Letters

By Staff

BOYD A. WOODARD

This is a letter to tell you of the passing of my father, Mr.
Boyd A. Woodard, Jasper, Michigan, born Jan. 30, 1889, and passed
away Oct. 17, 1960. He spent his entire life in that vicinity and
engaged in threshing, sawing lumber, and other jobs done with steam
for many years. He owned 5 steam outfits and one tractor rig in his
years at this work. He taught me at the age of 12 years to operate
a 24 h.p. Greyhound Engine and I shall always be grateful for this
knowledge.

He made many friends and was very fond of steam as a source of
power. He had 2 Port Hurons, a Nichols & Shepard, Greyhound and
an Aultman Taylor. These last ten years he and I were always on the
lookout for this type of equipment our last find was a 25-50 Baker
Tractor. The tractor was originally bought by Everett Bradish of
Adrian, Michigan, and later sold to Mr. Hurb Munger near Tipton,
Michigan. We have restored it and only wish Dad could have seen it
before he passed away. I got this for my son, David Woodard, as he
is interested in my steam engine and other equipment.

By his son, Thomas J. Woodard, secy, Richland County, Steam
Threshers Association, R.D. 3, Bellville, Ohio

FROM A READER –

I am sending you an old picture of a steam engine that probably
will never have steam in its cylinder again.

Forty years ago many engines of this type were used on the rice
farms in Arkansas for pumping water. Rice is grown and harvested in
very much the same way as wheat except that it is necessary to keep
about five inches of water on it during the growing season. On some
farms the steam traction engines that pulled the threshers were
also used to pump the water but generally a stationary power plant
was installed. The engines used ranged from 10×10 to 12 x14 inch in
size with boilers from 30 to 50 horsepower nominal rating. Oil and
Diesel engines replaced steam a good many years ago but now most of
the pumps are driven by electricity supplied by the public power
companies.

When the steam engines were discarded most of them found a place
in either sawmills or stave mills. The old engine in the picture
pulled my sawmill for many years before being replaced by a larger
one. It was built by the Enterprise Company, Columbiana, Ohio. It
has an 11×13 inch cylinder, automatic valve gear, inertia governor
and piston valve. An engine with this kind of valve and governor is
supposed to use about 30% less steam than one with a plain valve
and throttling governor. I doubt that there would be that much
saving in all cases but the Enterprise engines performed
wonderfully well and when properly adjusted were very economical
with fuel and water. I now use a Skinner steam engine in my
sawmill. It is of the same type as the Enterprise but somewhat
improved. The Skinner has enclosed crankcase with pressure feed
oiling system and oil filter. The Skinner Engine Co., Erie,
Pennsylvania, still builds steam engines and will furnish repairs
for Skinner engines that are in use. There are quite a few steam
engines in use driving sawmills and planning mills in this part of
the country. Most all the readers of the Album will agree that
steam is hard to beat for power, and in woodworking mills fuel is
usually free, so many people don’t like to buy fuel or
electricity and then spend more money to burn or haul refuse.

I also have a good 50 H Case to play with. When any steam engine
fans come through I’m always glad to have them come by to see
my engines.

CARL ERWIN, 219 N. Allen St., Harrison, Ark.

– FROM THE WEST

I received the Jan.-Feb. issue of Iron Men Album and enjoy it
very much, as it has items in it of places around the country I
used to know in days when I was younger.

I don’t see much about the Western Steam Fiends in the Album
(to which I belong). We have a very fine organization and a
membership of around 300.

We have many good times at our meetings and banquets as well as
at ‘Steam-Up’ and threshing days. There are a lot of
Russell, Advance, Case, Gaar-Scott, Autman-Taylors around here as
well as an upright Westinghouse. There may be more that I
haven’t run across yet.

Our last meeting was on Feb. 20. In the afternoon we met at
Harvey Mikkelsons, had a couple of engines under steam to play with
and a good many of the local boys were there.

Some of us took a ride up to Jeff Richardson’s at Scott
Mills, it was much enjoyed especially by our good friend, Roy
Campbell of STEAM ENGINES.

We had a banquet in the evening at the Golden Pheasant in Salem,
where movies were shown of our activities along with WHEN STEAM WAS
KING. These were much enjoyed by all.

I have been through Pennsylvania where the Rough & Tumble
hold their meetings; but that was in the late 20’s or early
30’s. It sure is beautiful country anytime of the year.

I was born and raised in southwestern New York, moved to
southern California the spring of 1932, stayed there until the
spring of 1946 when I moved to Coos Bay, Oregon. Last fall I moved
to Albany.

I am looking forward to having a lot of fun this coming summer
with the W.S.F.A. boys who have engines. I have a 12hp. Advance,
No. 2032, that I am restoring as fast as I can find parts for it. I
don’t want to put new stuff on it if I can possibly help it. Am
told it was built in 1894. Also have an old Penn Separator. The
last patent dates I can find on it are 1889. I have been told it
came around the ‘Horn ‘ by boat. All the iron is in pretty
good condition but have had to put on some new wood, with a little
bracing. It would still thresh again. A lot of the striping and
decorations are still on it and I want to leave it that way, as
near original as possible.

Also have a Deering Binder that is over 50 years old and am
going to restore it this summer.

Would like to hear from someone that has, or knows of the S. W.
Wood engines, also of the old Benedict engines. The Wood engines
were made at Clyde, New York.

There used to be a few Westing-house Separators and engines
around these parts. There are none of those around here that I
know.

Well, I guess I had better pull the plug for this time, hoping
to hear from some of the steam minded boys back there.

G. F. KYLER, 1725 Ferry St., Albany, Oregon

LETTER

I received my IMA yesterday and in looking it over, I spotted
the Minnesota Giant Engine and it brought back memories. Back at
the turn of the century, I was a small boy and my father took me to
live in the Pryor Mountains in Montana.

At a sawmill where we worked – the mill was powered by a
Minnesota Giant like the one in the picture, page 11 of the ALBUM.
I well remember that old engine sawing frozen fir timber. You could
hear it bark all over the place. They had taken the wheels off and
set it down onto big logs for a base. I don’t know how old it
was, but it was a chain-drive -I know that.

In 1906 they retired the old engine and I used to play with it.
I found an old monkey wrench and I used to take parts off and put
them back on again. I was some engineman! Then I remember it had a
boiler feed pump that had a flywheel and a scotch yoke instead of a
cross-head. I always wanted to see that pump run.

So, I guess you could say it was my first engine and that
picture was worth a lot to me. I’ve run many engines since
then, but none of them meant as much as that old one that I spent
many happy hours all alone working on — as only a boy can.

Well, thanks a lot for the Album and the picture.

D. H. TORREYSON, Whitsett, North Carolina

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