Farm Collector

Past and Present


Allen R. Leis, 105 Clearwater Cres., Waterloo, ONT Canada N2V 1E7; (519) 884-6932, shows us a unique way of storing an engine for the winter months. Allen writes:

I am sending some photos of my Waterloo steam traction engine, no. 1776, 20-22 HP, built in Waterloo, Ontario in 1918. I have stored it a number of years this way and I find it a good way of storing it for the winter months. I store the engine on a cement pad, stud it with 2-by-6-inch lath and tarp all sides, leaving a bit of an opening on the floor at the front between the front wheels. I install a turbine ventilator on the smokestack; this leaves airflow on the outside of the boiler. I take out two handhole covers beside the damper and the handhole cover in the smokebox opening the damper approximately 1/2-inch. This leaves air flowing through the tubes through the water side of the engine. My boiler seems to be nice and dry during the winter months.

This Waterloo engine was shown on the cover of Iron-Men Album, November/December 1992. This engine is also shown on page 250 of Jack Norbeck’s Encyclopedia of American Steam Traction Engines, third revised edition, owned by Ed Hura’s family at the time of Waterloo, Ontario. The motto on this engine is “An old Waterloo toy for an old Waterloo boy.”


Harry Pearce, 115 Parke Towne Drive, Elkton, MD 21921-6111, recalls some memories of Elmer Ritzman’s Lansing four-wheel drive engine (featured on the back cover of Steam Traction, July/August 2006). Harry writes:

I am writing in regards to the Lansing four-wheel drive engine. I run that engine for Mr. Ritzman at the Kinzer, Pa., steam show. It was something else to handle. Ritzman told me that he saw it in a junkyard. He inquired about the engine and the price went up. I don’t remember what he gave for it, but it was plenty. The differential was stuck, but when he pulled it, it broke loose. The flywheel isn’t the original. He thought the one on it would have more inertia but it didn’t work any better. Arthur S. Young put it on for him.

Ritzman told me he bought a Huber engine and couldn’t or didn’t have the money to have it hauled, so he ran it the 80 miles. He said the only problem he had was water. I guess that would be a problem.


Harold Stark, 3215 S. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46217, an instructor for the Pawnee Steam School sends us some details of this year’s class. Harold writes:

This year the Pawnee Steam School was hosted by the Ozarks Steam Engine Assn. of Republic, Mo. Accommodations for the school and participants were held in the American Inn Motel. We had reservations made in advance for 105 people from eight states including Alaska. Nine did not arrive, for reasons unknown, so our total was 102 including instructors. The instructors were Chady Atteberry, Joe Graziana, Ray Vaughn, Mace Archer, Bruce Babcock and myself.

Instruction knowledge covered the following topics: boiler pressure vessel safety, boiler maintenance, boiler conditions to inspect for before purchasing, especially grooving, channeling, boiler plumbing, correct oils for lubrication, water treatment, safety valves, fusible plugs, governor repair, pouring babbitt for bearings, mechanical lubricators, repair for steam gauges and testing them and their siphons, and care and repair of injectors.

Bruce Babcock provided an extensive display of cut-away parts used on steam traction engines to better understand the internal parts and their workings to be reliable. Bruce also does extensive research and history on all of the items in his display.

We were honored by the attendance of Forrest Stewart and his sons Corey, James and Shawn from Clay Center, Kan., who rescued the 65 HP Case from the Republican River (featured in Steam Traction, March/April 2006). They were very surprised to receive the steam gauge from the engine that Mace Archer had restored to like new condition. I presented them with the Penberthy injector and steam valve in serviceable condition that they had shipped to me at my request after reading the recovery article in Steam Traction.

The consideration and hospitality shown us by the Ozarks Steam Engine Assn. was first class.

At the close of Saturday’s class was “Award Time.” This event is the fun and humor time for the Professor of “Steamology,” Joe Graziana, who presented Chady Atteberry with a huge blowtorch for his collection – that torch was big, it held a gallon of gas. Then Joe received the Best Dressed photo award from his Ozarks friends. If you see Joe be sure to ask him to see it. Two gentlemen from Texas coming the farthest to the school received door prizes of quarts of grape and cherry “Injector Cleaner” (wine).

At this time no decision has been made as to the location for the 2007 school. Many thanks to those who attended and the Ozarks club for their hospitality. Being involved now for nine years, this school is the highlight of each year for me, and the transfer of knowledge to all who participate is important.


Gilbert Goff, P.O. Box 276, Wingdale, NY 12594; (845) 832-3289, is needing some help from our readers, Gilbert writes:

Can any readers help identify this little steam engine. It stands 1-foot, 10-1/2 inches tall and 10-1/2 inches at the base. There are no numbers anywhere and it runs nice. Any help would be great.


Larry Peaster, 555 10-1/2 Ave., Clayton, WI 54004, stumbled on a find at an auction. Larry writes:

I acquired this little upright steam engine at a farm auction this past spring. I am looking for more information on this engine. It looks like it is about a 3-inch bore and a 4-inch stroke. On the nameplate it reads, “ACME” in the casting, I can’t read the rest of the print.


