In the last issue of Iron-Men Album I noticed Mr. Howard Comp
peeking out of his 1916 Advance Rumely bomb shelter. By the looks
of the picture I would say it is a 12 or 15 HP. Now Howard, did you
back into it or did you turn around inside? I have tried both ways
but find it quite inconvenient which ever way I do it, say nothing
about doing the work after you are located inside. Now as to safety
measures, you are on the right track. The man behind the gun must
know his onions if he don’t want to go to the moon. I also
noticed on the opposite page Mr. Elmer Allshouse’s article
about building his own boiler and asking the Department of Labor
and Industry for specifications on boilers. To date you have not
received them and I bet you never will. I think I know why you did
not get an answer for your request. But at present I would rather
not say. I have also built many boilers in the past but could never
get a rating on them. My father was a boiler maker for many years
and he taught me the trade, and believe me, without this experience
I would never attempt to build one.
Now will someone tell me why the different states will not
license a boiler that is made outside of a boiler factory? If a man
has the know-how and has a good certified welder to weld the boiler
and it is made of open-hearth steel, having tensile strength of at
least 55,000 lbs. per square inch and the stay bolts are properly
spaced and it will stand the required hydrostatic test, why do they
refrain from giving a license. I feel that a boiler like this is
much safer than some old kettle that’s over 60 years old and is
still used at some of our steam shows.
I am a director of the Zumbro Valley Steam Shows, therefore my
interest in model boilers. I hope that in the near future a
national meeting be held of all steam show fans. It could be held
at some place convenient to all. Each unit to send one or two
delegates to this meeting and elect officers for a term of two or
four years. I bet there would be more threshed out at this meeting
than there is grain threshed out in all of our steam shows put
together. Well, the steam is going down and so am I. I hope all the
steam shows in 1962 have a very prosperous year.
Eisner Machacek 714 Union St. North field, Minnesota
To The Gazette. The accompanying photograph affords an idea of
how 200 acres of flax were harvested during December and January
with a blanket of five inches of snow on the ground, and the
mercury from 15 to 30 degrees below zero.
The late and wet harvest season made it impossible to cut the
grain at the proper time. After we thought the crop was lost we
secured binder engines and mounted them on the rear of the binder
to drive the mechanism independently of the bull wheel. The bull
wheel and binder were then mounted on ordinary bob-sled runners.
The horses merely had to pull the binder through the snow while the
binder engine, by means of a chain drive to the pitman shaft, cut
the flax. In this manner we were able to save over $3,000 worth of
flax which would otherwise have been a total loss.
We covered the lubricator and carburetor of the motors with
cloths to protect them from the cold winds. We heated the water
each morning before starting and ran all day. The weather was very
unfavorable, some days blowing so hard we could not work at all.
The days we were a field the temperature varied from zero to 25
degrees below. We cut one day when it was 30 degrees below zero. We
finished on Jan. 24.
At the start we tried cutting without the binder engines and
could not do it. We therefore know that we could not have saved the
crop without the use of the engines. We figured that left until
spring it would all be lost, as it would all fall down by that
C. A. Conklin Ward Co., N. D.
Many of you will be saddened to learn of the passing of John
Jenkins. He will be remembered as the white-haired old gentleman
with the moustache, seen at the reunions, who always had steam up
long before most engineers even had a fire. John was born in
Genesee, Illinois, Oct. 21, 1882 and passed away June 5, 1962 after
a lingering illness. Left to mourn his passing are three sons and
one daughter. His wife preceded him in death in 1950. Mr. Jenkins
was an active member of the Church of Christ.
My being a close friend and neighbor, I will try to write a
little of his life. When John was still a small boy he moved with
his parents to Iowa. Several years later they moved to Missouri
where John first became interested in Steam. As a result of this
interest he was promoted from off-bearer to engineer on a
saw-milling job at the early age of 16. Some time later the Jenkins
family moved back to Iowa where John hired out to work around all
kinds of harvest machines as well as garage mechanic and farm hand.
Finally the day came when he was asked to go along to Canada with a
fellow to run his big Under mounted Avery breaking prairie sod.
This proved to be quite an event in John’s life. When this job
was over he returned to Iowa and became owner of his own steam
outfit, a 16 H. P. return flue Huber. In all he owned eight or ten
steam rigs; his favorite being a 30 Russell Compound, a large
engine for this part of the country. A picture of this engine
appeared in the May-June 1962 Album. For around forty years he
served this community in all types of work, from threshing and
shelling corn to playing his guitar at dances. It will have to be
said that there was never a more eager hand when asked to mount the
footboard of a steam engine nor anyone more proud to be there.
John Jenkins and Quentin Shultz are sitting on the engine and
Bill Shultz is sitting on the back step.
These past twelve years since the loss of his wife have been
devoted entirely to a timely hobby. With his farm shop to work in
and the steam gatherings to attend, the loneliness of his loss has
been softened. Countless evenings, I have driven the three odd
miles to sit and listen to old experiences in a jargon only an old
thresherman could possess. He was the last in the Groswold
community of a rugged breed of men, who, these days could spread
himself over three threshing rigs, shell corn on the side and more
often than not work far into the night moving on the road or making
repairs in order to insure an early start the next day.
Next to his family he loved the old Steam Engines which had
served him so well in his life’s work of threshing, shelling,
shredding, silo filling, grading, sawing, plowing. He did them all.
A lifetime spent doing everyday what we chase all over the country
to see now. This writer wishes he had been born fifty years
So with John’s passing a door was closed on an era. He was
the last of the genuine old-timers who coaxed his engines over
rotten bridges and down weed choked roads of the Groswold
Quentin W. Shultz Rt. 2, Groswold, Iowa
As a 77 year old who has spent a good share of his life running
a steam locomotive, I want to tell you how much I enjoy your Album.
I grew up on a farm so it has brought back a lot of nice memories
when the neighbors really ‘neighbored’ and we thought steam
was really wonderfulwhich I still do. Your magazine proves that
folks today are still neighborly if just given a chance. After a
long time of reading train orders, book of rules and formal worded
bulletins, those down to earth letters that you print give me more
faith and trust in my fellow man.
My best wishes to you and all yours.
Steve Cook 824 Berry Street Toledo 5, Ohio