'In the Good Old Summertime' well, surely is that time, isn't it? And what are you learning new this year at the reunions?? Let us hear the old and the new from you in your upcoming articles and letters hope you are all enjoying the visits with each other at the reunions. Seems to me that new organizations are always being formed and this is good, surely means the hobby is still very interesting and growing. And with this hobby, if you're free to travel, you get to meet so many nice folks and see some beautiful country and interesting and historic places. So keep traveling, keep enjoying and keep steaming!
Our first letter is from WILLIAM SCHRADER, Route 1, Neligh, Nebraska 68756 and he wants to know: 'Has anyone found the whereabouts of a Port Huron engine, S/N 8443, tandem compound, 19-65 HP? I had a write-up in your column in July-August 1979 issue on the history of this engine, during the time it was in this community and since that write-up, I have traced this engine through six different owners and still haven't found the present owner. I know it is still going because it has been restored twice.' (Well, to my knowledge, I don't know anything about it, but let's ask the rest of the Iron-Men Family, maybe one of them has it let's hear from you out there, we need help in locating this Port Huron engine and owner.)
Williams continues: 'I really enjoy the magazine and the write-ups and I like Carl Erwin's and Carl M. Lathrop's articles and also the letters in the Soot in the Flues column.' (Thanks, and we enjoy hearing from all our folks in the IMA family.)
'I have recently purchased a 1909 Case 9 HP steam traction engine, my first.' says JOSEPH C. GALBREATH, 1912 3rd Avenue, Sterling, Illinois 61081.
'The serial number is 21693 from the estate of Guy McCausland of Camanche, Iowa. He purchased it from the estate of Justin Hingtgen of LaMotte, Iowa. I would like to hear from anyone with any history or other information of this engine. If I get enough data, I'll send an article later. I know of four others of this size and would like to know how many are left. If other owners will please send me the year and S/N of their engines, I'll make up a list and send to IMA.
The smoke box door is cracked on my engine and the grouters have been removed and replaced with rubber, Army tank pads. Anyone have patterns for recasting the door and grouters? I appreciate any help I can get and will be waiting to hear from other owners.
Keep up the great magazine as I love every issue and can't wait for the next one to arrive.' (Hang in there, Joe, you'll probably get some letters of help from this fine group of readers.)
A letter of interest for many of you comes from WAYNE L. McCLELLAN, 1014 E. Maple Street, Horicon, Wisconsin 53022: 'While on vacation this past April we visited the famous and expertly developed Mud Island of Memphis, Tennessee. It has quite a history.
'Today it is a living history with a scale model of the great river from the Gulf to Cairo, Illinois. One 30 inch stride is one mile. The points of interest are keyed to legends and expertly done. Much river history is shown, most all of which has steam origin. There are many full size action displays.
'This photo for you is a fully restored water pump engine raised from a great old paddle wheeler from the Mississippi. I'm sure our readers would enjoy a trip to Memphis Mud Island. Full attention has been given to the handicapped, or less agile folk. A monorail whisks one to the island where it all begins. Three or four restaurants are in proper motif. Tour at your own speed. Memphis is to be saluted for this fine landmark and tourist attraction.'
A communication regarding a former letter comes from CARL M. LATHROP,108 Garfield Avenue, Madison, New Jersey 07940:
'The May/June issue of IMA has just arrived. I was pleased to see my article, The Injector and Perpetual Motion', was included. Reading through it, however, told me that the little Gremlins that infest every print-shop were hard at work.
'The middle paragraph of the first column on page 25 should have read as follows: 'We can, however, look at the diagram and talk our way through from supply to boiler drum. Steam from the supply pipe A through valve B enters the steam nozzle where it expands thus reaching a high velocity at C
'I had a lot of fun researching the history of the injector, which reminds me of something I have wanted to mention. There are a number of readers of Iron-Men that have ever so much interesting backgrounds and stories to tell if they would only put them on paper. They should not feel intimidated in any way. After all, they are not writing for the Scientific American. They would be telling a story in a family oriented down home publication. It will open all manner of interesting doors.'
