Soot in the flues

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Hi! Everybody ready for Spring?? Aren't we always?? I'm so happy to hear from more of you folks this time. Before we begin with our correspondence I'd like to relate a short story to you, sad as it is you will probably appreciate it is called Troubles Years ago the inhabitants of a small town got into the habit of constantly complaining about their problems, troubles, difficulties real and imaginary. It was a soured, unhappy community. When the condition kept getting worse, an angel appeared, gave to each person in the community a bag and instructed that each one should put all his troubles in his bag and then hang the bag on the picket fence surrounding the village church. At a given signal the villagers were then to run at their top speed and pick out whichever bag of troubles they wanted.

The scramble, confusion and fighting that resulted was extraordinary especially since each person wanted only to get back his own bag of troubles. from Wellsprings of Wisdom. And now on to the letters

One of our long-time subscribers and contributors has moved and writes this note, and if you can help him out you will find him at the following address: MELVIN KESTLER, 712 Chaps Road, S.E., Rio Rancho, New Mexico 87124. Phone 505-892-9825. He writes:

'Since I owned and operated a steam threshing outfit at the Bird City, Kansas antique engine show for many years, I would like to know if you have any subscribers in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area that would be interested in getting together with me on a mutual friendship basis.

'We recently moved here from Twin Falls, Idaho and I would like to make the acquaintance of some local steam men.

'Have been a subscriber to your interesting magazine for over 30 years. Really enjoy it.'

GENE MAGUIRE, 1541 Fig Lane, Corning, California 96201 sent us his new address and a friendly chatting as he relates: 'I have been out of business for about three years. I lost my wife, Joey Maguire on our 47th wedding anniversary on the minute. We were very active in lots of steam antique shows. I started when I was 12 years old and that was 1918on my father's Reg. Water Monkey as they called it then. Two years later my brother went to North Dakota to run steam engines in harvest. So I ran the old return flue Russell steam engine, about a 1902. After leaving Park Rapids I found myself always working on some steam equipment and at 76 years old, I am still putting in flues and working and pluming up some old antique steam equipment some place. I will be in the G. A. Humann Antique Threshing for September 6th, the Sunday before Labor Day 1983.' (I know many of you folks know Gene and I think he is hoping to see you in September.)

A most interesting and amusing contribution is sent to us by MEL GRENVIK, 115-1st Avenue N.E., Kenmare, North Dakota 58746. It is a little essay Mel dreamed up and is called, very simply, The Cow!

'A cow is an automatic milk manufacturing machine. It is covered by a casing of untanned leather and is produced in various colors. It is self-propelled, and mobility is provided by four movable supports, one on each corner.

'The front of the machine carries twin headlights and in some models, twin horns. This part of the machine also contains the intake and grinding mechanism for raw materials.

'The four movable supports are sufficiently flexible as to allow the machine to assume a resting position on its lower surface, when milk is not being extracted.

'Internally, the central part of the machine contains the hydro-chemical milk-producing apparatus, and a processing system for raw materials, including four collapsible tanks connected together through an intricate system of flexible plumbing.

'At the rear of the machine are located the milk dispensing apparati (non-automatic), waste disposal provision and an automatic fly-swatter.

'If the dispensing apparatus is incorrectly or roughly handled by the operator, the machine will usually register a protest by use of one of the rear supports or both.

'There is a similar machine called a bull not to be confused with the cow. It produces no milk, but is an interesting variation of the standard model. And that is all I know about cows!' (After that essay, Mel, why don't you write more like this I think it's quite enjoyable.)

This detailed information comes to us from CARL B. BEAN, M.D., 164 West Orchard Drive, Butler, Pennsylvania 16001:

'I want to take this opportunity to state that I enjoy each issue of your magazine and join many others in looking forward to its arrival.

'Reference is made to an inquiry from Mr. Valdovinos, page 13, March-April 1983 issue with my following response which should apply to reciprocating steam engines generally, which should include his Eagle engine, although I have had no personal experience with the Eagle.

