A Reader's View
Route 2, Box 148 Crete, Nebraska 68333
I enjoy your magazine very much. I only wish it came out every week.
Your last issue, I thought, was one of your best, (Mar/Apr 1989, page 2, A Collector's Dream). The article about the 24 HP Minneapolis found in a museum was very good. I hope someone will be able to buy it and give it a good home. It would be a shame for such a good engine to just waste-away. But knowing how museums are, nobody will probably ever get the chance to own it!
Speaking of engines wasting away reminds me of a very large steam engine show I have been to a few times. This show has 70 or 80-plus steam engines that do practically nothing except go through the parade, and the rest of the time, they sit around and expell smoke the rest of the day! Now I know that not everybody goes to a steam engine show just to see the steamers but a lot of people do, including myself. It's frustrating to drive hundreds of miles and see all of the engines do nothing, except for a few of them. I was there three days and I only saw four or five engines that actually did anything. A nice 16 HP Reeves and a Wood Brothers were taking turns pulling on the brake and a nice Case, belted up to one of the Baker fans. I saw three real nice Baker fans. The tractors used one of them but the other two sat idol most of the time. Is it because none of the other engines have enough power to turn a fan or a brake? Or, is it because none of the other engines can back one of them into the belt?
For the first time I got to see a Baker engine work. I was looking forward to this because I have read that the Baker has a real good bark. Well they belted it to a real nice wooden 36' Case threshing machine. But, with one guy pitching into a 36' machine, the Baker didn't even work up a lather. So I guess I'll have to wait and, maybe, hear a Baker at another show.
There was an Advance Rumely pulling a sawmill. They sawed all day everyday and really put on a good show. The guys who run the sawmill really know their stuff and the Advance Rumely really packs a wallop!
To these few engineers: I want to thank you for doing something with your engines and not making my trip a total waste. And to the people who are in charge of this and other shows like it, try to persuade some of the owners of the engines to belt up to something, anything!
Oh Yeah, I forgot to mention the Huber. It was belted to the wooden Case separator the second day I was there. She sounded real nice. Dad and I were standing behind it and when the fireman opened the door, there was a lump of coal in there the size of a basketball. I'll bet it's still burning!
I suppose you're getting tired of my complaining so I'll stop. I hope that it will have done some good!