FROM HARLAND LOYD
Please find check enclosed for renewal. I started my career with
steam when 10 years old, helping my father Henry Loyd of St.
Francis, Kansas, plow sod. He was using a 20 hp. Reeves cross
compound pulling 12 disc plows. He also used this engine to thresh,
pulling a 36-56 Red River Special separator. Father sold this
outfit and purchased a Gaar Scott 25 hp. simple and an Avery 36-60
Yellow Fellow separator and this was really a nice outfit. It would
certainly handle the grain.
Later on, in 1920, I went into the threshing business for
myself. My outfit consisted of a 20 hp. Huber engine and 36×58
separator. I operated this outfit for 6 years and threshed much
wheat, barley and oats. Our best run was in 1925 when we threshed
42,000 bushels in the first 20 days we were out. Then it started
raining & we were slowed down by everything being so wet. On
the last of the run I sold the outfit. Next year I used a second
hand Rumley 28-48 separator pulled by a 20-40 Allis Chalmers
tractor. Nothing quite so nice as the old steamer which I like to
watch doing her stuff.
HARLAND LOYD, St. Francis, Kansas
MR. RITZMAN MAY THINK BUT
Please find enclosed $2.00 for another year-also a couple of
pictures. This Port Huron I owned in 1925 and did about everything
with it. It was a good engine. So easy to handle and keep up. Mr.
Ritzman may think the crank is too close center for comfort, but he
must remember it is a Port Huron.
You will also find a picture of my Case 30.
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Ritzman at Montpelier with Mr.
Litten of Newark, Ohio.
I have owned engines since 1912 and find it hard to give them
up. At present I am running an engine at Floyd Lumber Company of
Quaker City, Ohio, and have been there for eight years.
Congratulations for your work in getting up such a good
O. J. BORTON, Box 27, Barnesville, Ohio
A GOOD WORD FOR US-
Enclosed find check for $2.00 No. K4572, for new subscription
for Mr. E. L. Cawl field, Ash Grove, Missouri. If possible start
his subscription with Jan.-Feb., 1956 issue. If not start with
March-April, 1956. I have been, trying to get his subscription for
a year and I finally landed him. He is a past threshing machine
operator and now a well driller. I am sorry to learn Mr. Andrew J.
Baker of Ash Grove, could not see his way clear to pay his renewal.
His health is failing quite a lot is 82 years old and is really a
wood-worker more than a steam engine man. He has a lumber saw mill
with a poor make-shift power. Sold his 20 hp. Rumely steam traction
engine 2 years ago and has had trouble with the mule power internal
combustion engines. He simply sold his best friend and will soon
have to cease due to motive power no good. Nothing like the good
old steam engine.
I wish to compliment all of you on the IRON-MEN ALBUM Magazine.
This is my third compliment for you in the past three years. Keep
up the good work as you have. Do not adhere to so many suggesting
so many things to change the magazine. Keep it as it is. Your
entire line-up is perfect. You know there are a lot of people
now-a-days trying to run everything they can. So treat them nice as
you always do. And your price is really about $1.00 under price for
the quality you have. I take two American magazines on the steam
engine line. One is $6.50 a year (a monthly), another $5.00 a year
(also monthly), and they do not in any way compare with the IRON
MEN ALBUM magazine and this statement is from experience. I also
subscribe to The Model Engineer, published by Percival Marshall
& Co., Ltd., 19-20 Noel St., London, W. I. England. It is a
weekly now $8.50 a pear, 70 pages 7’x9′ well printed good
pictures. ‘The Magazine for the Mechanically Minded’, each
issue always has some steam engine interesting write-ups. They
dwell quite a lot on the Steam Traction Engine. I first received
the magazine July 15, 1902, then The Model Engineer and Amateur
Electrician, weekly at $3.00 per year. This magazine was
established in 1898. Received in the U. S. via regular mail and
never varies more than three days. I became acquainted with the
British in World War I. I served with Co. G, 140th Infantry 35th
Division, 70th Brigade. After the Armistice on Dec. 26, 1918, our
outfit proceeded to Coblenz, Germany, on the Rhine River. I had
experience with American, British, Belgium, French, German steam
engines and boilers. Today and always, they have been a great hobby
with the British. On mechanical equipment, especially the steam
engine, and opposite to most Americans, they do the best first
class work and use best materials with the result that they get a
perfect job, thoroughly finished. Nothing slighted, in fact all the
European people do good work i. e., the skilled workmen.