Definition:  *1 HP-hr.=1.98 x 106 ft. lbs.

Assume:      Steam pressure=100 lbs./sq. in.
                    Speed=250 RPM

Given:         Length of stroke=14 in.
                    Diameter of piston=8 in.

Then:           100 lbs./sq. in. x 50.26 sq. in.=5026 lbs. pressure on piston
                     28 in. power-stroke=2.333 feet
                     5026 lbs. x 2.333 feet=11,725.6 ft. lbs.
                     11,725.6 ft. lbs. x 250 RPM=2,931,400 ft. lbs./minute

                     2,931,400 ft. lbs./min. = 88.8 HP
                      *33,000 ft. lbs./min.

'With a 10 inch belt over the 62 inch diameter flywheel and say, over a 30 inch diameter saw pulley, a saw speed of 516.6 RPM would be achieved with the engine speed at 250 RPM; this sounds about right. I notice that the picture shows a fly-ball governor on the engine I must say that some sawyers prefer a hand control throttle, permitting idling of the engine and saw while the log is being turned, carriage set, etc.'

'I have seen the picture of the C. Aultman Star engine in the magazine. My father owned a C. Aultman back several years ago. I think he bought it about 1890. He ran this engine 'til about 1912 when the boiler went bad. He cut a large piece out of the fire box and had a large piece about 16' square cut out of the inside of the fire box and a new piece of steel put in and riveted to it on the right side of the fire box. That was all right 'til the back end of the boiler went and blew below the grate line. That was almost impossible to repair. This 10 HP was a nice little engine and was easy to steam.

'My father pulled a 32' Minneapolis separator 12 bar cylinder hand-feed with a Sattley stacker with this engine. It sure handled nicely. This separator is still on my place in the timber, almost rotted down by now. My father junked this C. Aultman Star about 1912 as near as I can recollect. I don't remember too much about the Star engine. I was only about 10 at the time.

'Since that time I have had a 13 HP Case, a Russell and a Nichols & Shepard double and a 22 HP Minneapolis which was a very good engine.

'I am 85 years old now. I have sold all my machines and have retired from the good old days of threshing. I also ran a sawmill for years and finally sold out in that line. I have eye trouble and don't see too well, but I hope you can see to read this letter. I still like the ALBUM. Hope you enjoy my ramblings. Sincerely, JOHN W. BRUENING, Meredosia, Illinois 62665.'

JOSEPH C. GALBREATH, 1912 3rd Avenue, Sterling, Illinois 61081 has recently purchased a 1909 Case 9 HP steam traction engine No. 21693 from the estate of Guy McCausland of Camanche, Iowa. He purchased it from the estate of Justin Hingtgen of LaMotte, Iowa. He would like to hear from anyone with any history or other information of this engine. If he can get enough data, he will send an article later. He says he knows of four others of this size and would like to know how many are left. If other owners will please send him the year and serial number of their engines, he will later send the list to IMA to be published. Get in touch with him if you are interested in helping him. There are a few changes he is going to make.

Just a little note comes with the subscription renewal of W. E. NEAL, 613 8th Avenue, Charles City, Iowa 50616: 'The Cedar Valley Engine Club had a good year in 1982.

'My wife and I took a trip to Oregon in September and saw some old iron out that way. Hope you have some readers of your magazine around Sumpter, Oregon that would write a story about a gold dredge machine that we saw at Sumpter. It must have been quite a machine. We came home by the way of Denver and drove down to Franktown and visited Greg Stephen and he is getting a good collection of old tractors. It is fun to take trips like we have taken to see how other farms are and how different their machines are from what we have here in Iowa. Do hope we can get to your part of the country some time.'

'Here is a picture of the Aultman Taylor 25 HP engine I have partly restored. It was made some time between 1917-1920. I do not have it all painted as yet. The boiler is painted black and the coal hodds. We had the engine to the Mansfield Ohio Show in 1982. It is in good working shape and I am still looking for the colors of paint for the engine.' (If you can help this buddy write to JOHN BURKHART, Route 2, Box 3259 Twp. Rd. 629, Loudonville, Ohio 44842.)

