Rough and Tumble Report 1988

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Helen confers with Case engineers.
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Mr. Abell's 110 HP on the fan.
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Small roller from the Willocks' estate. B. A. P. Co. No. 23, who are you?
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A line of R & T regulars.
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1850 Beam, small Frick portable, and reversable engines from the Willocks.
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Quite an assortment of tractors are gathered around the new machine shop at the bottom of the parade area in Kinzers last summer.

233 Country House Road Clarkboro, New Jersey 08020

‘Man is civilized only when he remembers his yesterdays and
dreams of the tomorrows’, writes a man named Andrew Thomas.
Well, R & T men were very civilized at the 40th Reunion and J.
I. Case Exposition, and one could not frown upon the exhibit they
promoted. So many folks came from far away places to witness this
show of agricultural power; from the smallest to the large 110HP of
Mr. Abell’s. As for the dreams of tomorrow, we will need
another 10 acres of ground for future expositions such as this.
Along the top fence by the entrance we flew the state flags of each
state and of the Canadian Provinces also.

All Case equipment was placed in one area and making a left from
the main entrance you came upon the Case Expo tent. Inside was much
literature and artifacts of the Case Company supervised by Helen
Case and her husband. On display also, under the tent, was a large
model of a farm complete with houses, barns, etc. and a Case
threshing rig in miniature. I have an idea that this display is the
work of Mr. Hilliker and was featured in an article in this
magazine Sep./Oct. ’88 issue. Sitting on the ground were
2′-scale, 3′-scale, 4′- scale and a half-size traction
engine. There were also others steamed up that participated in the
parade of power. One engineer carried his little dog with him. It
appeared not to mind the smoke and oil.

Leaving Helen’s tent you came upon the long row of steamers.
First was a very old portable and a slightly newer one and I have
no information of either. Next was the Kinzer old faithful, a 12HP
center crank Case of 1894. I like all that fancy casting work
around the gear train. The line then carried on from the 30HP to
the large 110HP of Mr. Abell’s. Two other large engines were J.
Degans 1910, 75HP from Southampton, Long Island and Leroy Walkers
80HP 1914, from Glen Rock, PA.

Turning by the coal pile and on the other side of the driveway
were the gas jobs. There were quite a few of them, some of them
absolutely immaculate, from the one wheel in the front jobs and the
cross motors, to those types that still carried the resemblance to
a traction engine. Please excuse my ignorance of the different
models, I’m more at home with steam rollers.

Upon seeing the 150HP Case boiler exhibited by the gentleman
from Illinois, I cannot help but wonder at the immense size this
engine must have been. A 110HP is a large machine but this must
have been half as big again. In this magazine of Mar./Apr. ’87
issue, Mr. Hedtke wrote quite an article on the history of this
relic including the specs and measurements. Out of the nine that
were built, it is a great shame that this boiler is the only
remaining piece of these massive machines. I spoke with Mr. Hedtke
and made fun of that spacious firebox being used as a motel room.
Three whistles were mounted on top of the dome but sad to say, this
boiler will never again make steam enough to blow them.

Not so much WWI, but more WW2 was responsible for the demise of
my good traction engines simply because no one wanted them. Also
here, as in Europe, it was considered unpatriotic if you didn’t
give them up for the war effort. There were fortunately men like
Everett Young’s Dad who could see an historical future in these
old steamers, such as the old Scheidler and the little Frick still
at R & T. Several others around this coast probably owe their
existence to once being members of the Young stable. Mr. Young
repaired and shipped engines overseas, I believe, but I don’t
expect one would ever have been as large as a 150HP.

Opposite to Helen’s tent were the Case automobiles and were
some of them nice! There were six altogether and one model had the
lens in the headlights cut like a sugar bowl design. From the
remarks I heard, not many folks knew Case even built automobiles,
and, as Case was in car manufacture, it’s a wonder they never
built a steam car, or, did they?

The program each day was usual with the invocation,
presidents’ speech and so forth. The National Anthem was played
followed by that of Canada. All activities then commenced and us
operators did what we could to run our machines and dodge the crowd
at the same time. Carl Simpson took over the commentating except
for the special events.

Thursday morning we drove the roller down along the lower fence
for Jack Norbeck to get pictures. It seems they need one for the
front cover of a magazine which deals with construction. ‘John
O’ Gaunt’ now becomes a cover girl? Jack, as most of us
know is the author of the ‘Encyclopedia of Steam Traction
Engines.’

Visitors saw the logs going the sawmill which was powered mostly
by Ray Herr’s portable. Tiny Miller, with his 35-ton Bucyrus
Erie steam crane unloaded the logs and placed them in position for
the mill. This machine is on crawler tracks and, of course, moves
back and forth periodically. Quite a few people were interested in
this operation.

