LETTERS

By Staff
1 / 6
A. V. Wright's George Goodison.
2 / 6
See Mr. Dix's letter.
3 / 6
Threshing at sunrise, Kane, Manitoba
4 / 6
See Mr. Hayes' letter.
5 / 6
In this picture J. V. Pfrimmer and I are threshing at Kane, Manitoba about 1913 or 1914 with an I.H.C. Titan, 25 HP Engine and a Red River Thresher.
6 / 6
See Mr. Smith's letter.

A. V. Wright writes………

I started to thresh in 1921 with a George White side-mounted
steam engine, 20HP then 2years old. I used this engine for 10 years
until we changed to a 35 HP Rumely. We threshed in those days for
about 75 days on grain barn threshing mostly, then we would thresh
clover for maybe 50 days into the winter. Those were the good old
days.

Here is a picture of the engine we use now for shows and to
thresh our own crops here at Strathroy, Ontario, Canada. It is a
John Goodison, built at Sarnie, Ontario, 45 miles west of here on
the U. S. border. Port Huron is just across the St. Clair river.
The engine was new in 1922 and we have repaired it to carry 145
lbs. steam. When new it carried 175 lbs. This picture shows it
threshing on our farm on August 16,1961. I am standing beside it. I
have 8 engines in all and several tractors. I also have a Geo.
White engine exactly like the one on top of page 28 of the
January-February 1961 issue. It is a George White and Son’s
2025 Rear Mount Lopp Joint, 9-10 cylinder on 25 HP boiler. Mine is
almost like new, it was always kept inside. My sawmill was new in
1924, carries 150 lbs.

A. V. Wright, Box 654, Strathroy, Ontario, Canada

C. R. Dickinson writes……..

I will tell you about a joke the farmers told on us. In the fall
of 1916, we pulled into thresh for a farmer who had a good sized
crop of wheat, bad weather was setting in, we threshed part of one
day then it rained, we did not get to thresh again for five days.
The four of us, with the rig stayed with the farmer. They fed us on
chicken twice a day.

The next year we went back to thresh for him again. When we were
about a mile from the farm, I blew the whistle to let them know we
were coming. When we got there they had a good story going. Said
the old red rooster took a good long listen, turned to the hens and
said ‘Come on gals, head for the hills. Here comes that darned
thresher crew again.’

C. R. Dickinson, Box 33, Richfield, Wisconsin

Ernest L. Dix, Jr. writes…….

NICK NAME: ‘FRANK JR.’

The old steam pumper was named after Mr. Frank Talbott, a member
of the City Council at the time of purchase and promoted the idea.
500 gallons per minute. 1898 Model (about)

Water was kept hot in the boiler at all times with a gas heater
while the pumper was in the station.

Manufactured by the American-La France Corporation, Elmira,
N.Y.

In the early 1920s when the Danville Fire Department became
motorized, the old horse drawn steamer, despite 25 years of valiant
service, was out dated. Its new home became the city garage where
for many years it sat doing nothing but watching the grass grow and
the rain fall around it.

But early this year, the Jaycees thought of pulling it out of
inactivity and putting it to use as a monument to the city’s
past. City Council agreed with the idea and the Danville Fair,
celebrating its 50th anniversary, also liked the idea.

The Jaycees and workmen at the garage went about the job of
cleaning the old fire-fighter up. It took some doing but now it is
as spic and span as the day it first arrived in Danville.

Despite the years of inactivity when it stood in the weather its
wood spokes, wheels and tongue remain as solid as ever. ‘You
don’t find that kind of wood anymore,’ one of the workmen
remarked.

With the final touches made, the old steamer, rest red to its
days of glory, was taken to the Fair where it was the chief
attraction of the Fire Prevention exhibit.

It has a proud history and it should be a reminder to the
city’s thousands of citizens that their town too, has a fine
past.

