Steam Engine

A Gaar-Scott side mounted steam engine and threshing rig moving to a job in North Dakota.

Gary Yaeger

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'I have been reading my Iron Men Album magazines diligently in the meantime. It is always an exciting day at my house when the Album arrives in the mailbox! I was excited to see my son's photography of Austin Monk's 40 HP Peerless on the cover. Kevin Small stated, 'I believe there are many readers who have old plowing photos, so why not send them to IMA?1 I think I can share a few of my project photographs without detracting from my book. This is just a random sampling of the plowing photographs.

'I sure appreciated the Reeves and Gaar-Scott pictures from Larry Creed. (Larry, I get just as excited as Lyle Hoff master, looking at Reeves pictures!) The first picture showed two 32 HP Reeves engines pulling six binders each, cutting 250 acres per day. Larry asked, 'I wonder how much wheat was cut with steam providing the pulling power?' Friend, I have no idea, but I went through some of my photographs of steam engines pulling binders, as well as combined harvesters, and came up with nearly thirty pictures, so it must have been quite widely practiced. The photograph of the tandem compound Gaar Scott was an interesting picture of a rare engine.

'Larry Creed echoed my sentiments about the 'Something Different' article of a few months ago. Keeping IMA 'steam ' is the most important job you ladies have, and I know that most of us do appreciate you keeping it that way! (I have to confess that I examined a 'magneto tweaking' friend's [contributor, John Edgerton] Gas Engine Magazine. It is a great magazine for them!)

'With that said, here I go sending you a picture of 'non-steam,' but I thought it was quite a nice picture of the workings of a push binder taken years ago in a grain field near Hecla, South Dakota. I would bet that within a few weeks of this photograph, a steam engine and separator entered the same field?

'I would encourage the rest of you to sit down and send something to IMA. Even if you don't care to write anything, send photographs with a description. Thanks for all you do for us, Linda and Gail! I, for one, deeply appreciate you and our magazine.

A 30 HP Nichols & Shepard side mounted double plowing in North Dakota. Notice the reunion mounted plowing drawbar and extension rims.

Former neighbors of mine, the Gilskey Brothers, north of Hilger, Montana, are plowing with a 22 HP under mounted Avery and a 10 bottom Avery steam lift plow. Photos on this page all from Gary Yaeger.

A 30 HP under mounted Avery Alberta Special and a hump back 'keyhole' shaped firebox (with 200 p.s.i. pop valve installed, you could have called it a 40 HP) plowing in Meagher (pronounced 'Mar') County of Montana. Don Bradley thinks this engine was once owned by the Ringling Farm (of circus fame) near Ringling, Montana, as they owned around eight under mounted Avery engines. The Justin Hingtgen '40 HP' (Justin stamped it '40 HP') Avery was another of the Ringling engines. Notice the Avery spark arrestor.

For my book project, I never had a photograph of the Yaeger Brothers' 32 HP Reeves Canadian Special cross compound engine in its original element. My 82 year old Aunt Lillian (sole survivor of Dad's generation) had this picture of her husband Adelrich Yaeger riding the Emerson disk plows. Joe Yaeger, my dad, whose head is barely visible in the original photo above the coal bunker, is firing Number 6269, and Uncle Bill is the steer man.

The Yaeger Brothers had just coaled up #6269 and are apparently getting ready to go to work. A cousin of mine found this picture in her grandmother's photo album. Dad is on the steps with his back to the camera. Uncle Charley is in the steer man's seat. Notice how they laid the rear water tank on its side, lowered the support beams, and built a lower-wider coal bunker. This gave more visibility to the plows, plus the height to shovel coal into the bunker was 15 inches lower. Today, Marvin Brod beck owns number 6269, the oldest surviving 32 HP Reeves Canadian special at Ottowa Lake, MI.

The same cousin found this picture of her step-grandfather's 35 HP Advance rear mounted tandem compound engine threshing near Flat Willow, Montana. Photos on this page all from Gary Yaeger.

I personally believe this is a Big Forty Gaar-Scott. The engine is plowing near Highwood, Montana. It was owned by the Williams Farm. Albert Stordahl, grandfather of my daughter-in-law, Pam Yaeger, was on the crew. I am calling the engine a Big Forty because of the extension rim lugs, the pin clutch type crank pulley, and the counterweight used to assist in lifting the link motion reverse gear. The homemade bunkers throw me

This is William Stroud's 30 HP under mounted Avery pulling an eight bottom Cock shutt plow near Cross field, Alberta, in 1909. Notice the contractor's type bunkers in lieu of the usual tall tanks. My friend Ed Hurd of Byron, Michigan, has a 30 HP Avery with this type of bunker

A rare engine in Montana was a Port Huron like this one of our neighbor's, Adolph Odenwald. Notice the tender and cab. Pictures this page from Gary Yaeger.

A 'thank you' from DR. ROBERT T. RHODE, 4745 Glen way Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45238-4537, to John Steel. He says, 'I'm writing to thank John Steel for contributing to the July/August 1998 issue of IMA for the historic photograph and the article by Ed De Graw entitled 'Archives: Threshing Season in Gnadenhutten' (pages 30-31). I'd like to try to identify the make of engine. I believe that the steamer in the picture resembles the enclosed cut of a Gaar, Scott & Company Horse-steered traction engine.

'The details which strike me as most persuasive include: the fender over the driver wheel, the arrangement of the piping beneath the crank disk, the position and shape of the steam dome, the contours of the hubs, and the V pattern of the grouters on the face of the driver wheel. Other factors less conclusive but worth mentioning are the position of the cylinder relative to the boiler, the angle of the steering wheel, the flywheel's location on the engine's left side (although I recognize that old photographs can be reversed in the printing process), the placement of the whistle and safety valve atop the dome, the conformation of the driver wheels, and the method of bracketing the footboard.'

Frank (left) and Joe Yaeger on Chris Odenwald's 20 HP Aultman Taylor, pulling Yaeger's Aultman-Taylor separator, bulk holding tank and grain wagons. Dad (Joe) started running this engine at age 11 and was its Montana traction engine licensed legal engineer at age 12, in 1911.

Just around press time, we heard from J. N. Walton of Light Steam Power, Kirk Michael, Isle of Man, Britain IM6 1HB, letting us know about a new, enlarged edition (fourth) of the book, Doble Steam Cars, Buses, Lorries (Trucks) and Rail Cars An Antidote for Air Pollution. Here is some information from his letter, for those of you who might be interested in this book:

'The Doble provides quiet, smooth power, great acceleration from rest with reasonably, but not excessively high speed. The quality of design and construction is such that at least one Doble has completed considerably more than 600,000 miles, with many more thousands expected.

'The development of these outstanding vehicles is traced in detail from the first in 1912 to the last 40 years later, for which Abner Doble was Consulting Engineer. This last had better mpg and fuel and better road performance than similar sized conventional cars built ten years later.'

The book is available by mail from Light Steam Power at the above address for $55.00 (U.S. funds). They accept dollar bills, not coin. If paying by check, add $8.00 for bank charges. (Editor's note: We remind you it's never a good idea to send cash currency through the mail!)

Well, that's about all we have for this issue, but we look forward to more letters next time.

We're working now on a new edition of our popular Farm Museum Directory. Please let us know of any farm museum that wasn't listed in our fourth edition . These are guides for people interested in old time farming, whether with engines or not. And remember, let us know about those SHOWS you're going to!

Steamcerely, Linda and Gail