A very much belated ‘THANK YOU’ for the paragraph you
inserted in the Album from my renewal letter of Dec. 1957, that
came through in the March-April 1958 issue, page 28, center column
captioned TRACTION DRILLER.
One of your subscribers, Mr. Allen Blinn, of Kittanning, Pa.
responded immediately. It took from then to spring of 1961 until I
had a ‘ ‘KEYSTONE’ traction drilling machine STEAM
POWERED on my premises. Thanks again.
I’m going to try and restore this machine so that I may
operate it this coming season. When restored I’ll send you
photos of before and after.
From what I can ascertain steam powered drills are about as
scarce as hen’s teeth, very rare indeed. You might see it some
time at some steam show. I attend Old Time Threshers and Saw Mill
Operators Show north of Ft. Wayne, Ind. I live about 40 miles south
of that show place.
THEO. YODER, Linn Grove, Indiana
I am only 43 years old and the only man left in town here that
handles any steam power. I am an engine watchman for the Canadian
National Railway, watching oil burner that ties up here twice a
week. I was born here and lived on the farm until 1951. My folks
still farm on the old place which they homesteaded 57 years ago.
They still do all their crop with a 55 Massey and 32 inch
Minneapolis Thresher. You can say that it is about the only big rig
left around here that is still in use. I’m afraid they will
have to give it up, since teams and hired help are almost
impossible to get, unless a miracle happens. People went combine
crazy around here. No more pleasure and romance during the
threshing season now since there is diesel railroading.
I never missed a threshing season for 25 years. The only big
outfit I worked on was a 30-60 Oil Pull Rumely until about 1930.
That was really something. After that it was all small gas
There are still a lot of old steam engines and threshers around
that the junk man missed out on. I found a couple of 110 Case
Engines and wooden Separators that I think I can pick up for next
to nothing. If all goes well I’ll startup a little one man
Phillip Lemiski, Box 693, Vigreville, Alberta, Canada
Enclosed you will find information about the high wheeler Port
Huron engine owned by Wickie Jones.
The construction record of this engine that is on file at Port
Huron shows this was serial No. 6359 and built in 1910. After
leaving the testing room, it was delivered to the painters at 11:30
AM Feb. 25, 1910. The record shows the boiler carried 190 lbs. W.P.
and it delivered 80 hp. at normal speed.
This engine was equipped with two throttles, the front one to be
used in hill climbing. The boiler was jacketed and the engine had a
canopy top. It was a Woolf compound double engine with upside down
Grime reverse gear. I was told at Port Huron that the heavy 24′
wide, 90′ high drive wheels were cast in another city, as they
were too large for the foundry at the engine factory.
This engine was sold and shipped to the Fulton Fire Brick Co. at
Fulton, Missouri on March 8, 1910. They used it to pull a number of
heavy duty wagons loaded with fire clay from the clay pit to the
kilnsa distance of about a mile. Just how many years it was used
there I do not know, but I saw it at the Port Huron factory about
It was rebuilt and the cast iron rims of the high wheels were
drilled and 26 2-7/8′ flat lugs bolted on each wheel
The new rebuilt number was B5303 and the test house foreman was
Chas. Gardner who was an employee of the thresher factory many
years. The rebuilt construction record shows it was shipped to
Moore Bros, of near Lexington, Ky. on Feb. 22, 1927.
LEROY W. BLAKER, Alvordton, Ohio