some of the things I read about in I.M.A.

Any comments you might care to offer will be appreciated.

HOWARD CLAYTON, Delta, Utah 84624 sends this interesting bit: 'I look forward with excitement every two months to your Iron Men Album. My only regret is that I don't have more time to spend restoring my antiques. I have been able, however, in the past year to put a new flue sheet and all new flues in Old Betsy. For those of you who remember L. K. Wood of Mendon, Utah, this engine will ring a bell. This past summer Old Betsy went two miles on her own power in the 'Days of the Old West' parade in Deseret, Utah. I would like to express many thanks to Marvin and George Smith of Ogden, who helped in the restoration and Bud Parker of Salt Lake City who helped me with getting Betsy fired and through the parade. She sure stole the show.

In your 1978 January-February issue of I.M.A. pg. 22 picture #3 is one of L. K. Wood of Mendon, Utah. This picture I believe was taken of Lynden approximately 10 years before his death when he and his models were flown back east for a steam engine show. He passed away January 2, 1967, at the age of 79 after serving many years in the interest of preserving our priceless past.

To those interested a beautiful carved picture in granite of Old Betsy marks his tombstonea very fitting and striking sight.

He was indeed a gentleman and an inspiration to all.

In September-October 1977 issue of I.M.A. on page 8-9 there was a story of 'King of the Giants' by Col. N. D. Stuckey. Some people have written since to ask where Big Muskie is now located. It is near Rix Mills, Ohio, east of Zanesville came right from the Colonel's letter he sent us. Also Col. N. D. Stuckey's address is now 4777 Upper Valley Pike, Dayton, Ohio 45424.

JAMES TRIPP, 655 Ironwood, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103 writes: 'In the January-February I.M.A. on page 22-23, you showed photos of which you asked for information. Photo #7 was of Harry Woodmansee of Dowling, Michigan. He does this also at Mason, Michigan at their steam show. You will find his picture on page 40 of your September-October 1963 I.M.A. Also in the same Album on page 35, you will find three pictures and articles about them. And a Mr. McMillen performing this stunt at Wichita, Kansas. Thanks for two wonderful magazines!' (And thank you for liking them, and for giving us this information.)

From LYLE J. HOFFMASTER, 1845 Marion Road, Bucyrus, Ohio 44820 comes some information on the unclassified photos: 'In the last issue (March-April 78) of I.M.A. under 'unclassified photos' the #7 picture is of the late Dan S. Zehr. It was taken during the threshing season of 1944 about 10 miles east of Pontiac, Illinois. Dan had several threshing rigs out that year and he usually made a stop at each rig every day. He decided to pitch some bundles on one of these visits to the rig that I was running and I caught him with the camera.

The following winter I showed this picture to fellow members of the Illinois Brotherhood of Threshermen of which Dan was our president for many years. I am still not sure he appreciated this.

The rig consisted of Dan's 36-60 steel Nichols & Shepard separator and my 28-44 Oliver tractor which I still have. One job on this run I will never forget. An extremely heavy rain had washed most of the grain from a 60 acre field down against a fence. The farmer and several of his neighbors had dug these mud laden bundles out and re-shocked them. By threshing time they were dry. The grain was in surprisingly good shape. One could only see the end of the feeder after we started to thresh. The drive belt just disappeared into a cloud of dust. I would lead the teams on the bundle wagons up from the rear of the separator using a light stick to feel my way along. The horses could then stand facing the tractor and be pretty well out of the dust. There were times when the pitchers who were unloading could not see each other. The bundles were so heavy from the dried mud in them that it slowed the 8 bundle racks that we had down to where they could not keep the machine busy. This gave me a much needed time to oil and grease the machine but it was a nearly futile effort.

Mr. Zehr sponsored the first reunion at Pontiac, Illinois on his own. We later organized the Central States Thresher Reunion and elected Dan as president. He was the Oliver dealer in Pontiac, Illinois for a number of years.'

EDWIN BJORNEBO, Cotton-wood, Minnesota 56229 tells us: 'I enjoyed the article by H. S. Fox, Mt. Royal, New Jersey in the November-December 1977 I.M.A. (Getting Water in Yer Berler). It was well written and should be of great help to some of the younger steam enthusiasts in understanding the injectors on their engines.

I certainly hope someone has a history of the Penberthy Company that the IMA could use. One of the reasons being that we owned a 1926 Big Six Studebaker automobile. This was equipped with a Penberthy carburetor. It was a long stroke, slow speed motor and was considered a very high powered car in its day. It is the only automobile I have ever known to have a Penberthy carburetor. I have only met one old mechanic who has ever seen any of them and only on the 26 Stude Big Six. He did not remember if they were used on the 1924-25 Stude Special or not. They were not used on the 1927 Stude Commander which had about the same motor as the Big Six and was known as the Atlanta Series.

If any of the I.M.A. readers have any dope on this, let's hear from you!

I have enjoyed the I.M.A. for 30 years and think its the Greatest!'

EMIL J. WUEPPER, 65 Salzburg Road, Bay City, Michigan 48706 would like information on Westinghouse gas engines. He would be happy to hear from anyone having some data on them.

C. E. KAUER, 318 N. Tracy, Wichita, Kansas 67212 writes about something that we have found to be true in our offices also read on: 'I would like to mention a thing that might please you to know. I have been a supplier of various parts for model engines through the past 27 years and have shipped engine parts to many customers because they contacted me in various ways stating that they needed these parts as soon as possible and if I would ship the parts including a bill for them they would send the pay right away.

I did things like this many times and to this date, only two men have failed to pay. One bill not paid was for $25.00 and another for $42.00.

I write this because I believed you would be pleased to know just how honest the steam engine and model builders areneither have I received a bad check.'

(And as I said that goes for us too so keep up your good reputation Fellows!) Helen Ament backs this statement also from the Lancaster office.

GENE A. DRUMMOND, 15509 Drummond Road, Orient, Ohio 43146 sends this letter of interest: 'For sometime I have been trying to learn the number of Avery undermounted steam engines that are left today. In order to do this I put want ads in the engine magazines and wrote letters. I asked for the size of the engine and its serial number so that I would not count an engine twice. This is what I have and I will share it with the readers of I.M.A.

Serial numbers




18 HP



20 HP



22 HP



30 HP



40 HP



This makes for a count of 55 Avery undermounted engines. I had hoped that this could could have been more complete, but I did not get the help to make it so. I do thank those men that did help me for if it were not for them I would not have this much of a list.'

From E. A. 'FROG' SMITH, 99 E. Mariana Avenue, N. Fort Myers, Florida 'The last Frick steam engine #30697 now powers a cotton gin at Georgia Agrirama at Tipton, Georgia.' (Thanks Frog! E. A. is the author of 'Crackers and Swamp Cabbage,' 'From Monkey to Crackers' and 'Outside the Rule Book' I think many of you will recall he used to send in pictures, and material.

And with that I'm going to end the column and just say God Bless Each One of You and do have a good summer hope you renew many friendships at the reunions. I'll be thinking of you and waiting for all the good reports and don't forget to tell us the little interesting happenings. Steamcerely