Farm Collector

Letters

By Staff

I WAS MISINFORMED

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

NO HOBBY, BUT A REAL OUTFIT

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

I BEG TO DIFFER

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

FROM G. GRTHUR FJONE

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

  • Published on Mar 1, 1957
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