Notes from North Dakota to Across the Puddle, by J. Hodgeon, Esq. Berks, England
New Rockford, North Dakota 58356
Among all the articles, pictures, etc., in the last I.M.A. (Nov. - Dec. 76) I find most interesting the 'Notes From Across The Puddle' by J. Hodgeon. This is partly because I am a believer in the economy of compounds, especially for steady work like threshing. (Note Hodgeon's reference to the economy of compounds). I have formed this opinion from the experience of using them over the years and from observation of the many compounds that were found in this wheat-growing state, indicating their popularity. The Advance 26 & 35 HP tandem compound straw-burners were very well liked, also the 30 HP cross-compound. I threshed three short 'runs' with each of these three engines. I am aware that many engine men do not agree with my opinion of compounds, but every once in a while some older man will tell me that he had operated them and liked them. I am not belittling any of the other fine engines that were used, either simple or compound.
From Hodgeon's letter I calculate his age at 17 or 18; it is good to see the young fellows taking over. Being a joint owner with his father, I am sure is very good. How about a description and maybe a drawing of the 'single crank compound?' I am sure many men would like to see how this is connected.
The design and workmanship of the English engines is very interesting. The cylinder casting is usually also the dome, steam jacket, throttle, governor valve and other details. The footboard, tank and bunker are very well constructed and finished.
A short report about our September 76 show. We were very fortunate in having favorable weather and harvest well completed in our area and most of the surrounding states and provinces. Our attendance was the highest we have had for twelve years. There was about 25 acres of good oats to thresh, logs to saw, shingle mill, grist mill, teeter board etc. The gas engine display was bigger and better.
After all the work of putting on the show, it is rewarding to see engine men and other visitors from so many states and provinces. We are finding more engine men to take over engines each year, some older and a couple of young fellows. Several of the Canadian engineers take over, also men from Montana, Minnesota and other places. Four men from the Stephenson County Antique Engine Club, Freeport, Illinois, were a big help and also a lot of fun. I am sure a visit to their show will be interesting. I must mention Harry Goodmansee of Dowling, Michigan and his friends. Harry is probably more widely known at the shows all over the country than any other man. He has been a regular here for many years, has made many friends and I think he likes to get his hands on our 110 Case. We are always very glad to see him.
I enclose a 1975 picture of my Advance 26 HP straw-burner. The man on the ground is my very good friend, Don Milne. Mr. Milne is the number one steam man at the Austin, Manitoba show. I think it is a good picture of the Advance, Mr. Milne and the fireman, Mr. Olson, somehow I managed to get in the picture myself.