Soot In The Flues

Soot in the flues

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Hi Dear Friends! As you know this is the Christmas issue, but since we publish so early on the Iron-Men Album it is really only the 1st of September as I write this - school starts the day after tomorrow - they say the older you get the faster time flies, well I'll tell you as fast as this summer went, I must have aged ten years - I know each day is precious and I enjoy each 24 hours, but they have never gone speeding by more rapidly than this past summer. But from that statement you must know that I 've been busy, for if one is not busy enjoying living, I imagine time goes very slowly. AND I hate to admit this, but I did not even get to a Steam Engine Reunion this year. We usually get to Kinzers and Williams Grove, but not this time. And I even had a shirt printed for the occasion - it has Iron-Men Album Magazine on the front and Gas Engine Magazine on the back. So, guess I'll have to keep it for next season.

From JAMES L. LEININGER, Box 407, Port Barre, Louisiana, 70577 comes this letter to you all: 'Fellow Steam Enthusiasts! I subscribe to Iron-Men Album and enjoy it very much. I build live steam locomotives in one inch scale, enjoy it very much. I build live steam locomotives in one inch scale, am starting a four inch scale steam traction engine and separator. I belong to fourteen Railroad Historical Societies, one Threshing Association and take numerous magazines. I also collect railroad locomotive black and white photos, water color paintings, and research old time short line railroads.

This photo collecting has led me to writing this letter. I would like to purchase copies of photos of steam traction engines, threshing machines, water wagons and the old Oil Pulls. - Still and action photos. I have wondered why one of your readers has not offered a line of photos of these subjects?? Most railroad photos can be purchased, so why not traction engines? May-be if your magazine pointed this out, some reader would offer these photos for sale. I like one in particular; the 1928 picture of Norman Gervais & Sons Threshing crew in the 1974, November-December Volume 29, No. 2 Iron-Men Album. This would make a perfect wall picture if one had it enlarged. We can interest more young people in these great hobbies if we can show and circulate more photos.

I create quite an interest in the young folks with my locomotive picture collection. I am going to place them all in album form and offer them to schools on a loan basis to show classrooms. I would like to be able to do the same with traction engine and threshing machine photos.

I am an ex-Pennsylvania trainman, but left them soon after they went to Diesel. I was born in Indiana and remember the old threshing rigs.' (Does this letter give someone an idea?)

A note from CHARLES GUM-TOW, 811 Lexington, Lakeland, Florida 33801 stated he wanted to thank us for putting his letter in the Iron-Men Album and he wishes to thank all people who answered it. As he put it, 'It is gratifying to know there are still some salt of the earth people who are willing to help their fellow man.'

The following letter may be of interest to many of you readers if you are partial to auctions and especially if you attended or knew about the one mentioned: 'A large crowd attended the Loveland-Helgesen Antique Auction on Sunday, May 4 at Rock River Thresheree Park north of Janesville, Wisconsin. Due to illness, the collections of antique tractors, gas engines, shingle mill, Model T and Monitor saw rigs, etc. were sold. There were also other consigners, with the largest other consignment coming from Harold Rettig. Raw-son, Ohio, who consigned 35 gas engines. Buyers were registered from several states including Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota and California. The total sale was $23,572.00 with many engines selling to out-of-state bidders. Some went as high as $1200.00 with several engines over $500.00. The shingle mill sold for $1200.00. The Model T touring car for $2000.00. Several tractors were sold, going for $2050, $1650, $900, $850, etc. The auction was conducted by George Auction Service, Evansville, Wisconsin. (The letter was sent to us by someone from the George Auction Service. Thanks, I found it interesting - never received this type of notice).

I had mentioned Mr. Charles Gumtow's letter in a previous paragraph - it had been a request for the addresses of Tiny Power and we solved that in the Sept.-Oct. issue as Archie L. Loether told us Charles Arnold had died and therefore I guess you can't get that publication any more. Now, JOHN LEONARD, 195 Dalhousie Avenue, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2N 4X8 tells us the address of Denison Live Steam Models as taken from a 1965 Iron-Men Album was 1606 Denison Avenue, Cleveland 9, Ohio. (Thanks, John and Archie).

This will be helpful to many readers - WALTER E. SCHRAGE, 1219 Lawn Avenue, New Haven, Indiana 46774 writes: 'I get many letters wanting to know I.H.C. years and I would like to say, Send SASE for years of IHC - Famous, Non-parell, Tom Thumb, 1 to 50 HP Mogul, Mogul 1 to 50 HP. Send part number, prefix letters as for 1-?, 3, 6, 10 M; 1-? L; 1-?-2-?, 3, 5, LA or LB. Send prefix letter and engine number.' (Walter requested this in both magazines so he can help all the friends possible).

TOM PEMBERTON, Route 2, Centralia, Missouri 65240 would like to find a book which gives history of manufacturers of old machinery from 1840 to 1900 or so. If anyone knows of such, please let us know too. We couldn't give him the answer so as usual, we're turning to our family for answers.

Just some thoughts on the hobbies from O.E. PREUSSLER, LeRoy, Minnesota 55951 as he remarks: 'When my mail comes and there is either one of your magazines in it, that is the first thing I read. I started threshing in 1924 as water boy and learned to fire and operate a 20 HP Minneapolis steam engine. Also starting plowing with a Fordson tractor the same year and I still have steam in my blood and spark plugs in my pockets. There is some difference between that Fordson and a 46-20 John Deere that I drove this summer. If there had been as much improvement in steam traction engines as there is between the Fordson and 46 20 John Deere it would really be some engine to see.' (I liked that phrase 'steam in my blood and spark plugs in my pockets - I guess he really is a gas and steam hobbyist).

