Well, the time is really rolling around and we are now past the half way point of 1990. I wonder what has happened in each of our lives. As we approached 1990 I am sure we had some vision of what we would want to accomplish, what wonderful happy times we would have, or sad unexpected events in our lives, and also the hopes we aimed for. Did they all come true? We still have several months to anticipate for the upcoming days. Hope your time is flowing gently and wonderfully as we look toward the next year, where we will then start all over with aspirations for the future.
The following story Two Ships taken from Wellsprings of Wisdom by Ralph L. Woods is a little along the line of which I am speaking.
Two ships were once seen near land. One of them was leaving the harbor, and the other was coming into it. Everyone was cheering the outgoing ship, but the incoming ship was scarcely noticed.
A wise man standing nearby explained the people's reaction. 'Rejoice not,' he said, 'over the ship that is setting out to sea, for you know not what destiny awaits it, what storms it may encounter, what dangers lurk before it. Rejoice rather over the ship that has reached port safely and brought back all its passengers in peace.'
It is the way of the world, that when a human being is born, all rejoice; but when he dies, all sorrow. It should be the other way around. No man can tell what troubles await the developing child on its journey through life. But when a man has lived well and dies in peace, all should rejoice, for he has completed his journey successfully, and he is departing from this world with the imperishable crown. Midrash (How true! I think we human beings do a lot of things backwards and do not comply with what our God really expects from us).
And now on to our communications which you await for each issue. I know, because you have told me so--and by the way, why don't you sit down and write to us? I'm sure you have something to share in this column.
WILLIAM EVERSFIELD, 478 Jewell Road, Dunkirk, Maryland 20754 sends this letter and would appreciate hearing from some of our readers: 'I have subscribed for a few years to the IMA and although I don't own a steam engine, I enjoy reading your magazine very much.
'Last year a gun collector friend loaned me a copy of The Parker Gun, An Immortal American Classic by Larry L. Baer. Included was a brief history of the Meriden, Connecticut Company. In an 1862 catalog it noted the Parker Company produced a number of items including: com and coffee mills, vices, hinges, locks and door knockers. Later they offered printing presses, machine tools, punch and shearing presses, fishing rods, and of course, their famous shotguns.
'The book also noted that Parker produced portable steam engines and boilers for sale. Never having seen or even heard of a Parker engine before, I looked in Jack Norbeck's fine book Encyclopedia of American Steam Traction Engines but found nothing about the Parker engines, nor did my back issues of IMA show any data.
'Perhaps one of IMA's readers has owned or seen one of these seemingly rare engines. If not, maybe some former employees of the Parker Company would remember something. The company was evidentially bought out by Remington Deering during the 1930's. They built fine shotguns and the fancy ones are much sought after by collectors. If somebody has knowledge of their steam engines or company history, perhaps they would write an article for IMA or drop me a line. Keep up your fine magazine!' (I surely hope you get some letters on this subject, William-and we would welcome an article or write-up for this column).
GERALD DARR, 2220 Bishops Gate Road, Toledo, Ohio 43614 sends this: 'Like you, we have had our emotional problems here. My wife had a heart attack on March 21st. It came as a real shock to her and myself also as she never had any symptoms of a heart condition.
'We were at a meeting at our parish and she said she had pains in both arms and a headache. I took her to the emergency room of a hospital about five miles away. She was examined and found to have a blood clot under the heart. It was tense for a number of days in I.C.U.--but a new medicine dissolved the clot. After sixteen days in the hospital, she was able to come home and is recuperating slowly.
'A great many people have called concerning her condition.'
(We understand what you are going though-my husband, Ed, has had five heart attacks and also has a pace-maker, but it is marvelous the things they can do with these problems. I trust things are going better by now, and God bless you both. Keep the faith! Many of our IMA family understands and will send up a prayer for you.)
Received this letter from PERRY WILLIS, R.D. #3, Louisville, Ohio 44641. Perry writes in response to a communication that was in this column previously, about brothers and sisters being at each others' throats when the parents die. He says: 'This past week a few miles from where I live, I have observed one farm of the relatives fighting over an estate-constant bickering and no up keep of one of the biggest farms in our area. They burned down the barn that was falling in. The big wagon and the machinery shed is falling apart. It soon will be burned up also.
'I would like to see more young people taking interest in all kinds of hobbies and work. Most in our area do not do an honest day's work. What has happened to our nation? They are selling our land to foreign countries; the industries are doing the same.
'I was brought up to respect everybody and share. I have done this and never regretted one minute of hard labor, and little or no pay. Others have done this and know it's the truth.
'Our shows cannot continue if there is not more help. The older men and women will soon be too old to help. Where will the help come from?
'These statements I have made are facts of life, not untruths. It also has been a hard struggle to achieve what I have gained in life. I've shared and will continue as long as I am able. Others are doing the same.
'Yes, as I have said beforelet me live in my house by the side of the road and be a friend to mankind.
'I wrote of cutting timber in 1940. I will take anyone who doubts my word and show them what was cut off the land. I, and many others living in this area have worked on this timber project and will verify the truth to anyone who doubts this happened. We worked!!'
