Huber return flue engine

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Wilson, Kansas

This letter was unintentionally misplaced and just now turns up. We think it has virtue for us to think about and so we reproduce it.

I would like to comment on a couple articles in your Nov.-Dec. 1955 issue.

First, every old timer seems to have his favorite engine, but for some reason, most of them are either pro-Case or anti-Case as you will note from the article 'Champion vs. Case.'

A picture of a threshing outfit I can just remember of coming to my uncle's farm to thresh. It is a Huber return flue engine with a clover huller purchased about 1905 by Daniel Van Olinda who operated it for many years. He was better known as Danny and is standing at the controls. Previous to this outfit he owned a Wood Bros, machine and threshed for about 30 years in the vicinity of Halfmoon and Clifton Park. This picture and information was given me by his daughter, Mrs. Archie Chauine, Sr., who still lives in Halfmoon. I never operated a threshing machine but I fired on the Boston & Maine BR, Rutland RR also on steam marine tug boats. That is where I received my engineers license. When steam went out on the tugs and the Diesel came in I shifted to Diesel and am now Chief Engineer for the Mayflower Towing and Transportation Co., but I still love steam and don't believe there is any other sound or smell in this world like the bark of a steam engine cutting off and the smell of oil and steam. Keep that wonderful ALBUM coining and don't change it in any way just make it come more often.

I have noticed this in old Thresher magazines and from talks I have had with old engine men, but let's let the facts speak for themselves. All engines had their good points, but comparing production records, Case outsold all other makes by about two to one, so they couldn't have been too poor an engine, and the Case separator made the same record.

So when reading the article 'Champion vs. Case' I am tempted to quip how come the Case became a leader, while Champion just sort of faded away?

Another thing I would like to see clarified is the matter of Avery slapping an injunction against the A. W. Stevens Co., in regard to Stevens Undermounted engine.

Avery announced their Undermounted engine in the Sept. 1904 American Thresherman and that seems to be the first time it was placed on the market.

Now the Aultman Co. had their Undermounted engine on the market about a year or so sooner, as they announced it in the Nov. 1903 issue of the American Thresherman. So did not Avery infringe on the Aultman patents? The principle of the two engines is quite similar.

How about some of the old timers clarifying this matter. Avery seems to have made the last use of the Undermounted principle, but even they abandoned the principle about 1915 and went to building top mounted, straight flue engines exclusively.

Also let's have more pictures like the one Frank J. Stebritz sent in of the Yellow Fellow, some, or rather I should say, most of the old wood frame separators were workmen's masterpieces. With the manner in which the lumber was grooved and mortised to fit. Also the intricate paint job on some of them.

The steel separator, was of course, far superior in construction, but for some reason, the wood frame machine had an appeal to it, that catches the eye.