SOOT IN THE FLUES

Soot in the flues

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Hi! Blessings to everyone hope you are enjoying a good summer and if you do have to cut down on traveling I'm sure you'll get to some of the home shows.

We're so busy here with getting ready to move we have lived here for 30 years and some of you can understand how much can be accumulated in that amount of time I always was more or less a pack rat and thinking I'd save it for someone would need it later on I wish now I had not cared so much We have a big two-story house here with basement and attic (a big attic which held far too much we've sold a few things, given box after box to the church rummages, sent some to needy families, and still kept a few things (someone might need). As yet we haven't moved, just a few pieces of furniture and some boxes of dishes, bedding, etc. We sold our home and we are going into a small brick rancher so think of us now and then and offer a prayer.

Now to the letters DICK WATSON writes: 'I would like to identify the top left hand picture on page 24 of May-June I.M. A. as a nice picture of an Advance Rumely traction engine with a good looking man, printed from the reverse side. Most all engines of U.S. makes had flywheel on the right side of boiler viewed from the back. Notice the name on the smoke box door even with my poor eyes I can see the letters are reversed.

I don't know any of the principals of the other pictures, but they are interesting anyway. Too bad to cut the front from the bevel geared

Aultman Taylor, but it's good anyhow.

The youngster by the model Nichols & Shepard looks like a grand engineer.

I appreciate those in the picture by the sawmill which looks to be from before my time. The solid tooth saw, rock and pinion carriage feed works, clothes of principals, etc.'

Another letter of identification reads: 'On page 18 of the July-August magazine you ask for identification of engines. In the top left corner, this is a 20 HP Reeves engine, no way to identify if its cross compound or double simple. The rear water tank which would have coal bunker on top side is missing. The side tanks carry water and the wood box on rear of this engine carries the coal. Nothing smaller than 20 HP would handle the 6-14' plows. It takes a 32 Reeves to handle 12 plows properly. This letter is from JOHN BERGREEN, Fresno, California 93726.

Following is a letter of comments on unidentified photos. The letter was written by A. L. RENNEWANZ, New Rockford, North Dakota 58356 to Walt Thayer, Wenatchee, Washington 98801 Walt sent it on to me so you all can enjoy it: Dear Walt: 'We spent the winter in Alaska and did not return until the beginning of April. As a result I did not see my Iron Men Album until now.....thus the late response to your letter in Jan. Feb. I.M.A. this in regard to unclassified photos in Nov-Dec. 1978 issue. At the end of your letter you mentioned, were these railroad engines you would have scored 100. This, I believe, judging from your previous letters on railroad locomotives.

Now, back to the unclassified pictures The engine in the sawmill in No. 1 is not a Case. It is a Frick. Here are some points of identification. First, the front axle pedestal is set a considerable distance back from the front end of the boiler. Second, short smoke box and large smoke stack. Third, large steam dome. Fourth, appears to be a double cylinder. Fifth, this is a 2 shaft engine as you will note, the engine is mounted way back on the boiler bringing the flywheel (just a small portion) between the driving wheel and the boiler. All the points I have mentioned are definitely Frick.

No. 2 picture This monstrosity, you name it and as far as I am concerned it's yours. This is no doubt the result of some steam buff's imagination. The boiler is rather hard to identify. It has two differently built domes (rebuilt from a Shay locomotive which had a steam dome and a sound (?) dome this info Walt had written in). The engine appears to be from a skidding machine and the cylinders seem exceedingly small for a practical pulling operation, so is very likely a built-up job from numerous parts.

No. 3 picture Well, here we are on home ground again. You credited Case with this conglomeration of ironuh, uh, this is a Huber. First, a return flue boiler, second, flat spoked wheels. Third, square water supply tank at front end. Fourth, large steam dome. Fifth, solid crank disc and short connecting rod, square water heater with THE NEW HUBER cast into the outer shell of the heater. Sixth, you will notice the large ring fitted around the front of the boiler. This acts as a mud drum and was also intended for the water to absorb more heat from the gasses in the combustion chamber. This was a characteristic solely of Huber.

O.K. now we go to Number 4 picture. I think you dubbed this Avery, although a nice looking engine it is strictly a free lance engine. Other than having 4 wheels and a smoke stack, any resemblance to a particular make is purely coincidental.

Avery built very few top mounted straight flue engines. The drive wheels were side mounted. This picture shows a rear mounted, and on the straight flue Avery the cylinders were placed to the rear of the engine here, the cylinder is forward. There are a number of other variations I could point out, but the ones I have mentioned are the most important. I do like the little tyke on there, bet he'll be an engineer some day.

Now, No. 5 picture No Walt, this is not a Reeves or Peerless as neither one of these companies built undermounts. This is purely the product of someone's imagination and I am sure they had fun building it. It quite clearly indicates it is built from a Nichols & Shepard double cylinder traction engine as the smoke stack is N.S. With proper lighting and mag glass, the name on the smoke box ring can almost be identified. The exhaust pipes are N.S. as is the flywheel. It is quite evident someone took the engine off the top and mounted it underneath and mounted the entire mess on an old truck chassis bet they have fun with it!

No. 6 picture This one Walt, due to the darkness of the picture would be rather difficult to make positive identification. However, the little one on the left reeks very much of Advance, possibly a 12 or 15 HP. It would be quite an old model. As to the engine, I would vote Advance. The one on the right is no doubt an Advance as the type of rear wheels and the front axle pedestal, position of cylinder all point to Advance.

I might add, that I have a little advantage here, as I'm sure I have seen these same two engines on a different picture taken at a different angle, which made it much simpler to identify.

No. 7 picture: Yup! An Avery undermount according to the arrangement of the main steam pipe. It would be a 20 HP and this model was built in 18-20/20 Special 22/30 and 40 HP sizes. No 25 HP.

No. 8 picture is an interesting scene. I have had the opportunity to see 2 of these horsepower threshing machines, both in Illinois. This is one operation where the horse has to be smarter than the man.

Holt Steam Traction Engine #88. Specially constructed for Charles Moreing about 1903. Outer extension wheels added in 1905. Wheels 7'6' high and 6' wide. Shown working a 44 foot strip of soft peat land in the San Joaquin Valley, California. Bearing surface 36' wide. Tread width 44'4'. Over all tractor width 45'8'. One of the largest tractors ever built. Operated satisfactorily excepting that it was extremely unwieldly could not cross bridges, get through farm gates, was difficult to turn, etc. Courtesy of F. Webster Advertising Caterpillar Tractor Company, Peoria, Illinois 61602.

I'm sorry Walt, I had to be so critical of your identifications. I just had to write you personally instead of the magazine. (We're glad Walt, you passed it on to us. I take it is to be for the reader's interest and not just a letter with gripes Anna Mae.)

Maybe one of these days, I will be tempted to identify railroad locomotives THEN you can get back at me Sincerely, A. L. Rennewanz'

PAUL WITHROW, Route 2, Box 1173 WW, New Carey, Texas 77357 would like to find some information on water tubes and tubing boilers or high pressure boilers; also how to figure horsepower rating on boilers and engines. He'll appreciate hearing from you.

A letter from MELVIN R. GRENVIK. 1151st Avenue, N.E., Kenmare, North Dakota 58746: 'Your magazine is the tops for the steam engine fans and I look forward eagerly to each issue. And I'm back to the guessing game on the unclassified photos section for July-August issue. Picture No. 1 is a Reeves going away. I can't place the horsepower of the Port Huron compound in picture No. 2, I'd guess it to be the 22 HP version. No. 3 is of course, a Frick double. The steamer on the left of the big Oilpull in No. 4 looks like a Case or Advance with homemade canopy.

The real prize winner is No. 5 took a lot of study to figure this one out. The only double cylinder engine I've found with the valve chests arranged on top of the cylinders rather than on the sides. This engine is a Napoleon made by the Morning-star Mfg. Co. of Napoleon, Ohio (later changed to Napoleon Mfg. Co.) This engine was manufactured probably between 1905 and 1910.

Thank you again for a fine magazine keep up the fine work.'