Is it possible for you to use a photo graph size 8’xlO’,
a real good photo of a 6 hp. Nichols & Shepard steam traction
engine and a St. Louis Well Drill. A nice outfit. Also another
panoramic photograph size 8’x36′, is a fine picture of a
real threshing scene with a Minneapolis threshing rig back in the
good old threshing days. In fact kindly advise me the best size
photos to send you, so I will know in the future. Thanks.
I will keep my subscription to the IRON-MEN ALBUM Magazine as
long as I can read and see, and as long as it is printed. No doubt
I will leave first. Am 77 years young. I hope to reach the 100
mark. My good old mother passed away two years ago, at 97 years, 3
months and 1 day. A heart ailment passed away without any suffering
whatsoever. Got so she couldn’t get her breath. In 15 minutes
all was over.
I have had considerable experience with machinery made in
Pennsylvania and all has been the best.
I am a Life member of the National Rifle Association of America,
and 38 years an annual member in the Veterans of Foreign Wars of
the U. P.
Will keep on the alert for more prospects for subscribers to
T.I.M.A.M. With best wishes, I am
CHARLES L. LEEPER, Leeper Machine Company P. O. Lock Box 147 Ash
HOLBROOK THE INTERESTING WRITER
F. Hal Higgins of Walnut Bottom, California, gives us some light
on Mr. Holbrook, who is the author of ‘Holy Old Mackinaw’
and ‘Machines of Plenty’ with which many of you readers are
familiar. Mr. Holbrook has written many books but these two to our
Hobby Craft are quite familiar.
Thanks, Hal. ‘Had a letter from a New York publisher the
other day that indicates ‘Holy Old Mackinaw’ Holbrook is at
it again. This publisher says they are to bring out a new kid
picture book on agriculture and wanted to see some of my old
pictures. Recalling a couple of meetings and one dinner with Mr.
and Mrs. Holbrook in his editorial days on the 4-L Lumber News at
Portland, back about 1928 and ’29, I told them to have Holbrook
drop in and pick out what he needed to give his book the kid-appeal
when it gets out on the stands. I haven’t seen him for 25
years, I guess, and would like to sit down and listen to his tales
of ‘Johnny Ink slinger and other fabulous men who worked around
the big timber. Mrs. Holbrook was a famous actress in her younger
days. I enjoyed seeing her star in a play put on in Portland by
local talent one time when I was up in the Northwest for a non-stop
tractor run I was helping Oregon State College put on to help
promote a new Agriculture Engineering building for that
THEY’RE ALL GOOD, IF
I sure like the IRON-MEN ALBUM. I have taken all my copies and
bound them into one book which keeps them nice. It looks like a big
book with my name printed on the front cover. I read and re-read
them every so often. Wish it came oftener. I am enclosing a picture
of a 20 hp. Minneapolis straw burner which I fired in Minneapolis
in 1929. I sure liked to fire with straw as it is easy and it is
fun. I have fired with straw, wood and coal but not oil. I have run
a good many different engines, in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North
Dakota. My choice is the good old Advance.
I had four; two 16 hp., one 21 compound, one 20 A. R. old style,
and a 12 hp. Star. They are all good if used right, but we have our
choice. Some like one, others like another and that is the way it
I like to see threshing scenes. They are so interesting keep
Wishing you and yours the best of success.
O. W. BOWEN, Box 143, Woodman, Wisconsin
IT IS THE BEST
This is the third year I have subscribed to your ALBUM. It
isn’t one of the best, IT IS THE BEST. I have seen others but
this tops them all. I am a city slicker who never saw a traction
engine until a few years ago. I happened to get a brother-in-law
that was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth, instead, it was
a pop valve and he was raised on valve oil. Since I have been going
around with him, (W. A. Laird) and a man by name of Morgan Hill, I
have learned steam power is the greatest. One thing is sure if you
want to learn about steam, Morgan Hill’s is the place to do it.
Often on Sunday afternoons we will fire up one of his engines and
play with it. In bad weather we just sit about the fire in his shop
and listen to the stories of the threshing days. Other things that
are discussed are articles that have appeared in past ALBUMS.
