Hi to everyone in the Iron-Men Album Family--publishing a bimonthly magazine is something I never seem to get used to when it comes to deadlines--as tonight I am finishing off the Jan.-Feb. issue and it is Halloween and as I fill in the last of the column--there have been all kinds of goblins, witches, supermen, ghosts, animals and you name it-- ringing the doorbell and we are happy to present them with a Treat so that we do not get any Tricks -- at our new address and could I just reminisce a few thoughts to you, as I look back over the years.
We never bought Halloween costumes, I always made them and believe me I am not really good at sewing, usually have to follow a pattern to the letter, but somehow I did manage to get the idea across. Over thirty years ago it began when our first born wanted a rabbit suit for his first Big Night--so I made it and at that time, masks were limited as to selection so I made the face mask also--the suit was white and the mask was one you put over your head and I copied (I'm fair at drawing) the face of a bunny from a box of cereal, and gave the bunny long pink ears, and gloves to cover the hands, and so it went in the following years--a pig, a horse, an elephant, a zebra (created a face for that one as I bought a tiger mask, painted the yellow stripes white and stapled a paper cup on the nose to make a long nose-like head and long ears, and of course, the suit was black and white stripes--that came out much better than expected.
Then one year it was just an upside down man--try that sometime--it's clever--the trousers go on your head with your arms extended into the legs, or else sticks that you hold. You put the sweatshirt on up over your feet and pin a mask on the sweatshirt neck, down between your legs--make it two masks, one on each side--it's cute.
Then there was a duck, a Chinese lady, a Fairy princess, a cowboy, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, an Indian dress, and Indian suit (which probably was the best one) as I drew Indian masks on one arm, a Thunderbird on the front of the suit and a mountain goat on the back and fish on the other sleeve, then sewed all colors of rick-rack on the items I had drawn.
Then there was a Santa Claus suit and an Uncle Sam and a Colonial outfit for a man, even made the white wigs such as they wore with cotton sewed into a ladies stocking to fit over the head. Then there was the beautiful red satin outfit trimmed in black and white that was made for one of the P.T.A. plays I was in and it has come in quite handy for such parties. It has the split skirt up to the knee, a huge hat, pouch bag such as they carried and a parasol to match (covered an old umbrella) black mesh stockings--it's a beauty.
I guess the worst outfit I made was a Christmas tree--out of green plastic bags and sewed to look like branches and put on ornaments-- and at the bottom was red brick paper--the idea was there, but it was really goofy and good for a laugh. Most of the costumes have been well used with our five children--and the grandchildren are using some of them. A lot of them have been worn out, but we still find room in our new address to keep a few.
Thanks for letting me ramble on for awhile--I haven't done that in a long time and usually when I get into a column like this I hear from you folks as it sparks your memory vault of your past family life and I believe it warms your hearts to look back on the treasures of your passing years.
And now I must get on to more important writings . . .
Don't forget to get your information in concerning the 1980 Directory--this important little directory was started six years ago and is the only guide of its kind as to where shows are held, by whom, dates, etc. You get a free listing if you advertise or not--if you need any other information, let us know.
From N. J. HICKOK & SON, Amboy, Minnesota 56010 comes a good reminder: 'We want to thank all the engine people that furnish all the ads and articles that make up the engine book.
Would also like to say that here at Amboy, we had just one terrific summer and now it's getting cold and we still have a lot of engines out in the yard, but we have been so busy. Also, can I ask that when you engine guys write someone for information, please send along an addressed envelope which is stamped. Sometimes we can't read the address and also those stamps are counting up and if you S ASE you're a whole lot more apt to get an answer. Thank you and have a good winter.'
A letter of information comes from PAT RICKERMAN, Route 1, Rickerman Road, Galien, Michigan 49113: 'I have read and enjoyed The Iron-Men Album for several years, for I have always been interested in steam engines. That, of course, is why I am writing this letter.
Traction engine, with water tank located over the front
part, and provided with special platform and coal bunkers. It
is an engine of unusual capacity, and is designed for plowing
or road work. When required, the face of drivers may be made
16' wide. This engine is in complete working order, and with
two barrels of water in the tank, weighs about 10,000 pounds, which
is less than the weight of the average to horse engines in common
I would like to build a 5/8 scale model of a 15 HP Westinghouse engine. I chose a 5/8 scale as this will allow me to use a ? scale Case 65 engine and much of the gearing. However, I have little information on the dimensions of this traction engine, particularly the boiler. Maybe someone could send me a set of plans or at least the dimensions of this traction engine. I would be glad to pay for any copying costs or postage.
Enclosed is a copy of the 15 HP Westinghouse I would like to build.
In closing, Anna Mae, I would like to respond to one of your readers who asked about the horsepower of engines and boilers. The horsepower of engines is calculated by the formula:
H = A x P x T
A = area of the piston (sq. inches)
P = working pressure (lbs. per square inch)
T = piston travel
The piston travel is two times the R.P.M. (if the engine is double acting), times the stroke of the engine.
As for the horsepower of boilers, this can only be found accurately by the use of steam tables and several calculations. An approximate figure can be used in most cases.
For tubular boilers 15 square feet of heating surface approximately equals one horsepower. In flue and locomotive boilers 12 to 14 square feet of heating surface is approximately equal to one horsepower. This will give you a very conservative figure in most cases.'
A letter comes from HASTON L. ST. CLAIR, Rural Route 1, Box 140A, Holden, Missouri 64040: 'In the Iron Men Album-Magazine for May-June 1979 on page 25, picture 4, there is shown a model of Nichols & Shepherd engine with a baby sitting by it. I believe this is a model engine made by John Offutt, 208 East 43 Street, North Kansas City, MO 64116.
This is not the first engine John built. His first model was of a Case when he was a teenager. After finishing the engine and finding that it would run, he decided he would like to work for some company who built engines, so he took the model and went to the Case Company in Kansas City. The superintendent said, 'We don't hire boys, but we would be glad to have you work for us when you grow up.' John showed him that his engine would run, and the superintendent said, 'You are hired.'
Later, John worked for Nichols & Shepherd and became their valve man. He did all the valve work that was done in the rebuilt engines.
In later years he had several inventions and has taught others in the building of their models.
On his last birthday, June 30, 1979, John was 82. I am proud to say that John Offutt is one of my good friends.'
WARREN G. WEILER, R.D. 1, Box 48, Morgantown, Pennsylvania 19543 has an inquiry as he writes: 'I would like to find a poem which my father would quote at times, when seeing a steam engine or train. Two of the lines go like this--Harness me tight with our iron bands--and also -- I turn the wheels of machinery. I carry freight and people across the river and valleys. This poem may have been in School Readers, approximately 1900.' (Hope you get your answer.)
REG CRISP, Box 131, Dell Rapids, South Dakota 57022 would like to hear from you: 'Would certainly appreciate if you or some of your readers could advise the proper colors by number for 1929 Case and Hart-Parr engines. We see quite a variety of colors on these tractors and would like to have ours as close to right as possible.' (Write him if you know and he'll be very grateful.)
This note comes from FRED W. ROBINSON, 1111 11th Street N.W., Canton, Ohio 44703: 'I would like the readers of your publication to send me notes and memories on the Aultman steam engines. I've been trying to gather a little data on the company and its equipment. C. Aultman & Co. was a large employer in Canton 1870-1890 possibly a little later before going to Mansfield as Aultman & Taylor. Thank you!'
JOHN BERGREEN, 4564 E. San Gabriel, Fresno, California 93726 writes: 'On page 26 of the Nov-Dec. issue, you show an unclassified engine at bottom of the page. This is either a 20 or 25 HP cross compound Reeves of the later model which had the flat spoke rear wheel. The size of the steam chest cover identifies the cross compound design. Our Reeves was cut down for scrap iron two weeks before my brother, Art and I, had planned to ship it here to Fresno from Osage, Saskatchewan.'
Seeking an answer is EDWIN H. BREDEMEIER, Steinauer, Nebraska 68441: 'Can someone in the IMA or GEM family tell me the age of my 2-20' x 36' Case threshers. Serial numbers 83906 and 88607. Both are complete with Case feeders and Case grain handlers?' (There fellows is another hopeful enthusiast awaiting your letter.)
