SOOT IN THE FLUES

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Henry Brovont's Advance outfit a 32 x 48 thresher, and I believe a 12 HP engine, my uncle Aaron Brovont on board. Photo taken about 1909 or 1910.

They hooked cables onto them, shook them a couple of times, then pulled them over. Mr. Wood made the patterns for the large castings, built up and riveted the frame. The lugs or spuds were all turned on a slight taper, out of steel shafting.

'The first engine was equipped with 25 HP Geiser boiler and engine mounted on the frame. The second engine for some reason was equipped with a commercial boiler, but they still used a 25 HP Geiser steam motor.

'It would have been quite a thrill to watch these large cable drum engines at work. I am thinking surely some relative or maybe the town's library must have something saved, information about these large engines and their place and Mr. L.C. Wood in Iowa's past history.'

I'm sure you fellows of Steam Land will be interested in this letter from HOWARD BROVONT, 64954 C.R. 15, Goshen, Indiana 46526-9736.

'Here it is '94 already. It has been many years since I have been through your fair city. I spent a while 60 miles south near Port Deposit, Maryland.

'Would like to add my two cents worth to Bill Eversfield's letter in Soot in the Flues, March/April 1994. He is right about the duckbill steering on the early F-30s, although from what I have gathered they changed to the later worm gear steering in 1935 both F-30 and F-20 (page 310 upper right hand picture shows a 1935 F-20 with the worm gear steering). The regular Farmall 1923-early 1932 had an open steering gear with a large half-moon gear and a couple pinion gears. Pictures page 308 all from 150 Years of International Harvester.

'The old regular is what I used to drive through my teens. That steering set-up could be a real hand crippler on rough ground.

'Now a little history. My father was already doing custom sawing in the Lake Odessa, Michigan, area along the Barry County and Ionia County line by 1908, along with farming and threshing. Late 1916 he started dealing to saw out a woods for a close neighbor, John Groff, timbers for a large hip-roof barn and the rest to be bought by the French Lumber Company, Battle Creek, Michigan. On February 3, 1917 Dad gave his order for a #5 Enterprise Sawmill, made at Blissfield, Michigan, with edger and blower. He first powered this mill with a 22 HP Wood Bros, steamer. They only sawed a little and then his diary says March 19, 1917 'I brought the Pitts engine home (Buffalo Pitts steamer).'

Henry Brovont's 21 HP Advance engine, 75/8x 10 x 10 compound, belted to an Advance 32 x 52 thresher. Man on right is water boy Roy Strong, and at left is engineer John Wek. I think.

Keck Gonnerman double cylinder rear mount, early model, lap seam boiler. Donated to the railroad museum near Monticello, Illinois, where this photo was taken.

Minneapolis 28 HP, butt strap boiler, formerly owned by Fred Nolan, has since been sold. Photo taken at the Douglas County steam festival.

''On the 21st I got my line shaft and installed it on the 22nd. They belted both engines to the line shaft, then the line shaft to the mill.' Then according to Dad they built a walk from one engine platform to the other, and one man fired both engines. My uncle Aaron Brovont was to have the say as to how hard they could pull the engines.

'When Dad would file the big saw he would sit on the back of it on a stool and as he filed the teeth he would hook the file in the saw teeth and roll it toward him. It so happened the one engine stopped on dead center and it also had a leaky throttle valve. When he rolled it off-center he said he heard a chug at the same time. It started to pull him up over the back of the saw. He instantly threw himself sideways away from the saw and narrowly escaped injury or worse.

July 19, 1917 diary says, 'Sawed 170 logs today, 12,553 ft. of lumber.' By the 21st they had moved the engines out of the woods. Dad bought the #5 mill from Banting Brothers, longtime manufacturers and machinery dealers at Toledo, Ohio, and sold it in 1919 to Harvey Blough and Sons for $425.00.

Harvey was a sawyer, farmer, and thresherman along the Ionia/Kent County line in Clarksville, Freeport, Michigan, area. I verified this with his sons at the Clarksville, Michigan steam show last summer. I also had a nice visit with Old Steam Man Harry Wood man see at that time. This information for the above article was told to me by my father Henry Brovont, and is also from his and his brother Aaron's diaries. I am 71 and not too good health.

'I have a Case steam threshing outfit, water wagon and all, sitting on the shelf in my living room, all belted up and ready to go. Am sending a couple of pictures.'

LLOYD CREED, R. R. 3, Box 381, Danville, Illinois 61832 sends a short letter and a lot of pictures (previous, this, and next pages), which I'm sure many of our steam engine enthusiasts will appreciate. Lloyd writes: 'I hope that all is well for you and yours as well as for our family out in Engine Land. During the last several years, I have collected most of the Iron Men Albums and read from cover to cover, including your columns. I would like to think that with your status in Engine Land that you have the use of a 65 HP Case or a 21-65 Baker, kind of like a company car, provided by Stemgas Publishing, of course. What is your favorite kind of engine?'

(I really don't knowI like them all and love the people more. My favorite engine has had to be a railroad engine as my husband, now deceased, worked there many years and thus gave us a good family life, not without problems, for he was out many times for long, long trips. Ed was an engineer from May 1937 to May 1980. It was in ways rough on a family because you could never really plan too much.

He and Elmer had many a chat about the railroad and the farm steam engines. I must tell you though that in 1960, my daughter Dana and I were invited along with Elmer Ritzman, Earlene, and daughter Marsha out to the Montpelier Reunion. Talking about engines, I had fun then, for I was on several of them, and had pictures taken, etc., and met a lot of people who were subscribers and sent me material. It's been great!)

'These are some pictures of un-restored engines which I thought might be of interest to the readers.' (I'm sure they will, Lloyd.) 'It's surprising to know that there are so many unrestored engines around if you know where to look. I've taken all these pictures within the last few years in central Illinois and central Indiana. The sight of an old engine brings out the eternal optimist in a true steam man; in other words, there is very little that would be spared to 'bring the old engine to life.'

'Perhaps some of these pictures will serve to bring back someone's memory of when they first found their engine. I would like to call these engines 'uncut diamonds'. Additionally, I would like to urge other people to go through their photos and submit pictures of their 'uncut diamonds' to Soot in the Flues.'

Rare C. Aultman undermount, of which fewer than five exist. Owned by Allen New family, this engine is scheduled to be restored and then exhibited at the 1995 Rushville show.

Rare 16 HP Heilman, of which fewer than eight exist, being admired by Matthew and Leylan Creed and Al New. Owned by Allen New family, this engine is scheduled to be exhibited at this year's Rushville show.

Mr. M. A. POOLE, 09, Glebe-lands, Pulborough, West Sussex, RH 20 2JH, United Kingdom, writes to say that he is now the magazine sales officer for the publication Steaming. If you are interested in that magazines, drop him a line for more information.

We have a lot of material in this column and how wonderful but I have been wanting to send this along to you folks. It is called 'Can You Find 16 Books of the Bible?' (It is rather interesting, you try it.)

'I once made a remark about the hidden books of the Bible. It was a lulu, kept people looking so hard for facts and for others it was a revelation. Some were in a jam, especially since the names of the books were not capitalized, but the truth finally struck home to numbers of readers. To others, it was a real job. We want it to be a most fascinating few moments for you. Yes, there will be some really easy ones to spot. Others require judges to help them. I will quickly admit it usually takes a minister to find one of them and there will be loud lamentations when it is found. A little lady says she brews a cup of tea, so she can concentrate better. See how well you can compete. Relax now for there really are sixteen names of books in the Bible in this story. (A preacher found 15 books in 20 minutes, but it took him three weeks to find the 16th one). Author unknown.'

You may find it interesting to do this. This had been in with some copy I've had for a long time, but I have no name as to who sent it. Maybe someone out there knows the answer.

I hope and pray the material keeps coming as it has for this issue; it makes me so happy. There seemed to be plenty of material through the years but it's decreased a lot in the last few years. So get those pens, pencils, typewriters in hand and spread your accounts, ideas, interesting hobbies and places you attend to foster your hobby. I'll be checking the mail to hear from you!

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