233 County House Road Clarksboro, NJ 08020
All you folks who attended the 42nd Rough and Tumble reunion, 'Did you enjoy the show?'
Yes, well the expressions on your faces give you away. Many of you there for the first time were amazed that machinery so old could still be operative. I had people ask me to open my fire-door so they could photograph the burning coals.
The weather could not have been better-4 days of glorious sunshine, a little hot, but then it's August! The directors must be very glad about this, for we had experienced two rainy years in a row, which means you can't very well run an outdoor program and still get cars out of the mud.
I met so many old acquaintances this year. 'Naffy' and 'Big Ed' and...well, I could go on. They start the conversation with, 'Remember when...' or 'You still got that old10-20 you dragged out of the weeds?' 'Yeah, still got it.' You know, if you wish to put water in your boiler and you turn on the injector when you start talking, I will guarantee that the water will be in the top nut before you remember what year it was that Mr. Estleman's old Frick stopped in the middle of the parade.
Cliff Foster's /2 size Case working hard. Left center is Paul Stoltzfus, on engine is Scott Young. Right, I think, is president Otis Astle and Dale Young.
One evening I came up to the Baptist refreshment stand for something a little more nourishing than sweet water. I got myself a large coffee and was offered a seat beside two more old friends, Charlie and Mike Teaman. Charlie, if some of you remember, was grounds man for a number of years and lived in the little farmhouse. Mike was always a big part of R & T and used to keep a motel across the street. We talked of many of the older men who have passed on and it was amazing how many we thought of. They didn't leave their names carved on the walls but they might just as well have, for part of them is still here at R & T.
Massey Harris was in the center ring as the 'main event' and to me there was a very nice display. Most of what I saw was from the deck of the roller, as I don't have much time to walk around and inspect the various models and years. For one thing, I'm not acquainted with them.
There was quite a lot of activity over at the sawmill, and then Scot Young came and informed me of double heading. Apparently two engines were belted; the Goodison engine was inside the shed in place of Ray Herr's portable, and the big Case was outside belted to an outrigger pulley. Whether this was because they were trying to saw two logs at once, whether no one sharpened the saw, or whether it was just for fun, I don't know, but I rather think the latter. Both these engines belong to Cliff Foster, who also has a half-size model Case and a nice three wheel Case roller. The roller is new to R & T this year.
A couple more fresh engines this year include an 8 x 10 Frick owned by Tom Ackerman. It was equipped with a new kerosene headlight which really shines in the dark. See, Ray Herr got fed up firing a portable and not going anywhere, so he acquired an engine with wheels and a transmission so he could become more mobile! This is an 8 x 10 Frick which looks very nice, with oak varnished bunkers and platform. Another engine I also must mention is Dan Geman's Keck Gonnerman which is 20 HP, built in 1922. This engine has a nice voice on the Baker fan.
The little roller which is still of unknown manufacture was not run too much, for the young fellow I have been breaking in had to work. Saturday morning our old friend Roy Hen-came along and said he would like to try his hand. Well, Roy has a big three wheel Buffalo roller, so I knew he could manage this little toy. Roy kept up behind me going through the parade and I wish I had a picture of this, for it would look like a foal following its mother. (Before you readers become confused, we have a Roy Herr and a Ray Herr.)
Can't carry on this article without mentioning the large gasoline tractors we are getting. Now, when I say big, I mean BIG, folks. The largest monster is an Avery 45-65 built in 1921 belonging to Leroy Walker. The drive wheels are 7'4' in diameter-I know, because I measured them.
I think Paul Stoltzfus got fed up shovelling coal and raising steam, for he also has a collection of biggies. His large one is a 1912 Rumely 30-60 E with 6'8' drive wheels. Coming down in size, the next is a Rumely 25-45 B from 1911, and another Rumely, a 1916 15-30F. Also in the line of these biggies is Mr. Marshall's 30-60 Rumely, but I don't know the year. A.D. Mast too has another Rumely, a 20-40.
Several pieces of machinery have been refurbished this winter; one is the Arthur Young pick-up baler. Its appearance is like new and many of our patrons showed interest. According to our June Whistle Blast, Nevin Myers, Otis Astle and John Railing were responsible for this restoration, and there's no doubt many more bodies either wielded a hammer or a paint brush.
