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If we look on the energy crisis as an opportunity, rather than as an unbeatable problem, we'll all be the better for it.

Readers of The Iron -Men Album include hundreds who are inventive and innovative, who can see a challenge they enjoy in the shortage of fuels. We call on them to apply their minds and their skills to finding new ways, and reviving and adapting old ways, to meet today's problems and put America ahead on the energy front.

What can be done with steam that should be brought to the fore? Steam may well have a more glorious future than its past, which was elemental to the Industrial Revolution, opened the way for giant strides in production of power and transportation, and gave the impetus for man's leap from ancient farming methods to the opening of millions of acres to agriculture.

We quote from Amos Rixxman, past president of the ATA, Oklahoma City, who wrote in the 1962 ATA program book about the steam engine:

'Never developed to the fullest extent, it could well have been the sole, or nearly sole, power used today! Yet the potential of the reciprocating steam engine design has never been developed beyond its infancy! The future of newer and small atomic power plants may yet see our forgotten age of steam return in a new dress.

'The versatility and performance of steam has not yet been duplicated in industry or transportation. So it may well be that this monster which can stand silent, but ready to put forth full power in an instant in either direction, may return to serve us far better than we have yet been served.'

(From 'Farm Steam Shows USA & Canada', by Dana Close Jennings.)

We are also interested in a resolution introduced in Congress by Rep. Edwin D. Eshleman, of our district. He seeks to encourage the use of old patents to meet the crisis.

The bill, joined in by a group of 15 bi-partisan congressmen, calls on individuals and industries holding patents that might be useful in conserving energy, or supplying new energy sources, to turn them over to the House Interior Committee for evaluation.

'Any patents found valuable and put into use would mean full reimbursement to the holder of that patent under this bill,' he said.

Joining in sponsorship of the bill are Reps. Gene Synder (R-Ky.), Edward J. Derwinski (R-I1L), Joe D. Waggoner Jr. (D-La.), Harold V. Froelich (R-Wisc), Herman T. Scheebeli (R-Pa.), J. Edward Roush (D-Ind.), Antonio Borja Won Pat (Guam), Trent Lott (R-Miss.), William R. Roy (D-Kan.), Joseph M. McDade (R-Pa.), Donald J. Mitchell (R-NY), Allan Steelman (R-Tex.), Clair W. Burgener (R-Calif.), John M. Zwach (R-Minn.), and Larry Winn Jr. (R-Kan.).

We're counting on all our readers to help.