Received the March-April 1959 issue this afternoon about 2:30 p.m. As soon as I returned home from the Post Office had a minute's time, hurriedly started to look through the magazine, and of course on Page 9 saw the two pictures of Mr. Basil Buckmaster's 20 HP Huber Return Flue Steam Engine.
Mr. Buckmaster sure has a good engine, as the writer put in over four hundred hours reconditioning this Huber engine. Everything that needed replacing I put on new if I was able to get the part, or made the part, if was unable to make the part, built the old part up and then machined it down, etc.
Another unusual thing about Mr. Buckmaster buying this Huber engine, Isold it to him by correspondence. He never saw the engine until trucker delivered it nor have I ever seen or met Mr. Buckmaster. Have had four letters from him since Arnord Prestbye delivered the engine to him, and Mr. Buckmaster is very well satisfied with the engine and his deal. Will never sell another engine that way, as there is too much chance for the buyer to find something to be disatisfied about. It is over fifteen hundred miles from Sioux Palls, S. Dakota, to Eureka, Montana.
Spent over 12 years in the Threshing Machine Game, before and after World War I, but never made a deal quite like the one made with Mr. Buckmaster on the Huber. About the only reason sold the Huber, all my experience in the past had been with straight flue engines. Wanted to get a straight flue engine, as you know from the picture I mailed you on January 29, 1959, of my 20 x 75 hp Double Cylinder Rear Mounted Nichols & Shepard Steam Engine. Hope you can find space to run the picture of my N & S Engine in your magazine in the very near future.
JOHN P. KADINGER, Box 842, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
We have had many requests for further information on the Aultman Taylor engine marooned in the mountains of Washington. We have no information on this engine of which a picture is to be found in the January-February 1960 issue of the ALBUM, bottom of page 28. Write to Mr. L. K. Wood, Mendon, Utah, who sent us the picture.
Mr. Raymond Laizure, Cadiz, Ohio, has the spirit we like. Here are his words --
'Elmer, I am with you 100% in regard to that Aultman Taylor, stranded on a mountain in Washington, as that looks like a late Engine, anyway it does have the late smokestack. We will take a D8 Bulldozer and make a road up there, and if it refuses to leave that vicinity, there will be one of the biggest Iron Men fights that was ever heard of, in that part of the country. Wishing all the folks of the ALBUM the best for 1960.'
More than 150 members of the Williams Grove Steam Engine Association attended the first meeting of the new year, January 27, in the Franklintown Fire Company Building, Franklintown, Pennsylvania.
Among the business transacted was the approval of purchase of a carload of soft coal from the Reading Company, at a very reasonable price. The car had been wrecked near Shippensburg, and fifty tons of fuel was gathered up and transported to Williams Grove by volunteer labor.
A front-end loader and truck were furnished by Roy Richwine, Jr., while C. S. Willis and Sons, Dillsburg, furnished two trucks. Other vehicles driven by volunteers helped furnish transportation while a dozen or more shovel-wielders loaded the coal.
George W. Fawber, Secretary-Treas. reported the financial standing of the organization and Leroy Shugart, Recording Secretary and Membership Chairman was kept busy signing up new members.
Tentative plans for the 1960 show were discussed after which refresh ments were served and a program of movies furnished by Walter G. Arnold of Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Several members of The Early American Steam Engine Association, Red Lion, Pa., were present, together with a delegation from the Maryland steam engine group.
GEORGE F. FAWBER, Secretary, 511 West 16th Street, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania
We heated the court house for eight days with this engine of mine, and it just played with it. We kept a steam pressure of from 60 to 80 lbs. day and night as we had a fireman on it 24 hours a day. This was a life-saver for the county, as one night the Jury was out until 10 p.m. before coming to a decision on a case.
Following is a description of our 'job ' as it appeared in the Daily Paper of Carlisle, Pa.:
'A 47-year-old traction engine, the kind that hauled threshing rigs over rural roads shortly after the turn of the century and then furnished the power to thresh the grain, was puffing away Monday night on the lawn of the Cumberland County Courthouse.
'The 1912-model Case engine was there to keep the courthouse warm, because the boiler for the heating plant blew up shortly after 8 a.m. Monday.
'The old traction engine's boiler was hooked up to courthouse heat lines and steam flowed again. The engine is the property of David N. Sheaffer of East Street. Fireman, at least for part of the night, was Ernest Shover, local farm implement dealer.
'Plumbers said the explosion was caused by failure of the water pump. No one was injured. Repairs are expected to be completed in two or three days.'
DAVID N. SHEAFFER, 405 North East Street, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Altho we have never met I feel that we are old friends due to the articles from time to time in the wonderful little magazine. It brings more joy to the heart of an old engineer than anything I have known since the days of the old American Thresherman Magazine of the long ago.
On Page 10 of the last issue is a picture of a Minn, thresher and a Garden City wing feeder and you state that you saw one for the first time and pitched bundles into it. Do you not think the wing feeder is a great improvement over the straight feeder? In the part of the country where I grew up they came into existence around 1910 and once the farmers came to know what a labor saver they were they would not engage a machine without them, so the old machines were compelled to put them on in order to work.
When we bought our first machine in 1912 it was equipped with a Garden City wing feeder so I don't know anything about threshing with any other type of feeder. I can remember the old style of straight feeder on the machines that used to come to our place to thresh when I was a lad too small to take any part in the work other then sit on the engine and get in the engineer's way. As I remember it, it required six men to feed from a stack of grain. The man next to the feeder pitched directly in to it then another man on the far side of the stack pitched to another man who in turn placed them in the feeder. Thus the wing feeder eliminated one man to pitch on each side of the machine. Another labor saving feature was that the wing would lower to the ground saving the work of pitching the heavy bundles of wheat up to the
higher feeder. Of course the wing feeder required a lot more power than the same size thresher without the wing feeder, hence the large engine used on the later models.
A lot of good engines had to be set aside and replaced with a larger one when the wing feeder was added to the machine. Up until the coming of the gas tractor I never knew of a smaller than a 36 inch cylinder and on up to 40 and 44 inch sizes.
The threshing scene is very familiar to me as I did a lot of stack threshing in the early part of my career. Often pulled in between as many as 8 stacks on each side of the rig. That is where the engineer has to get his rig in a straight line or he can't line up to the machine without hitting a stack with the engine. O, for those days again. The town of Fosston is quite a distance from where I had done my work but then threshing was the same in every part of the land, hot, hard and dirty work but we all loved every day we put in at it.
I have never been informed as to whether you were an engineer or not. I knew you have been a thresher but which end you worked I never knew. One end was as important as the other and a lot of credit must be given to the men who ate the dust as well as to the men at the Smokey end. The engineer had to take more chances when crossing some old wooden bridge than any other man on the crew as he had to ride her across, whereas the others did not have to take the chance of the bridge going down. I never had a bridge do down with me but have had some hair raising thrills on some of them. Seeing one in the drink is not a pretty sight I can tell you. Every picture in the Album is heart warming to any engineer who spent any amount of time in the threshing game.
I have an album of threshing scenes that my many pen pals have sent me and I never tire of looking at the faithful servants and wonder what each one has done during her life and the care she received. What a story they could tell if they could only talk?
Well, friend, the steam is going down and am all out of fuel so must fold up the drive belt for tonight. I could go on talking threshing and engines for hours but will fire up again at some other time and continue the story.
HARRY YATES, 3775 Herman Avenue, San Diego 4, California