For the first time in several years the big Avery 40 purchased
by Louis David in Nebraska in 1952 will be in operation at the NTA
Reunion in Montpelier, June 22 to 24. It has recently been bought
by John Edris of Michigan City, Indiana, and Don Schwenk of
Mrs. L. W. Blaker, secretary
As one of your interested readers I note in your copy of
March-April, 1961, on page 32, a picture of a Thermoil single
cylinder oil engine.
If memory serves me right I saw my first and only one of these
engines at Cook, Minnesota in 1917, when a farmer named Mr.
Klintman bought one to grind feed for his stock. Also if I recall
correctly, the Thermoil engine at that time was sold and serviced
by Sears, Roebuck & Co. of Chicago.
O. M. JOHNSON, 1450 Callecita St. San Jose, California
I am an old thresherman, born in Minnesota and went west in my
younger days. I started to cut bands when I was 11 years old when
band feeding was done. At the age of 12, I started to fire straw on
a Minnesota Chief engine called the Giant engine. It was hard work
for me! We started to thresh at sunrise and threshed until after
sunset. I fired that engine for four years and at that time there
was an old chief engineer that could not line up the engine to the
separator so he had me do his job. So about that time I got hold of
the throttle and steering wheel and the next year I got the job to
run that engine.
The next engine I run was a 25 hp Case. After that I was in
Canada. I homesteaded there in 1903 and this country was all
prairie. I was five miles north of the dirt hills and there were
four ranchers in the face of the hills. It was after buffalo times,
but their trails were still here as the grass did not grow in
In 1905 I run the Peerless Steam engine plowing that fall. I run
that outfit and we threshed 149,000 bu. of grain.
I forgot to mention that in 1904 I run a Sawyer-Massey engine
about 7 miles north of my place.
In 1906 I was back running the steam plow for the Chicago
people. When I got home in 1906 my brother was working our
homestead and there was no threshing outfit here to get the
threshing done. The Sawyer-Massey that I ran in 1904 had had a fire
and the engine was burnt down and the back of the separator was
burnt so we bought the outfit and rebuilt it and you can see in the
pictures the first straw pile threshed in 1905 and 1906.
CARL FISHER, Brier crest, Sask., Canada
The ‘Gang’ at Clark’s Trading Post.
The ‘Gang’ (effectively hiding the Porter’s four
driving wheels) are identified from left to right: David Clark, son
of owner; Peare Bear, better known as Peter Thompson; Al Thomas; Ed
Clark, owner of the locomotive; Ed Clark Jr, known as
‘Doc’; Ben Perry Jr., a visiting fireman from Providence,
R. I.; Alan Wiswall, visiting engineer from West Roxbury, Mass.;
and Joe Bub, the wood splitter, track gang, and equipment
The engine, which burns wood, came from Koppers Wood Preserving
Plant in Nashua, New Hampshire. We burn the wood because it is
handy, and is not so hard on the firebox. However a wood fire is
hard on the engineer, who has to continually extinguish himself,
when hat, shirt and pants suddenly come ablaze.
In addition to this little Porter, Ed Clark also has a Climax
Geared Locomotive that runs, a Shay Geared Locomotive which is just
for display purposes, and a Heisler Geared Locomotive that is under
process of rebuilding.
Our aim is to preserve a little bit of railroading as it was
done in the days when the logging railroad was in its glory in this
New Hampshire area. The geared motive power are true logging
engines and their setting here in the mountains is the last
tangible display of railroad logging equipment.
Gossip from the Back Shop
By PRANK J. BURRIS, 623 Columbia Drive, Marietta, Georgia
Almost every day, after noon-day luncheon, I made it a point to
pass by old Mel Hanson’s foundry and machine shop on my way
back to the office in our little town of Prairie Center.
Today was no exception, and while the flue tumbler outside the
building was making a terrific racket like a hundred Indians
beating on drums and kettles, I found Old Mel installing a new
water gauge on Albert Preiser’s Star traction engine.
‘How come,’ I asked, ‘some of these old threshers
want to carry a full glass of water to guard against tank delays,
while others maintain that they want to carry just a peep in the
glass so that the old boiler will steam easier?’
While the old mechanic finished the lower packing gland, he
replied, ‘Well, there is really no point in carrying low water,
even with bad supply, because once the larger body is brought up to
steaming temperature, and it must all be brought up there sooner or
later, the heat supplied from the firebox must be only sufficient
to care for the amount of power used. Can’t destroy energy, you
know. And unless there is an explosion, all evaporation of the
steam is principally at the surface of the water if circulation is
good, due to the added pressure below the surface.’
As I left the shop, I resolved to tell my boys to carry about
five-eights of a glass of water in our old Gal when the fall work
It may be of interest to owners of Prick Steam Engines to learn
that Frick Company has reluctantly written the last chapter and
closed the book on a proud past of Steam Engine History to make way
for a progressive future of larger, remote controlled sawmills, ice
machinery, and allied distribution.
As the fires have been banked by Frick Company for the last
time, we were as usual interested in the welfare of our customers
and friends, and are happy to announce that Mr. William S. Strayer,
Dillsburg, Pa.; Mr. Roy Richwine, Jr., Box 237, Mechanicsburg, Pa.;
William E. Fisher, Dillsburg, Pa.; and John J. Baisch,
Mechanicsburg, Pa., who are all members of the Williams Grove Steam
Engine Association, Williams grove, Pa., have purchased all the
Frick Steam Engine patterns. Upon request they will cast new Frick
parts for Frick owners.
About one year ago the Arthur S. Young Company, Kinzers, Pa.,
purchased the remaining stock of Frick Steam Engine parts from the
Although Frick Company will no longer furnish parts, we feel
good that such capable and interested men as heretofore mentioned
will keep that whistle blowing on the proud Frick Engine.
W. J. ESHLEMAN, Sales Representative, Frick Co. 722 East End
Avenue, Lancaster, Pennsylvania