SOOT IN THEE FLUES

Richard Countryman's pictures

Richard Countryman's pictures

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Two interesting pictures come from RICHARD COUNTRYMAN, 313 S. Celia Avenue, Muncie, Indiana 47303-4613, who writes, 'I have subscribed to your fine magazine for a few years now and I have always enjoyed the photographs from the 'old days.' I have enclosed two photos that I made from photographic glass plates. We found a box of glass plates in my grandfather's basement after he passed away. They were negatives of family get-togethers and relatives from long ago. Enclosed are two of these images that my amateur photographer grandfather took sometime between 1905-1915. My grandfather lived all of his life in Herkimer, New York, and his brother had a family farm outside of Canajoharie, New York. Many of the plates had images of horses, buggies, cows and the farm buildings. I hope your readers enjoy the photos.'

We had a call from DAVID KROMER, P.O. BOX 307, Dallas, Oregon 97338, and he has a 1912 Aultman-Taylor 20-60 steam traction engine. He is seeking the color scheme, color of lettering and striping on this engine. He is looking for pictures in color with the proper color scheme. Would also like to know if there is an Aultman-Taylor Club and is someone collecting the serial numbers of these engines? If you have any information for David, please call 503-623-3316 collect.

We received this 'thanks' from CHAD ATTEBERRY, 931 Robin Road, Blackwell, Oklahoma 74631, 'First, I would like to thank the staff of IMA for the picture of Ivan Burns on the back cover of the March/April issue of IMA. Ivan worked long and hard many years building and supporting Oklahoma Steam Threshers at Pawnee, Oklahoma.'

'I ran on the Case Incline at Pawnee for ten years with Big Mac's World Famous Elgin Watch 40 No. 31393.' The board of directors at Pawnee voted to repair the incline for 2001 and 2002. Thanks to the board, Bob Marrs family, Ross Staggs, and Jerry Swanson, the new planks are on the incline and it is ready to go.

'One hundred years ago the first incline test exhibition by Merrill Meggs at state fairs of Minnesota, Illinois and Missouri were held in 1901.' One hundred years later, May 4, 5 and 6, 2001, Big Mac's 40 Case once again will be running on the Case incline at Pawnee. Paul Martens, Fairview, Oklahoma; Carl Tuttle, Howell, Michigan; President of J. I. Case Heritage Foundation will be running his 40 Case No. 34641 also on the incline. I would like to thank Carol for supporting Oklahoma Steam Threshers.

'I always look forward to Larry Creed's and Gary Yaeger's pictures in the Album.' Larry mentioned our dear friend, Lyle Hoffmaster, and Case Eagle feathers. You must remember our banker friend almost choked on Eagle feathers at a show in Illinois. I was afraid we would have to call 911. Thanks to Tommy Lee, he solved the problem. Tommy said, 'If you don't want to choke an eagle feathers, it's best to keep your mouth shut.'

'Maybe the boys will once again let the 'Old Man' Chady, try his hand on the incline. Seventy-one and still having fun.'

And, COLIN W BEAMISH, Box 271, Hamiota, Manitoba, Canada R0M0T0, sent two pictures. Of the one at top, he wrote: 'Getting ready to thresh at the 2000 Hamiota Fair with our 1913 40 Case, 1913 18 x 36 heavy weight Case separator, and Case water tank.' This outfit is owned by Jack Beamish of Homiota, Manitoba, Canada

Colin had this to say about the photo below at right: 'This 1914 80 Case was bought new in 1917 by Richard Welsey Beamish. This engine threshed, moved buildings, and road graded until 1942. The engine was then sold to a saw mill where it ran until 1952. '

Our final letter this month comes from LARRY CREED of R.R. #13 Box 209, Brazil, IN 47834, who has sent some more great photographs to share:

'As you read this column, the 2001 Pawnee Steam School will be concluded for the year.' Many new steam friends will have been made among the students and instructors as the students are from across the United States and Canada. The location for the 2002 Pawnee Steam School will be Pawnee, OK. It will be nice to return to a familiar stomping grounds and old steam friends. I have dug through my photographs to find some pictures for you to enjoy.

