Soot in the flues

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Hi! Can you believe as we get this May-June issue ready in February for printing that the winter is just about past?? Don't know whether or not you're interested in our weather, but we were very fortunate in this way as far as snow storms, etc. We didn't have to shovel any snow we had a few flurries and it did lay on the ground for awhile, but not much concern to anyone and not enough for sledding and snow mobiling which of course, called for a lot of disappointments for the snow lovers. Can't believe we are into another year already of shows and reunions. But, we are and so here we go with the letters:

CARL B. ERWIN, 106 South Elm Street, Newkirk, Oklahoma 74647 sends this: 'The picture at the bottom of the first page of unclassified photos, brings back memories to me. The engine is a 13 horse Gaar-Scott. Back in 1906 I began my career in a swamill, firing one exactly like it. My father and my uncle were using it to operate a sawmill cutting oak and hickery into wagon lumber.

The crew have their threshing rig all loaded on the car ready to go (up the country); probably farther north. This model of the Gaar-Scott came out about 1897. It looks fairly new, so the picture must have been made around the turn of the century. It is unlikely that any of the men in the picture are still living. Maybe some of their descendants can tell us more.

When I used to attend the steam engine shows in Indiana and Ohio, which would be Gaar-Scott country, I always looked for one of this model, but never found one.

Our next letter comes from CHARLES L. CHANDLER, Box 207, Ashkum, Illinois 60911: 'I saw the picture of that thing in Iron-Men Album, page 13 of March-April 1980 issue and Louis Miller is right it is a picture of a Case steam engine tender. About 1910 my father and my uncle each had one on their steamers. The axle of the thing swiveled; it had chains run from its axle and crossed under the engine, to the front axle of the engine. It guided from the front wheels and worked real good for threshing etc. but wasn't too good for drawbar work. It was a water tank up to about a foot from the top and a solid floor and the rest of the way up was for coal. I scooped many loads of coal from one of these things into the fire box of a Case engine.'

J. J. LESIUR, 703-55 Nassau Street N., Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, needs some help: 'We have a 1904 Reeves double compound steamer. Currently, this is being restored for us by the Canadian National Railways. If you could put us in touch with some other Reeves owner, we will appreciate it.' (Sounds like pen pals are needed hereReeves owners, please write.)

ELDON HELD, R.R. 1, Rock Lake, North Dakota 58365 writes: 'In regards to unclassified photos in the March-April 1980 issue. No. 1 is a 30-60 Aultman Taylor gas tractor. No. 2 is a Gaar-Scott separator and a Conqueror steam engine built by Robinson and Co., Richmond, Indiana. No. 3 is of a Frick, No. 4 the last plow is a John Deere, I am sure of the make of engine. The negative must be reversed. No. 5 is a Minneapolis and No. 6 I believe, is an early George White.

I would like to see someone write some articles on boiler repairs, type of steel for boiler plates and stay bolts, etc. I would also like to know if anyone has built up a gear by welding and how it turned out. The pinion gear on my brother's Minneapolis is worn pretty thin.

Enclosed is a photo of my 80 HP Case in the Centennial Parade at Egeland, North Dakota, with my son, Mike, at the steering wheel.

A long informative letter comes from MELVIN R. GRENVIK, Box 171, Kenmare, North Dakota 58746: 'I'm sure that many readers are curious about the identification of the engines in unclassified photo section of March-April issue and here is how I read them. No. 1 is a 30-60 Aultman Taylor. No. 2 is an early Gaar-Scott, rear mounted cylinder. No. 3Frick double cylinder. No. 4this was printed with the negative reversed, but I believe it to be a Nichols & Shepard 25-85 single. No. 5 - Minneapolis single, 20 to 22 HP. No. 6 - this is a real cutie, took a lot of study to figure it out. This engine is a Lang and Button, about 13 HP, built around 1909.

Also, the Soot in the Flues letter from Lawson W. Zaring from Shelbyville, Kentucky, asking about the odd grouter arrangement on the Case drive wheel. These special drivers are listed in my 1918 Case Catalog as a special extra cost option when ordered with the engine and are called freighting wheels. They were considered to be essential on engines used continuously for freighting work on rocky roads. For reasons not clear, they have left out every other grouter in the outer row only. In their factory literature, Case calls these road cleats. Hubs, spokes and tires of these wheels are extra heavy. I hope this has been of some help. I continue to look forward to each new issue and I think our magazine is the best in the business.

Also, I would like to offer an answer to the letter from Louis Miller, Georgetown, Texas, asking about the identity of the two-wheeled engine tender in his photograph (Mar-April issue). This is indeed the tender offered by Case in their 1909 catalog. Capacity is listed as about 8 barrels of water and 1000 lbs. of coal and available with wheels of three different diameters for use with different sized engines. It was also available on special order equipped with a rack for handling straw instead of coal.

