Happy New Year!! We hope you're all well and winterized, and looking forward to the next 12 months of restoration and steaming up.
In the long winter months ahead, won't you take pen in hand and drop us a line? We look forward to your letters and inquiries, as do your fellow readers. And who knows? You just might be able to get in touch through 'Soot in the Flues' with someone who can help you solve your stickiest problem, or who just turns out to be a fascinating person to correspond with. Many 'pen pals' have found each other through this column!
You'll notice at left, on the magazine's masthead, a few name changes. Linda Sharron is now Linda Weidman; she's been married for quite some time, but just never changed her name in print. She was inspired to finally make the change when Gail Knauer changed her name to Gail Anderson, having been married on October 21, 1995. Gail's new husband, Kelly, is machine shop foreman at the Strasburg Rail Road, where he gets to tear steam locomotives apart and rebuild them all day long, and they pay him for it!! Nice work if you can get, huh fell as? Anyway, even though the names have changed, we're still the same Linda and Gail you've talked with or written to in the past.
We received several nice letters this month let's move on to them now, shall we?
ADRIENNE McCOMBIE, W9572 City Highway I, Willard, Wisconsin 54493, writes: 'I have in my possession what I think may be an antique farm machine. It's a McCormick Dee ring International ensilage cutter, metal wheels, wooden slots on the conveyor, has an engine.
'Number on the machine is as follows: 1060L-Side, 1052L-Top, 1034L. Any information on its status will be appreciated.'
'Greetings from Kansas! We are very proud that our son, Aaron, has taken over the quarter scale Case 65 model business. He is a talented craftsman and builds beautiful engines. We know you will continue to send customers his way, as you have to us the past 20 years. We need to keep the young people involved to keep the steam hobby alive and well. Sincerely, TOM AND LOIS TERNING, 7701 N. Hoover Road, Valley Center, Kansas 67147-8473.'
From KEN BUTTERWORTH, 2821 Wilmington Road, Lebanon, Ohio 45036-9748: 'I have been attending the Clinton County Corn Festival since 1981. I have enjoyed the sawing of wood and threshing of wheat with steam power for many years. This Convention always occurs the second weekend of September each year at the Fairgrounds in Clinton County, Wilmington, Ohio.
'I have included a picture of a 1920 Russell steam engine at the 1995 show. This engine was in preparation to line up with the belt on a threshing machine. The people involved with the threshing had at least three wagon loads of wheat in bundles that they had harvested in early July. You might also enjoy the two pictures of a Frick engine at the same show.
'My dad and I have been subscribers to the Iron Men Album for about three years, but I have been interested in antique tractors, engines and steam engines all my life.'
MARK CORSON, 9374 Roosevelt Street, Crown Point, Indiana 46307, sent us this clipping from a copy of the Spokesman Review, Spokane, Washington, October 6, 1908, on the Interstate Fair:
'Whole Street of Temporary Buildings Occupied by Displays. Concessions Also Numerous. Manufacturers Exhibit Their Machinery in Operation Agricultural Districts Compete.
'Were a visitor to undertake to visit all the displays and concessions on the Interstate fairgrounds and obtain a comprehensive idea of all of them it would require at least two or three days' time to take them all in. As the visitor enters the grounds at the main gate he sees to his left a whole street of temporary buildings, tents and open-air exhibits and displays of machinery, manufactured articles and products of the farm, field, mine and forest collected from many different localities and displayed in entertaining and attractive order.
'The first booth as one enters the gate is that of the Christian Communism Association, which is conducting a religious and political colonization propaganda. Next to it comes the booth of the Spokane Falls Gas Light Company, where the conveniences of gas for domestic use are illustrated. Next to that is the booth of the Spokane Trunk factory, built in the form of an immense trunk.
'Machinery and Farm Products'
'Beyond the booth of the Spokane Trunk Factory is that of the Syphers Machinery Company, displaying grain separators, scourers, fanning mills, incubators and brooders. Next in order comes the display of the Meadow Lake district, consisting of farm, garden and orchard products, with illustrated advertising matter, and next to that the booth of the Union Fuel Company.
'Next in order after the Union Fuel Company comes three very attractive agricultural and horticultural displays, those of the Hayden Lake irrigated tracts, made by Malloy Brothers, the western Canada grain and vegetable display and the grain exhibit of the Canadian Pacific Colonization Company. Both the Canadian exhibits are of surpassing excellence, especially for their showing of threshed and bundle grains and grasses.