Ernest L. Dix, Jr. Danville, Virginia

R. Benj. Hayes writes……..

The picture is one of my last threshing outfits, which was taken
in the fall of 192 6. It is my 30 x 60 Rumely Oil Pull, Model S,
1925 and my 36 x 60 Nichols & Shepard, all steel and roller
bearings, 1925. In this picture, we are threshing wheat on the F.
A. Stuart Farm near Marshall, Michigan. This was a nice setting;
2,000 bushels.

As you can see, the blower pipe appears to be a little short for
the height of the straw stack. You can also see the 20 foot
extension feeder carrier, which keep the wagons and teams back away
from the separator and dust. Also the pitchers could do a better
job of getting the bundles on the carrier straight.

The cab on the tractor was taken off of a Bates & Edmons
tractor, made in Lansing, Michigan about 20 years before. It was
all steel, of a locomotive type. Of course, I had to do some
cutting and fitting to get it mounted on Mr. Rumely.

Iran this outfit for 21 years, until the combines took over. I
then bought a Co-op, 12 foot, self-propelled combine and combined
grain for about 4 more years. Then I decided that the combine
wasn’t for me. I also had a two-row Minneapolis Moline corn
picker and a Minneapolis Moline automatic wire-tie hay baler. But,
I just couldn’t quit working for the farmers, as I had followed
the game all my life. So, I thought maybe they would bring some
work to me.

As this is a very good farming community, I decided to build a
Feed Mill & Elevator, which I got completed and into operation
in March of 1951 and this has been very successful.

I am now 72 years old and get a big kick out of meeting the
farmers every day.

My wife and I take a week’s vacation once a year and take in
the Steam Show at Mount Pleasant, Iowa, which we enjoy wonderfully.
We also visit Steam Shows at Cedar Falls, Iowa; one near Fort
Wayne, Indiana; one at Montpelier, Ohio and one at Carlton Park
near Hastings, Michigan.

R. Benj. Hayes, Route 3, Homer, Michigan

E. A. (Frog) Smith writes……

Here is a snapshot of an old engine almost identical as the one
built by H. F. Blandy of Zanesville, Ohio.

The curved steam pipe which entered engine through a cow-chip
shaped steam chest is missing, but there are enough essential parts
to run if given a working over. Flywheel has cast hub and rim with
round wrought iron spokes. Bore is about 6 inches.

Closed bottom firebox is like an old-time Frick or Russell. The
boiler carries a name plate between the fire door and top of the
shell with the name Smith-Porter but no date. Wheels carrying it
are steel with round spokes like those of a farm wagon.

The brass jacketed cylinder in left foreground belongs to an
engine built by Finley Machine Company of Macon, Georgia in
1852.

The crankshaft and flywheel, shorn of its rim, in background
belong to an engine that is possibly a century old and may be the
one for the old Finley. I thought at first that the Finley name
might be a connection with the present Finley Machine Co.,
Valdosta, Georgia, but Mr. William Finley of Valdosta says that
there was never any connection between the two different Finley
Machine Companies.

The tree in the background growing through the frame of another
old-time box frame engine that bears no name but has an English
looking emblem on the steam chest. It is believed to be the old
engines that used to drive the planning mill of Otter Creek Lumber
Company sixty years ago at Otter Creek, Florida. It had two
eccentrics, one going to the steam chest and the other to the
governor. When it took a notion, which was plenty often, it could
skip like any single cylinder gasoline engine.

I h a v e never been able to learn where the old box-frame came
from except that folks said it was taken from a steamboat in the
long ago. I have heard the engineer say that he wished it was in a
place well below the bottom of the ocean.

The old engines rest in the yard of the Maddox Foundry &
Machine Co., Archer, Florida, where it is rumored that Mrs. Pearl
Maddox, widow of the founder, intends to create a steam museum.

Mr. E. A. (Frog) Smith, 219 Hubbard Street, Fort Myers,
Florida

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