I hope this information has been of some help to Mr. Miller and I hope he gets the engine to go with it.'

From BILLY M. BYRD, 369 S. Harrig Street, Madisonville, Kentucky 42431 sends this letter: 'I'm sending you two pictures that I would appreciate you printing. These engines were on the George Boddie farm, nearly 7000 acres at one time. Fort Campbell got half of it during World War II, and the two bachelor sons, the only survivors died several years ago. There was a sale held last year with four steam engines being soldthe Case that is in the picture, a portable Gaar-Scott, a Huber and a 40 HP Geiser built in 1907 that sold for $18,000.00.

The photo of the engine that is unknown was found on the place. I cannot identify it and have found no one that can. Would you see if any of the subscribers can and if they will help me. I don't even know what years the Boddies had the engine or when it was disposed of.

I had my Nichols & Shepard in a Christmas Parade at Henderson, Kentucky and then put it to bed for the winter. I'm in the process of putting all new double strength piping on her so she will be right for the Tennessee-Kentucky Show at Adams, Tennessee in July. This gas situation is getting serious. I'm paying $1.16 for unleaded here and I'm afraid it will cut down on attendance at the show, especially those from out of state.

Thank you for printing the notice of Kirk Donohoes death that I sent in. I bought my engine from his brother, Carl, who is in the hospital now for surgery. He sure does enjoy the Iron-Men Album as did Kirk. I really do like the front covers on the magazine. I just wish it came every month. I have every copy back to 1965 and Forrest Cunningham of Harrodsburg, Kentucky has every one and has let me read them all.'

N. BRADY BROWN, Lazo, B.C. VOR 2X0 sends comments as follows: 'Plaudits to Carl Erwin on his indicator article. He is a true engineer. This instrument provides the only accurate way to reveal the actual pressures and, thus, valve timing and also leakage in the cylinder of a steam engine.

I have used my indicator on stationary engines and once on my Brooks steam powered automobile. I am ashamed to say I haven't taken cards off my 16 HP Waterloo as yet. It does take several qualified helpers to operate the engine, control the load and record the data. I will endeavor to share this project with you some time in the future. In the meantime, let us have some cards off engines published and showing before and after valve adjustments or other engine work such as new rings, reboring, valve refitting, etc.

Oh yes, Carl Lathrop's article shows superlative knowledge of steam boilers and engines very well explained.'

This writing comes from HARLEY NOFZIGER, Route 3, Box 219, Archbold, Ohio 43502: 'My reason for writing is that I always converse with the lady who takes care of the subscription during the steam show at Wauseon, Ohio and I see the display you have of reproductions of the brochures that the companies had during the days when they sold steam engines and threshers. I would appreciate it immensely if I could get an advertisement of the Baker steam engines as well as the thresher. The reason is this I have a cousin who is a wood carver and he would appreciate if he had such material as he would like to carve an engine and thresher so he will need a good picture of both the machines, broadside. He has taken four firsts at the International Wood Carvers Convention held annually at Davenport, Iowa. (If any of our faithful members could help with a picture, please notify Harley.)

WILMER BOURAY, Box 56, Haray, Nebraska 68943 tells us: 'I am enclosing a picture of the steam engine and threshing machine my grandfather had. There are no steam engine enthusiasts close by to identify it for me and I wondered if it was shown in Iron-Men Album there would be hopes someone would be able to tell me all about it.' (If you can help him, fellow members, please write.)

EARL S. STOUT, SR., 18897 Broad Street, Broadway, Ohio 43007 sends this information and maybe it will be of great help to someone especially interested in it. 'I would like to say that I enjoy both I.M.A. and G.E.M. I have taken both for several years. Because of my health I must dispose of several items and am moving to San Antonio, Texas this summer. Of interest to I.M.A. readers, I have a brochure with three pictures on it. One of a Greyhound steam engine with a description of two different sizes. Second, is picture of a Greyhound thresher with some description and the third is a cut-away view of the thresher. These were made by The Banting Mfg. Co., 114 Superior Street, Toledo, Ohio. I also have a letter written by this company to a Mr. Wm. Hancock, Evansport, Ohio dated January 18, 1922. This is a sales letter and with it is an application form plus a list of used machinery. This material was found in a wall of an older home as it was being torn out for remodeling some years ago. I would be glad to let someone have this material that would be looking for information on this company. The pictures are very good. Keep up the good work on both magazines.' (If someone is interested and would pass the data on to us, we would appreciate it for the magazineAnna Mae.)

