FROM A. E. RIXMANN-
Box 61, New Ulm, Minnesota
IN REGARDS TO the 'Two Blower Thresher' article in the May-June, 1957 issue, will say I know this blower. A neighbor of ours up in Pembina County, North Dakota, had a machine with this blower. It was a Randolph Double Tube Blower. It was adjusted on a ball and socket principle. It did not have much swing either vertically or horizontally and had a plain hood to deflect straw down. It seemed to work fine except for very limited swing.
There were other 'freak' blowers made and in use in our neighborhood such as Fosston, which had a very large diameter tube. Then there was a Maplebay that had a very wide tube, almost the width of the separator. This blower was made so that the straw did not enter the fan but was blown by air force only. This blower made a very loud humming noise that could be heard for miles away. All these three blowers worked fine, except for having little adjustment. They could not be swung around like most other blowers.
I would like to hear from some of the old timers, that have a certain amount of smoke, oil and steam in their makeup. Did you ever hear of, or see, any engines called the Ames? There was one in our area. Back in the days of steam when there was a rig on every other farm. It seems this was a return flue with, if I am not mistaken, a dry bottom boiler. I was just a kid on my father's farm then but I remember this Ames engine very well. I guess we never forget these things no matter how old we get.
I never owned a rig myself, but my brother owned and operated a 27 hp. Minneapolis return flue engine and had a large separator. I worked on rigs from the time I was 11 years old for many seasons. I will have to say that I, like so many others, miss the old steam outfits very much. I fired with straw a 30 hp. Avery two seasons. Also fired and run a 36hp. Minneapolis for two seasons. Around our home there were a great many Minneapolis rigs, also Case, Avery, Reeves and some Gaar Scott and Advance. I hope this information on the double tube blower answers William Gayer's inquiry. I sure enjoy reading the letters from the fellows as they appear in the wonderful IRON-MEN ALBUM. So will close the throttle and bank the fire with best wishes to all the old timers and the ALBUM staff.
While in Chicago last March for a nationwide sales meeting held by the company for whom I work, I tried reaching you by telephone. I had an interesting bit of information for you but found the issue had gone to press. Since then there has been so little time to write that now I have waited until subscription renewal time for the ALBUM. The enclosed is for my renewal and gift subscription as noted.
In saying a few words about the ALBUM, I'll first say that I certainly do enjoy it! There are times when some criticism of an article is in order and you quite thoroughly accept it and print it. I was one of many who appreciated Mr. B. B. Brown's letter in your 1956 Jan.-Feb. issue. Had he not corrected the information given in an earlier issue regarding the 36-110 HP. double cylinder Rumley, I was one of several who would probably have written to you on that subject.
A great many of us who read the ALBUM do not have a highly polished education. Therefore, when we send in material for publication, we would all appreciate the editor checking and correcting the English that is used. Everyone, whether educated or not, likes to read articles that are correctly written.
The ALBUM'S recommendation of the book 'Machines of Plenty' is valuable. The book is interesting and undoubtedly many read it, as a result of the publicity in the ALBUM.
An extremely informative and interesting book is 'The Great Iron Ship.' Any reader of this book will enjoy it. So much is portrayed besides the grand story of a great steam ship built 50 years before her time when the world just wasn't ready for her. The many details of how tragic business management killed this giant, can in so many ways be compared to our business world today. The book also gives an interesting account of who invented the reaper and how this same man used his great engineering skill to repair the mammoth ship in New York harbor during the Civil War.
THE IRON-MEN ALBUM along with the Engineers and Engines magazine make a fine pair. They are different, each with its own characteristics. This is as it should be so the picture to the reader is more complete.
1 will immediately send material to you for several articles that I hope you will find interesting. The first is in regard to the Phoenix log hauler. My contacts with the present manager of the Phoenix Steel Company enabled me to get all blueprints, drawings and pictures as well as the specifications. Do you need the actual photographs or the negatives? I had several views specially touched up in our advertising studio in Chicago.
Also, I have some interesting data concerning the performance of steam engines on the prony brake at the reunions last summer. When a comparason is made between this and the modern diesel engine running on a dynamometer, the results are quite stimulating for those of us who are steam engine fans. The many conveniences of the modern diesel and also its economy cause it to be so widely used. However, the tremendous versatility of steam power shows up quite favorably even when comparing our old engines to the modern diesel engine and its characteristics.
A. E. RIXMANN, 2315 Northwest 56th Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma