Perhaps some of you may be able to help S. M. WOODBINE, Bracken Lea, 76 Sutton Spring Wood, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S55 5XFTel Chesterfield 850480. 'We are an engineering firm specializing in the repair and renovation of steam engines. We have in our yard at the moment a Rumely Tandem Compound engine, serial no. 14291 which has come to us to be re-boxed. Unfortunately we do not have the original firebox and have no idea how the crown was shaped. As we like to restore engines as near to the original as possible this is causing us quite a problem.
'We would be very grateful, if through your magazine, you could find someone who knows anything about this make of engine which would be useful to us, or, maybe you could put us in touch with someone who has a drawing we could purchase. Failing that, maybe you have contacts in England who could help us...
'We have an old copy of your magazine dated July/August 1985 in which there is an article entitled Where Are The Engines? We are enclosing photographs which we hope will be of interest to you.'
'I enjoy your column very much and read it every issue of IMA,' says JOE B. DILL, Route 1 Box 26, Lascassas, TN 37085; 'I was born in 1882 and saw some old steam equipment pulling road graders and heavy tools at road work in 1930s.
'I enjoyed the article on the water to boiler injector, however I still haven't figured it out for certain. I attended the Tennessee-Kentucky Threshermen's Show at Adams, TN July 17 and noted the engineers operating the valves on injectors to fill the boiler with water and all worked to perfection.
I have a question I would like to get answered from someone acquainted with push binders or headers where the horses are behind the binder. I have never seen anything but a picture of a push binder and all pictures are of the rear of binder.
'Is there a support wheel at the front of binder to keep it from tipping over as the main bull wheel and grain wheel are behind placing main binder weight in front of support wheels? I would like to know more from western wheat farmers who remember push binders and headers. I am familiar with old Deering 7 ft. and 8 ft. pull type binder as I operated one and finally in 1939 we bought a John Deere 10 ft. PTO/binder and added some custom cutting to our home cutting. We cut some drought-shortened corn in 1939 with the 10 ft. John Deere power binder; cutting short corn worked out fine!
'I would also like to know if the Frick steam engine and Geiser steam engine from Waynesboro, PA are the same company or maybe related in old engine building days. Frick and Geiser engines appear a lot alike. I remember some people speaking of Peerless (Geiser) engine being used here in our community for threshing and sawmilling in old days of steam power.
'I'll look forward to some answers to these questions in IMA. I do enjoy the magazine!'
Awhile back HASTON L. ST. CLAIR, R.R. 1, Box 140-A, Holden, M) 64040 sent us a lot of pictures. Some were in former issues here are a few more of the group: '#19 The Blumentritt Picture This was the first engine built west of Mississippi. Joe Blumentritt of New Hartford in Winona County, MN built his first engine in the year of 1870. This was a portable engine about 6 HP. The engine was such a success that he decided to make it traction. He designed one that was successful. It was double cylinders in horsepower sizes through 6, 12 and 24 sizes. They were return flue, operated from the side and fired from the front end.
'One of the engines is still in existence and was at one of the early Mt. Pleasant shows. My friend, John Offutt was at the show. He said he saw it. This story and pictures were taken from an early IMA from John's collection.'
We believe there are still two of these engines in existence today. The engine with the horses hitched to it is in the Smith soinian Institute. This engine was used in building the Washington Monument, completed in 1880. It was used as a hoist engine.
The other engine was used by the Virginia & Trucks Railroad at Carson City in wood burning days of that railroad. The engine was used to saw the wood by the line when it was hauling a lot of traffic on the old Nevada Pike.
'Pictures 20 & 21: The picture of the two J. C. Hoadley engines built in Lawrence, Maine after the Civil War, was one of the first portable engines. Up to this time they were stationary. Work to be done by these engines had to be brought to the engine.
'Picture 7: The engine is a Reeves #3820 which belongs to Gen. Groner, deceased), 1570 S. Sherman Street, Denver, CO. Mr. Gomer used two water wagons. He devised a hitch which made it possible to hitch the wagon to engine and fill tanks while plowing. In the meantime, the other wagon was being refilled. They also used two crews. Each crew worked nine hours. Between change of crews, they ate, checked the plows, oiled the engine and did anything necessary to keep running.
'They used disc plows and received 25 per acre for sod and $1.50 per acre for plowing and seeding. Names of men in picture: Bill Covet, Hostle; Dave Graham, Plowman; S. D. Gromer, Waterman; G. N. Gromer, Engineer and John Stephens, Sterman.
'Picture 4: Is a size engine built by Larry Bohlmeyer and his grandson, Larry. I did all the machine work for Larry. He lacked the machines to do it. Larry and I met at Mt. Pleasant the summer of 1964. I was running Lyle Hoffmaster's Reeves engine. Larry had been owner of a threshing outfit so was no green hand. He had no peer around on engine of separator.'
The picture at above was taken in 1966, when Saskatoon, Saskatchewan put on one of the best summer shows. This is a 1912 American Abel 28 x 80 HP. This engine has one of the best boilers made; also a good plowing engine. Operator: Allen Doherty, everybody in the Club knows 'POP'.
I'm not going to give the thoughts to ponder and words of wisdom the column is full as you may have noticed thanks to your wonderful people who do keep writing. I just wanted to send along THE MIRACLE OF CHRISTMAS
The wonderment in a small child's eyes,
The ageless awe in the Christmas skies...
The nameless joy that fills the air,
The throngs that kneel in praise and prayer...
These are the things that make us know
That men may come and men may go,
But none will ever find a way
To banish Christ from Christmas Day...
For with each child there's born again
A Mystery that baffles men.
Helen Steiner Rice
Have a beautiful holiday season and look forward to the New Year with hope. Love you all