233 County House Road Clarksboro, New Jersey 08020
During the reunion this year, one or two people asked me why I had stopped my R & T reports because the had looked forward to reading them. Well, there were a couple of reasons, really. First, I was hospitalized during 1980; second, I lost my dear friend George Gaunt. We did so many things together including the restoration of the B.S. roller.
Having now to take care of the roller on my own, with a little help from a 10 year old grandson and not forgetting Frank Vintschger, I find my time quite fully occupied and I cannot make the observations I would like. Besides this, I have a 10-20 and that also has to be gassed up, so maybe I miss some things.
Owing to the passing of a loved one, Mr. Elmer Lapp did not participate as he usually does, for it is those Belgian horses that make our Pageant of Thrashing complete. On Saturday a little after mid-day, I saw a large horse van drive in, for Elmer and his son had brought in the horses to make our big day complete. The Ground Hog thresher and the tread mill cannot be demonstrated without the correct form of power and I'm sure everyone thanks him whole-heartedly for doing this during a trying time.
The above goes once again to prove the dedication of the many members that make up the operating personnel of R & T. I have tried at different times in the past to mention these people in my reports. I try to get everybody, so to whomever I have omitted, please don't get a sooty flue!
Much has been done around the museum during these last two years. A beautiful new building now covers the large Watts & Campbell engine which really looked splendid with fresh paint. The large Case eagle also sports a new paint job which was done by Mrs. Tully Sullivan, and they say it's as near to the original as you will ever get. Much work has been done to upgrade our grounds' electrical system: new boxes, new poles and new wires, giving better passages for those little hard working ohmites to crawl through. Little TOOT has had an overhaul by Warren Avis, and the engine looked really fine dressed in apple green and shiny brass. Someday I must build a caboose for this little engine for it doesn't seem proper not to have one behind the train.
Alongside the new Watts & Campbell building a large hole has been excavated and a footing poured for a very large pumping engine that is to be erected there. I do not have any specs or details of this machine, but I know that I or someone will comment on it in the future!
A very interesting exhibit was the 150th anniversary of the International Harvester Co. On show were the very oldest to the very latest that included Bob Lefever's 1910 single cylinder. There were chain driven Titans, 10-20s, F12s, As and you name them, though I did not see an AV which are still very popular in the south Jersey area.
Other tractors well represented were the John Deere line, the Cletrac line and several nicely restored Silver Kings. For the parade, since there were so many, each line was represented separately, instead of each machine.
Two merry-go-round band organs were present, one by Mr. Burr of New York, the other by Mr. Markey of Dallastown, Pennsylvania. This Markey organ is a Wurlitzer 125 trumpet organ and I understand it was a basket case when found. It must be a fairly old one at that for it looks to me as if it were once a barrel job. The trigger frame is still inside and on the outside end is what appears to be a toilet seat cover. Originally this was a door through which the barrel was drawn for tune changing. I think these organs only carried five tunes on the pegged barrel, so it is almost certain that they were changed frequently. Quite interesting are the mechanics of these old machines, and one of my pet subjects.
A fair amount of old trucks, cars and fire engines came in Saturday and so did the people. In the afternoon folks herded themselves around the large threshing rig that was powered by the big Frick which I still refer to as Harvey's. This engine of course now belongs to a Mr. Bechol. (I hope I got his name right.)
For the big parade the bleachers were absolutely jam packed with people and my 10 year old grandson felt 10 feet tall standing on the platform of the roller beside me; one hand on the throttle and the other on the reverse lever. I did not count the steam units this year, but I think they amounted to 16. Our machine was No. 12 and we were right behind the big Huber. There were a few more behind us.
The weather was perfect for steam engines with the exception of the Friday evening 'Steam Games'. We were into the second series of events when down came the rain. It wasn't a long shower, but long enough for my wife to consider returning to the motel. Having been on the go since 7 AM, I also realized how tired I was; well, we don't get any younger, do we?
All through the reunion the Shay Railroad appeared very busy. The passenger cars were almost full each time I saw it go by. The track, which is 24 inch gauge I think, encircles the whole grounds, so one trip around and you haven't missed much.
From the little time I could spend in the model building, it seemed well stocked as usual. I believe it was Clayt Longendorfer's 2 inch scale Case I saw outside, and inside a friend of mine, Dick McKee had a beautiful replica of my 2 inch scale English traction engine. Counting my 2 inch Frick, this made a total of 4. Of course, there could have been more during the day.
Since days of yore it is a boys prerogative to get dirty. Well, my grandson did it well. He raked ashes, shoveled coal, couldn't resist climbing the coal pile and sliding down, and with the oil can, squirted oil into anything that had a hole in it fire door included. When his mother came to pick him up Saturday evening, she hardly knew him and wondered how on earth she would ever get him clean again. He was disappointed though, when he had to leave for he wanted to take his gloves home as a souvenir. At the last minute he lost them never mind, I know we will have to buy him a new pair next year.
Many folks in the past have asked me questions regarding the steam steering engine on the B.S. roller, so for their benefit I submit two pictures. One is the lid with the two oscillating cylinders in place, the other being the rear half of the casing containing the crankshaft and sprocket. At the back of this are the two trunion holes and the two brass adjusting up screws that take the play out of the port face. With the boiler pressure reduced to 80 lbs., Pa. inspection, it never did work too well as the old press was 130 lbs. Some modification was needed so the 10 tooth engine sprocket was replaced with a 12 tooth. The cross worm shaft sprocket which was 24 tooth, was replaced with a 30 tooth, this gives a ratio of 3 to 1 and consequently now the engine doesn't have to work so hard. A notch had to be cut in the cross tie to make room for the larger wheel and trust races were added to each side of the worm. To complete the job a new chain wheel guard had to be made for the original was not of sufficient diameter. The engine now turns the roll with the steam down to 40 lbs.
On a few weekends before the show I was delighted to see a few of the younger generation working away preparing for the reunion. This invigorates us older ones' spirit and tells us that all our previous efforts have not been in vain. Somewhere perhaps in their schooling they too were given the same instructions as I. The writer I long forget.
Land of our birth we pledge to thee,
Our love and toil in years to be,
And when we are grown and take our place,
As men and women of our race.
Teach us to bear the yoke of youth,
With steadfastness and careful truth,
That we with thee may walk uncowed,
By fair or favor of the crowd,...etc.
This concludes the Rough & Tumble report for another year and thanks go out to the president, Pat Kreider, the officers, and all those silent people that work for the good of the museum throughout the year.