Greetings!' states DAVE GEISLER, P.O. Box 76, Murdo, South Dakota 57559. I enjoy your fine magazine. We recently acquired a (1908??) Avery. We have not been able to find much information about this unit. I thought your staff and readers might help. The Avery is 11 feet long, 34 inches wide, 37 inches high rear wheels, 29 inches front wheels, 4 cylinder. Rear wheels are five inches wide. Gas tank is behind seat, friction drive and open governor.
'Enclosed is some information on the Pioneer Auto and Antique Town at Interstate 90, Murdo, South Dakota. Triple 'A' rates this town as one of the top three in America. If you can, stop enroute to the Black Hills.
'It's an unlikely spot for so famous and so incredible a collection of auto, antiques of any kind, and 30 buildings that recreate stores, shops and schools, but Murdo is home for one of the most fascinating adventures anywhere.
'The Geisler family started this the largest private collection in America-with autos from the 50's, but it's grown to include memorabilia that stretches the mind back to the days of your childhood. Like nickelodeons? The collection is unmatched. Player pianos? Old games? Tractors? They're all here. Plus the incredible Zeiter collection of fossils and gems.
'You'll wander through all 30 buildings amazed at what one family could collect in the middle of South Dakota, but it'll be one of the most memorable stops you'll make.
'About those autos. They're the stars of the Murdo Show. No matter what your first car, you'll find it here from a 1902 Olds mobile to a vintage 1966 Mustang. Elvis Presley's motorcycle is here, so is Tom Mix's Packard and a Chicago gangster's 30's roadster.
'One thing makes this stop even betterthe special style of Geisler hospitality. You'll find the fourth generation at work in the museum. Ask for David and see what happens. You're in for a friendly, fascinating adventure.'
JOE B. DILL, Route 1, Box 26, Lascassas, Tennessee 37085 writes: 'I enjoy IMA and especially the Soot in the Flues column.
'I sometimes use copies of pages from old farm magazines for stationary. You will notice an ad for Bates Steel Mule tractor which may interest the readers. Our neighbor had one back in the early 1930's but by 1940 it was gone. I suppose it was sold for junk.
'Our neighbor's Bates Steel Mule had a soft crankshaft and wore out too often and wasn't used any, just sat in a shed. I wonder if any IMA readers know anything about Bates Steel Mule crawler tractors.'
An interesting bit of information comes from MARK A. CORSON, 9374 Roosevelt Street, Crown Point, Indiana 46307-1840:
'Enclosed find a short biography of Lyon Iron Works & the Ireland Machine and Foundry Co., Inc.
'Lyon Iron Works, was founded in 1840 in Greene, New York by George R. Lyon. G. R. Lyon transferred ownership of the foundry property to his son, Henry A. Lyon, and Lewis E. St. John. H.A. Lyon and L.E. St. John did business together in the Lyon-St. John Foundry. In 1887 George R. Lyon died, the same year that Lyon Iron Works was incorporated, with H.A. Lyon, president.
'In June 1922 George Raymond, Sr. purchased the company from Walter D. Lyon, son of Henry A. Lyon. In 1941 the name was changed to Lyon-Raymond Corporation.
A Bertsell Ireland worked at the Lyon Iron Works, in Greene, New York. In 1906 he moved to Norwich, New York where he founded the Ireland Machine and Foundry Company, Inc.
As I renew a subscription, I enclose a picture of a little steam engine I picked up last year, says JOSEPH F. GRIVETZ, JR., 3920 North 165th Street, Brookfield, Wisconsin 53005. This engine is very unusual (for around here) because it has rotary valves. The bore and stroke is 3 x 4 and the engine stands 30' high. There is no name tag but we think it may be a German Oppenheimer by the design of the frame. If anyone knows, for sure, the name of this engine and possible use, I would like to hear from them.'
DOUG and RUTH SELLERS, 1102 Peach, Abilene, Texas 79602, sent along this poem, and hope you will enjoy it. It is from The Red River Special, Vol. XV, No. 1, Circa 1914 entitled:
When the wheat is grinnin' golden. Comes the unshaved
He is chockfull of ambition. And he's got a coat of tan.
Long the road that's rough and rutty. Where the bottom's mostly sand;
He's been grillin', through the heat waves
Weary miles to make a stand.
With a gruff in' puffin' snorter
Under which the bridges crack,
He's been ground thru a sweat haze
To assault a lonesome stack.
When the crop is short and smutty,
And the blight is on the wheat
He's full of prunes and anger
Vain regrets and prickly heat.
But he drills a little further,
With a hope that won't be downed-
Where a hot wind's breath has blasted,
And the stacks are on the ground.
For his living's mostly wrapped
In that infernal thing of cogs,
That goes' flooee' almost daily
As along the rut it jogs.
Oh, the thresherman is modest,
And he's very little known,
Though most folks are thinkin' of him
When the seasons crop is sown.
He's not often found a-loafin'
On the street among the crowd,
For he'll never stop a millin'
Till they wind him in a shroud.
He is out there where the crankshafts
Sort of mill around and bunt-
And he hasn't time for frillin'
In a measly white shirt front.
In the mud up to his ankles,
Where most folks would swear and rave-
You will find him there a smilin'
Often wearing last week's shave.
There are times he lays the road ways,
Then he shifts them to the side,
And no matter where he puts them,
He is never satisfied.
He is peevish as a woman-
When she cannot arrange,
All the new front parlor fixin's.
And he leads a life of change.
He's a rough and ready person,
But we rather like his breed,
For from stacks he rips the dollars
And lays up the new crop seed.
But today he has forgotten
All of last year's grind and muss,
And he talks of great crops comin'
He's an optimistic cuss.
RALPH DONALDSON, 4214 E. Carmel, Mesa, Arizona 85206 sends these comments: In regard to the /question by Robert S. Dart in the March/April Iron Men Album about the formula for determining the actual horsepower of a steam engine, a little further discussion would be useful.
'PLAN divided by 33,000=indicated HP. This is correct when:
P=the mean effective pressure as determined from an indicator diagram of that engine. Steam enters the cylinder at boiler pressure but as the intake valve closes (cut off) the cylinder pressure drops as the piston moves and the volume increases. Not many people have equipment to take an indicator diagram, so we have to make some kind of guess about mean effective pressure-perhaps 80% of boiler pressure.
L=Length of stroke in feet, not inches
A=Area of piston in square inches
N=RPM times 2, because there are two power strokes each revolution.
'As I sit here this afternoon in Western Michigan, the weatherman promised us everything but sunshine today,' writes DICK HEAVEN, 155 W. Cross Street, Box 36, Clarksville, Michigan 48815.
'I think back to last summer and remember how my son-in-law from Saline, Michigan called and asked when I wanted him to pick up the 1937 John Deere and take it to Wauseon, Ohio. He came the next day and got it.
Tom Turnbull of RR1 Box 87B, Rushville, MO 64484 sent this picture taken at Platte County Steam & Gas Engine Show at Platte City, MO. It is his scale model of a 20 HP Russell which he finished in spring of last year. It too 3 years and 3,000 hours to build, develops 11 horsepower.
'On Wednesday, Eleanor and I hooked up the camper and headed out for Wauseon. We arrived and set-up close to my daughter, Sue and husband, David and sons, Steven and Alien-also our son, David and son, Tom.
'We had the Johnny Popper in the parade each day and enjoyed the whole time we were there from the nice 110 Case engine to the models. Then there was the threshing, saw-milling, hill climb and pulling on the tractor stretcher with steam as well as tractors. There was also the display of Minneapolis tractors and all the other makes.
'We intended to take in some more shows, but about this time Eleanor got an invitation to a school reunion in Oklahoma at the Clearfork School near Procter. We had a nice trip out there and a good time at the reunion.
'When we got home we felt we hadn't had enough vacation time so we hooked up the camper and went to a state park near Lapeer, Michigan. One day we spent at the Crossroad Village on the northeast corner of Flint, Michigan and had a great time where we saw a steam cider mill, blacksmith shop, print shop, village stores and then had a steam train ride 9 1/2 miles. We traveled through woods, cross main highways with gates, like real, some fields, a water-powered flour mill, a real barn and horses and mules and other livestock.
'The last weekend of August we hooked up and went to Milton, On tario to the Ontario Steam and Antique Preservers Association which was really muddy to start with the people had experienced such a dry spell that they were glad for the downpour of rain. Their threshing demonstration is fun to watch as they shock the oats, then haul to the threshing machine running against time. Had a good time fellowshipping too.
'Anna Mae, back when I first started going to Montpelier, Ohio to N.T.A. you had been writing a short time for Rev. Mr. and Mrs. Ritzman and you came for the show and ran a steam engine. (I remember, Dick, that was in 1960-and I had been with the magazines since 1957 and wrote my first column in March/April issue of 1958a lot of water has gone over the dam by now, hasn 't it? You made me rather nostalgic and I just went and started reading the back issues of the columns and etc.-was fun, guess I'll have to continue that one of these days).
Back to Dick's letter-'I went to my first show in 1956 and haven't missed one since.
'I have enjoyed your column through the years, the words of wisdom and you telling what God has done in your and your family's lives. Just keep telling it like it is!' (Thanks Dick, it makes me feel very grateful to hear an encouraging word from you folks).
A few words of wisdom for you folks as you are traveling around to the shows, or for those who by some reason cannot make the events.-There are two essentials to happiness: something to do, and someone to love. All the handmade keys in the world cannot unlock true happiness.--and remember this one-We like someone BECAUSE. We love someone ALTHOUGH.-If you give love, you will have love.-They love us truly who correct us freely.-The fear of God can deliver from the fear of man.-Do you mean God to take you at your word when you pray?--It's time to sign off and I think of you folks on the highways and byways as you roam from Reunion to Reunion. Enjoy it for it is wonderful if you have the health and opportunities to do so. Come back with pleasurable memories and so share some of them with us PLEASE all for now. Love you All my Iron Men Album family