Hi! to our wonderful I.M.A. Family – big summer coming up and
Reunions just about to be in full swing throughout the next four
months and I know you are all ready and anxious to get steamed up!
Don’t forget and let us hear about your little notes of
interest as well as the biggies.
Recently my hubby and I attended my High School Class Reunion a
belated 40th which means almost 41st – what a time – it was great!
We’ve had one big reunion when we were out 25 years, but some
of them didn’t get to that one and made it this time. We only
had a class of 60 when I graduated and there were 32 of the class
there and more with the mates and guests. Funny though how so many
of them really changed, except a couple of us around here (Ha Ha).
Isn’t it fun and a joy though to relive some of the school days
(daze)? Some people will never attend class reunions, but we love
them; but then we love people. In June we’re attending Ed’s
48th – they had one at 45 years and liked it so much they decided
to have one in between 45 and 50th – and we’re ready to go. Who
knows now that we have more time, perhaps we’ll keep in better
touch with some of them.
Time for one of my Wellsprings of Wisdom stories from the book
of Ralph L. Woods. This one is called Man’s Dream and Destiny
and titled The Greater Fool. A potentate of ancient Asia presented
his court jester with a beautifully wrought wand and said:
‘Keep this until you find a greater fool than yourself.’
The jester good-naturedly accepted the emblem of magic and
flourished it on special occasion. Some years later the ruler was
dying and asked to see the jester, of whom he had grown fond.
‘I wanted to say goodbye; I am going away on a long
‘Where are you going to?’
‘I have no idea.’
‘How long will you be gone?’
‘That I can tell you it is forever. I know nothing more about
this journey I am about to take.’
‘What have you done about providing for your well-being on
this great trip?’ asked the jester.
‘Nothing whatever,’ replied the king. ‘There is
nothing to be done.’
‘Since that is the way you feel,’ said the jester,
‘take this wand. You are the one to whom I should give
And now on to our communications: ‘After seeing one of your
magazines I had to write,’ says BLAIR T. GRUBE, 100 Kissick
Lane, Freeport, PA 16229. 412-295-3526.
He continues: ‘You know there are bigger engines!! (Yes, we
do, Blair, but go on.) I moved a 50 HP Bessemer from Worthington,
Pa. to Porterville, 35 miles. This engine is approximately 17’
long and weighs 10 tons. It is one piece base with a compressor
built into it. Your book kind of talked up a 25 HP which really
would be dwarf to ‘Bessie’. (We love stories about all
‘It is being mounted at Portersville’s Show Ground. Ten
yards of concrete have been poured, the engine set and now being
restored. Eight inch casing is the exhaust. A building is built;
see picture. Two big tanks, cooler tanks, one 10′ and the other
8′ by 8′ also had to be moved. Five 48′ to 56′ by
5′ tanks, 1 accumulator, 2 compressor tanks, air starting tank
and after compressor tank also had to be moved. She was in a
building 25′ by 14′ and office 12′ by 5′, all had
to be removed. She was loaded on an Auto Car tractor trailer rig
with a six ton come-a-long. Been quite a project!’ (I’ll
bet it was, Blair, sounds like you had a lot of excitement and fun.
I’ve typed up quite a few stories like that too bad I don’t
know just where they are in our magazines, but maybe some of our
good readers will like to get in touch with you and chat about
them. Hope to hear from you again sometime.)
ORVILLE McCAULEY, Route 3, Box 94, Nixa, Missouri 65714, phone
417-725-3610 called one day and we had a real nice chat. Orville
wants to know when Harris Machine Works at Belleville, Illinois
started making steam engines. And I’m sure if you care to give
him a call you’ll enjoy speaking with him he’ll tell you
about Silver Dollar City and 1800’s and lots of goodies. Why
not write us a story, Orville? (According to the Encyclopedia of
Steam Traction Engines by Jack Nor beck, the Harrison Machine Works
was established in 1848 and incorporated in 1878. The company made
only 839 steam traction engines.)