'Passing on down Machinery Row one comes in turn to the exhibits of the White rope-making machines, the Dul---- Auto Company, the Mitchell, Lewis & Staver Company, and the Deemster Mill Manufacturing Company, with an elaborate display of pumps and pumping machinery in active operation. Then comes the harvester exhibits. These are three in number, each having combined harvesters on exhibition. The first is the Spokane Harvester Company, the second the Best Manufacturing Company and the third the Holt Brothers Manufacturing Company. A novelty in the harvester line is the 10-foot 'baby harvester' displayed by the Spokane Harvester Company and for use on small farms. One of the Holt machines is raised from the ground and the machinery is kept in operation by means of a chain attachment to the gasoline engine.
'Big Field Devoted to Threshers'
'Further west there is a whole field devoted to the display of threshing machines, many of which are shown in operation, as are also a number of traction engines, including the big engine made by the Holt Brothers Company for transporting products on wagon roads by means of wide-wheeled cars, each of which is capable of carrying a load of 10 tons.
'Following down Machinery Street from the Holt Brothers' exhibit one sees the big exhibit of the Excelsior fence manufacturers, the booth of the Columbia garage, the display of engines and machinery of the John Deere Plow Company and the Igorrote village.
'Returning on the opposite side of the street, the visitor passes in turn the United Wireless Telegraph station, the Van Brunt Manufacturing Company's display of grain drills, the Buckeye gate, the C.L. Jones exhibit of farm machinery, the booth of the Jensen-King-Byrd Company, that of the Spokane Pump Company and Stone's vetch separator.
'The Igorrote village at the lower end of the street, while in an out-of-the-way location, attracts a great deal of attention and excites much curiosity. All day Monday and Tuesday the inhabitants of the village worked like beavers getting their miniature village in order and the village was thrown open to visitors last evening. It will be open each day and evening for the remaining days of the fair.
'The wireless telegraph station, after having been installed, was found not to be capable of transmitting messages to the other station fitted up at the Hotel Spokane, so another set of instruments was procured and a second station has been installed in a tent in another portion of the grounds about a mile distant. The men in charge of the exhibit expected last night to have the system in working order today.'
The photograph Shown above, which shows Austin Monk sitting on his 1914 50 Case, came from DOUG McDOUGALL, 2245 Highway 2 W, Kalispell, Montana 59901, who writes, 'This picture was taken at the 1995 Northwest Antique Power Association's Spring Show held at Gary Yaeger's place in Whitefish, Montana, Gary's house is in the background, and the peaks of the mountains in Glacier National Park are visible just over the top of the engine's bunkers. The Baker fan belongs to yours truly.'
HOWARD H. MURCHIE, P.O. Box 476, Jamestown, North Dakota 58402, writes: 'One time there was a steam thresher at Hansboro. He died in the late '20s. The threshing machine was near his house. Don't remember anything of the machine except that it was the cleanest steamer I ever saw.
'In a lean-to on his barn was a Buick car. Apparently there was little wrong with it. It had a good coat of dust. The body looked good. I have not talked to anyone who knows of such a car. It was two cylinder, cross mounted, and chain driven. I didn't know who I would see about it. Also I thought they would want too much for me.
'The belongings of Mr. Philips were sold the following summer. I was told that Clarence Thomas bought the car for seven or nine dollars. The leather upholstery was what he was interested in. The rest went to the junk pile. I would like to hear from anyone who knows anything about such a car.'
MIKE CURTIS, PO Box 53, Eaton, New York 13334, following up on his letter of last issue, sent us some local history booklets and writes: 'I thought that you might enjoy some of the history of Eaton, where Wood, Taber & Morse Steam Engine Works was founded.
'I live across from Allen Wood's house here in Eaton. I'm also a friend of Ken Morse who submitted an article to you about Wood, Taber & Morse's Engine Works.
'We are a non-profit club trying to locate as many engines as possible that were made here. There will be a New York Historical Educational marker struck for this famous company and be put on the foundry site here in Eaton.
'Could you please help us locate as many as possible Wood, Taber and Morse steam engines? We would like to open up a museum here someday. It would be nice if we could get one on loan for everyone to see. Please help. Thanks!'
MORRIS BLOMGREN, 10139 Blomgren Road, Siren, Wisconsin 54872 sends this: 'I don't see any steamers on this old photo of three couples standing in front of a sod house they had built in South Dakota, but I think it's still an interesting picture. The photo was apparently taken by Jas. D. McFarlane of Sheyenne, North Dakota.
'The plow shown in the second picture is a horse drawn plow for plowing sod for sod houses. I thought the two pictures would go well together.'