MERLIN D. STOGEMEYER, 23869 Highridge Drive, Lake Zurich, Illinois 60047 sends this: 'Is it possible, or has it ever been done to convert a steam-driven tractor, from coal and/or wood fuel source to LP gas as a heat source? Also, what was the largest steam powered traction tractor that J. I. Case Company in horsepower produced and what was the largest horsepower steam tractor built and by whom?' (According to Jack Norbeck's useful Encyclopedia of American Steam Traction Engines, J. I. Case's largest engine was 150 HP, and there are no longer any of these engines in existence. Anyone know of a larger engine?)
A call for help comes from ROGER GROSSER, RFD, Sutton, Vermont 05867:
'I have enjoyed being a subscriber to your magazine for only a few years. The pleasure it provides is great. The help extended between like-minded readers reflects a spirit so refreshing today. It is for some assistance that I write.
'I hope a reader can help me to identify the make, age, HP and RPM of this steam engine. It is a 5 by 5 with a 2' piston valve. The height is 35' with a base of 12' x 16'. There is not a serial, model, part or casting number to be found anywhere. The very old paint is black on the cylinder and head with the remainder a dark gray. The 1' inlet is on top of the piston valve and the I' exhaust is on the side. I have removed the belt-driven governor and the steam lubricator for clarity. This engine has been run at shows in Vermont and New Hamp cut to date no one has ventured identify him. Any assistance would be well received.'
Two old-time photos of interest to many come from KENNETH F. GRONEWALD, 804 Birdie Hills Road, St. Peters, Missouri 63376 with this short notice: 'I had these pictures in a frame in my work area. I know you need these kind of things to keep up a great magazine and I am glad to help. All I know about them is that I purchased both from a Minnesota antique dealer at a show here in Missouri. The dealer could not help me on any information on them. I hope some reader sees himself.
'The photo with the thresher crew says on the back: Will Donner, Audubon, Minnesota perhaps the photographer. I would also like to know the make of tractor pulling the grader as this is an early road building crew.
'I've been a subscriber of IMA for several years and enjoy every issue, trouble is I get through it so soon!'
TED WORRALL, Route 1, Box 62, Loma, Montana 59460 says that on page 12 of Jan.-Feb. 1983 issue the wooden separator back of the 75 Case is a Buffalo Pitts. I'm sure you will be glad to hear this.
'I enjoy your magazine very much,' says BASIL FOX, Route 1, Washburn, Maine 04786.
He continues 'I need help! I own an engine made by Associated Manufacturers Co. 3 Mule Team, Chore Boy Line No. 503883. I would like to know the original color. The engine is presently painted green but it doesn't appear to be original. I certainly will appreciate advice.'
Concerning a letter in May-June 1983 IMA page 4, someone with the address of MUNKO, RD #1, Box 339, Vandergrift, Pennsylvania 15690 asks: 'How do hot bulbs work? Can I build one? Any more information on this type engine which burns crude oil will be appreciated. What is the compression of the cylinder?' (If you can help him, I'm sure he will be glad to hear from you.)
Another letter from CARL LATHROP, 108 Garfield Avenue, Madison, New Jersey 07940 tells us: 'Last December I sent you a manuscript, 'EFFINGHAM, And the Summer People'. I had done the story after researching the history of this old steamboat. Now, the town of Schroon's historian's office sends me a letter with information that corrects some of my data. (This article was in March-April 1983 issue.)
'The EFFINGHAM was built in 1870 by Waters of Whitehall, New York for the Schroon Lake Steamship Corporation. It was named for the financier Effingham Nichols, a summer resident of the Leland House.
'Near the end of the article I tell of a scuba diver finding the boat's propeller. The date of the discovery was Labor Day 1972. It weighed 900 pounds and was cast iron unique in itself as most propellers are cast bronze.'
BILLY M. BYRD, 369 S. Harrig Street, Madisonville, Kentucky 42431 would like to know if anyone who takes the Album knows when his Nichols & Shepard engine was made. It is No. 13577. Says Billy: 'I have a 1917 Nichols & Shepard Repair Price List and the last engine numbered in this book is No. 13301. Or, does anyone have N & S engine numbers and the year they were built? Also, would anybody be interested in forming a Nichols & Shepard Club for owners and ones interested in this make of engine?' Then Billy encloses a poem written by Tom Appell, a brakeman, about the time Billy ran his engine from Clarksville, Tennssee to Adams, a distance of 21 miles. It was 9 hours actual running time, taking time out to eat and clean flues.
