SOOT IN THE FLUES

By Staff
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A double simple rear-mounted Nichols Shepard 20-75 steamer owned by Lyle Michelson, New Leipzig, North Dakota 58562. Picture taken along side of the Cannonball River. Courtesy of L. Loyal Michelson, New Leipzig, North Dakota 58562

Hi! And a Happy Summer to you as I know you are all busy, busy,
busy -planning Steam Show trips – and weeding the garden and
painting the last dabs on that engine – and doing those summer
chores that must be done around the house and dreaming and thinking
of the smell of steam and the good times that will come your way at
the Shows. You know what I mean -more dreaming and steaming and
scheming, than keeping your mind on your work.

Well, take a minute off and take a look at the magazine – notice
anything different? Sure ’nuff the magazine has changed hands
and office location. The home base is now in Lancaster, as Earlene
Ritzman has turned ‘the reins’ over to Gerald S. Lestz, the
new editor and publisher of Iron-Men Album Magazine.

As before, Mr. Lestz plans to keep the magazine much as it has
been, and it is only fair I give you a little date on the new
‘head of our family.’ I haven’t know Gerald Lestz very
long, but if first impressions count we’ll be a big happy
family as always. He’s quite versatile and no
‘greenhorn’ in the literary field, as you’ll see in
forthcoming issues. He has been a newspaperman in Lancaster,
Pennsylvania for 33 of the past 38 years. He writes for the
Lancaster New Era and is editor of Baer’s Agricultural Almanac
and serves other publications in editorial capacity. He has written
several books and many articles. His latest work is entitled
‘Amish Beliefs, Customs & Discipline.’ He is a past
president of the Fine Arts League Of Lancaster and of the Friends
of the Lancaster County Library, and of the statewide Pennsylvania
Guild of Craftsmen. He also gives lectures on old houses.

And as I mentioned in the Gas Engine Magazine, Gerry is a
celebrity in the field of writing (which puts me in left field, so
I’ll have to shape up and get in the ‘ball game’.) From
the short time I’ve known him though, I can tell you it’s
very pleasant working with him. He is understanding, amiable and
quite a likeable person – methinks we will be ‘steaming
along’ pretty well.

When I first heard of the magazines being sold, I must admit I
had mixed emotions as I prepared the materials to be turned over to
the new owner. After all, I’ve been with the Ritzman’s 15
years to the day. I started on September 16, 1957 and my job was
terminated March 16, 1973 – how about that? When you’ve lived
with something like that day in and dya out all those years, it
becomes a part of you and although I probably don’t know enough
about STEAM yet, I’ve learned a lot of the terminology and
better yet, I’ve made a lot of good friends through these
pages. I know I’ll never meet many of you folks, but believe me
your names are familiar and I feel we’re all part of thy ALBUM
Family. Anyhow much to my surprise, Gerry has asked me to stay on
with the magazines so I expect to continue for the time being.

Helen and Jim Ament will be handling the business end of the
magazine and although we’ve not had too much time to get
acquainted, they are a great pair and just give us all a little
time to ‘make the move.’ Treat us as you would one of your
‘kin’ and be a little patient – it will be worth it.

And from the mailbag comes a few writings you will be interested
in

EDWARD M. STAUFFER, R.D. 2, East Earl, Pennsylvania 17519 has a
questions for you steam buggs – ‘I have often wondered if
someone has ever tried to help steam up a boiler with using steam
from another boiler. As fast as a steam siphon will heat the feed
water that an injector will not work, it would seem to me that if
steam were taken from an already fired boiler and piped to the
drain valve on the boiler to be fired, and the steam left to rise
through the cold water, while a fire is being built, a head of
steam could be gotten a lot quicker. It would be wise to put a
check valve on the drain valve in case of a break in the steam
line. The only problem would be the metal would expand to fast.

I would like to hear from people who have tried this and with
what success, or any reason why it would not work.’ (What about
this Fellows? Will it work or not and why not? Seems to me it
wouldn’t be feasible, but then I’m no expert – only the
go-between for the magazine and you friends of the ALBUM).

Some information needed by one of our younger members – MARK N.
REIHART, R.D. 1, Alexandria, Pennsylvania 16611 (Avid steam fan).
His item states: ‘I’m 17 and never had any experience with
steam engines, so I don’t know much about them. I would like
any information on different types of valves. I have seen mentioned
in the Album several times, a valve called a Corliss type. What
type of valve is it and how does it operate? Also I have heard
mention of a buttstrap boiler – what is that?