'Photograph #1 is of a threshing crew on the road to their next 'set.' Gaar-Scott Co. of Richmond, Indiana, manufactured the steam engine. This company also built the favorite steam engine of Gary Yaeger's. No, Gary, it is not a 'Big Forty,' but a standard gear, single cylinder traction engine. My 1911 catalog shows that single cylinder engines with coal and wood boilers were available in 10, 13, 16 and 18 HP sizes and engines with universal boilers could be purchased in 16 and 20 HP sizes. All plowing-gear single cylinder engines were mounted on universal boilers only and were available in 22, 25 and 32 HP sizes. The universal boilers had a fire-brick arch, straw grates and a dead plate. These were removed and coal grates installed when burning coal and wood. All single engines had the cylinder reverse mounted over the rear wheel.

It is not often I acquire a steam photograph which has as much information about the picture. During the 2000 Pawnee Steam show I was fortunate to meet Don K. Beighle of Mustang, OK, who provided me with photograph #2. The engine looks to be a 13 HP Russell engine here is the history given to me by Don: 'My grandfather, Homer O. Beighle and his cousin Otho Wright both from Prairie Chapel, OK purchased this steam engine, a thresher and a binder. With this equipment they furnished wheat threshing services to their neighbors and themselves. They were both members of local Grange Organization; the members encouraged them to purchase this equipment. Funds to purchase this equipment came from a loan that was secured by the family homestead, which was acquired in the land run of 1893. This picture was taken in the 1920s. When the Great Depression came along they began having a problem meeting the payments on the note. The banker did not foreclose, but as wheat prices fell to zero, they could not secure work for the threshing equipment. They sold the equipment to traveling scalpers who were making the rounds of the farming community buying up equipment at scrap iron prices. My uncles had encouraged his father (my grandfather) to mortgage the family farm to purchase the threshing equipment. When unable to meet the mortgage payments my uncle committed suicide. This was a dark chapter in our family history and was not discussed in much detail. They sure did make sure the family was aware of the hard times in the 1930s and how they affected people farming the Cherokee Strip in the early days.'

'The next three pictures were given to me by a friend, Bronson Hoerchler of Mascouta, IL. Photographs #3 and #4 are of a threshing scene most likely taken in Illinois or Missouri as the bulk of Harrison Machine Work's customers were within a 100 mile radius of the factory in Belleville, IL. The engine is an 'old style Jumbo' as the flywheel is on the left side of the engine and a likeness of Jumbo, the elephant on the valve cover located on the front side of the engine. The engine appears to be a 16 HP and was also built in 10, 12, and 4 HP sizes. The photographer did not have a panoramic camera, which were very costly. He did the next best thing; he took one picture, swung the camera around on its tripod and took the second picture to capture the complete threshing scene. The threshing machine was hand fed and you can see a bundle pitcher, bond cutter and feeder. There was no sacking attachment on the thresher. The grain was caught in a box and was hand sacked. This machine was equipped with a straw blower, which eliminated the job of the straw stacker. The straw pile is quite large when you consider human hands touched each stalk of wheat as it was fed into the threshing machine.'

'Photograph #5 is an Advance engine, which has fallen through a wooden bridge. The engine would be of the early 1900s or before as the rear wheels have straight cleats instead of the later 'v' cleats. The photo had the following information: 'Breakthrough. Photo taken about 1900 in Chicasaw County, Iowa. Steamer broke through a plank bridge.' '

We are happy to have so many wonderful pictures and letters for this issue. Keep them coming, as we are glad to publish them! Enjoy yourselves at the spring auctions and steam ups now beginning, and let us know your news!

Steamcerely Linda and Gail

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