Past and Present:

16 HP Aultman & Taylor engine

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Traction Engines and Threshing Machines

Aultman & Taylor on the Incline

Larry Mix, 2075 Coburn Road, Hastings, MI 49058 (e-mail:, writes in on Aultman & Taylors on the incline:

I have been meaning to write and send in some pictures to the Iron-Men Album for quite sometime now, but I have been extremely busy trying to restore our 16 HP Aultman & Taylor for our show this year. This year we are featuring Aultman & Taylor at the Michigan Steam Engine and Threshers Club Show in July at Mason, Mich. We have done a ton of work on it and still have a lot to do yet. Now on the pictures.

Photo #1: For all those people who thought Case was the only engine to climb the wooden high ramp, here is a picture of a 16 HP Aultman & Taylor engine on the ramp (this is the engine we are working on now). This picture was taken in 1957 at Hastings, Mich., at the Michigan Live Steam Club Show at Charlton Park. The master of the high ramp, Harry Woodmansee, is on the engine with his pipe. The man sitting on his rear end is a much younger Bernie Woodmansee; I am unsure who the other man is.

Mix Photo #1: 16 HP Aultman & Taylor on the incline in 1957. This same engine is currently undergoing restoration.

Photo #2: This shows Harry Woodmansee on the high ramp with the 16 HP Aultman & Taylor in 1956 at Marshall, Mich., at the Michigan Live Steam Club Show.

Photo #3: 1956 at Marshall, Mich., 16 HP Aultman & Taylor, Harry Woodmansee with white hat and pipe.

Photo #4: Here is a picture of one of the best steam engine men I ever knew. This is a picture of Ralph Woodmansee taken in the early 1970s at the Michigan Steam Engine and Thresher's Club Show at Mason, Mich. Ralph was Harry's younger brother. I sure miss him. We traveled to quite a few shows together and 1 enjoyed his knowledge and friendship. The engine is a 20 HP corner bracket Advance. Dennis Smalley owns this engine.

Mix Photo #4: Ralph Woodmansee standing next to Dennis Smalley's 20 HP 'corner bracket' Advance sometime in the early 1970s at the Michigan Steam Engine and Thresher's Club Show, Mason, Mich.

Photo #5: This shows Harry Woodmansee on Justin Higton's 110 Case at the Mississippi Valley Steam Show at Zwingle, Iowa, date unknown.

Mix Photo #5: Harry Woodmansee and Justin Higton's 110 Case at the Mississippi Valley Steam Show, Zwingle, Iowa. The date of the photo is unknown.

Photo #6: This shows Harry Woodmansee on the newly complete high ramp at the Michigan Steam Engine and Thresher's Club at Barry's Resort, Hastings, Mich., in 1965 with his 40 HP Case. I put in a good many nails helping build this ramp. The man in the lower right corner with cigar is my dad, Lynn Mix. This Case engine was given to Harry by Louie David in the late 1950s. That's all the pictures for now, but I will send more when I get caught up on my work. Hope the readers of the Iron-Men enjoy these pictures as much as I do.

Mix Photo #6: Harry Woodmansee on the ramp in 1965 with his 40 HP Case. The man at lower right is Larry Mix's father, Lynn Mix.

Advance Tandem Compound

Eldon Held, 810 3rd Ave., Cando, ND 58324, writes:

After reading James W. Russell's thoughts in the March/April Iron-Men Album I decided to send in an article and a picture and make some comments on them. First, the picture (page 4) is of Louis De Mas and a 35 HP Advance compound that he used on his large farm west of Edmore, N.D. Louis is behind the steering wheel. This engine is in the belt but was also used for plowing as it is shown, with extension rims and a headlamp. The footboard has been extended and a wooden box added to store tools and supplies.

The article was written by the late O.R. Aslakson of New Rockford, N.D. He was a friend of my father's, and I can still remember him and my father sitting at the table drinking coffee and talking steam engines. They would talk about different makes, valve gears, burning straw, steam pressure, water levels and so on. O.R. liked Advance engines and owned a 26 HP tandem compound side-mount at the time of his passing.

Looking back at the March/April and the July/August 1998 issues of the Iron-Men Album, I found two letters about Advance compounds. The letters were from two men with different ideas. Explaining the lack of power in a tandem compound Advance, one of them wrote, 'The packing between the cylinders is long gone.' The other gentleman wrote that, 'This would be quite obvious because there are two cylinders spaced apart with two packing glands between them.' I believe O.R. Aslakson's article will clear up the difference of opinion. Steam was able to leak between the cylinders and not show up on the outside.

On the treeless prairies of North Dakota the Advance straw-burning engine was a real asset. I can understand why O.R. liked the Advance engines. Sometimes straw was the only available fuel.

The following article appeared in the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald, sometime in the early 1970s. It is thought to have also run in the Iron-Men Album long before then, but we have not been able to confirm this. Thanks to Cameron Bachmeier at the Grand Forks Herald for allowing us to reprint this article.