Soot in the flues

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Hi! How are all the steam engine enthusiasts? With the November-December issue means shed time for most of the engines. Shows are about over now and you will soon be looking at instructions to build a miniature steam engine, or restore a terrific engine back to its original beauty. Or perhaps it is just one part of an engine you want to improve whatever, the winter is the time the work is done on this interesting hobby. And as you tinker and shine away, the action is already taking place in the different areas to have a bigger and better show next year. Enjoy your hobby and we'll all look forward to next year's activities and the satisfaction they bring who knows, maybe we'll be able to get to a few shows in the coming year my hubby is now retired and we'll maybe be able to travel to some of the get-togethers.

And we are now into the fall season, and I know many of our Iron-Men Family have other hobbies too, such as hunting, etc. Our son, Tommy is very interested in trapping, fishing and hunting. But not only that, it is now into the Holiday Season (where, or where did 1980 go?).

This is a beautiful time of year for families and people the world over; but we forget sometimes that everyone is not fortunate in having a family, or even one good friend and therefore, it can be a very lonely and unhappy time. So many of us are so blessed, let us take time to share our time with those less fortunate and not just over the Holiday Season, but each day of the year.

And now onto the letters we do not have as much correspondence for the column this time, so come on fell as, get those letters in to me, or the column will suffer.

Commenting on the magazine, this letter comes from DEL SEUSER, Route 2, Box 143, Leaven-worth, Kansas 66048: 'It seems I ran out of steam (subscription) all right the magazine certainly isn't though. It seems like the stories get better and better. Like the boys around Hugo, Illinois, there is no more close fellowship than around a group of engine and sawmill men.

The winter's work will be coming out at the shows this summer sure hope everyone has a good year. You folks are doing an excellent job with the Album hope to see some of you this year.'

From the United Kingdom comes this message from DR. MARGARET JOACHIM, Editor, Steam Apprentice Club, 8, Newburgh Road, Acton, London W3 6DQ: 'We are the (Junior) branch of the National Traction Engine Club, which is the major traction engine preservation society in the U.K. You kindly mentioned our arrival in the July-August 1979 issue of Iron-Men Album and as a result of this, several of our members, 12-18 in age, have asked whether they could correspond with young Americans with an interest in traction engines. There would be a lot to write about.

If any of your readers, or members of their families, are interested, perhaps they could write directly to me at the above address and I will try to put them in touch with a suitable apprentice.

You may be interested to know that, apart from producing a regular quarterly newsletter, we have now held two events especially for apprentices. The first was a full day training session, with opportunities to do everything from maintenance and lubrication to getting up steam, steering and, for our older members, driving and even setting to thresh.

Our second effort took place at a recent rally, where apprentices arriving early on the Sunday morning were allocated to an engine for the day, and were able to help with cleaning, stoking and oiling before taking part in the Grand Parade and some of the nice events.

Our membership keeps growing and they seem to like what we do!'

JOSEPH KRENCTSKY, 47 Belmont Street, Carbondale, Pennsylvania 18407 is seeking information on a one cylinder old time engine, with two balancing wheels. (I believe he means a gas engine, but it came in for Soot in the Flues, and I know many of you readers take both magazines, so here is hoping you can write Joe.)

This letter comes from LOREN L. BUTTERFIELD, Eagle Village E-24, Kearney, Nebraska 68847: 'I read with interest the article in the Sept.-Oct. I.M.A. by Carl M. Lathrop about the Big Four tractors. It stated there are only three Big Four tractors remaining in the United States and the tractor in the article being the only one west of the Mississippi River. Well, get ready for this! Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer in Grand Island, Nebraska has a Big Four in its collection along with other giants like Aultman Taylor 30-60, Avery 40-80, Rumely Type E and Flour City. The Big Four has the biggest drive wheels of them all. It used to work in Kansas. John Brine of Athol, Kansas used to operate it. John Oslo has some nice pictures of it before it went to the museum. Maybe he will read this and send some pictures to you.'

And another letter on the same subject comes from DALE H. HOPKINS, Vice-president of Makoti Threshing Association, Ryder, North Dakota 58779 and it reads: 'In the Sept.-Oct. I.M.A. there was an article written by Mr. Carl M. Lathrop, 108 Garfield Avenue, Madison, New Jersey. He wrote that there is only one Big Four Emerson Brantingham west of the Mississippi River, but there are three of those in the state of North Dakota about 200 miles apart and in running condition.' (There you go Carl, there are at least four other Big Four engines; perhaps you would like to find out more about them.)

