A few days ago I wrote you that the Minneapolis ?. ?. Co., Hopkins, Minnesota, built a steam turbine traction engine. I was misinformed Hans J. Anderson of Minneapolis corrected me through correspondence. I am sorry I was misinformed by a man who said he worked at the plant in 1905.
Has any reader ever heard of a Hackney Auto Plow? It had the three plows underneath.
I have a Bryan steam tractor and am interested in a Rumely engine that we hope to get in running order. I have run an advertisement in the ALBUM twice.
J. LANFORD CARLSON, Utica, South Dakota
Enclosed is a picture of one of the very few really and truly Steam Men still in the game. His Enterprise mill and Frick 9?x10 engine is no hobby but a real sawmill outfit operated for profit. He was raised with a steam engine and has a love for steam engines that comes only from a thorough knowledge of all their little idiosyncrasies gained from a life of close association. His name is Clarence Samuel (Cad) Broomhall.
When I first made the acquaintance of Mr. Broomhall he was sawing on a farm next to ours with a 20 hp. Griffith & Wedge. This engine has long since gone the way of most old machinery but as the poets say, 'Memories still linger on'. I doubt very much whether there is now such an engine in existence. The main shaft crossed the smoke box in front of the stack. The engine was mounted vertically with the cylinder near the front axle. The boiler was skid-mounted and had to be loaded on a boiler wagon to be moved; no light job! It was my joy, years later, to live with Cad in a lumber camp and fire this old relic. That was long ago.
Although a sawyer by right of birth, Mr. Broomhall never missed a threshing season until the gas engine took the place of steam. He had a 16 hp. Nichols & Shepard and a 28' Huber with a plain stacker. These too, have followed the old Griffith & Wedge to the scrap pile years ago. The Nichols & Shepard was the oldest model engine I have ever seen in use. The cylinder was rear with four- bar guides; had two eccentrics and a link; the governor was mounted on the steam dome; the boiler was fed by a cross head pump. How well I remember the rhythmical 'clink, clink, clink' of the check valve when that pump was working. The very thought brings back memories of the good days and I can close my eyes yet and see Cad, a much younger man than now, sitting on the coal box of the old Nichols & Shepard, a twinkle in his blue eyes and yes, hear the soft easy voice as he talks on the topic we both love, a STEAM ENGINE.
E. P. CROSSEN, Antrim, Ohio
Sometime ago I saw where a fellow had said the 'Frick was the only engine you could belt both ways.' Well I beg to differ with this gentleman. The old Jumbo or Belleville would work either way as I have run them in the belt both ways.
Was just thinking of some of my experiences among the old boys when I was a trouble shooter and mechanic for the John M. Brant Co., at Bushnell, Illinois. One day I was sent to see what was wrong with a 20hp Advance Rumley, which by the way was a mighty good engine. The owner said, 'The Illinois River running in the boiler wouldn't keep it full.' I crawled up on the boiler, pulled off the lid to the steam chest and proceeded to set the valve, and this was a very warm job in threshing season with steam up to 150 pounds. I got the valve set and started up but no go. It had a keen bark on one end, blow on the other. I was about bluffed when I happened to look under the steam chest where I found the guy had piped the drain from the chest to the cylinder cock drain pipe. As you know they only have one 3 way cock so the forward end of the cylinder was getting live steam all the time and that was where I had gotten the blow. After I fixed it he said, 'It was funny a company would put an engine out that way.' I told him 'He was a very cheerful liar as I had seen many of them and they were not piped that way.'
Another time I was sent to see what was the trouble with a 20 Rumley. The fellow had started out with it the day before from the shop. In fact it was I who had started him out and it was winter time and down to zero, He got a few miles that day and next morning called in for help saying, 'Engine would only turn over a few revolutions.' I took a helper and went out and found the engine would turn over two or three times then bounce reverse. I could not quite get it when I laid my hand on the heater alongside the boiler, you know the barrel was jacketed and it had stood all night to the wind. The heater was cold, so we hooked a pipe to the overflow pipe on the injector and turned on the steam. In a few minutes I said to my buddy, 'Open her up' and you should have seen the ice and water shoot out the smokestack. The only trouble was the heater had frozen up during the night, but that was the way it went.
If this misses the wastebasket, I will write a few more later on.
LE ROY PILLING, 611 D. Ave., National City, California
I started running steam engines in the fall of 1910, operating a 16hp. Return Flue Avery engine. In 1917 we bought a 20hp. Stevens which I operated through 1925 and the following years threshed with gas tractors. In 1933 and 1934 I ran a 20hp. Aultman Taylor steam engine and finishing up in 1942 with a Twin City, 27-44 tractor and Case 36-52 machine also a 25-50 Aultman and Taylor gas tractor and 30-60 Avery machine.
G. GRTHUR FJONE, 4137 19 Avenue S. Minneapolis 7, Minnesota