Letters

By Staff

LIKE IT VERY MUCH

I just received a sample copy of your IRON-MEN ALBUM and like it
very much so I am enclosing two dollars for a years subscription. I
have never been in the threshing business but am an ex-farmer and
once owned an Advance 32 in cyl. separator but no engine. I have an
old threshing account book kept by my grandfather in 1845 to 1851
in which he has written the names of those he threshed for and the
number of bushels of grain and the threshing price. It is written
in ink and is perfectly legible after all these years. In that day
and age they used the old horse-power outfits to furnish power to
run the separator. This old book shows that he threshed for farmers
in Jersey Co., Illinois, Greene Co., Pike Co., and Calhoun Co.,
Illinois. His name was George W. Fitzgerald, my mother’s
father.

We have several steam collectors here in Oregon, one at Canby.
Mr. Pike and Mr. Mickelson at Silverton, Oregon, and Mr. Schurman
at Woodland. I usually manage to attend the gatherings which are
very interesting to me.

CLARENCE E. DUGAN 7406 S. E. Woodward Street Portland 6,
Oregon

HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED?

Perhaps I should have sent you this information a little sooner,
and while at it will enclose a check for two dollars for which
renew my subscription to the magazine for another year. I only wish
it came every month. Have you ever considered publishing every
month? I don’t believe you would lack for material and pictures
for all these issues. Anyway, it is a fine magazine, and all three
magazines are serving a need without any overlapping.

Harvey Mikkelson is going to hold his 6th annual Threshing Bee
on his farm near Silverton, Oregon, August 22_23rd, 1959. He has a
lot of interesting things planned from what his friends write me.
Also the annual business meeting of the WFSA will be held in the
Lutheran Church the evening of August 22nd, after a dinner has been
served by the Lutheran Church Ladies Aid; and the election of
officers and other business will be transacted and plans no doubt
made for the meeting in 1960. This will be the first year since the
organization was founded, that it has met away from Colton,
Washington. The plans are now to alternate the annual business
meetings between Oregon and Washington. I expect to be on hand to
help out with the Threshing Bee perhaps run an engine and also take
in the dinner and business meeting. My vacation comes at that time,
so everything works out fine. Due to the distance involved, it is
nearly impossible to attend any of the large fine reunions in the
east and mid-west, and the one at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa particularly
intrigues me. I believe it is the largest event of its kind by far,
in the country. Also, the Roy Kite Show at Bird City, Kansas is a
fine one.

I have been doing some work on P. A. Miller’s 16-48
Aultman-Taylor engine, and hope to have it going before too long.
Also have been trying to get the large single-cylinder gasoline
engine going, and Sunday, got a few pops and loud chugs out of it.
This engine was built by the Samson Iron Works of Stockton,
California in 1890, and is still in good working order. I believe
I’m safe in saying it is the oldest gas engine in the entire
country still in working order. Will send some pictures and a story
on it later. I also expect to go by Glenn O. Nice’s home in
LaGrande; Oregon and help him with his Threshing Bee on August
30th. I’ll really have my fill of steam and threshing this
year, and enjoy every bit of it! The Oregon fellows are a fine
bunch and if it is ever possible, you should try to come out and
visit with them you will never find time better spent and in finer
company. They have a lot of fine engines, in top condition, and are
generous in letting their friends help with their operation and
supervision, and sharing their fun with others. Too bad there
isn’t an event like it in California. Someday, such may be
possible.

Well, the steam is going down, and I must send this along with
some money, and it will be a little later when I will order some of
your fine books and jewelry my wife likes earrings! Good luck to
you in your retirement and many long years of publishing the
IRON-MEN and attending the threshing bees.

JACK K. WILLIAMS 1121 Hilltop Lane Modesto, California

I BEGAN MY CAREER

I began my career of Steam Threshing back in 1912 at Morris,
Manitoba, Canada by firing a straw burner, American Abel, and put
in my last steam threshing run at Alva, Oklahoma in July 1920 with
a good old return flue Huber. Steamed from ‘Gyp Water’
which is in part the cause of gray hair to a steam engineer.

The perfection of gas powered engines soon crowded our good old
steamers out of the field, but nothing can erase the thrill of the
good old threshing days with steam. The Combine, self propelled,
has removed the manual labor problem of wheat harvest to a great
extent; but the thrill and glamour of ‘steam whistles and
‘cook shack’ still liugers in the minds of we Old-Time
Threshers

ALBERT E. HARDON Atwood, Kansas

HOW WELL I RECALL THAT DAY

In looking over my older issues of the ALBUM, I find on page 7
of the May-June 1953 issue, Mr. C. H. Beattie of Muskegon Heights,
Michigan speaks of the boiler explosion on July 31st, in Big
Prairie Toy Shop, Newaygo County, southeast of White Cloud.

How well I recall that day. I was cultivating corn to help hold
the moisture. I was going north with a nice gentle horse when the
terrific blast came through the air. My horse dropped nearly to the
ground, as if he had been shot. I spoke to him quietly and walked
to his side as he stood up. Naturally I went to his head and petted
him. He was quiet but his eyes were glassy and he acted as if
something more could happen suddenly.

I worked until dinner time. I was nearly 24 miles straight south
from where this explosion occured. However, it sounded not more
than a mile away.

It was several days before we heard anything about it for there
were no daily papers in farming districts and no Rural Routes in
those days. There were pictures of the accident shown in the
Threshermen’s Review later I think I still have the copy.

I enjoyed Mr. Ole Frey’s article last summer about the
Advance Thresher plant in the days of years ago. They had some fine
engines in their power plant. I was there several times. I was
shown around by a guide.

It was an interesting sight. The big drive belt on the Corliss
engine was made from the choicest and best parts of hides from a
train load of cattle. Of course a train load of cattle sixty-five
years ago would not company with a train of today. The Advance
Company built good machinery. often wished they had never sold out
I would like to know if any of the readers know anything about a
Port Muron 19 hp. tandem compound engine No. 8526.

GEORGE N. HATCH Sand Lake, Michigan

WAS VERY IMPRESSED

I was very impressed when, upon receiving a copy of the IRON-MEN
ALBUM from Richard H. Steinmetz of Lemoyne, Pa., whom I had asked
to send information of where I could obtain a good reading matter
and history of the old time steam threshing engine. I have always
been an ardent fan of the steam railroad and steam fire engine, and
it was at one of our Badger State Shows that I was asked the
question ‘how about steam threshing engines?’ This was a
challenge to me, and I busied myself with determination scouted
around for history, old time pictures, advertising ads, and post
cards, brochures, etc., pertaining to the steam threshing engine
and have acquired a nice collection, in less than a year. I had
never known that there were so many steam rodeos, threshers
reunions, plowing contests, etc., in our good old United States and
in Great Britian as well.

I have never owned a steam threshing engine. My father did back
in 1915-1917 in Shawano County, Wisconsin, which was used in our
mill yard for sawing logs and running the planer. Dad had a plate
camera at that time, but those plates have been destroyed and
pictures of the steam engine at work in our mill yard are no
more.

I can recall those days when the steam log-hauler was used here
in Northern Wisconsin, hauling from ten to twelve loads of logs at
one pulling.

EDWIN B. GLAUBITZ 4150 N. 51st Street Milwaukee 16,
Wisconsin

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