A nice writing from J. T. ROBINSON, Burgess Farm, Cillers Green, Eccleston. St. Helens, Terseyside, England - 'I am writing to tell you how much I enjoy T.M.A. and G.E.M. In the March-April I.M.A. it was nice to see a traction engine made in England. The engine was the one seen in Argentina by Mr. Zalud. It is a 60 HP Ransome Simms and Jefferies built in Ipswich (a straw burner). Ransomes used one of these engines as a yard engine for a time, but it was coal fired.

I would also like to thank I.M.A. and Mr. C.A. Harsch for sending me some photos of his tractors. I have sent him some photos of my tractor and engines of members of our club. As a hobby, I collect photos of tractors, steam engines, etc. and I was wondering if your readers would send me some of your big tractors and engines pictures. I'll be glad to pay the postage and for the photos.

We have a few John Deere tractors in our club and they are the crab type 3 wheel tractor. If any of your readers have any photos to see of the big John Deere tractors 4 wheel type, paraffin or diesel 2 cylinder engines, I would be very interested.' (Write him fellows if you are interested in corresponding and perhaps exchanging pictures).

A note of interest - Helen Ament sent this up to me - thought you might like to hear about it - Helen writes:

'On Saturday, June 14th, Mr. & Mrs. Milton Bradshaw, from Hesperia, CA stopped in for information on show dates, they had left CA before receiving the July-August magazine.

Mr. Bradshaw was a Kansas boy - farmed in CA for 39 years, recently sold their ranch and this was the year for a tour of USA.

ENJOYED talking to both of them, as did my retired neighbor, Mr. Little, who when he saw the trailer and car stopped in front of our house and Mrs. Bradshaw waiting in the car thought they had troubles and offered his help. Mrs. Bradshaw was more than pleased, that someone cared. The four of us then had a nice visit (Mrs. & Mr. B., Mr. Little and myself). Mr. B. showed us an engine model that ran on air, which we never even knew existed.'

HARRY FISCHBACK, Kettlersville, Ohio 45336 says: 'In the July-August I. M. A. a Mr. Laurence Bohlmeyer asked about a two smoke stack engine picture - here is a nice one built by Minneapolis Threshing Company in 1904. They were built in five different HP sizes'.

LAURENCE GRAVES, Route 1, Box 147A, Suisun, California 94585 sends along this information: 'Feel free to print this letter in I. M. A. I'm a steam buff, nut, way-out, and points west. In late 50s, the late Ray Campbell loaned me a book listing 200? steam cars built and disappeared from the road. All gone by '25 when the last Stanleys and Dobles ceased business. Why were they unsuccessful?

They burned too much fuel. The layman forgot them. Most used 6-800 lbs. steam pressure. One car carried 1000 lbs. (psi). This should have made them very efficient. It did not! Readers of the ALBUM recognize a 20-60 steamer has 60 HP on belt (flywheel) and only 20 HP at drawbar. What happened to the 40 HP difference? It was swallowed up by friction in the plain gear bearings. The drive wheel bearings carrying the weight of a heavy boiler have lots of drag. Gas tractors are better off with expensive roller bearings. Even here a 60 HP loses ? its HP and is rated only 30 HP at drawbar.

Firing up a double pancake flash coil in August of 1974 and working feed pump by hand, little force was required up to 100 psi. At 200 psi. one feels the pressure. My pump is a brass plunger 5/8' D X 1' stroke. Packing is on end of plunger. It can easily hit 1000 psi. At 6-800 psi I put extension on handle. Carried this psi for one hour, twenty minutes. At these pressures steam cars used too much steam to run feed pump. So the car used too much fuel. Driver could not sense this. 2% is estimated steam consumption for a feed pump, allowing pump friction. I cannot see how 50 lbs. of steam can pump 3000 lbs. water into a boiler at 150 psi. Comment requested!'

Just wanting to chat with his fellow members of I.M.A. family comes this letter from RUBE NELSON, 601 North Broadway, Escondido, California 92025 - 'We came to California the last part of 1926 with family, Ma, Pa, five brothers and sisters - took two weeks, driving two Model T's. Prior to that time I worked on my Dad's farm. Every year a big steam rig came to our neighborhood and I took bundle rack and hauled bundles from shocks (10 neighbors). Also, my Dad made me stack the straw from blower - kids nowadays wouldn't of lasted an hour on the stack - 98° in the shade.

I drill in five acres in oats for the last five years back of the store on ten acres here. Makes a pleasant diversion around here. Bought my 15-25 Russell in Georgeville, Idaho from an ad in I.M.A. eight years ago (1895 circa). Bought my 22 inch Case thresher I saw setting next to a river in Marysvale, Utah, while deer hunting.

We use steamer also in hauling kids to various schools around here. All the kids sure know Por 'Ole' Rube. We parade with steam in most parades around here also. My engineers are 75 and 84 years old and are spryer than I am.

When I came to Escondido in 1926 the population was 1500, now 50,000. North County is now 250,000. I just thought this may interest Iron-Men readers.'

And I guess I'll close now as I have many things to do what with all the fall activities coming up - I thought you might like this little bit - You can't beat the weather; spring is too rainy and summer's too hot; fall is soon over and winter is not!