Noel, Missouri 64854.
Anna Mae In Mr. Ken R. Mowrer's letter on page 42, in the November-December issue of I. M. A. you added the following foot note( You didn't give us the men's names Ken, but maybe you could have them write a story for us and have the second man send one of the pictures you speak of).
Enclosed are the pictures of the little model engine and thresher you requested, and a resume of my work, during and after the time referred to in Mr. Mowrer's article.
After the Armistice, I went to Armour & Company, in the engineering department, designing new improvements for the packing industry, and making plans and drawings for the various trades. The work there was so varied or diversified to give me a most wonderful education in mechanical engineering.
Just before the packing house strike, due to the extreme overload, the 1600 H. P. Ball compound core-less type triple, expansion refrigeration engine broke a cross-head, front and rear cylinder heads, the high pressure cylinder casting and bent the piston rod. Also two other cross-heads were cracked.
The old engine, when new, was on display at the St. Louis World's Fair. The high-lite of my engineering, while at Armours, was to make a complete set of drawings of the broken parts. Many sets of the maps were mailed to the larger foundries for making new castings. However to our surprise a foundry had a new cylinder with heads and piston, the same size for a Bates core-less, 30' bore and 60' stroke.
After many letters and exchange of drawings, it was decided that the Bates cylinder, by making adapters, could be made to fit the Ball engine. New cross-heads were cast in a foundry and machined in Armours machine shop. The piston rod was also straightened by Armours. To our surprise, after the old Ball engine was reassembled, it performed like a new engine.
While working at Armours in the daytime, I had thirty minutes to cross the state line and start teaching at the Kansas City School of Watch making in the night school. I was instructor only six weeks when I was promoted to writing text material, giving lectures, giving examinations, and substituting for absent instructors. Working at the two jobs lasted twenty-three months.
The school had gone from 1223 students to 375 and Armours wanting me to move to Minnesota to their plant in Minneapolis as superintendent of the engineering department. We had no desire to move to a colder climate, so we moved to Noel, Missouri, in December 1948, fully expecting to raise broilers. However, in June 1949 we purchased the jewelry and watch repair store, which we sold December 6, 1971, and are now on honey-do-retirement. 'Honey-do-this and Honey-do-that.'
During the twenty-three years in the store, I also was county surveyor. In addition I compiled, recorded in longhand all of the exterior and interior corner markers in McDonald County and bound them in fourteen books, plus 252 maps, which have been microfilmed and are now cataloged and placed in the Missouri State Land Survey Authority building in Rolla, Missouri, for safe keeping.
In my spare time or when the going got rough and I had to leave the bench, I made the parts for the little engine and thresher. Four years ago I had a severe heart attack and was out of the store for six months. Also had a few lighter attacks since that time. So, finally decided to sell the store and take it easy. So I thought.
We have planned for years, after our retirement, to travel and see the many sights in the United States, especially to visit many steam engine shows. Now, that has been changed by order of the doctor who has given me strict orders to drive slow and not over two hours at a time. Also, definitely not in heavy traffic nor to mingle in large crowds. We have just waited too long. Every person should have one or two hobbies to pass the time of day after they retire.