LETTER


| January/February 1963



Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Ritzman

Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Ritzman, Enola, Pa., operating the scale Advance steam engine and Case threshing machine built and owned by N. B. Nelson.

Garnet R. Flack

Here is a snapshot of my 21-75 Baker Uniflow engine, No. 1570, which I bought from A. D. Baker Co. and also a 33-56 Separator in 1920. This outfit I used 10 seasons and then traded the engine for a 28-50 Hart-Parr tractor which I still own and still in good running condition. From there on I didn't know where my 21-75 Baker was for 30 years. Finally Mr. Jones from Kentucky picked it up somewhere and he wrote to the company to find out who the original owner was. So the company wrote telling me where my engine was. He then sold it to Jack Tucker of Georgetown, Kentucky, so last fall my son, Raymond, went there and bought it back. It still is in good shape, nicely painted with new cab, tanks in good shape with new iron and coal bunkers.

I used this engine for other odd jobs; running the water works here while the oil engine was broke down. Also run air compressors and jetted water and sand for Penn Ry Co. building a bridge in the winter time. We run concrete for the bridge when it was below zero. They used high powered cement and in a couple of hours you could walk on the concrete. The photo I am sending you was taken in 1921 threshing out of the barn. From 1910 until 1920 I ran a 18 hp Counter flow Baker with a 30-50 Separator.

During the 50 years that I threshed I was lucky for I never burned down any buildings but did have some fires started but always managed to get them out. Had some close calls crossing bridges but never broke down. Most of the bridges there had wood stringers and plank. I started to thresh in 1906, then 18 years old, and I always liked to be around machinery. Had a good territory to work in; good farming community. It will soon be time for the reunions which I always enjoy.

In the picture I am standing second from left.

LOUIS H. FORK, RFD 2, Gibsonburg, Ohio

In regard to your cover picture on July-August, 1959 issue please get hold of your hat it is none other than a J.I. Case, built about 1870 and advertised under the caption 'They Live Off The Land.' My brother and I have been comparing this picture point by point with a catalog reprint. This engine has a peculiar feature not clear on the cover; the fire door is just ahead of the left driver and you fired it from that side. It must have had a baffle so the boiler was rather like a return flue, and they claimed you could fire it with about anything from chicken feathers up.