Three threshers were used for the large threshing exhibit. One was a Peerless wood thresher and baler that belonged to the late Mr. Harvey Hoffman and was donated to R & T by his family. I would imagine both to be WWI era. The next machine was a Yellow Fellow which had been given a coat of linseed oil. The third was unique, having been built by a Mr. J.C. Weaver of Strasburg (which is not far from Kinzers). The machine is all wood, built in 1915, in perfect shape with all its original striping. This too has been given a coat of linseed oil which enhances its appearance. Maybe one day I will look over these threshers we have at R & T and get some additional information on them, for it would make a good IMA article.
I did get a short look in the large stationary gas engine building where there seemed to be about a hundred engines running. The latest one is a two cylinder, double crank, single flywheel, beautifully put together. This was its first running after reassembly. Mr. A.D. Mast told me it was acquired by John Wilcox of Cleveland, Ohio, and was the power source for a gasket factory. The engine is a Miller 125 HP built in Columbus, Ohio. Nate Lillibridge is now the owner, I'm told. One weekend before the show I saw quite a gang at work preparing for the reunion. The whole front of this building is now covered with nice garage doors, fitted so that at some future date the whole building can be made bird-proof.
Speaking of birds, I don't know what species of bird it is that inhabits the rafters above my equipment through the winter. I think by what they leave behind they must be flying elephants! My small Farmall caught a dose and so did the big roller. Once or twice is okay, but do they have to use the same rafter all the time? It's terrible to get off and the best way I've found is to use a hand brush, pour some dishwashing liquid into the bristles, squirt water on the area, then scrub with the brush. I find it works on paintwork that's just smeared with a little oil or grease, but it won't take off caked-on grime.
Jim Conte seems to have the boiler treatment under control, and let's hope that after a few more steamings our boilers will be as clean as anybody's. I used a chemical this year and had no priming trouble at all. Now in the future I'll be tempted to use a little more as I think my previous trouble was oil.
Saturday morning, Bill Getz arrived with the calliope; after a warm up, it was used to play the national anthem. Chaplain Dan Ebersol gave us the blessing and prayer, president Otis Astle welcomed everyone to the show, and Bill St. John spoke of the show's preparation, etc. Carl Simpson then took over the mike and did the announcing. Carl gave us a history lesson regarding the anthem and the flag to fill in the time before the program started. Keeping a mike going all day is not easy.
I've saved the real highlight of the show 'til last, and this was the welcoming back into service of R & T's founder's engine, the Avery. It was taken out of service a few years ago for both boiler and mechanical problems. Since that time, a drive was run to collect some cash for its repair. From what I can gather, a new boiler would have been very expensive, so a good used one was acquired. New parts were made, new fittings added and a new cab and now it's almost a new engine.
I'm sure Mr. Arthur Young would approve and so would some of the old operators like BillKnotts. More so, I'm sure Everett Young is happy to see his father's engine back in service and to see his son Dale operating it. I don't know all the persons involved in this refit but Roland Woodward did give me some, which included Everett and son Dale, Otis Astle, and no doubt John Railing was among the pieces somewhere. I agree a whole article could be written on this restoration.
Went up to R & T on the Saturday after the show to put the tractors and the roller away. I got into a delightful conversation with A.D. Mast and he showed me around his engine-house 'den.' What a collection he has-he must have a model of every commercial engine ever built. There are Ottos, New Hollands, Mietz & Weiss and names I never heard of. I think his pride and joy is a Reeves 2 cylinder propane fueled with a bore of 9 inches and an 11 inch stroke. It develops 35 HP at 390 r.p.m. and starts as a two cycle on No. 1 cylinder, then over to four cycles as speed builds up.
This is coupled to a D.C. generator made by Hawthornes, putting out 25 K.W. at 115 volts. The whole unit was built in Mt. Vernon, Ohio, and purchased new by a movie theatre. A.D. is only its second owner. I expect those old carbon arcs used on the film projectors drew too much current from the main, and that was the reason for providing their own power source. Next time we hold a meet, folks, make sure you visit 'A.D.'s Den.'
Right now I'm sitting here wondering what I will do to make room to hang my plaque. I have them all in a line across the wall back to 1963. The first was like a card with a little metal traction engine behind cellophane. 1964 was not a plaque, but an 8 inch square of masonite with a white background, a red circle with R & T wording and a black Reeves engine in the center. 1965 was a desk ornament which I've somehow lost. 1966 started the plaques which are the same size today, changing only in colors. I have 26 of them and as I sit here in my basement shop, I'm wondering what the 27th will look like!