Another comment on the unclassified photos comes from ROBERT GOLD, Box 94, Milroy, Indiana 46156: 'Photo No. 4 in the Nov.-Dec. 1979 issue of the Iron Men Album Magazine is a picture of the Pioneer Engineers Club of Indiana taken at a Reunion. The engine on the right is a 12-36 HP Russell owned at that time by Ray Jones, past president of the club. The one on the left is a 50 HP Case. I wish I could tell you when and where picture was takenmaybe another member has this information.'

A nice letter and a history of a picture comes to us from EL WOOD KEMP, Hamilton, North Dakota 58238: 'We have taken the magazine for many years and really enjoy it. We live in N.E. North Dakota-raise sugar beets and small grains. Sunflowers were a big crop last yearsome 250,000 acres, more than was put into barley in Pembina County alone. While we do not raise potatoes, many of our friends do they can be found nationwide. Freight is a big problem.

I'm enclosing a picture of my dad's steam threshing outfit taken about 1915 when I was 5 years old. It is a 20 HP cross-compound Reeves engine and a heavy duty Rumely separator. It had a full length chaffer under the straw walkers, plus the usual double sieve chaffer system, and could handle four men pitching bundles into it quite easily. There were ten bundle teams, water tank and grain hauler teams, a total of 22 men did the many jobs it took to thresh in those days to accommodate a sea of shocked grain and changing winds, the threshing machine had to be moved at times. The men timed a move or set that dad made. It took just 12 minutes from the time the straw stopped coming out of the blower until the straw was flying again and dad had moved of a mile.

When the 150' drive belt came to a stop and as being rolled up, the blower and grain spout were being put in traveling position while dad ran the engine up to the separator. A heavy chain was hooked onto the front of the engine with a pull on the reverse lever the outfit was off in reverse. When the outfit reached its new location, the chain was unhooked, the engine simply backed into the belt and the hum of the blower was about the only pound you could hear. The smooth-quiet power of the Reeves was hard to beat.

Because the engine burned straw, a special rack was fitted onto the back of the engine to haul straw for moves (note a load of straw is being blown onto a special rack by the wind stacker).

This is a poor picture of dad's outfit but I hope you can use it. I witnessed many things and rode on this outfit a lot. All of our pictures burned in a house fire, but this was sent to me by the Smiths. Thank you for a job well done.'

Next communication comes from VICTOR J. THOMSON, P.O. Box 7, Sweetgrass, Montana 59484: 'Enclosed is a clipping from the Wall Street Journal regarding 1908 steam engine still working at U.S. Steel. Looks like this faithful old engine will soon be retired. Perhaps you can stir up some interest among us enthusiasts so that it can be saved from the junk dealer. Would make fine addition to anybody's collection, even mine, if I were closer. (I'm not sure how soon the engine would be discarded, but this much was in the clipping). 'The Youngstown, Ohio, plant, while much closer to major Midwest markets, also has inefficient open-hearth furnaces as well as old-fashioned steel finishing equipment, including one mill that is driven by a steam engine installed in 1908.''

(There is no address or any specifics on how to go about getting in touch with someone if you are interested. The only suggestion I have is that it was a Pittsburgh article and was written by Douglas R. Sease, Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal. So that and Victor J Thomson are the only leads you have. Also, this was in December that the article was written, so a lot could have happened since then. Anna Mae.)

Many of you folks that are interested in steam are also into gas engines and we have a request from CLARENCE L. CRISWELL, Box 709, Lamar, South Carolina 29069. He wants us to mention the John Deere serial number search. As a service to all John Deere tractor collectors the Criswell Museum is conducting a world-wide search for JD tractors and will be recording the serial numbers of all known tractors of certain models. 'If you have any of the models listed below or know of any, would you please respond and mail us the information. Models to be cataloged are: Waterloo Boy-Model C Model P; G.P. Wide Tread - GPO - GPO-Lindeman crawler - BO Lindeman crawler - D with serial number up to #36248 Model 62 - AO Streamline.

When you write please list model, serial number, owner's name and address. We will delete owner's name and address from any listings when you do not want them. Lists will be compiled through 1980. Lists will be available to all interested collectors at cost.' Again please write CRISWELL JOHN DEERE TRACTOR MUSEUM, Box 709, Lamar, South Carolina 29069.

That's it for this time friends, and following is a poem called FRIENDS by Edgar Guest'Ain't it fine when things are going Topsy-turvey and askewTo discover someone showing Good old-fashioned faith in you? Ain't it good when life seems drearyAnd your hopes about to end,Just to feel the hand clasp cheery Of a fine old loyal friend? Gosh! one fellow to another Means a lot from day to day, Seems we're living for each other In a friendly sort of way. When a smile or cheerful greetin' Means so much to fellows sore, Seems we ought to keep repeatin' Smiles an' praises more an' more.'

Steamcerely, Anna Mae