LETTER


| September/October 1955



26 hp. Tandem Compound Port Huron

26 hp. Tandem Compound Port Huron burning straw and pulling: a 40x62 Case separator.

Ralph Thompson

FILLS A NICHE

Tecumseh, Michigan

Check is enclosed for renewal. I enjoy the ALBUM immensely and am sure you are filling a niche in the lives of a great number of our generation. Am also enclosing two pictures taken in the district about 90 miles east of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. I have operated threshing machines about 24 of my 64 years. And this includes 6 years in Canada where I went following release from service in World War I.

The Rumley pictured is a 36 hp. double simple compound and weighed 63,000 less fuel and water. This engine was, I felt, a wonderful engine. And like the Reeves Cross Compound in both the 32 and 40 hp., all did their share in the development of our own northwest and that of our great neighbor to the north. This Rumley carried a larger boiler however, than the Reeves 40, and pulled the same load. We were at this time pulling 18 disc plows in an extremely heavy gumbo. We made from 18 to 24 miles a day and were 26? days plowing a section. Used from 9 to 12 tanks of water a day. Water was transferred on the move. I am leaning against the drive-wheel and my fireman is standing next to the water tank. He was another Iowa man, Andy Anderson, of Audubon County, who was a wonderful chap to work with and the very best of help. We had just finished cleaning the boiler when this picture was taken in August 1923.

The threshing scene was taken in the fall of 1922, and shows a Port Huron 26 hp. This engine was a tandem compound and burning straw. Pulling a 40x62 Case separator equipped with Garden City extension feeder. Straw made a good fuel and especially flax straw since it had a great deal of the natural oil in it. I went to this engine but one morning before breakfast during the entire fall. This being the duty of the fireman and of course a lot different from an engineman's duty which I had been used to here in Iowa. My fireman on this engine was a young fellow named Tom Pontek, from Poland. He had fired it a number of falls and was a good fireman. This engine was cursed with having the differential torn out of it about every fall. But true to a lot of our clan, I too like to boast a bit, by saying, 'It did not happen during this fall of hard threshing.'

Would like to write more in time about experiences. Have burned straw in the Case also. Have a lot of respect for their engines, the 75 and 80 plow engines. I do feel however, that the 110 was their poorest job. The Rumley Oil Pull, I refer to is the early ones before they got to monkeying with them, it was a great machine among oil tractors in my mind.

Best wishes for you and the ALBUM