Keep up the good work, I’ll be waiting for the next ALBUM to
HERMAN E. CARNEGER, 295 Buffalo St., Conneaut, Ohio
NEVER TIRE OF READING IT
I certainly do enjoy the ALBUM and am enclosing my check to
renew for another year. I never tire of reading it over and over
I was born on a farm in 1901, thirty five miles south of Kansas
City, Mo., and have lived and owned a farm ever since. Surely no
one could have been permitted to live in a better time. Since I can
first remember, I have always worshipped the old Steam Engine and
no power since their passing has ever come to equal them. I do hope
that some day they will return to their own with some sort of
atomic reactor. I think it is quite possible. I have a 22-66 Frick
which I am putting into top condition.
FLOYD ATKINSON, Harrisonville, Missouri
REVIVING THE IRON – MEN
J. F. PERCIVAL, Box 822, Watertown, South Dakota
I have been a subscriber and reader of the IRON-MEN ALBUM for
the past two years. I have every copy carefully filed away with
Floyd Clymer’s old steam engine book, and I call this my second
The Old Testament tells of what took place before our
Savior’s birth the ALBUM tells us all that took place before
the birth of the Gas Tractor and the Combine Harvester.
The story of Boaz and Ruth the Gleaner is told in Holy Writ and
the ALBUM tells about the grain separator with the ‘Ruth’
self feeder. The Bible speaks of separating the chaff from the
wheat. The ALBUM tells how our friends did, it with their favorite
make of threshing machines. The resurrection of the old steam
engines are told by friends of the old days in the ALBUM. These old
engines would like to join in singing, ‘We Once Was Lost, But
Now We Are Saved.’
A 20 hp. gasoline engine powering alfalfa seed thresher in Lake
Botton area of the San Joaquin west side. This was the in between
link. Between steam and gasoline tractors. It replaced a steam
Enright built in San Jose and was itself replaced by a Best
gasoline tractor about 1910. Photo from Lloyd Burr, whose
grandfather operated the old steam Enright in custom threshing of
The Bible says, ‘Come, let us reason together’, and the
ALBUM says, come, all of you to the Thresher Reunions, all over the
country ‘Cost to cost.’ Jesus said, ‘Suffer the little
children to come unto me’. The ALBUM says, take all the family
to the Reunions, Babies, Kids, Teenagers, Mom, Pop, Grandma,
Grandpa, everyone from one to a hundred and one.
I love the pictures in the ALBUM An old engine, a grizzled old
man and a group of children like the one on pages 16 and 23 of the
January-February 1956 issue. I like the Ladies Page, Jan.-Feb.,
1956 and hope we get more of the ladies to tell of their nice
bobbies. I like the pictures of Model engines with an old engineer
or a nice boy looking over their work with pride and thinking
‘I did it all myself’, and it runs.
A small advertisement in the ALBUM will help you find some
things you need for your hobby, or engine. It could help you sell
the parts you do not need. It sure is a great little magazine and
as long as I live I will be a subscriber.
More power to the ALBUM and the steam organizations everywhere.
May they grow and grow and grow. May their Faith, Loyalty and
Pressure never get low.
TRIP TO THE WAILING WALL
Have just received my May ’54 copy of the ALBUM. My trip to
the wailing wall seems to have resulted in my stepping on
somebody’s toes or bawling on his shirt front, to wit: Mr. Hal
Higgins of Walnut Creek, California.
Dear Mr. Higgins;
Gathering from your seeming slight undertone of contempt that my
mention of Matteson brought about, I gather he must have been an
in-law or relative back a generation or so. People have felt that
way about them for one reason or another. I take it for granted
that since I have been classed with a few of the Holt Historians, I
mention a couple more names to mull over, namely; M. L. Campbell of
the U. S. Patent Office and Mr. F. C. Beach, late editor of the
Scientific American, from whose lists I took the names and dates.
These lists found in the Encyclopedia Americana Volume 15; pages
281 to 285 inclusive.
Let’s look back at a few of these dates. Sam Lane of Maine
1828 thresher, Andrew Meikle of England 1788. I also found since
Hohlfeld of Germany, who also invented a thresher in 1756,
reference Howe’s Eminent Mechanics copyright of 1846 page 324.