‘Having subscribed to I.M.A. almost from its inception, I
have enjoyed a host of articles, reports and pictures. One of
particular interest in the March-April 1983 issue is the one about
the MacDonald Company and their arrangement with the A. D. Baker
Company to produce engines of Baker design in Canada. Question: Did
any other U.S. company(s) have similar agreements with Canadian
firms to manufacture engines in Canada? If so, perhaps that could
be the subject of a future article in I.M.A.’ (How about it,
Fellas? Know anything about this? And anyone out there to write an
article? If you can answer the man, please write GEORGE W. MAIRS,
6150 Pincney Road, Pinckney, Michigan 48169. Let us know, too.)
Perhaps you’ll be interested in reading the letter from W.
BEDELL BOSSART, R.D. 2, Box 229, Export, Pennsylvania 15632:
‘First, let me say that I greatly enjoy I.M.A. but wish
there were more saw mill pictures and articles. My father and I
obtained a manual Frick mill about four years ago and began to saw
part time. We learned much about sawing and realize that there is
much yet to learn. I would be most interested in trading sawmill
stories and/or sawmill pictures with any of the I.M.A. family of
readers. If anyone would care to swap me a sawmill story, picture
or tidbit of advice, I’ll send in return a picture of our mill
(we are using diesel power now but hope in the future to get a
steam unit as back-up) taken with a 1910 5’x7′ Seneca view
camera (another of my hobbies). Thank you for your
‘In Nov-Dec. 1982 issue you published some identification I
had sent in for a previous request in a former magazine. Thank you
for that!’ writes HARVEY GLOEGE, Box 158, Glenwood, Minnesota
56334. ‘Since that you asked me for a photo of the 36′ x
56’ Aultman-Taylor separator my father owned new in 1912, which
was exactly like the one I identified on page 16 of the Jan.-Feb.
1982 issue. I wrote that I have a picture taken in 1912 of that
machine but I cannot find that one, but have another taken in 1927.
This is picture #1. The Aultman Taylor 1912 separator owned by
George and Herman Gloege of Odessa, Minnesota. My uncle Herman
Gloege is separator man.
‘I also mentioned that my father also had a 1912 30-60 gas
Aultman Taylor engine. I’m enclosing a picture of it belted to
that separator the day the picture was taken in 1927. It is owned
by the above mentioned owners. That is me running the engine at age
19. The picture was taken by a neighbor girl of the Eli Steen Farm,
Ortonville, Minnesota, where we were threshing that day. Her name
was Loville Cronen, whom I later married in 1932 and she is still
very much with me. We celebrated our 50th Anniversary this past
June 20, 1982 in the Methodist Church here in Glenwood, Minnesota.
I’m numbering that photo #2.
‘I mentioned in that letter I also owned a 1913 Case 60
steam engine, S/N 29136 (Photo #3) and a 1916 30-60 Aultman Taylor
gas tractor (Photo #4). Both were taken the same day in 1958. On
both photos is my grandson, Johnny Gloege when he was a little
shaver. The picture was taken on the Pope County Fair Grounds here
in Glenwood, Minnesota. I had threshed on the grounds with both
engines that year, as I have many years. My grandson is now married
and is a high school teacher and coach in Princeton, Minnesota.
They presented us with a great granddaughter in June 1982 for a
50th Anniversary present.
‘My uncles and other relatives were threshermen and owned
Aultman Taylor engines and separators. I have been the Chevrolet
Oldsmobile dealer here in Glenwood since 1946. I originally came
from Odessa, Minnesota where my father was a John Deere dealer from
1922 to 1930. I grew up on threshing machines and ran them since I
was 15. We lived on a farm in Lac Qui, Parle County, Minnesota. I
have enjoyed the I.M.A. very much over the years. I especially have
enjoyed your writings, Anna Mae, you make it so interesting and
it’s so good to read your comments, philosophy and also the
spiritual things you contribute. Please keep up the good work.’
(Gee thanks, Harvey, you just gave me the inspiration to keep going
onand I hope I got this letter presented as you would want it.)
We recently heard from Carl and Pearl Akerland, Box 307, Unity,
Saskatchewan, Canada SOK 4L0 for when Carl sent in his
subscription, Pearl wrote us the following letter: ‘I wanted to
write and tell you of the museum we have started in our town of
Unity. The town bought the old C.P.R. station from North Unity and
donated it to our museum. The station was built in 1910 and was
used until 1974.
‘Carl helped, along with many other volunteer workers in
moving the station three miles to the museum grounds on February
10. The weather was real nice for that kind of work.
‘We now have a steel Quonset 48 x 96. Also, two country
schools, one of which I attended for eight years. It was called
East Bank School #3525. We have a nice collection of old furniture,
dishes, tools, etc. We also have a George White steamer which has
been in several parades. Also have gas tractors, machinery and an
old fire truck.
‘Our museum is growing with the help of donations from many
interested persons. We also put on card parties and raffles to make
money. We also look forward to I.M.A.’ (Well, thanks, Pearl,
and many good wishes on the growth of your museum.)
Here is just a nice note from a man who knew Elmer many, many
years ago and I thought perhaps there are a few more folks out
there who might know CARLTON JOHNSON, Clio, Michigan 48420 and have
all the issues of the magazine from the beginning. He writes:
‘I am an original subscriber to the Iron Men Album, starting
with the winter issue, 1946, and have all the issues from then
‘Rev. Elmer Ritzman and his wife came to our place one
afternoon about 4:30 in 1946 and he talked of starting up a
magazine on steam threshing and etc. I encouraged him on the idea
and said I thought it would be a wonderful project. I was using a
steam engine at that time for threshing and continued for four more
years to do so.
‘Rev. Ritzman and his wife stayed overnight, had breakfast
and left to look up another person to see what they thought of the
idea. I have enjoyed the magazine ever since.’
‘I am one of the few steam engine men left, ‘ says R. W.
CREEK, R.R. 2, Box 8G, Batavia, Iowa 52533. ‘I started firing
father’s 13 HP Peerless in 1907. I was a mere lad then and I
never missed a Fall Run until the combines took over. Then I went
into the sawmill and house moving. Being I had two lines of
business, I sold the mill.
‘I’d like to tell of my sawmill experience. I had a good
mill, all made on old separator trucks; 28′ was all on the
wagon. That left it to where I had to put a joint of track on each
end. It had a good carriage with twelve axles and four head blocks.
I put on a new set works with a foot receder attachedand that
really increased my output. Then we could average twelve thousand
foot per day. I had a 50′ bottom saw and a 42′ top, both
inc. tooth, a saw dust blower and two log turners; one kick back
and one power. I powered this mill with a 60 Cat which had a
14′ drive pulley and 28’ pulley on the saw mandrel and with
a 450 REP that made the saw 900 RPM.
‘Now I read in your Album where some sawyers run their saw
with a quarter in lead. I don’t see how they can. I only had
not over a thirty second and my saw was always cool. I liked the
small bottom saw and large top saw. I had a good edger, also ran
off the mandrel. And with two off bearers men, one the. edger and I
always had a good man on the carriage. With a foot recede, I could
turn my log coming back and right back in the saw and never stop
the carriage. You can’t do that every time but with the square
side back, the foot works just fine!
‘Well, that is about all this time. I am on crutches and
have been for four years and as I said it has been a long time
‘If nothing happens, this June I will be 89 and we are going
to celebrate our 65th Wedding Anniversary November 20,1983.’
(And he signed it Raleigh and Alta Creek. Well, Bless you both on
your 65 years together and thanks for sharing your letter with
This engine is a -scale from a 65 HP Case. It is five feet three
inches long, weighs 600 pounds, 3 HP. It took 2000 hours of work to
build. It burns coal. Built by H. L. Bolton, Reece, Kansas.
GILBERT T. SCHNEIDER, Route 4, Box 179, Chilton, Wisconsin 53014
has two Oliver 70 tractors. One is Oliver 70, S/N 241357 and the
other is Oliver 70 Hart Parr S/N 204364. These are row crop models.
He would like to know how old they are and what year manufactured.
He would also like to know care and instructions on them. If you
are interested in same or can give him some data, please write.
RANDY Mac DOWELL, 9350 Valley Bend, San Antonio, Texas 78250
encloses an old steam engine photo owned by a friend. He would like
help in identifying its make and year and information from an
instruction manual can you help him?
In closing, I must leave you with a few thought provokers2/3 of
promotion is motion Life is like a grindstone, and whether it
grinds a man down or polishes him depends on the stuff he is made
of. The best way to wipe out a friendship is to sponge on it. True
prayer is a way of life, not just a case of emergency. Bye Bye,
Love ya all, keep writing and have fun this summer.