Somewhere around the 1940's, a good friend of mine invited me to go with he and his father out to his grandfather's sawmill with them. I was around thirteen years old at the time. I had heard Walt (the father) talking about the steam engine he had, but I had never seen one. Well, how can I explain the feeling I had on seeing the big Keck Gonnerman in action. I only know that some day I would have an engine of my own. Now, twenty years later, my wish has come true. I found an engine that I hope will be the beginning of a collection of my own.
I bought myself a Nichols & Shepard Engine, No. 8643. It hadn't been fired for somewhere around ten years. Most of the brass (whistle, pop off valve, injectors etc.) had been stolen off the engine, but it was still a start for me. I attended the Show at Pontiac this year in hopes of finding the parts needed for the N & S. I met a lot of friendly people and decided on the spot to join their fine club and subscribe to your very interesting and helpful magazine.
I have not been able to find out the year my engine was made. It came from somewhere in Michigan about ten years ago. If you could steer me to where I could get more information about it I would greatly appreciate it. I would like to hear from some of your readers and if they can assist me, and also I would like to know about the state inspection needed to operate it.
In 1910 my father purchased this machine from my grandfather, which started my father in the threshing machine business.
At one time he owned and operated four outfits. He had to hire engineers and separator men. D. R. Bartimus of Beecher City, Illinois, used to come and run an engine for my father. I remember him saying one time, 'I don't have to worry about Dick and his engine as he is a first class engine man.'