'I just received my March-April issue and was surprised to read of the article on the engine of Rich Howard of Hysham, Montana. I wrote to Rich and explained the engine in question was either a Locomobile or Stanley steam car.

'This engine was used in both Stanleys and Locomobiles as the latter took over the Stanley Bros. soon after the turn of the century, but Stanley later purchased their patents and patterns back from Locomobile and made cars until 1925 or 26. At least a man here in Alliance, Ohio had purchased a new one in 1926, probably a 1925 leftover.

'As for me, I asked for help on the 1884 Daniel Boone Frick that I intend to restore. I found out for myself how to release the clutch in order to motivate the traction engine. As soon as I start I will take pictures of the engine and when finished, I will send the finished product, when able, to show it at various shows.' This writing comes from PERRY WILLIS, R.D. #3, Louisville, Ohio 44641.

Our next communication comes from MR. AND MRS. CARL AKERLUND, Box 307, Unity, Saskatchewan, Canada SOK 4LO: 'We are retired farmers for several years, although we still live on our farm, 71/2 miles Northwest of Unity. We have traveled many miles with our truck and camper. The summer of 1982 we enjoyed the month of June holidaying one trip up to Alaska and back. The scenery was beautiful and the many flowers were amazing. The people were very friendly and obliging.

'We were not alone on the Alaska Highway as we counted 22 license plates of different states. We stopped at the South Peace Centennial Museum in Alberta on our way home. It was not a large museum but very interesting as they had five steam tractors and a number of gasoline engines.

'We started out on another trip in August for Pioneer Acres at Langdon, Alberta for a two day show of threshing, plowing and reliving the past. They had a large tent in which they held a demonstration on quilting, baking bread, churning butter, making ice cream and extracting honey. All was very tasty.

'We were awakened at 5:30 in the morning by the sound of the steam engine whistle; even at that early hour on a holiday the sound of the whistle was music to our ears.

'The previous year we were awakened on a Sunday morning at 8 with the sound of someone starting a 25 x 45 Rumely about 40 feet from our camper. When we travel to these shows, there is no need for our alarm. We enjoyed that sound as we have a 1927 30-50 Rumely which Carl and his late brother, Alfred, restored in 1979. Carl has had the Rumely in the parade three times in our home town celebrations. We are enclosing a picture of Carl on the Rumely in the Saskatchewan Parade in 1980 celebrating 75 years for Saskatchewan.

'The highlight of our travels in 1982 was our trip to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa for the Old Threshers Annual Reunion. We left home in August and enroute we stopped in Yellowstone Park. It was just fantastic country. We traveled through the Black Hills of South Dakota. The country was beautiful. We thought we would arrive at Mt. Pleasant early and many other campers had the same idea. There are 60 acres of camp grounds. It was like a little city. It was amazing how clean and orderly the grounds were kept. They put on the biggest show ever. At 12 noon about 100 steam traction engines blow their whistles that's really something to hear.

'To finish the year off we had a Threshing Day at Unity. Carl had the Rumely on a 191128-50 Case separator for an hour.

'We enjoy the Iron-Men Album!'

RAYMOND APRILL, 310 S. Washington, Oconto Falls, Wisconsin 54154 is interested in collecting show buttons and would like to correspond with other steam engine or gas engine fans.

'I know you like to hear from old timers and since I want my name back on your list, I'm sending my subscription and also some memories of when I was a kid,' says GEORGE MOSEMAN, 107 N. Charde Avenue, Oakland, Nebraska 68045.

'The first thing I remember happened one afternoon when my father and an older brother were going to shell some corn with a 2-hole spring corn sheller on skids staked down permanently by a small 4 HP, also staked down and on skids. They were shelling and some of the stakes pulled up and came loose, so my sister who was driving the horses had to stop them and was told to unhood the tugs, all four of them. But when they were hooked up again, things went wrong again and that ended my first corn shelling experience, which was before I ever started school.

'My dad also owned a 12 HP and a 30' hand-fed threshing machine for several years. I used to like to watch them thresh bundles right from the grain stacks in the field. The straw was carried away from the machine by wooden slats riveted to three 2-inch belts in an elevator about 12 to 16 feet long as the way I remember it. It was quite a job to stake the power down against the strength of 12 good horses. Several neighbors worked to help each other with harvest, corn shelling jobs, etc. I can remember seeing two men standing up there in the dust cutting the string bands and shoving or pushing the bundles towards the cylinder of the threshing machine.

'After seeing a couple of years of horsepower threshing with a hand-fed threshing machine, I well remember when the first steam threshing outfit pulled in on our place, owned by Magnuson brothers. They had to have eight bundle haulers to keep up with it! It was quite a thrill to see that big steam rig pull in and maneuver around and in no time they were ready to thresh. I'll never forget that!

'Then quite a few years later the youngest of Magnuson brothers became one of my brothers-in-law and for several years I got the job of hauling water for the engine. At that time, he was the sole owner as he bought the other two brothers out; Sigard moved up to Emerson, Nebraska.

'One year I remember taking water from a large supply tank high enough so I could syphon the water to fill my water wagon tank only to find out later that the water from that supply tank and well would not make steam. In order to keep on threshing the rest of that afternoon, Art had to keep both petcocks under the cylinder open to let the unsteamed water escape to prevent the cylinder from bursting. I had to get rid of the water I had left in the tank wagon and pump water from a creek that ran through several pastures in that neighborhood. With a lot of trouble we managed to keep threshing the rest of that day.

'In the evening we drove the engine out quite a ways in the stubble field where it was safe to rake the hot coals from the fire box later when the engine cooled down which was about 11 o'clock. Then we drained the boiler and washed it out with fresh water from the creek I had hauled there before dark. After the boiler was flushed and cleaned I could start to pump water back into it again, which was about 2 A.M. Around 7 we had the steam gauge showing up to 120 lbs. pressure and we were ready to start threshing our usual time. We did not get to bed that night but were so busy making new rubber gaskets for the boiler plugs, etc., we didn't even get sleepy and I was only about 17 at the time.

'Then in 1964, my wife Emelia and a daughter Eunice and family took a week off and spent some time at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa at their 15th annual show. It was really a good show and we all enjoyed ourselves very much. It was the most interesting one we had ever attended.

'Whenever I saw or came near the one Avery steam engine like the one I worked with several years ago, I felt like asking if I could take it out for a drive or just be on it. The steam kind of got back into my blood so to speak! I hope you folds enjoy reading this story as much as I enjoyed writing it. It was a pleasure to concentrate on my younger days.'

JIM HALEY, 310 S. Franklin, Dwight, Illinois 60420 sends us some photos and this letter: 'I enjoy reading your column and thought I might write a few lines to contribute to it. I am an avid steam fan. I was brought up with steam as my father, Sam Haley, purchased our 50 HP Case engine when I was just a few months old. We have restored it and show it every year at the Central States Threshermens' Reunion at Pontiac, Illinois. We also own a 1/2 scale of a 65 HP Case. My Dad spent a lot of hours on it but it sure was worth it.

'In September of '82 we had a steam plowing day at our farm. We plowed with the 50 HP Case and a 5-bottom plow and the 1/2-scale pulled a 2-bottom. We invited a few friends over to watch and some brought their equipment and joined right in.

'I am only 16 years old and look forward to many more years of running the steam engines.'

We are soon into the reunions and show times I know you are all looking forward to that do enjoy your meetings with your good friends another time and don't forget to let us hear about those interesting tidbits of information that go on throughout the glorious summer. And as always, I must leave a few thoughts for you to think about-....God does not COMFORT us to make us COMFORTABLE, but to make us COMFORTERS....To admit I have been wrong is but saying that I am wiser today than I was yesterday....Don't spend your health to gain wealth, and then spend your wealth to regain health....Three thoughts on conversation: Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?....Bye Bye and Love Ya All....