Threshing was done in the usual series of events, flailing as in
Biblical times, threshing with the little hand crank, or Ground Hog
machine, the horse in the treadmill, and the 4-horse sweep drive.
The straw was baled in the jump press and this is also powered by
horse and the bale always looks a lot heavier than those from the
mechanical baler. Mr. Woodward was in charge of the operation each
day and gave a running commentary as operations progressed. At the
completion of these displays inside of ‘Little Toots’
track, the visitors were instructed to move down to the lower part
of the ground where the large threshing rig was set up for
threshing wheat. Nevin Myers did the commentary here, for threshing
he knows well.

Grant Huddle and his Dad did quite a lot of work to the 15′
Toot railroad during the year and relaid, completely, the whole
track. New ties, new ballast and almost rebuilt the engine too. The
exhaust is now much sharper as the valves were re machined and the
port face scraped. Drive wheels were turned and trued and bearing
blocks bored and we thank Walt for that.

Ladies Auxiliary needs mention for they have donated quite a lot
to the organization. They now have a nice new building in which to
serve their good food to hungry engineers. This is situated by the
old farm house and at a guess, is about 50 x 80. Another new
building has been erected at the lower end of the parade area and
will be used as a work and machine shop. With a little heat this is
good for winter projects.

It seems that a generous gentleman has donated to the
organization many odd and unusual pieces of equipment. The first
that intrigued me was the steam lawn mower. I somehow felt I had
seen a picture of this somewhere, so getting down a copy of Floyd
Clymers traction book, I found, on page 50, ‘The Coldwell Steam
Mower Co. of New-burgh, New York.’ The caption reads, ‘A
double cylinder engine by Mason, and could be used for threshing
and sawing.’ I don’t think this would be quite true as
there is no flywheel and even if there were, it would have to be
fitted to the second shaft and this only runs about half engine
speed. Tiny Miller apparently is going to try and make it
operational and now has it loaded on his trailer.

Some years ago I mentioned a ‘Lamp Post’ engine in one
of my reports. Well, this is another machine from the above estate
that is now at Kinzers. This is truly a gas engine for it runs on
hydrogen and is called the ‘Otto-Langden Hydrogen Atmospheric
Engine’. The base of it really does look like a lamp-post, you
know, with all those circles and flutes cast in it. It has no
crank, but a rack on the end of the verticle piston rod that
engages a ratchet pinion on the flywheel shaft. ‘Don’t know
if you readers can visualize this form of motion so, next time, I
promise, you will get a picture.

Another piece of equipment from this same estate is the 10-ton
Buffalo-Springfield roller that once belonged to one of our
deceased members. It has not as yet been checked for service but it
looks good. Yet another piece is a small tandem roller like an
Iroquois although it would be nice to track down the actual
manufacturer for the engine has a little brass plate on one steam
chest that says ‘B A P Co. Engine 23.’ We at R & T are
anxious to find the actual builder so if there is anyone out there
who knows, please drop a line to me or R & T. I did hear they
were used for patching pot holes in most large cities. Someone is
bound to remember them. For a brief description, I don’t think
it weighs more than 1000 lbs., if that. The front roll is only
about 18′ diameter and the rear about 36′ diameter.
‘Boiler is like 18′ diameter and roughly 40’ high.
Standing alongside ‘John O’Gaunt’, it looks like a
mother and baby.

I stayed with a friend in his motor home and Friday morning
about 7 a.m. we were awakened by the rain rattling down on the
roof. We were in the campgrounds across the street and didn’t
go over to the show until the rain slowed up. It was disappointing,
really, for Wednesday and Thursday had been so nice. Looking at the
grounds and the driveways I knew, even if we lit the roller up, we
were not going to go far. By noon things were beginning to dry up
but the parade area was very soft. There were plenty of folks
though, and the steam games were held in the evening. I watched
them for a little while and quite amusing were the
‘policeman’ and an accomplice, namely, the Case Eagle. Boy,
I bet that eagle suit was hot to wear!

Saturday morning we again awoke to the Friday morning situation.
All morning it rained and I thought everyone would have stayed
home, but not so. This weather didn’t stop the spectators even
though they had quite a job of parking their cars. It must have
been a mudhole out there. All day long they came, through the model
building four thick and, of course, there was plenty to see, even
in the open steam shed outside. I was amazed how those miniature
model railroad guys ran their trains in the rain. They had a sheet
of plastic rigged up in one spot to keep the operators dry and the
rain didn’t seem to bother those little alcohol burners.

To sum up it’s unfortunate it rained, and this is something
that hasn’t happened to a reunion in years. We have always had
good weather but, as the saying goes, ‘You won’t always get
jam on your bread’. The attendance was very good considering,
and well, better luck next time! Thanks to Dwight, our President,
and the Case organizing committee for such a well organized affair,
and Whoo Whoo Whup, ’til next time!

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