Soot in the flues

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Well, since this is the September-October issue, that means school will be starting and the crisp autumn air will be a thing of the present instead of the hot lovely summer reunion days that you folks are now enjoying so as you pick up this book midst the hot degrees of August, methinks perhaps you will welcome the next season of the year what with the school bells ringing, the burning of leaves that always brings a nostalgia of yesteryears the jack-o-lanterns a brisk walk in the morning and a time to think more seriously of the upcoming election and I could go on, but I'd better get my items of interest onto you.

Cliff B. Shirley, of 2009 West 71st St., Prairie Village, Kansas 66208, wrote us and I quote 'The Jan-Feb. '68 issue of IMA, page 37, describes an extremely small steam engine. There have been a few others that compare favorably with this one and one is on exhibition at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. It was built long ago and it is said that this engine is still in running condition. While the Canadian engine runs from compressed air, the engine at the Franklin Institute is said to be an actual steam engine. A few drops of alcohol on a bit of cotton burns long enough to make steam from a few more drops of water. The engine is in a glass case and is not operated for the public, but an employee said that it will run.

A lot of the work of building a very small engine is of a nature that can be done by people who are skilled at watch making. However, one might wonder about the construction of extremely small pipe and the joining of this pipe to the other parts of the engine. Also, there would be the problem of condensation.

Anything that runs by steam is interesting and that includes the smallest of miniatures as well as full-sized machines. I would like to see descriptions of other contenders for the title of 'The Smallest Steam Engine on Earth. 'any other contenders? Let's hear from you!

A suggestion from Frank L. McGuffin, 3531 Tea St. N. W., Washington, D. C. 20007Frank suggests that people sending in show reports should not send the same write-up to different magazines for the people getting all these magazines are reading the same thing then. He thinks it would be well to have different people write up separate reports for the similar magazines. He's right you know it would be a bit more interesting if the reports were done by several folks. I guess this is sometimes hard to accomplish though, for if it is like other jobs you're lucky to get one person to do it sometimes. Well, it's a thought and perhaps some of you can take advantage of it.

Rev. Norbert J. Lucht, Box 137, Athens, Illinois 62613, a contributor of IMA, has some questions he would like answered, so am herewith printing his letter and hoping he will get some answers from fellow readers. He writes as follows:

'I am primarily interested in the histories of the old engine and thresher firms and enjoy articles that appear in the IMA which pertain to the history of the steam traction engine. There are a few questions which I have regarding the Rumely merger of 1912 which I would like answered. For example, after the M. Rumely Company bought Advance Thresher Company, Battle Creek, Michigan and Gaar-Scott and Co., Richmond, Indiana, I assume that engines were made in those two plants as well as the La Porte, Indiana, plant. In what year was the Gaar-Scott plant closed down? And another question When the Allis-Chalmers Mfg. Co. purchased the Advance Rumely Thresher Company in 1932 what happened to the Battle Creek plant? If there are any former employees of the Russell & Co., of Massillion, Ohio, who are readers of the Album, I would like to hear from them in regard to the last engines that were built there. The same is true of the Port Huron Engine and Thresher Company in Port Huron, Michigan.

I am also hoping that those readers who have pictures of steam plowing will send them in for publication. I would like to see some pictures of the large 'Northwest' plow engine.'

Harry Hutchins, Jr., Route 1, of  Tekonsha, Michigan, 49092, gave us this bit of advice. 'We attended the Barry Resort the past two years and the way they had the mill set, it was very dangerous. In case they would have gotten a slab or timber caught in big saw while in operation, it would have gone into the crowd or down through the concession stands. I have owned and operated my own saw mill and also my father's. I thought if you would print this in the IMA it might do some good.

Vivian Shumway had a big timber get caught in his saw and it threw it right through a cement wall. As luck would have it, no one was hurt.

And in the IMA, Jan.-Feb., '68 issue on page 3 the article Stay Bolts by Howard Camp. It is on welding and I have welded for the past 14 years steady maintenance and production and if a man takes pride in his welding he can always do a good job. On page 4, para. 3, it is stated that Bo was his welder now a welder is a machine and a weldor is a man. I'm not complaining but it gives all weldors a black eye for that to show up.' Well, now Harry, that error could be pointed in my direction too for I should have caught that error and then everything would have been finejust goes to show you, I don't get all the mistakes corrected, do I,

Mr. W. E. McLean, Box 493, Beaverlodge, Alberta, Canada, writes 'Last April, 1967, a group of friends and neighbors started a museum. A large collection of antiques were gathered together. We have a nice collection of vintage gas tractors and two steam engines, one a 25-75 Case and the other is a Cock of the North American Abel. Our household collection is growing steadily as well. Right now the museum is collecting on a farm but in the near future we hope to have facilities on the main highway. We held a big day in July which was very successful with 2900 people attending. We have plans for this year too. All our machines are in good running condition.' Well, we want to wish this new group a lot of success with their new venture. It takes quite a while to get things like this started and if they had 2900 at their first big event, I think that was wonderful.

That about winds up the news for this time, but I'd like to print this bit called 'Life's Lessons' (after all, school will soon be starting). We've all got to go to school, I expect, and we don't all get the same lesson to learn, but the one we do get is our'n, 'taint nobody else's, and if it's real hard, why, it shows the teacher thinks we're capable. Rose Terry Cooke.

Think about the above paragraph the more you think of it the more you get out of itapply it to your life. Bye Bye and have an awesome Autumn.