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Just seems like it can't be, but it surely is we're heading to the Christmas time of the year again. And I'm sure that it is just keeping in style with this fast-paced world. Did you ever try to buy a swim suit or some warm weather clothes for a late summer fling and you go to the store and lo and behold all the winter and fall items are on display oh they look nice, but it just seems a bit much for the time of year what ever season or instance you are shopping for, go early or better yet, try and get in on the sales when you go for winter clothes and go real early, you might reap some mighty good summer sales. I'm sure you all know what I'm trying to say BUT the main thing is the Christmas season should not be dealt with just at the Christmas holidays, but all the time this is the one season we should keep in our hearts and lives all year through not just for 30 days in December. Anyhow, just have to let you know I have a good bit of Christmas shopping done and have 15 packages wrapped now don't think that is something unusual, though it is for me. But you should know our daughter, Keli, and many of you do if you think back she used to work for the Iron-Men Album and Gas Engine Magazine for a few years she is a perfectionist if there ever was one and in every detail of her life. She always has all Christmas shopping done and wrapped by September. I was always a last minute gal due to having so many things to get done and I never seem to have enough time to cover all the chores (although loving ones). Last year I got a good start but it was mayhem come Christmas time. I forgot to mark packages what was in them, and worse, ('Where could I have put them?') Not so with Keli, she is so precise she even files her cereals and canned goods on the shelves by alphabet yes, it's true! She is quite a gal, and well-loved by all. And what a wonderful mother she has three children, ages 11, 6 and 3 and none of them leave the table without saying, 'Please, may I be excused?' and 'Please' and 'Thank You' whenever needed and somehow I just don't know too many children who have those rules in this fast-paced world. Enough of my family tales and on to the tremendous letters from you folks and without them, this column would be nothing.

But first, let me relate to you a short, but true, Christmas story taken from The Guideposts Christmas Treasury book entitled: 'When Doctors Served as Theatre Ushers.'

Christmas was only a few weeks away one year when the Jewish War Veterans of New Brunswick, New Jersey, mobilized volunteers for a unique project. To further improve the already fine community spirit, members offered to replace any Christians who would ordinarily have to work on Christmas Day. The substitutes would accept no pay.

'We placed 60 persons in all,' Herman Breitk of, Jewish Post Commander, reported. 'Our volunteers were men and women from all walks of life, including doctors, dentists, nurses, tradesmen, and the like. They acted as theatre ushers, waiters and waitresses and one as an oil truck driver. We had many more standing by to serve as baby sitters, so that Christian families, who otherwise would have had to remain at home, might attend services.'

The project advanced the feeling of brotherhood in New Brunswick to a new high; it is a practical plan that almost any community can adapt.

'We plan to continue the program again this year and annually in the future,' Mr. Breitk of stated. 'It is our hope that we can serve more and more of our Christian friends each year.'

LOYD CREED, 3504 Willow Drive, Mattoon, Illinois 61938 writes us: 'I subscribe to both Engineers and Engines and Iron-Men Album both are fine publications. Lately it seems that several people contribute the same material to both magazines. I feel like Mr. Robert Weis (see June-July 1990 E&E page 43) and cannot agree with him enough. I believe most of the problems could be resolved if more people contributed to each magazine.

'How about reviving the model builder's column in the Iron-Men Album? Since models are playing such a large part at each show nowadays, there should be enough builders and owners out there in Engine Land to make this a success once again. (Other comments, anybody?)

'Lastly, I would like to thank all the people at IMA and E&E for such great publications.

'I have been a dedicated reader of Iron-Men Magazine for several years and have enjoyed the stories, pictures and the information the magazine contains.

'I own a 1915 # 2475 Port Huron engine that belonged to my grandfather and I have restored it. Also own a #3354 Rusher thresher. I have recently acquired a Port Huron hay press that makes a 16 x 18 bale. I want to restore the hay press back to working condition and need help in doing this.

'If there is anyone who is able to send me pictures or drawings as to the dimensions, mechanical workings, metal, etc., I would be most grateful and any help would be welcomed. Is it possible that the Ann Arbor Hay Press Company built hay presses for the Port Huron engine? 'Again, any data will be greatly appreciated and can be sent to me at the address printed. Thank you!' (Waiting for replies to this letter you can write to LYLE H. FALL, 12303 Lake Road, Otter Lake, Michigan 48464.)

'I NEED HELP!' cries WILLIAM FLOWERS, Route 1, Box 332, Adena, Ohio 43901. 'I need a picture of a Ground Hog Thresher. The parts that we have are the frame, the cylinder with spikes and pad of the concave with spikes. There is no top at all. We need a picture or drawing showing the complete machine.'

Sending an abundance of information, this letter comes from FRED FOX, 233 County House Road, Clarksboro, New Jersey 08020.

'In July-August of IMA and, as Mr. Milster states, there are many variables concerning the reciprocating steam engine whether they be large or small. The average thoughts are, when referring to models at least, half the original piston diameter, half the power. This obviously is not so, for a 2 inch bore engine would have a piston area of 3.1416 square inches, easy to remember for it's the same as that stonehenge character n. A piston of 4 inches would be 4 squared times 0.7854=12.566. This is three times the area.

'In model building one comes upon various things which are not practical, for as the great L.B.S.C. used to say, 'You cannot scale water nor steam.' Perhaps you wish to construct a boiler of a particular machine and the feed pipe of the original has an O/D of 1'Now you are constructing in 1 scale, that's 1/8 full size. This means your model feed-pipe will be 1/8' diameter. How many 1/8' diameter will fit inside a 1' pipe30 perhaps? For a 1/8' pipe would hardly pass enough water through the check valve. A 3/16' pipe might be a little better but I would use a ' diameter. I have built over 30 models in 1' and 2' scales and they are nearly all fitted with ' copper feed lines.

'Now reading Mr. Perkins horse-power calculations, something doesn't quite add up. Looking over the formula as printed, it should read 2 P.L.A.N. Digging out my old British Naval hand written docket book, I will give you word for word what it says: 'The effort driving the engine is represented by the total pressure on the piston which is deduced by multiplying the mean effective pressure in pounds per square inch exerted on the piston diameter. Consider the number of feet through which this effort moves in one minute. The engine is driven by 'N' revolutions, each revolution being produced by 2 strokes of 'L' feet. The number of feet is 2 L.N. feet. Work done per minute=Effort x Distance = P.A. x 2 L.N. This equals 2 P.L.A.N. foot pounds per minute which equals

' 'The mean effective pressure is found primarily from the measurements from indicator diagrams. A card is wrapped around a cylinder and rotated to represent the stroke by suitable lever attachments to the crosshead. The cylinder pressure operates on a piston against a coil spring, the movement created being marked by an attached pencil on the card as the cylinder is revolved.'

'Going back to horsepower: I find what I call the New Way, with a few less figures, amounts to almost the same thing. The formula reads 000004, D squared times L, times N, times P. Supposing the engine is 2 by 3, 500 RPMs and 50 E.P. we have000004 x 2 sq. x 3 x 500 x 50. Now get your calculator and punch in .000004 x 4 = .000016 x 3=.000048 x 500=.024 x 50=1.2 HP.

'For a two cylinder simple (not compound), and using the same dimensions, it is a case of calculating the measurements of each cylinder and adding the two together, then proceeding with the remainder of the formula e.g.
0.000004 x (2 sq. x 3 plus 2 sq. x 3) 500 x 50 = 0.000004 x (4 x 3 plus 4 x 3) x 500 x 50 = 0.000004 x 24 x 500 x 50=2.4 HP.

'Let's again return to that mysterious Mean Effective Pressure. As we do not have Dobbie-Mc Innes indicators and do not wish to be bothered connecting up pipes and strings, there is a way and a very simple one. Boiler pressure is 80 lbs. plus 15 atmospheric is 95 lbs. The remainder of the calculation, without getting too involved, is the use of the hpy. log of 2 which equals .6931 plus 1 equals 1.6931. From this we get
 equals 80.422 minus 15  atmos.=65,422 lbs. If the boiler is 150 lbs. then 150 plus 15 atmos. equals 165 lbs. Again we get
equals 139.68 minus 15 equals 124.7 lbs.

'For anyone who wants to get into compounds, that's getting further into the subject than we can do here. Since most factory engines, stationaries and traction engines are of the single cylinder or double simple expansion, that's about as far as we need to go. Need the HP of a Port Huron tandem? Look in a reprint copy of a company sales catalog, it's easier!

'Besides my old Navy text book, I have a copy of AUDELS Power Plant Engineers Guide a wonderful book that contains mounds of information on steam. In it I found the formulas much as I have stated, so while hunting around a flea market you could be lucky and come across one. My copy is a 1948 edition.

'To sum up, it is a great avocation, this brotherhood of steam enthusiasts, and from it we all help each other. I don't suppose there are any schools left that teach steam theory, so it is up to us oldies to pass on as much knowledge as we can. We of the 70's are perhaps the last of the common steam age. Oh, something forgotten, L is always expressed as feet or a decimal of, in the 2 P.L.A.N. formula. Whoo! Whoo!

'Just a few comments that should help Chris Hamel unravel the mystery of his so-called Mystery Engine,' writes DURWARD STEIN-METZ, Route 1, Box 168, LaFarge, Wisconsin 54639.

'I have witnessed many times the vivid reactions of youngsters when they see a steam traction engine out in real life and perhaps for the first time; in his case, just a picture of one. The same youngsters would pay little attention to a tractor or any description.

'Immediately after World War Two, steam traction engines were at the low ebb of their spectacular march across the pages of times. Many that had served faithfully through the war years were being replaced by other power. The steam engine hobby was still in its infancy.

'Charlie Harrison of Butler, Ohio was an early, dedicated collector with several engines already in his collection. He learned of a 110 HP Case sitting on the prairie at the Nims brothers' ranch at Lisbon, North Dakota. The Nims' were happy to find a buyer who would preserve their faithful servant. Charlie, with the help of friends, soon had the 110 dismantled, loaded on two trucks and headed for Ohio which was 1350 miles away.

'At that point in time, pictures of traction engines were rare in any type of magazines. This operation was spectacular enough that when my copy of Popular Science arrived, there was a picture of the 110 HP Case, just as it had stood on the prairie for several years. I am sure I still have that magazine. Several hours of searching have failed to locate it in the accumulations. The date should be early 1950's or late 1940's. The picture showed the engine to be all intact, except the steel smokestack had rusted and fallen from its short base, giving somewhat more the appearance of a locomotive with a short stack.

'There is a small picture of that 110 Case #28668 in the Heritage Eagle, Volume 1, Number 4, just as it stood on the Nims brothers' Dakota ranch. Perhaps the people who furnished material for that account can help pinpoint the date.

'Charles Harrison is no longer living. The engine has been owned and completely restored during the last twenty years by Willis Abel, Finleyville, Pa.

'I do believe the Popular Science picture is the one that made a big impression on Chris Hamel as a 10 year old boy. Sometime I will locate that magazine. For now, perhaps someone else has saved that issue.

'I finally have an acceptable picture of the 18 HP undermounted Avery engine we have owned since the fall of 1981. It was restored to present condition during 1982 and 1983.'

BREN TURCK, 4045 Abbotsford Rd., Goodells, Michigan 48027 writes: 'I think the IMA is a fine magazine, but there is one thing that bothers me as I read your magazine, which is the lack of articles that address the issue of passing on knowledge to younger people about steam engine operations, secrets, past experiences and dangers. Rather than have steam engine operation become a 'lost art' by the passing of older steam engine enthusiasts and their experiences as well. I suggest that you appeal to your older readers to submit experiences and adventures that they had pertaining to steam engines, so that the younger readers may have some-thing to reflect on as they read your magazine. I feel it would add to an already fine magazine.'

(The Iron-Men Album was founded in 1946 by Rev. Elmer Ritzman. It began as a four page letter and has grown into the fine magazine it is today. Trouble is, what you are requesting has all been in many of the back issues. And as yet today, we encourage the folks at all times to continue sending us articles, pictures and letters with all their valuable knowledge maybe your letter will urge some of them to send in more stories we hope so.)

