535 S. E. 14th Street Oklahoma City 9, Oklahoma
I have been a reader of your wonderful magazine for the past seven years, but I never see anything in the ALBUM from this neck of the woods, so I will try to write something, mainly to let the folks know that Oklahoma is still on the map.
I have been very much interested in the articles on valve gears and I notice there is some difference of opinion on this subject. Now I am not writing this to get into an argument and I am not taking sides with anyone, but I just want to tell Mr. Blaker and one or two others that I have enjoyed their writing and get a lot of good out of it and those of you who take the Steam Engine magazine printed in California have no doubt read the articles on valve gears by Mr. B. B. Brown. I also got a lot out of his writing.
It is things like this that make the magazines worth while. I hope we can have more of it. Some of us 'old boys' have handled engines most of our lives, but still don't claim to know all about them. I, for one, am willing to learn. I have handled about a dozen different makes of engines with several different kinds of valve gears and I am not going to stick my neck out and say that any one valve gear was better than all the rest.
I think that most of you will agree that the Baker was the best valve gear ever put on a locomotive, but whether it was best on a traction is something else again. There is another angle to be considered. Have you thought about how many different kinds of valves were used on different engines? What I mean -- a valve that would work perfectly with one kind of valve gear might not work so perfectly with another kind. I would like to know what some of you experts think about that.
I am surprised that Mr. Hutzell would wonder about being able to keep the steam up in a Case under full load in 1912. I was working for the old Geiser Company in their branch house at Springfield, Missouri, just before they sold out to Emerson Brantingham, and during that time there was a carnival came to town and stayed about a week. They had a 25 hp Peerless engine which they used to pull a dynamo to light the carnival grounds. We loaned them a 25 Peerless to use while we overhauled their engine. They said they could tell by the dynamo how much power the engine was putting out. They said it was pulling a 56 hp load and that was more than twice the rated hp of the engine and it had to do that without a stop from five in the evening until seven the next morning and seven nights a week, and I think a Case or any other good engine would do the same thing.
Now, just a word about the Advance engine with the Marsh reverse or valve gear. They were good engines as they were easy steamers and easy to keep up, but it was not the Marsh valve gear that made them that way. They would have been just as good with most any other valve gear. I never liked them though, for the same reason I never liked any side-mounted engine. You could not steer them on a slick road or in soft ground and most of them would rear up and stand on their hind feet. Give me a rear mount every time!
And about this matter of HOOKING UP. The object in hooking-up was not to regulate the speed as Mr. Hutzell seems to think. The way I see it, the only object in hooking up would be to economize on fuel and water -- and in the old days we never thought of economy. All we thought of was getting the job done and getting on to the next job and 'hang' the expense. Most engines had valve gears that could be hooked up, but there wasn't an engineer out of a dozen who ever thought of hooking-up. For one thing the engine was usually under full load and there was no reason to hook up.
The only time I remember hooking-up was when I ran a 12 hp Jumbo engine in Missouri pulling a Keystone well-drill. A drill does not take much power in the belt and I usually hooked up a couple notches, but when moving the old Keystone drill with the trap wagon tied on behind made a full load for the engine to drag over the hills.
Well -- I think I have about run down -- if this escapes the waste-basket it will be a miracle.
I see where some of the writers are in favor of making the ALBUM a monthly. Man! I could stand one every week.