Several people from my school and I have organized an antique
machinery club and plan to attend several shows this summer,
provided we can get transportation. So far the membership has
reached four. Not one of the biggest organizations around, I’d
say. (Maybe not Mark, but that’s a pretty good beginning,
don’t give up!)

My father is an avid gas engine fan and has quite a few engines,
mostly restored and running. I’m more of a steam fan though and
spend most of my time at the shows at the traction engines. I would
appreciate any information on the care and operation of them. (Help
him out, Guys, don’t let this interested enthusiast get away –
it’s his kind that must carry on for the future.)

A story of yesteryear comes to us from HISLE LUTES, 300 East
Broadway, Winchester, Kentucky 40391. ‘Once when I was a little
boy a steam engine passed down the road by our school. All of us
kids could hear it real plain a-puffing up the hill before it got
to the schoolhouse and we were most anxious to get to see it pass.
When it was almost in front of the school, the teacher said,
‘The first one of you kids that turn abound to look out the
window will get a taste of this hickory switch’.

We didn’t get to see the steam engine pass, but the teacher
looked out the window all the while. I reckon that must have been
the biggest of steam engines from the sound of it a clinking and
puffing by, but nobody got to see it but the teacher. That teacher
was the meanest person I ever saw. (You know, by golly Hisle, I
agree – but the teacher’s loss was greater than yours that was
a most opportune time to share a satisfying experience with the
pupils -I imagine that teacher missed many things in life that
would have been rewarding to class and teacher. Teacher could have
tied the experience in with studying, fun and would have been much
more of a friend to the students – right?).

In one of the issues of one of the magazines, someone inquired
as to where the ‘Wolfsville Ruritan Club’ is located. It is
South of Hagerstown, North of Frederick, Maryland. The answer came
from R. Dayton Nicols, 6128 Route 5, Stafford, New York 14143.
Thanks.

From LAWRENCE MARTIN, Route 2, Auburn, Michigan 48611 comes this
writing: ‘Dear Friend: There has been snow, rain, sleet and too
much cold wather that started here the second week of December, so
due to having Multiple Sclerosis I have been inside most of the
time rereading the I.M.A. books I have since May 1956 and all
G.E.M. books since it started.

‘After again reading the story in the 1962 I.M.A. Jan-Feb.,
about the 33 whistles blow at Tell City, Indiana on August 1, 1960,
I contacted Joe Fahnestock about some recordings or C 60 cassette
tapes of the whistle blow. After several weeks I received a letter
from Joe telling me he and his wife had been real sick this winter
and almost died of the London Flu. He did say that he was not in
Tell City at the time and does not have any tapes or recordings of
that whistle symphony, so I’m wondering if someone in your
midst could tell me the name of anyone in Indiana that might have
recorded this particular event. There are no steam railroad
engines, no steam thresher steam thresher engines around here any
more, so no steam whistles.’ He’s hoping to hear from you
out there I’ll bet someone recorded it.

The Antique Mechanics Club of the University of California at
Davis is attempting to list all makes of gas and steam engines
manufactured in California. C.S. GOODNER, Antique Mechanics, 2020
Regis Drive, Davis, California 95616 is writing to ask for any
information you might be able to provide. They would greatly
appreciate the following information about any engine you might
have built in California. They, in turn, will send you a copy of
the California Early Engine List. They would like to know the Name,
Manufacturer, Address of Manufacturer, Model, Ignition Type, Patent
date and year, Horsepower, No. Cylinders, Series Number, Fuel and
your name.

The Antique Mechanics organization is a group of University of
California students devoted to the restoration and preservation of
agricultural machinery. Their goal is to bring together a
collection of items depicting a history of California agriculture.
The collection has grown to over 200 donated items, many of which
have been restored to original operating condition.

Your help in this endeavor is greatly appreciated and we wish
them much success in their efforts.

I think it’s about time I sign off and as we are about into
summer – do have fun and I’m sure you’ll make some
wonderful new friends at the reunions -and when you come back, let
us hear from you, the reports, pictures and stories – we’ll be
waiting to hear from you.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment