SOOT IN THE FLUES

By Staff
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Maverik and Mercedes are ''helping'' Grandad and Uncle Mike thresh at the 1998 NWAPA show.
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Roadside museum near Crapaud, Rte 1., on P.E.I, in Canada. Photo by John Weeks.
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John Weeks' close up of roller in P.E.I.
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Gaar Scott & Co., Richmond, Indiana. 1890, 6-8-10-12-15 HP. Sent by Thomas Stebritz.
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Mike Yaeger and Maverik Bursch on the 15 HP Case in the NWAPA Saturday parade.
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As we work on the January/February issue, we are reminded of all
the opportunities to do better that a new year brings! With the end
of the century drawing nigh, we hear frequently about the great
computer challenge known as the ‘Y2K problem.’ This has to
do with the fact that many computers throughout the world are
programmed with only two places in determining dates when 2000
suddenly comes, computers will not recognize ’00’ as being
later than ’99.’

We thought we had this problem taken care of in our office.
Since we handle subscriptions which are often two years into the
future, we had to deal with the challenge before a lot of
businesses. But, as we were working on these first issues of 1999,
we learned that the codes which determine the printing order of our
‘Coming Events’ ads had only two places instead of four.
This meant that shows in the year 2000 would come out of the
program ordered before those in 1999 instead of after, requiring a
keen proofreading!

Fortunately, we’ll be able to cope with this problem, but it
does set the mind to wondering how many other small procedures does
the computer perform for us which are date sensitive and have been
forgotten?

Well, we hope that the earth won’t come to a standstill as
some predict. Nonetheless, we can see that the unexpected will
surely occur, particularly to the unprepared!

We have quite a few letters this time, and a great number of
pictures. We continue to get great stories about restorations, and
we’ve gotten some show reports, as well. Please, please send in
your stories, as we really want to print larger issues! And now, on
to the letters:

CINDY BUTKOVICH, 131 Red Bud, Wood River, Illinois 62095,
reports on plans for a 1999 Steam School: ‘The Pawnee Steam
School will be on the road just like the famous Pawnee Bill
Medicine Show of Pawnee, Oklahoma. This year’s school will be
held in beautiful southern Indiana at the Boonville Antique Gas and
Steam Club grounds. It will be held on March 27 and 28, 1999.

‘This year’s school subjects will be as follows, with
maybe a few more extras: Professor Chady (Winton) Atteberry will be
discussing the design of a steam engine and boiler, as well as
teaching history, beginner steam operation, and snake oils.

‘Professor Lyle Hoffmaster will be teaching plumbing safety
and asafetida bags.

‘Professor Harold Stark will be teaching parts, the proper
mounting of steam injectors, and lumbago ointment.

‘These are just a few in the line of professors teaching at
this year’s school. Many other subjects, such as governors,
babbitting, and ultrasound testing, will also be taught.

‘We are requesting that all participants either phone or
mail a letter or postcard advising the number of participants who
plan to attend. This is to let us know how many people to expect
for lunch. You can send all letters and/or postcards to Joseph
Graziana, 315 Grand, Wood River, Illinois 62095 or call Joe at
(618) 259-5458.

‘The Boonville Antique Gas and Steam Club grounds are
located 2 miles north of Boonville, Indiana, on Highway 61. School
starts promptly at 8:30 a.m.

‘The school is free, and we guarantee that all will learn
something of value. You never know what surprises might happen at
the school.’ (We’ve had stories on our pages from a
number of steam schools, and encourage attendance!)

HERBERT E. MANN, 2588 W. 250 South, Warsaw, Indiana 45580-8149
tells us, ‘Although the Wauseon, Ohio, show has always had
several Baker engines performing on the belt, I had never seen one
pull on the drawbar. This year I had the opportunity to see a 23-90
‘walking the dog’ with an 8-bottom prairie plow. He could
have easily pulled 12 bottoms!

‘I have watched steam plowing at Hesston, LaGrange, Tipton,
Valparaiso, New Haven, and the old Huntertown Show here in Indiana,
and this Baker was certainly impressive.

‘I have been an Iron Men Album subscriber for many
years, but I don’t recall anyone ever writing an article to
either praise or condemn Baker engines. There are many, many Case
supporters, probably like Chevy lovers, there are more units out
there. Russell, Advance-Rumely, Avery have all been written about,
pro and con.

‘How many engines did Baker build? Although very popular in
northern Ohio and southern Michigan, how far from home did their
distribution reach?

‘Baker always claimed that their combination of Uniflow
cylinder, piston valve, and Baker valve gear made them the most
economical of any engine on coal and water. Is this a valid
claim?

‘Leroy Blaker always claimed a Port Huron tandem compound
would beat all comers on economy. My uncle, Elmer Aldrich, threshed
with a 12 HP Huber, and he always claimed he could set up and be
half-done before the big rig could get there!

‘Hoping to hear from some Baker lovers or haters out
there.’

We have this from JOHN T. WEEKS, Apt. 165, 80 Lyme Road,
Hanover, New Hampshire 03755; e-mail weeksJ@ConnRiver.net:
‘Traveling along Canada Route 1, near Crapaud on Prince Edward
Island, Canada, I chanced on a roadside transportation museum. Out
in the yard under the trees, evidently having been there a while,
was a classic steamroller. I enclose two shots of the old thing, in
all its rusty glory. Whether it is restorable or not, it still is a
shame to have it rot away, but then I don’t know what the
supply of steamrollers is like; there may be a plethora or two.
I’ve no doubt many of your readers will be able to identify the
make and model. Obviously a late one, as the mechanism is fairly
sophisticated.

‘Chief Firewater,’ a Compromise 21 boat manufactured by
Beckmann Boatshop, is owned by Capt. Jack Haigh of Wickford, Rhode
Island, seen here enjoying a steam up one of the estuaries leading
into Narragansett Bay. Beckmann Boatshop, Ltd. is located at 500
Indian Corner Road, Slocum, RI 02877 and can be reached by phoning
401-783-1859.

‘Such a project is beyond me at this point, but I’d like
to think it was savable.’

We welcome this letter from THOMAS STEBRITZ, 1516 E. Commercial
St., Algona, Iowa 50511 who says: ‘The September/October issue
of the Iron Men Album was a well-rounded magazine; I have
to comment on a couple of letters.

‘Concerning 18 HP Gaar-Scott number 14530: A friend from
Kansas saw the engine during his annual trip to the Pontiac,
Illinois, show. This was in the 1960s. He sent me a picture of the
engine which I still have someplace. The name has been misspelled a
number of times. As I received it, the engine was owned by the
Burritcher Brothers of Highland, Illinois. The late Amos Post also
gave me some information about the engine. Of course, that 1937
could be right as the date of rebuilding. Well, anything is
possible. However, my information from Post and others put the
rebuild date at about 1929 or 1930.

‘The 1937 date is really incredible. In 1937 my late father
bought back 60 HP Case #29816 for $100.00. He traded this engine
in1915 to a company of farmers.

‘In 1937 you could buy a good engine, ready to go, for
$100.00 to $150.00, so why spend $800.00 to rebuild an engine at
that date, what’s the answer? According to the serial number,
the engine was built about 1908.

‘About the letter and picture sent in by John Steel in the
July/August IMA and commented on by Dr. Robert Rhode, the
picture shows a complete Gaar-Scott rig of the middle 1880s. The
thresher is called the ‘Peerless.’ That company used the
name before Geyser did. Looking at the engine, it was called the
Class E. My 1909 repair book states that engine was built for
several years prior to 1893, and the engine pictured could have
been built in 1885 or 1886, being equipped with the Plugs on the
drivers. In 1887 or 1888, the Gaar-Scott Company patented the cast
driver with a chilled face and herringbone-style lugs.

‘Most companies’ drivers evolved from the mower type
lug, then the angle lug. Then most companies adopted the
herringbone-style lug when the Gaar-Scott patent ran out in about
1904 or 1905.

25th Annual Barnes Steam & Power Show. Lance Barnes riding
the carriage of the sawmill powered by an 80 HP Aultman Taylor
portable engine. Photo by Russ Gelder.

‘In the May/June IMA we had an article about the
Northwest Thresher Company and about their New Giant return-flue
steamer. The New Giant was a spur-geared return-flue type engine.
The three pictures in the field are of the engine called
‘Giant,’ also called ‘Minnesota Giant.’

‘This engine preceded the New Giant and was a chain-drive.
These engines had no head tanks and had 48’ flywheels. I had a
close look at the Giant in the Rynda collection in May 1998. The
engine looks to be spindly, but close inspection proved that for
its time it was fairly well built. The flywheel is larger than the
front wheels.

‘In both magazines over the last year and a half, we have
been treated to three Scheidler Manufacturing histories. All three
are very similar but all short of some pertinent facts. We have
vague descriptions about Scheidler’s ill-fated firebox design,
but no one has any idea what the crown sheet in the Scheidler
firebox looks like.

‘A couple of years ago, someone sent a picture in to one of
the magazines from somewhere in the east of a late Scheidler
engine. The barrel had a butt-joint. A person couldn’t judge
the construction unless some clear pictures were taken of the
inside crown sheet area. I’m very curious about this. Reinhardt
Scheidler made a serious blunder up to 1903 in his faulted crown
sheet design. However, thereafter the fault passed on to those who
continued the faulted design. If this was actually true, you wonder
sometimes what A.S.M.E. thought of the Scheidler boiler.

A very nice late 1890s 12 HP Nichols & Shepard engine owned
by Lance Barnes. Also taken at the Barnes Steam & Power Show by
Russ Gelder.

‘One last thing. The center picture on pages 28 & 29 in
the May/June 1998 IMA, which is unidentified, is of a very
large rig consisting of an Avery thresher and possibly a 25 HP
engine which is a Buffalo Pitts.

‘I enclose a picture of a Gaar-Scott return-flue of 1890,
which was built in 6, 8, 10, 12, and 15 HP sizes. A close look
reveals the new herringbone style lugs. The Cedar Falls, Iowa, show
had quite a display of Advance, Rumely, Advance-Rumely, a 25 HP
Illinois steamer, and quite a number of styles of Rumely Oil Pull
tractors. There was a beautiful 9/16
scale 16 HP Advance there from Missouri. In full size, there were
10 HP, 16 HP, and 22 HP Advance coal burners, 18 and 20 HP Advance
Rumely engines and a 15 HP double-cylinder Rumely, and not to
forget, a 30 HP double Rumely from Minnesota, I believe.’

RUSS GELDER, 6075 Bethel Drive, Manhattan, Montana 59741 says,
‘Hello once again, folks. Over the summer months I have
accumulated a few more engine photos. I thought I would pass a few
of these photos to you wonderful folks at IMA. I know you
are always interested in fillers for your great publication. One
photo shows a nice late 1890s 12 HP Nichols and Shepard engine
owned by Lance Barnes. The other picture shows Lance Barnes riding
the carriage of the sawmill powered by an 80 HP Aultman-Taylor
portable engine. Please enjoy the photos and keep up the good
work.’

My grandson Maverik Bursch on our 1909 J. I. Case 15 HP #21743
after its new paint job. (Gary Yaeger photos.)

GARY YAEGER, 146 Reimer Lane, Whitefish, Montana 59937 says:
‘I just wanted to drop you a quick note and send some
photographs taken during my 45th steaming season. The first are of
the 1998 Northwest Antique Power Association’s fall show held
at our show grounds at Columbia Falls this past September 12 and
13. The weather was great and the attendance was just as good. 1
had done a lot of work on and painted our 15 HP Case this summer,
so I had a little more pride in it than I had in past shows. Austin
Monk decided to bring his 28 HP Minneapolis and 12 bottom Verity
plow, which was the bright spot of our little show. Carl and Kim
Tuttle of Howell, Michigan, were there and helped Austin in the
operation of that fine equipment. I don’t know how many Verity
plows are in use today, but Austin did an impeccable job of
restoring the plow he bought near North Battle ford, Saskatchewan.
He had several months’ time into the restoration. I understand
that Verity was bought out by Massey Harris. The plow has
‘parallelogram’ plow beams which remain parallel to the
ground when lifting over obstacles. Our cropland at the show
grounds is a real rock pile, and the plow did a fine job of
plowing. Kim did such a fine job of engineering the Minneapolis
engine that I am concerned that he could have possibly gotten
converted? The engine had not been used for several years and
needed some TLC. Kim and Carl are real fine steam people and sure
knew what they were doing.

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