Your history of the combine development makes for some fast getting
around for that day and age. The reciprocating saw tooth cutter
within double guard fingers for reapers was invented by Obed Hussey
in 1833. Had anyone built a combine in the late 1820’s or early
thirties, how would he have cut the standing grain? Considering the
communications and news coverage of that period, I can hardly
comprehend how Lane in Maine or any one in Illinois or Tennessee,
have applied this first necessary part of a combine to their
machines on such a short period of time as usage or adoptions of
new ideas were not so fast at that period. How could the boys of
the later forties and even the mid fifties have built and used
combines ? The patent office records show that the inclined
elevator and platform for reapers was not patented until 1858 by a
J. S. Marsh. Without an elevator to carry the straw to the cylinder
a combine would run into labor for someone and that would drive the
boys off the farm for sure.
I cannot see any connection about my statement: ‘This is the
guy who put the skids under us’, and the old king you mention,
as I was admitting to the beginning of the end. Only a fool
won’t quit when something is licking him until his liver is
hanging out. It has been said, ‘He who fights and runs away may
live to fight another day, etc.’ The connection seems about as
logical as naming a bull Lucy, meaning no disrespect to any of the
opposite sex bearing this name as I know several very nice persons
so named. God bless them.
I have enjoyed your articles very much and hope to see more of
them, and if Matteson should cause you any upset I wouldn’t let
it bother me, as I am sure he has passed to his reward by this
time. Through a typographical error or my handwriting being what it
is, the ‘W’ in my name got turned upside down making Bremer
instead of Brewer as it is written on tax and papers of the like.
The ALBUM serves some of us ex-threshers as a wailing wall where we
can shed a nostalgic tear now and then and feel better for having
done so. 165 head of horses and mules strung out on five harvesters
is a fair sized bunch but just two days ago I saw 200 head of mules
strung out on ten boxes of Borax in a store. Through the medium of
television people are becoming acclimated to astounding sights very
rapidly almost to the point of casualness. So while you are putting
up your mules and horses for the night, I’ll take a look at the
lacing on the feeder belt as it looks as though it is coming loose,
like I’d better do from this yarn and go climb into the arms of
Morpheus. In closing let me say we must always have a moderate
amount of controversy so as to prevent stagnation and yet not a too
excessive rapid progress as can become demoralizing and at times
OSCAR G. BREWER, 7517 Woodland Ave., Maplewood,
QUESTION AND ANSWER PAGE
Enclosed are a couple scoops of coal to keep the fire up for
another year; Why don’t you give a short description with the
pictures in the magazine? I refer in particular to the picture of
Joe Rynda with the ancient return flue Avery in Nov. 1955 issue.
Why not tell where he got it and from whom and when. I would be
interesting to know who owned these engines in the first place. I
noticed the markings on the trailer say Geneva, Nebraska 5.12.54.
As I formerly lived not far from there I would have liked to have
known more about the engine. Also give us more histories of
threshing machine company’s like the recent Avery write up. I
think it would be a fine thing to have a question and answer page.
What do you other fellows say.
I read with interest the letter by Marcus Leonard of Salina,
Kansas, (I came to California from Kansas) about the engineer
running his engine with loose drive key in the connecting rod
causing a heavy pound and the engine wrecking itself. I do not
think the pound caused the damage. My opinion is that the key being
loose, the stroke of the piston was lengthened causing the piston
to strike the cylinder head causing damage. I have gone to run a
number of engines where the piston was striking the cylinder head,
owing to the shims in the connecting rod not being properly placed.
In starting an engine I had not previously run, I always listened
for that knock and corrected it before I would put the engine to
work. I have seen a few letters from old engineers complaining
about the Case engine not having large enough boiler and dome and
stating they were bad to foam and prime on that account. I operated
a Case engine for many years both in belt and pulling plow. and I
never had a Case engine to prime. True, the Case does have ; rather
small boiler but for that very reason I can run a Case on less
water and coal than any other engine I ever run, and I have run
many of them. I do not mean the others were not good as I could
mention many good engines among them, Reeves Russell, Advance, N
& S, Minneapolis, Wood and several others. I am inclined to
think the men who had the trouble with Case pulling water carried
their water too high. The first Case I ever run, I proceeded to see
how much water was over the crown sheet when the water level was at
the bottom of the glass and I found there was plenty. I carried
about 2′ of water in the Case, not over 3′ and on a hard
pull on the draw bar only 1 to 2′ and the old Case never primed
and had plenty of dry steam.