This letter comes from CARL D. STRAWSER, P.O. Box 12, South Milford, Indiana 46786: 'Could any of the Iron Men Album readers give me any information on a small upright steam engine, that I own. The words on the frame of it states: James Watson; Maker 1000 S. First Street.A. The steam cylinder on it is about 3' bore and 4' stroke. I would like to hear from someone who could tell me something about it. Also, is there a book that can be bought that tells about stationary engines? I have owned steam engines since I was 13 ? years old--my age now is 83.' (You will probably hear from some of the readers Carl, and I'll bet you're only old in age, but young in heart-- many more happy years to you.)
We have a letter from BLAKE H. BOARDMAN, 16460 Heather Lane #204, Middleburg Hts., Ohio 44130: 'For what it is worth, I stumbled on an old steam tractor down in Wayne County. It looked like it wasn't in too bad shape. The stack had been covered. After walking around in the weeds, I got this information off the cylinder - Case A108OC, A10799, A11790 M 1899. Anyone interested, you take route 250 south out of Wooster till you come to Co. Road 98, west till you come to Co. Road 2 about ? mile till you go apparently one mile to Peter Hershberger farm.
DENNIS GIBBS, Jasper, Michigan 49248 asks: 'Could someone please identify this rig?
A request for help comes from A. TEMPLEMAN, Box 57-A, New Boston, New Jersey 03070: 'Please send me any information you have on a steam engine and boiler of a size and fire tube diameter to be used with wood or coal fire, in an experiment I am conducting in powering an automobile. Thanks.'
This interesting letter comes from JUANITA N. BIRD, P.O. Box 157, Liberia, Guanacaste, Coste Rica: 'Several years ago, you published a letter I wrote about Pensionado benefits in Costa Rica, and our planned retirement there. Response was overwhelming. You helped open the door to a new life, started enduring friendships and gave us some fine neighbors. We are grateful.
Today, listening to the news . . . gloom, wars, energy crisis, shrinking dollar, strikes and poor Jimmy Carter, it occurred to me that your readers would possibly enjoy a second episode in the 'Saga of the Birds.' So, here I am, pen in hand.
We moved, bag, baggage, grandmother, teenagers, and all to Costa Rica more than three years ago. Since that time, we have been happily settled in Ranchos Maricosta. Our experiences merit writing a book, for they have not only been exciting, but at times, hilarious. The only flaw has been our inability to find easily accessible, registered beach property, which was probably a blessing in disguise, for it made us look to Colombia (another democratic republic) in South America, where cost of living is even less than in Costa Rica.
This picture was taken in 1914. Operator is N Felix Witt of Jasper, Michigan, my grandfather, who was the same age then, as I am now.'
Here, we found Palmas de Oro (Palms of Gold), a lovely, old coconut plantation on the Caribbean. To complete a perfect setting, looking away from the ocean, towering over 19,000 feet in the background, and snow-capped year 'round, stands majectic Mount Colombus, part of the Sierra Nevadas.
It may be hard to believe hundreds of green palms, waving in the ocean breeze, blue sky and ocean, pounding surf and golden sand, with a snow-capped mountain as a bonus, but it is all there in Palmas de Oro, situated on the Pan American Highway near Santa Marta, oldest and most fascinating city in South America.
So now we have two loves, our ranch in Costa Rica, and our beach in Colombia. We sincerely believe we have discovered a new, exciting American frontier and are eager to share it with others. And if you think you are too old for adventure, we are 59 and 63 ... both have battled, and so far, have conquered cancer.
You can write us at P.O. Box 157, Liberia, Guanacaste, Costa Rica and we promise an answer. Please send letters air mail (25? per ? oz.).
From Latin America, we wish you salud (health), dinero (wealth) and amor (love).'
In closing I'd like to wish you Happy Holidays and a very interesting and rewarding New Year--and I'd like to share with you a poem written by Edgar A. Guest entitled 'SERMONS WE SEE' I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day. I'd rather one should walk with me than merely show the way. The eye's a better pupil and more willing than the ear; Fine counsel is confusing, but example's always clear; And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds, for to see the good in action is what everybody needs. I can soon learn how to do it if you'll let me see it done. I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run. And the lectures you deliver may be very wise and true, But I'd rather get my lesson by observing what you do. For I may misunderstand you and the high advice you give, But there's no misunderstanding how you act, and how you live. (I took this out of my book called Leaves of Gold which also states: 'Sermons We See' is from the book 'The Light of Faith' by Edgar A. Guest.
I thought if we pondered awhile on the above reading--it would be a good standard to try and live by in 1980--Bye Bye -- Love Ya!