Farm Collector


By Staff

Just received the September-October issue and on page 33 saw an
interesting picture of a Wabash locomotive. It brought back
memories for I know quite a lot about what happened. My family
lived near the railroad crossing and I said to my Mother that the
engine of the train coming sounded like it had a heavy load. I no
more than said it when there was a flash of fire and pieces of
metal came through the side of our house. This was about 7
o’clock at night and very dark January 1937. My father and I
were the first ones on the scene but we couldn’t see much being
it was so dark. It wasn’t until the next morning we could see
what really happened. The loco had blown up at our crossing, the
boiler had left the chassis and went through the air for about 500
feet down the track where the picture was taken. The railroad
tracks were torn up and it was some time before the railroad could
get one track open to traffic. Boiler flues were sticking in the
ground yards from the track and pieces of the grates were found a
block from where the engine blew. We found five or six hundred
pounds of pieces in our yard. Our house was covered with mud and
grass, some windows were broken but no one was hurt.

My Dad has passed away but the rest of the family are living in
Adrian. I live here in Blissfield and I enjoy your Magazine very

H. H. ESTES, Jr., Blissfield, Michigan

The Tustin Steam-up

Ashville, Ohio-October 21st was the day set aside by the
Tustins’ to entertain some of their friends at their annual
steam-up. It was a nice day but with a chilly wind that made the
ladies scamper to the bunk-house where refreshments were being
served by the Tustin ladies.

Some of the boys were exercising the 19 HP Frick, the 16 HP
Russell and the 20 HP Minneapolis and also trying out the Baker
fan. The Peerless portable and the Minneapolis separator did a
pretty good job of threshing but it would have been very hard to
build a nice straw stack on such a windy day.

Stanley Duhl, of Columbus, brought his little model traction
engine, as well as Charles C. Johnson, of Springfield, who had his
3′ scale Case traction engine hooked to a little Baker fan.

Bill Cleveland and W. L. Ryan, both of Columbus, had their
3/4′ scale locomotives fired up to haul the youngsters

Everybody attending the show agreed that the Tustin’s were
perfect hosts, by name, J. Russell, Paul, Lewis, Ira and Billy.
Over a hundred guests were present, most of whom were members of
the Miami Valley Steam Threshers Association.

It seems that sometimes such festive occasions are followed by a
note of sadness. Yours truly had just finished writing the above
article when he was informed of the death of J. Russell Tustin of a
heart attack on October 24th, just three days after the Tustin
steam-up. He had worked hard for several days previous to the show
and was busy putting the engines away for the winter- when he was

His brother, George Tustin, was also taken on May 19, 1961 and
all who knew them feel very deeply the loss of these two fine

They were both skilled engineers and enthusiastic participants
in steam shows in this area.

L. H. LITTLE, Urbana, Ohio


Mr. R. W. Creek, Batavia, Iowa said he read this in the American
Thresherman of years ago. An engineer asked this question,
‘What shall I do about a knock in my engine? When I stand in
front it sounds as though it was in the smoke box and when I stand
in the rear it sounds as though it was in the tool box.’

I suppose the man is dead now but would you know where it

Mr. Creek quoted this one from the same source.

A farmer writes ‘I left my plow in the ground all winter.
How can I get it clean?’

The answer ‘Get a wagon box of sand paper and a barrel of
elbo grease and next Fall take it out of the ground and grease

Mr. Jesse H. Soemaker, R D No. 1, Kankakee, Ill. has this to say
in praise of interest the Keck Gonnerman people had in their
customers – – Mr. Keck instructed his night watchman to sell to any
of his customers, anything any hour of the night when they came for
repairs. ‘Nothing was too much to do for any customer’.


In South Dakota, we are, this year celebrating 100 years of
Statehood. This has brought to light a lot of antique machinery. I
had the pleasure of exhibiting at our town of Wilmot an 1898
Reeves, 16 hp Cross-compound Engine and an 33 x 56 Reeves
Separator, also purchased in 1898. It had been in shed since 1934
and was in perfect condition. This separator came equipped with
hand-feeder and straw-carrier, but was changed as a Perfection
Feeder and a Farmers Friend Blower were put on about 1910.

Also at another Event at Fort Sisseton, S. D., saw something
very unusual a steam Merry-Go-Round. The engine was a 2 cylinder
‘Marshall Thomson’. It had been in a shed at Lemon, S.D.,
since 1917 and was in perfect condition.

The thing that ‘hurts’ in the old engine business is to
see 15 or 20 old engines put on show none reconditioned and only a
few in shape to run-the rest just rusting away. It seems to me that
anyone owning an old engine should be required to recondition

Well the steam is way down, belts are slipping and the flues are
full of soot so finis.

ALEC McDONALD, Wilmot, South Dakota


I am sending you a little script about an old friend of mine.
The last verse is borrowed from a real poet. I take no credit for
it, although I could not improve upon it if I wanted to.

I still love to read your Magazine. I have read every issue
since its inception. Every issue is in our files. That is what we
think of your Magazine. Long may it live.



  • Published on Jan 1, 1962
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