| March/April 1955

  • Right view of Bohling engine
    Right view of the Burl F. Bohling engine.
  • Left view of Bohling engine
    Left view of the Burl F. Bohling engine.

  • Right view of Bohling engine
  • Left view of Bohling engine

Gray, Oklahoma

I have received my second issue of THE IRON-MEN ALBUM, I am certainly well pleased with the ALBUM and am very glad that Mr. Tom Smith of Sedalia, Mo., put me wise to it. When I sent in for it, in July, I believe, I sent my letter to Mr. Karl Kepner. I thought I should write you, the editor of the ALBUM, this time.

Steam engines have always been rather fascinating to me. I guess you would call it that. They were used for threshing and sawmills, well drilling, and silo filling in central Missouri where I was raised on a farm. I went with a rig one summer and fall. I hauled water through the summer run doing wheat and oats threshing then in the fall I fired the engine while we were threshing soybeans. This was all shock threshing and was in the summer and fall of 1928. Before that time I hauled bundles to different machines for a number of years. The rig I was with in '28 was an Avery separator and Avery under mounted engine, though we made the majority of the run using an Aultman-Taylor engine single. I don't remember the hp. of either of these engines but I know that the Avery was very large and rather a handicap to get through gates, etc., as it was 12' wide, outside of drivers. I certainly enjoyed those years through the threshing seasons with all the fun that went with the hot, dirty work. Those good threshing dinners with iced tea in the latter years will never be forgotten as far as I'm concerned.

I have been with the Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America this year over 20 years, having been a main engineer the past 10 years. We have Worthing double acting tandem cyl. nat. gas 1250 hp., 125 rpm is top speed. They are very good engines though the steam engine is still my favorite. I noticed Mr. R. L. Boyer's letter, we have the Cooper-Bessemer engines in our Auxiliary the old 4 cyl. upright, they were set here in 1930 as well as the complete line. I believe they are good engines too. I feel rather like Mr. Boyer as to growing up with the steam traction engine. I did too.

The most familiar ones to me were Reeves, Aultman-Taylor, Jumbo, Avery, and possibly Case. I always liked the looks of the Reeves best for the over mounted type, they were the double compound that is, could be used either way, I believe.

I have always intended to build a small traction type steam engine. I have been held up on it all these years, first, because I did not have the tools required for the job, and second, after I did have the tools available I was busy with building custom rifles as I did that line of work for 10 years as a hobby. Last fall I decided to start the engine. I stopped a good deal of the gus work and started drawing plans from memory of the different type steam engines that I had been familiar with. These pictures enclosed are the outcome of it. Really a good steamer, runs well, sounds and even smells like the old timers. I have had more pleasure out of it than any thing I have made as yet. I was undecided at first as to what type to make. The Avery under mounted or over mounted. I finally chose this over mounted as it was the type that most people were familiar with.


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