DAVID W. JONES, R.R. 1, Box 237, Mazeppa, Minnesota 55956 is interested in steam engines as prime movers for small household generators. He feels that there would be some application here due to the energy crisis. He would appreciate any information you might have on small engines for this purpose. (We would like to hear about it too, here at Iron-Men Album.)

A nice comment comes from CLARENCE C. BOGARD, R.R. 3, Linton, Indiana 47441: 'Please keep the fires burning at the Iron-Men Album as I thoroughly enjoy every issue. I have operated almost all the popular makes in my lifetime, beginning when I was about 12 years of age (am now in my 70's) up until the steam faded out in WW II. I still love to do some Tramp-Engineering (bumming a ride) at the thresher meets that I still love to attend and that smell of hot cylinder oil is still the sweetest smell this side of Heaven for me.'

THOMAS G. LEE, Route 3, Calhoun, Kentucky 42327 is waiting to get a letter of help from you: 'I hope you can run the following letter in the 'Soot in the Flues' section of your fine magazine real soon as I desperately would like more information and a picture if possible of the little 6 HP J. I. Case steam traction engine described.

I am seeking information, dimensions, and hopefully someone might have a picture of a 6 HP J. I. Case steam traction engine. What years did they build these little traction engines and how many did they build? They were advertised in the Case catalog as a center crank, direct flue, 'simple' traction engine. I do know that they built this center crank traction engine in 6, 10, 12, and 16 horsepower as a coal or wood burner. Also, they built the 12 and 16 HP models as straw burners.

My great grandfather, Timothy W. Nuckols (1847-1911) was a sawmill and thresher man. At the time of his death in 1911, he owned one of these little 6 HP Case traction engines and a 15-45 HP Case traction engine and separator that he had purchased new in 1909 or 1910. There was an auction sale to settle the estate and both Case engines, threshing machine, sawmill, corn shredder and real estate were sold. A Mr. Titus Troutman bought the little 6 HP Case traction engine at the sale and it was later sold by him and then junked. There are several men still living around here including my father, born 1901, who remember this little Case engine. My great grandfather Nuckols used it to pull his corn shredder. I am told Mr. Troutman tried to steam tobacco beds with it, but it was too small and would not produce enough steam for the job.

I would like very much to hear from anyone who has ever seen one of these little Case traction engines, or has any pictures or any information on them.

Any help or information on this subject will be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.'

EDWARD STAUFFER, R.D. 2, New Holland, Pennsylvania 17557 writes for a bit of help: 'I wondered if you or one of your readers could help me. So here it iswhat device or method was, or is used to remove steam cylinder oil from steam-condensed steam, that is used for boiler feed water?' (Got the answer?led Ed hear from you and you could write us too.)

A comment on a letter in Sept.-Oct. issue comes from FAY E. WASSELL, 774 Pennsylvania Avenue, Beaumont, California 92223: 'In regard to the request of W. W. Peterka for a page or so devoted to the hobbyist makers of small steamers, I think the idea is very good. We would get to know each other by mail at least and could no doubt help each other.

I am 96 now, but have made 9 stationary and 1 traction of 1' scale. I just play with my engines now and enjoy them. I am in a rest home, but have them on shelves in my room.' (How wonderful! And we do thank you Fay for writing.)

CHARLES D. Mc CARTHY, 2302 2nd Street, N.W., Minneapolis, Minnesota 55418 sends this letter: 'I have recently received and framed the picture of the Dalrymple farm shown in your July-August issue (centerfold).

I would like to know if the history of this farm has ever been written up in the Album (don't think so). I would like to see some of the old-timers who might know something about it, write in.' (Sure thing Charles anybody out there know the history? Send it in to the Album and we'll run the story.)

One of our faithful contributors, EDWIN H. BREDEMEIER, Route 1, Box 13, Stein Auer, Nebraska 68441 writes: 'Can anyone in Steam Engine Land help me? I am considering building a Baker fan and want to make it exactly like the original such as shaft size, type and size of brgs (?) (could that mean bearings?) and pulleys. Also size of fan blades and arms. How is it fastened to center shaft and distance of blades from ground and any other details. Sure would appreciate the information.'

And that is the end of the letters. Following is a poem (author unknown), please read itit is meant for everybody.