Mark Corson, Crown Point, Ind., shares wedding photos of Brian and Beverly (Atteberry) Tracy. Brian and Beverly exchanged their vows on May 6, 2006, at Pawnee Steam Park, Pawnee, Okla.


John Ross, P.O. Box 751, Hebron, IN 46341, sends us a batch from his stash of photos. John writes:

This photo taken in 1956 is a 50 HP Case (Photo #1) now owned by the Dollinger family. The Dollinger farm is now where the Will County Threshing Show is located. Previously owned by Konnie Kimper, Highland, Ind., and before that Emery Olankamp, Blue Island, Ill. Emery had bought it over in Illinois at Crete, I think, from the original purchaser and drove it home about 1953-54.

As a teenager I helped put its second set of flues in. Last spring (2005) I was there when the third set was installed.

Photo #2 was taken in 1986 of this little Case 40 HP, pre-1915 engine. See the cast iron stack, and if my memory is right, it has no Case name on the smokebox door. The 40 HP is owned by a man named Zimmerman.

Terry Bodine owns the 24 HP Minneapolis engine (Photo #3), and it is always at the Skinner Farm Museum in Perrysville, Ind. When we leave his property west and cross the road you are in Illinois. Terry’s family’s engine has always been at several shows I have attended since then.

A little Nichols & Shepard (Photo #4), taken in 1980, I think, was owned by Norman Skinner’s brother-in-law, the one from across the road I was mentioning, as he owned five or six more back then.

Photo #5 taken in about 1988 is an OilPull H, on the trailer, at the first OilPull get-together in La Porte, Ind., 20 some springs ago. The La Porte County courthouse is in the background and we took photos where the original Rumely factory stood.

This photo taken in 1988 (Photo #6) is of Albert Grimkey’s, of Michigan City, Ind., 20 HP Huber. He had three engines in his backyard then. The 20 HP Huber is the only one I can locate a photo of. There was a 15 HP Case and an 18 or 20 HP Russell, which is at the steam museum in Heston, Ind. Steam Traction had a shot of the Russell in the March/April 2006 issue at Heston with a Wood Bros. and a Case 50 HP, taken by my friend Clint Riggs last September.

This nice little 16 HP Nichols & Shepard (Photo #7), taken in 1980, was always at Dick Herms show in Washington, Ill., years ago. The show set in a swale with a pond surrounded by hills 50-plus feet high. What a nice show setting.

For our first show (Photo #8), taken in 1984, at the Lake County Fairgrounds, I moved my American no. 1 sawmill in and sawed 10-foot white oak for the man in the light blue jump suit, in 2-inch planks for box stalls for his horse barn.

By the way that is a 20 HP Greyhound belted up to the sawmill, then owned by Bob Lampert of LeRoy, Ind.

Photo #9 shows the last, or one of the very last, Russell portables taken about 1998 at our Lake County show. The Kester family of Crete, Ill., still owns this little jewel, coming from their father. One of the sons advertises die cast models in Steam Traction.

Photos #10-12 were taken about 1980 at the Cochran farm, on the east edge of Wabash, Ind. They are a 30 HP Case, a 21-75 HP Baker and a 25-50 HP Huber. There also was a 43-67 HP Baker tractor that I helped start up several springs later by priming and taking the top off the carburetor, using chain saw fuel mix, as it was all the friend who had it could find. We kind of broke up the sale until the Baker ran out of gas, as we had been told there was a rod burned out. In that short time we found out there was no rod out and it had good oil pressure.

The Huber 25-50 photo shows Cochran and Jim Craig. Jim was from Mayville, N.D., originally. He last lived at Crown Point, Ind. I’m sure some of the Rollag bunch will remember him, as he told about many lowboy moves he made for them when they first started.

While at Cochran’s estate sale, I sat on an old log for an hour or more with Rolland Maxwell and talked about shows and our hobby in general. That was the last time I saw him as he passed on just a couple months later. Some of the long time subscribers of Gas Engine Magazine will remember him for writing a series of articles under the heading: As I Saw It.


Steam historian Robert T. Rhode, 990 W. Lower Springboro Road, Springboro, OH 45066 (, stumbles onto a few old-time photos taken in Ohio. Robert writes:

Between 1910 and 1916, Marion G. Warner took a series of photos in Monroe, Ohio. A local businessman, Marion was an amateur photographer. He left a cache of glass-plate negatives that offer a look into the past.

Recently, Marion’s work was brought back to life through a scanner and sophisticated computer software. He may not have been a professional photographer, but his photos are slices of reality. Among them are the three images of agricultural traction engines reproduced in these pages.

One depicts a Huber. The other two exhibit the products of the Gaar-Scott factory. While supplying exact dates for the pictures is impossible, a detail in the Huber threshing scene may help to identify the time period. The stars on the American flag flying high above the straw stack are staggered, as they were from July 4, 1908, to July 3, 1912, when Old Glory featured 46 stars.

I am most grateful that Joyce A. Tannreuther, executive director of the Monroe Historical Society, has permitted me to share these delightful photos with Steam Traction readers. We steam enthusiasts are indebted to Marion G. Warner for his foresight in capturing history.

If you have a comment, question or reminiscence for Past and Present, please send it along to: Steam Traction, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265;

  • Published on Sep 1, 2006
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