WALTER SIEFKER, Seymour, Indiana 47274 tells us: 'In the May-June issue of the Iron Men Album, I was surprised to see a picture of my engine in it. It was the No. 2 picture of the unclassified photos. The man with the pipe in his mouth is my brother, Henry Siefker and the other man is J. W. Jackson. That must have been taken at the Conservation Club when we threshed wheat there. The engine is a 65 HP Case. I'm planning on displaying it with the thresher and water wagon at our county fair this year.

I received the July-August issue yesterday and I noticed several write-ups in it about the unclassified photos in the last issue so I thought I'd better write.

I enjoy the Iron-Men Album and I usually read everything in it from cover to cover. Keep up the good work.

P.S.: I have a 32 Huber thresher and a Reeves water wagon and also a model of the 65 Case engine.'

The following letter is from DAVE HERBST. (Sorry Dave, we misplaced your address. Send it to us and we will run it in the next issue of I.M.A.)

Hello There First I want to compliment you on your magazine again. I've written from time to time always with the desired results so let's give it another go.

First, I'd like to know more about the Missouri Brotherhood of Threshermen, formed in 1919. My grandfather, Ben H. Herbst of Farmington, a commercial thresherman, was a member and I have a photo taken at the fourth annual convention in St. Louis, Missouri at the Marqueite Hotel in 1923 showing 70 of Missouri's finest owner-operators. Surely someone else's father, grandfather, etc. is shown also. I would submit it for publication except it is almost 3' long.

Second, I'd like to hear from other 20-60 Case owners this is what my grandfather owned, #21914, and I've . about got one pieced together.

Although all I have on #21914 is the boiler, I do have every bill, shipping papers, mortgage papers, etc., which concern its purchase along with all of grandpa's records. Also his last Case separator, Advance corn shredder and his last gas tractor, an LA Case. All of these now reside in California. Hoping to hear from some of your readers.'

An informative letter comes to I.M.A. and I'm sure many of you will be interested in it. J. K. LEDBETTER, 108 Sunset Drive, Black Mountain, North Carolina 28711: For the Iron Men Album, this is a copy of a letter to Brooks Jones concerning his question in the May-June issue:

This is in reference to your letter in the May-June issue of Iron Men Album, page 12. The caption on the photo, you refer to (January-February) I.M.A. doesn't really make itself clear. It means however, that Mr. Beniamin Holt, took an engine just like the one in the picture and took off the rear wheels. He then put tracks on the engine to replace the wheels. Those tracks were much like the tracks on bulldozers and like equipment seen nowadays. The tracks pulled the machine just as the wheels would have. The front wheel was kept because there was no way to steer the engine without the wheel because the method used in modern equipment, to turn that is, probably had not even been thought of.

Now as to tracks, the caption says 'Each track frame was 30' high, 42' wide and 9' long.' The reason for the tracks in the first place in my opinion is this. Mr. Holt needed some way to keep his engines from bogging down and miring up. With wheels on soft ground, this is just about impossible to keep from miring on the soft ground. Now tracks were nothing new according to Mr. Jack Norbeck, author of 'The Encyclopedia of American Steam Traction Engines.'

He says that Mr. Holt was the first one to perfect them. No one up to that time had been able to put them to use, for they seemed impractical. Mr. Holt had also experimented with large, not too high, but very wide wheels. This helped to overcome the problem of getting over the soft places. Also Mr. Daniel Best, at about the same time, also conducted experiments with engines using wide wheels. But these were impractical because there was no way to turn one of those machines around very easily and they were also expensive. Later on Daniel Best and Benjamin Holt merged their companies to become the 'Caterpillar Co.' which today is a very successful builder of all kinds of tracked vehicles.

