GOSSIP FROM THE BACK SHOP

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My Titan tractor which I exhibited at the Township Plowing Match this fall, it was held at Hilborn and Heintz farm, Roseville. I have several other tractors including a cross-mounted Case, Avery, 2 Rumely Oil Pulls, one 20-40 and a 25-40 La Crosse, Farmal
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My nice little 20 inch Case Separator among many other relics at die Colton Tractor Company, Colton, California.
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Here is a picture of the Blaker and Culbert log cutters and sawmill crew. This picture was taken in March, 1923.
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Photo of Water Color by Wilfrid Prevan, as described in Gossip from the Back shop.
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Here is a picture of my Case Tandem Compound Steam Engine and the Nichols & Shepard Thresher. We are putting it in the shed for the winter.
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Here's a rig I used to own years ago. This was taken in 1909. It was a 20 HP Star Engine, No. 6019, and was new in 1901. It was built by the Aultman Co. of Canton, Ohio. The separator was a 36 x 54 Case, new in 1896.

Route 1, Box 1015, Yucaipa, California

Good Family of the Iron-Men Album: Apparently, from reading some
notices in the last edition of The Album, I was a bit surprised to
learn that I have been doing something wrong for a long, long time.
– I have been writing single-spaced. And I can see that is
especially bad with this elite type. But Goodness willing, this old
mill will be swapped off one of these days for one of pica size
type.

And, afore I get on with the next yarn, taken from true life,
mind you, let me ask if any of the readers has seen ‘Wild
Heart’ on TV? This is an English picture starring Jennifer
Jones, which has two splendid shots of a little steam ‘road
locomotive’ hauling a wagon full of passengers off to the
county fair. All polished up and running like a brand new clock.
What a beauty!

The Plumber and the Engineer

While some of our little old kettles may have had enough piping
about them to almost require the engineer to be in possession of a
plumber’s card, there doubtless isn’t an old steam engineer
alive whom anyone would dare to address as a plumber. So it was,
one day when I was trekking home at noon time and happened to spy
good friend and top mechanic Mel coming out of the plumbing shop
some six doors away from his foundry and machine shop. But it was
not only the sigh t of him coming out of the plumber’s shop
which arrested my attention to a full halt, but the queer
contraption which he was carrying all entwined about his strong
shoulders. Actually, he might have passed for a snake charmer with
a large boa draped about his body.

As soon as I was within easy hailing distance I called to him,
‘Say, what on earth are you up to with that iron serpent? You
must have cleaned out all the elbows, nipples and lengths of
four-foot pipe in that solidified spaghetti Joint!’
‘Yes,’ replies Mel ‘and if you didn’t always have
to be running around in tailored clothes I would give you one end
of this animal.’

‘Well, is that zig-zag affair some new invention to frighten
some old kettle out of a hangover?’ I continued. ‘Could
be,’ responded Mel, ‘and if you have a bit of spare time to
come along down to the community still there might be a tip or two
in it for each of us.’ Drink or no, my curiosity was really up
now so I cancelled out my lunch as often happened and climbed
aboard the spring wagon in front of the shop and rode along with
Mel down to the old distillery which depended for its steam on a
large old locomotive boiler which rested on a rock foundation just
outside the tower and alongside the water tank. Hank Walford was
waiting for delivery of mysterious sideshow piece in the back of
our wagon, and greeted us with the pipe wrench in his greasy
hand.

Since Elmer wants to know the make of the engine in the picture
of the bridge wreck on page 26, Sept.-Oct., 1958 issue, I will say
it is a Buffalo-Pitts, although it has no front tank which must
have been taken off.

I still did some threshing this last season which made me 55
seasons. Iuseda McCormick Deering tractor although I still have a
16 HP Russell steam engine, No. 15425. I’ve had 23 steam
engines in all since I first started. I have been an Album
subscriber since the first issue came out and have every number. I
look them over now and then.

At this point 1 could only feigh full knowledge of what was
going on, as the boiler was temporarily closed down and it was
plain to see that modifications were being made to her
thirst-quenching gear. And almost before you could say Smoking Toot
may Mel and Hank had the two-inch serpentine ding fed all hooked up
to the kadooditer and placed against the near water leg of the
boiler. Hank then proceeded to cover up and insulate the entire
side with asbestos clay, and spoke to Mel, ‘You know, in all my
years of tending stationary boilers I have always had the notion
that this sort of feed water heater would be easier on the boiler
and would save on fuel.’ ‘But you must remember that you
can’t get something for nothing, Hank, and if this does what
you think it will do maybe I will have to start putting them on
some of the fussier old ladies that come into the shop for
repairs,’ replied Mel.

Now that was quite a longtime ago, and I have never seen another
water heater like it. But what reminded me of this job was an oil
painting or rather a water color (so I was later told) by the
famous artist Wilfrid Prevan, who happened to pass by the abandoned
still old abandoned still and set up his easel. In order that you
too may appreciate artist Prevan’s interest in the scene, even
to detail of the odd feed water heater which I have been telling
you about, I am enclosing a black-and-white photo copy of the
original coloring for Elmer to put in the Album.

Artist Prevan, born in Philadelphia, now lives at 3441 Cowper
Street, Pale Alto, California. His skilled works have won many
prizes and laurels. Odd how some of these things return to us out
of the years – yes?

Can some reader in England get us a few still shots of the
little road locomotive mentioned in the introduction, from
‘Wild heart’ -?

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment