In your March-April issue of the ALBUM, page 6, you have pictured a Minnesota Giant engine in action at Cottage Grove, Minn. You have called it a portable but this is not correct. It is a traction engine it has Master gears in the drive wheels also cleats on the drive wheels and skid rings on the front wheels. True, it has a driver seat in front as all engines of that time had them. About 1890 my father bought a Minnesota Giant 12 hp. new. It had wooden jacket on boiler, seat, hinge stock, tongue and neck yoke, double and single trees, but was a full traction with steering wheel all complete. In your picture you can see the master gears in drive wheels just over the water barrel at the side of the engine. I well remember father's old Giant as I fired it on a sawmill when 12 years old and she was a hard steamer. I am now 66 years old and threshed until 2 years ago. Still have my rig but it was a gas rig Advance Rumley, engine and separator still in good shape. I would like to hear from some of the old boys.
CLARENCE MORGAN, Memphis, Missouri
Time to renew again and it is the best two bucks I spend. What I like best about it is the stories written by the old timers and the experiences people have retrieving old engines Oh! sure I enjoy the pictures and ads. I came into this world too late to be an old timer, but I love steam just the same. I keep my Case 50 shedded all the time. I did thresh five acres of oats last summer.
I have an old wooden 32' A. R. separator. Quite a crowd attended the event, women, kids and all. It was just a small show but plenty of work for an inexperienced person to handle.
There is something especially nice I think, about this steam engine and old time threshing business that I think needs saying. In this day in which we live great value is placed on youth. Factories call men in their 40's too old to hire. Jobs everywhere reject age in place of less competent youth. Perhaps there is some reason for it but it seems to me a waste and a disgrace. Now when it comes to these threshing reunions this is one place where the old timers shine. The old boys can take care of an engine and age does not count. Their years of experience are of great value then and no young fellow is about to get that job. Far be it from myself or any other clear thinking younger fellow to begrudge them their place at the throttle. Even though I run my own engine here at home, I am contented to just look, whenever reunion time rolls around.
Enough said! Just keep the ALBUM rolling.
QUENTIN SCHULTZ, Griswold, Iowa
Enclosed you will find my check for $2.00 for another year subscription to the fine and dandy ALBUM. I'm sure proud I found out about it, because I have always been interested in the things with which it deals, all my life. I first found out that there was such an organization and magazine founded by two men who enjoyed annual reunions with each other and the steam and gas tractors, in July of 1951.
I now belong to the National Threshers Association, Antique Tractor and Threshers Association, and Gilmar Johnson Steam Day. I want to go on record as being the first one who proposed taking in as collector's items, the one cylinder slow speed 2 flywheel farm gas and oil engine, especially in the 20 hp. range, as good old time go-betweens, as mounted on the steel wagons, known as portable farm engines, fitting in between the steam age and the coming gas tractor age. They were used for wood sawing, for threshing, shelling corn, shredding, feed grinding, etc., making beautiful pictures for your ALBUM and history. I now have several such engines but I am not as yet prepared to have their pictures taken since the engines are not quite ready and fitted proper for presentation. I'll have about three portables and 7 stationary engines and still have 4 or 5 more spotted to haul home.
I have a good 16-30 Oil Pull tractor with its mate thresher, an Advance Rumley Ideal, all steel 24x38. I see some adverse comments in our ALBUMS as to the effect that gas tractors should not be in the ALBUM at all, since that power spoiled the steam engineers fun, etc. How about this? They have the monoply of your pages now as it is, don't they? And does not steam predominate at all the reunions? And gas power too. I've had fine experiences with steam threshing but let's not discard the good old gas power enthusiasts. Look how much money they have to spend to make these reunions possible. The main thought as I see it, is old time steam and gas power threshing of the stationary thresher method (of course other drawbar and belt work too). It took real Iron Men, if any experienced man will just analyze it, to start and keep running, those big heavy gas and oil tractors and steam engines as made and used in the U.S.A. and Canada.
Could we spur Clymer on to get out his second edition of Historical Steam and Gas Traction Album? I sure want all I can get on steam and gas, to which he has not printed on yet
T. H. KRUEGER, 1615 San Francisco Street San Antonio, Texas
I live in the country now and have 6? acres so I have lots of room for my steam engines. I have one now and expect to buy another one this spring. Both are Sawyer-Massey's made in Hamilton, Ontario. I am trying to get other people interested so we can start an organization and have a reunion here in Ontario.
I find that the ALBUM is one of the best things to create interest and I always save mine so I have a copy to hand out when I meet someone who is genuinely interested.
CHARLES SPICER, Box 58, Carunna, Ontario