BOB SORENSEN, JR., 255 West Laurel Road, Bellingham, Washington, 98225 says: 'What I am sending was originally started shortly before the death of Anna Mae. Needless to say it was pushed aside. I enjoyed her column and the articles from the individual writers very much, and I enjoy it still. You are doing a good job , Linda and Gail, I wish you both well in the continuing of Soot in the Flues.' [Thanks, Bob! We're sure trying!]
'I have been exposed to the steam traction engine my entire life. I have also lived all of it in northwest Washington. Over this time I have seen many 'donkey engines' and had a love for them. This would be referring to a steam hoisting engine. Years ago, it would be in reference to an engine used for logging, pile driving and land clearing wherever a hoist could be used. It was just called a donkey and taken for granted it was steam.
'There were many builders of these engines; however, the three main builders in Washington and Oregon were Willamette Iron and Steel Works of Portland, Oregon; Puget Sound Iron and Steel Works, Tacoma, Washington; and Washington Iron Works, Seattle, Washington. These three companies were building primarily for the logging industry for many different applications and in many different sizes.
'In 1982 I obtained an American Hoist and Derrick. It is a three drum 8 x 10 industrial hoist. The donkey had been purchased new in 1935 and used in bridge construction until the late '60s.
'When I obtained it the engines and hoist were in excellent condition; however, the boiler needed to be retubed. This was finished by August of 1983 and everything then was in good running condition.
'In 1986 I acquired the hoist only of an 11 x 14 Washington Iron Works three drum standard yarding engine, number 3467. The original machine was tested October 16, 1922; sold and shipped shortly after that date. In June of 1944 the boiler and engines were removed and the hoist repowered with a Cummins Diesel. It was then used into the early 70s.
'Having only the hoist until 1991, and unable to find original engines, I decided to rebuild with a pair of Willamette Iron and Steel 11 x 13 engines. With much measuring, drilling many holes and much good help, we were able to adapt the Willamette engines to the Washington hoist.
'In June of 1990 I acquired a 66' x 120' round vertical fire tube boiler which was of the same dimension as the original Washington boiler. The replacement boiler was built in 1966 to ASME code, fusion welded with 308 6' x 4' x 2' tubes, with a 48' firebox. The working pressure of the boiler was 200 lbs. with a heating surface of 1080 square feet.
'After mounting the boiler to the engines and hoist, all valves and fittings had to be added. Following code rules and regulations, all pipes and fittings required minimum SWP rating of 250 lbs. I was very fortunate in having a number of old valves rated 250 and 300 SWP. The boiler required two pop valves; I used one 1' Kunkel set at 160 lbs. with a capacity of 5,624 lbs. per hr., with 6 lbs. of blow down. The second pop used is a 2' Consolidated set at 175 lbs. with 7 lbs. of blow down. Both pop valves required ASME with a 1/ stamp.
'The main boiler stop valve is a 3' flange mounted Lunkheimer Globe valve. There is a 3' expansion joint in the line then a 3' throttle with 3' pipe into each engine. There are two Penberthy injectors, one 1' and one 1', and a 1' blow down valve.
After building a canopy, painting the boiler and stack, the hoist and engines, the engine was ready to move. Moving the donkey was finished by the last Saturday of July 1991. We moved in time and able to run at the Puget Sound Antique Machinery grounds for our August 1st to 4th show at Berthuson Park, Lynden, Washington, thus making all the work worthwhile. All my good friends that helped and made this possible felt we were paid in full.
'The photographs are as follows.
'No. 1 Washington Iron Works Standard 3 Drum Hoist, as I received it in 1986.
'No. 2 Starting to mount Willamette engines on the Washington hoist.
'No. 3 Start of canopy (roof), also showing boiler stop valve expansion joint throttle valve and injectors.
'No. 4 More work finished, plus some painting.
'No. 5 Moved and sitting at Puget Sound Antique grounds. Water tank, some firewood, one feather of steam from the only leak we had.
'No. 6 Steamed up, running slowly with nothing to do. The hat just showing at left is on my good helper and operator, John Tucker. This is the finished 'donkey' that we worked so hard to accomplish. It really is a hybrid, the hoist being Washington Iron Works, the engine and crankshaft Willamette Iron and Steel, and the boiler by Seattle Boiler Works. After all this we call it a 'Willawa' donkey.
No. 7 Bob Sorensen operating the American Hoist and Derrick 3 drum 8 x 10.
'No. 8 The current Washington boiler inspection.'
Thanks to Bob, and all our other letter writers, for a nice variety of correspondence. We look forward to hearing from more of you next time. Meanwhile, throughout the season ahead, remember this gem of wisdom from Anne Bradstreet's Meditations Divine and Moral, written in 1664: 'If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.'
Steamcerely, Linda & Gail