THE BILLY BYRD SPECIAL
On a highway out from Clarksville
Ran an engine puffing smoke
People passing could but marvel
As it made each powerful stroke
Billy Byrd was at the throttle
Sam Baird sweated, shoveling coal
Building steam up in the boiler
So the heavy wheels could roll
She was called the (Red River Special)
From the days when steam was king
As she ground along the highway
You could hear her whistle sing
Down through Red River Valley
She was talking like a friend
Billy Byrd was pulling throttle
Sam Baird was sucking wind
At three miles per hour she lumbered
But to move was not a chore
She was geared to pull a payload
And you couldn't ask for more
She was made by Nichols & Shepard
And has been around for quite a spell
Yet to look you couldn't tell it
For she wears her years so well
Into the Adams School Yard
She rolled amid the cheers
Billy pulling on the whistle
As he reversed the heavy gears
People lined the sides and listened
When they hooked up the Bakers fan
The Special puffed black smoke
And rumbled as she ran
As you watch these monsters working
Hear their steady puffing ring
You are taken back in time
To the days when 'Steam Was King'
Here are two more pictures from A. L. Rennewanz and wife. They have written us of their travels at times and sent pictures. They finally ended up in Alaskabrave and adventurous in their seventies letter from them is in the Nov.-Dec. 1982 column.
The picture of the small engine is a 2' scale belted to a little fan. It was taken at the Wauseon, Ohio show about 1966.
The other picture was taken at a Montana show. A. L. says this is his favorite engineer, but he didn't give her name. By the way, he says he met Mr. and Mrs. Lestz at this show.
CONRAD MILSTER, 178 Emerson Place, Brooklyn, New York 11205 writes, 'I would like to add a word to what Carl D. Bean said in reply to the question about power output available from Mr. Valdovino's engine. Mr. Bean, I believe, has misfigured his math by assuming that the pressure of 100 lbs. acts on the piston for the full 14' stroke. The actual total effective pressure would depend on what the engine valves point of cut-off is. If we assume a cut-off of 1/3 the stroke, which is an average figure, we would probably have only about 55 p.s.i. average pressure during the stroke. (See page 12 of the May-June '83 issue.)
'Thus, line 8 of his calculations becomes 2764 lbs. x 2.333 feet=6439 ft. lbs. continuing 6439 x 250 r.p.m.= 1,609,750 ft. lbs./minute. However, we have to subtract losses due to friction, condensation, etc. and we can guestimate this at 5% 1,609,750-8048= 1,601,702/33,000 ft. lbs./min. or roughly 46.3 HP available at the engine instead of 88.8. This figure is as I said only a rough guess as the cut-off is not known at this point.' (I hope you fellows understand this because I surely don't and I don't want anyone getting angry at each other as this is just friendly communication through the column.)
Milster works in the computer department at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he spends his days running the power plant and maintenance department. In response to our essay carried recently about 'The Cow', he sent a computer-type instruction sheet to accompany a M.C.P. (Mouse Catching Person), more familiarly known as a cat! It was most amusing, but unfortunately we didn't have room to include it in the column!
We took a few days' trip last week with a senior citizens group from Perry County. Went to Norfolk, Virginia and also visited Williamsburg for a few hours. It was a lovely trip but not near long enough to see all the interesting places. While in Williamsburg, we visited the Bruton Parish Churchthat's where all the presidents go when they visit there. AND we sat in the same seat that President Reagan sat in just about two weeks before and so did George Washington sit there when he attended church. Now, I can just hear some of you saying, 'Big deal so what?' and I can hear others saying, 'That's great, thanks for telling us' as for me I thought it was sort of neat I'm sure the closest I'll ever get to a U.S. President.
And I was very impressed with Norfolk. We've never traveled much and I had no idea how large Norfolk was and the Naval base32 square miles! We had a cute sailor board the bus and conduct the tour on the base what a joy! He was well informed and very humorous. His last name was Duncan and he was from California. Enough of my ramblings but I must leave you with a few thoughts... People look at you six days in the week to see what you mean on the seventh... The secret of life is not to do what one likes, but to try to like what one has to do... To every man opens a high way and a low way and every man decides the way that he shall go.... Make the mistakes of yesterday your lessons for today. That's it for now, Bye bye, see you next magazine!