I noticed in a letter from Mr. Arterbury of Blackwell, Oklahoma,
the joke about the contractor who had a Huber to pull his other
engines out when they got stuck. Just out of curiosity, I would
like to know what make and size of engine he used to hang on the
front end of his Huber to keep it from rearing up when pulling the
other engines out.
I. L. LONDON, Sacramento, California
RENEWAL TIME AGAIN
Renewal time again I wish every two dollars I spent brought me
as much pleasure as this does.
As I write this, the school board meeting I attended last night
is still fresh in my mind and I just wonder what has happened to
the old Community Spirit. Everyone is now wanting to send their
children to town to school. The one-room school is not good enough
for people. So their is a lot of squabbling among neighbors even to
the not-speaking stage. Back in the old threshing days people had
to get along but it seems something of the pioneer spirit has gone
with the sound of the Threshing Engine Whistle. Taxes going up
every year maybe we are living too fast.
Wishing you and your paper the best. Keep it coming
QUENTIN W. SHULTZ, Griswold, Iowa
BUT I ALWAYS LOVED THEM
Enclosed is my check for another year of the ALBUM. Would not
want to do without it. It is truly fine.
I have lived on a farm all my life but never owned or operated
an engine, but I always loved them. First one I can recollect is a
Port Huron. In my time I have worked around the following makes of
engines: Rumley, Case, Aultman-Taylor, Advance, Stevens, Avery and
Baker. I have my favorites but like them all.
Keep up the good work
EVERETT SHORT, Yale, Illinois
QUITE AN ORDER
Please find enclosed check for renewal for another year. I would
not want to get along without this wonderful magazine. I read in it
where come folks would like to have it larger and more often. That
would be quite an order and the material might not hold out so
long. Any steam fan could stand more reading but I am satisfied
with it just as it is and look forward to receiving it.
I started out as a boy with a turbine we made with 5-gallon
kerosene cans and a hand made turbine, but it would run wheels all
over the building. The fire went under and around the can and it
produced quite a bit of steam. When I got older I handled our
W. J. PRESCOTT, Machias, New York
I EXPECT TO OWN ONE
Please renew my subscription as I do not want to miss a single
copy of your fine magazine. Some day I expect to own a steam
engine, when I can find one that an ordinary man can afford to buy.
I know the locations of several engines but most of them are being
used on sawmills and are not for sale. I have been promised first
chance when they do decide to sell.
At the present time I am building a one inch scale model of the
J. I. Case engine and have the boiler, engine and wheels complete,
so am now working on the boiler fittings. Would be glad to hear
from any of the old timers who are still interested in steam and if
someone is really interested in obtaining an engine for a souvenir,
I might be able to help them as I know the location of practically
every engine in this part of the country.
Thanking you for the biggest little magazine and wishing you
many successful years.
ALVA HULBERT, 807 So. 22 Street Mount Vernon, Illinois
KICKED MYSELF EVER SINCE
I owned and operated a Wood Bros. 22 hp. engine and 36×58 steel
separator for 18 falls. I liked it very much but traded it for a N
& S 28×54 separator which I run for 22 falls and I still have
it. I used the Wood engine for power on the N & S and as the
run loved the Wood engine as it handled so nicely and was easy to
fire, and had plenty of power. I was the engineer on the rigs I
owned as long as I used them for power. I sold my engine for $50.00
for scrap and have kicked myself ever since. Some day I hope to buy
another steamer. I have operated the display engines at Joe
Rynda’s and was through the Wood Bros. plant years ago. It was
Best wishes to the ALBUM as I really do enjoy the pictures and
ERNEST F. EGGERTH, Rennick. Iowa
GREW UP WITH STEAM
Please renew my ALBUM, $2.00 enclosed. I enjoy it very much as I
am an old thresherman and practically grew up with a steam engine
as that was my fathers work. I took it up as soon as I was old
enough and threshed in Indiana, Montana, Minnesota, Canada and
North and South Dakota.
I run an engine for the same man in North Dakota from 1909 till
1923, threshing and plowing. Now at the age of 70 I am retired on
account of ill health but I attend and enjoy as many of the
conventions as I can.
A. B. SHETZLE, LaGro, Indiana