'I return again, in reference to my inquiry on the Cletrac Model H Crawler tractor in the July-Aug. 1988 issue of I.M.A. ' writes SVEN HENRICKSEN, 572 Williams Road, Hemming ford, Quebec, Canada JOL 1H0.

'Since that issue I have completed the restoration of my 1917 Cletrac (S/N 7520) to a respectable mechanical and aesthetic order except for the missing water filled air cleaner.'

'I wish to thank the various correspondents who range from California to England. They were all very noteworthy and helpful with the technical and historical information.

'Cletracs are shown at rallies in England as they were once exported there and sold by H.G. Burford & Co. Ltd., London in the 1920's.

'A Mr. Charles Doble in the U.K. may possibly have one of the most complete collections of Cletracs, all except for the Model 100. If anyone should know of one, please advise as he would be most appreciative.

'I purchased my Cletrac 'H' for posterity and the challenge of restoring it. Since the correspondence and restoration, I have become much more attached to the little crawler as it has been quite an historical traveler indeed.

'I have enclosed a photocopy of the Manual of Operation and Instruction; also the Parts Book for Cletrac Model H. This parts book is dated 1920 and it may possibly be the first one issued to the agents and dealers of the day. Please advise if I should stand corrected on that point.

'Also enclosed are a few photos and two advertisements, one from the U.S. and one from the U.K. Note the pen in the U.S. ad. How many of you can remember using, or seeing, such an instrument when you went to school? That is, if you were fortunate enough to go to a school in that day. 'I hope this adds to your library on the early Cletracs. With all this information you may be able to answer most of the questions from your readers. Ha!! I am inclined to agree that we are far from being able to answer all the questions successfully.

'Firms from the past are not any different than the ones today. If you wished to remain competitive you obviously kept your technical details under cover. When firms changed hands or went under, much information and history was lost. So we hobbyists are somewhat like archaeologists, finding old iron and putting the pieces and history together again.

'My best wishes to your husband for a good recovery.' (Thank you so much Sven and to all you wonderful folks who remember us we'll take any prayers you have to offer.)

The following is a letter from CONRAD H. MILSTER, 178 Emerson Place, Brooklyn, New York 11205 to Mr. Robert Perkins, 302 Fountain Creek, Palestine, Texas 75801. I'm sure it should be in the column for all you folks who may have read this article.

'Dear Mr. Perkins As you probably noticed, your letter to Iron Men Album about engine horse-power appeared in the same issue mine did

'The error you made was in ad-ding the factors instead of multiplying them and in so doing you vastly underrated your engine. Using your figures, 150 x 78.54 x 1 x 500 divided by 33,000, we get 178.5 HP over 4 times as much as the figures you arrived at. However, the figure of 150 for 'P' is somewhat high and would require a boiler pressure probably over 200 P.S.I. but as you did not specify what type of engine it was I used it as you gave it. 'Indicated' pressure usually runs from 1/4 to 2/3 boiler pressure depending on how heavily the engine is loaded.'

An answer to a request comes from GARY Z. WHITE, 302 1/2 High Street, Keokuk, Iowa 52632: ' 'In the July-August issue of Iron-Men Album Magazine, Arlen Olson asked where he can get a reprint copy of the Case Steam Engine Manual. It is available from Lindsay Publications, P.O. Box 12, Bradley, Illinois 60915-0012. The cost is $5.00 plus .75 shipping. Lindsay has a lot of interesting reprints on steam engines.' (I'm sure this information will be helpful to many of the IMA folks thanks).

Now you all look forward to the Christmas Season and celebrate in the way that means the most to you and prepare for the year that is ahead and try to make it more worthwhile than this past year. Meantime some words of wisdom. The best way to live in the world is to live above it. Love looks through a telescope; envy through a microscope. It is natural to love them that love us, but it is supernatural to love them that hate us. It is a greater thing to obey the Word of the Lord than to preach it. If you are a stranger to prayer, you are a stranger to power. Do have a special Holiday Season Blessings to all