As to the 'bearing surface' of 75 feet which is referred to, this means the amount of contact area or area of the wheel that touches the ground. This area could be figured two ways (with the width of the wheel and the circumference of the wheel.) The wider the wheel the more area in contact with the ground. Also the higher the wheel, or larger the diameter, the more area in contact with the ground. But when it came to tracks the width did not matter so much as the length (or diameter). So Mr. Holt figured that with tracks (feet long-or approximately that long) that is to say 9 feet in contact with the ground, would be the equal to a wheel 75 feet in diameter. In other words it is possible that a 75 foot wheel would have as its contact area (circumference) wise approximately 9 feet. But here again, why use a 75 foot wheel, when it is so impractical, almost impossible to build and use? Why not use tracks, which can pull and also be used over and over again, and dispense with the 75 foot impossible wheel? The tracks were only 42' wide but because they were 9 feet long the bearing surface or contact area was lengthwise and that also took care of any worry about width. In other words the tracks just became a 75 foot wheel, theoretically. I hope this clears up any questions. Now I will try to draw a couple of pictures to try to explain some of this for you. Also the amount of torque available would also be increased over a small wheel of small width to the same as a 75 foot wheel because of the increased contact area. So you see each track is the equivalent of a 75 foot wheel. Each track used wooden slats that were 3' thick X 4' wide by about something like 42' long, more or less.

This small circle represents a ten foot wheel with the contact area shown. The next picture will show a 75 foot wheel with contact area and a set of tracks to show they are about the same.

Following is a letter written by W. J. ESHLEMAN, 722 East End Avenue, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17602 to Clyde C. Monihan, St. Joseph, Missouri 64505. This letter was returned and marked Insufficient address.) We are hoping Clyde will see it in the magazine Anna Mae.

'I noticed in the last I.M.A. you are interested in learning the Geiser history. If you will refer to the Album of January-February, 1970, Vol. 24, No. 3, you will find on page 3 'A Short Chronological History of the Geiser Mfg. Company.' I believe you will find it to be pretty complete, since I spent much research time on it when I wrote it at the request of Rev. Ritzman. If you don't have a copy, perhaps the Lancaster office has one to sell.'

CARL GEER, 530 Washington Street, Wellsville, Ohio 43968 reminisces with the Album Family: 'I read the Iron-Men Album and enjoy it very much as I was raised on a farm in Hancock County, West Virginia. New Cumberland, West Virginia being the County Seat was located in the panhandle district of West Virginia. As a boy at home on the farm I was always interested in the traction steam engines and would like to give honorable mention to Mr. J. M. Martin who owned a farm and also owned a threshing machine powered by a traction steam engine. Mr. Martin also owned a sawmill which was powered by his steam traction engine and during the winter season, he operated his sawmill back around 1908 up until 1915 I can remember the name on the traction steam engine was the Eclipse. I don't know the company name that built the engine. Then around 1915, Mr. Martin bought a new engine manufactured by the A. D. Baker Company in Ohio and a new separator built by Aultman Taylor Company. I don't remember in what state the thresher machine was manufactured.

Mr. J. M. Martin was also an auctioneer. He was a hard worker, up early in the morning at daybreak and worked till late at night. He raised a family of four boys and a couple of daughters. In later years, Mr. Martin had an accident while operating his sawmill. He slipped and lost two fingers off of one hand when his fingers touched the saw.

Shredding corn with 19-65 HP Baker owned by Dave Bowman, Whiteland, Indiana.

I remember those Good Old Days on the farm. I am now 82 and liked the steam engines so well. I hired out firing the old steam locomotives on the former Pennsylvania Railroad back in 1917 at age 20. I was promoted to engineer and ran the old steam locomotives until the diesel engine came and it sort of took the joy out of railroading for me to see the old steam locomotives go. I retired at age 66 years with 46 years service. The love for the old steam engines kept me on my railroading job all those years.' (I think it's most wonderful if you have worked at a job of this type and really loved itthat is a blessingI think so many folks work a jobs they happened to get into and just never got into something more desirable. Don't forget though folksevery job can be done with dignityand also if it seems tough at times, try and look at it this waytry doing it for Jesus and begin praising Him for all the wonderful things you do haveyou may even learn to like your job betterAnna Mae.)

A few words in endingWhen a man begins to amass wealth, it is a question whether God is going to gain a fortune or lose a man-----A little each day is much in a year, A little explained, a little endured. A little forgiven, the quarrel is cured. FAITH is far more a way of walking than it is of talking.--- Study the Bible to be wise; believe it to be safe; practice it to be holy.

Bye ByeLove Ya All Anna Mae