Letter

By Staff
article image
Hollis Cortetyou
The Steam Locomotive came of age in 1925 when Lima brought out the 153 ton ''Berkshire'' super heater, Welded flues W. P. 300 lbs. Walschaert Valve Gear; it made for a new breed of locomotive power. A bit later a further improvement was the Timpkin roller

Courtesy of LaRoy Caldwell, R. R. 6,

Connersville, Indiana 47331 While looking through some of my
Uncle Luther Caldwell’s old letters, I came upon one he had
written to the American Threshermen in 1927 and apparently had not
mailed. I want to keep the original but have made an exact copy for
you as I think it would make interesting reading for the readers of
the ALBUM.

Rushville, Indiana, March 31, 1927 Dear Uncle Silas,

Editor of The American Threshermen Madison, Wis.

I am writing to you to tell you about some threshing that was
recently done in Rush County. I thought it would make some
interesting reading in the coloms of the Thresherman and that you
would be glad to publish it.

On December 17 & 18 after a spell of dry and freezing
weather Wyett Bell threshed 235 bu. of wheat out of shock on the
Frank Capp farm.

This wheat sold for 65 cts. pr. bu.

Unfavorable weather delayed the threshing again and it was not
resumed until March 3 and 4 when the job was finished making a
total of 657 bu. threshed. The wheat threshed in March sold for 85
cts. pr. bu.

This wheat had stood in the shock from the time it was harvested
until it was threshed.

All of the shock was threshed except the bundles that lay on the
ground. 234 bu. of Oats was also threshed in March out of shock,
but the outside bundles were thrown out.

It is doubtful if threshing of this kind has ever been done
before in Indiana.

I have given you the details. I am sure that you will be able to
write them and get them in better shape for the press then I
have.

Yours respectively,

Luther Caldwell, Rushville, Ind. R.R. 6

Courtesy of Hollis Cortetyou, Higgins, Texas

I wish to commend Mr. Earnest Sevde, Toledo, Iowa, May 1966
Album, on his narrative concerning the Santa Fe Steam Locomotive
No. 2913 now on display at Ft. Madison, Iowa. His is a correct
report of this calss of Santa Fe power before the diesel displaced
them. Higgins is on the Santa Fe Main line, Chicago to Los Angeles,
and the 5000 and 2900 class of engines used to blast through here
with 100 to 150 cars at 60 to 85 m.p.h. over 136 lb. welded rail.
This photo is a true picture of the first of the 5000 class of
locomotives now on display near Santa Fe Depot at Amarillo, Texas.
Vance Stickley (retired fireman) told me he was firing the 5000 and
watched its speedometer register a million miles. The company owned
36 of this class, 30 of the 2900 class, both Baldwin built. These
locomotives were the company’s last order for steamers. They
were tireless brutes equipped with super heaters, W. P. 315 lbs and
welded flues. They ran without change the full length of the
system, without change other than engine crews. These were all
simple engines, and as Mr. Sevde states, replaced all Mallet
Compounds. At the turn of the century the compound locomotive was
thought to be the ‘wave of the future’ for locomotive
practice but that proved to be just a bad dream. I have been a
subscriber to ‘Railroad Magazine’ since 1906 and they
reported in the early 1920’s but two, short lines had several
compounds in service.

* W. P. (Working Pressure).

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