SOOT IN THE FLUES

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Photo courtesy of Clifford Pierce, Clay City, Illinois 62824.

Hi! to all my good friends out in Steam Engine Land I guess you
are all geared up for the big season ahead… I’ll bet the
autos have been checked, as well as the show engines, the trailers,
campers and any other mode of transportation to each of you. And
remember, as you pick up your Album, think of me I’ve been your
friend for 28 years come this September and have enjoyed every
minute of it.

And now, I’ve just got to share a joy with you. My birthday
was April 5 (the big 60) and on that day my daughter Keli and
granddaughters came with a cake and present in the afternoon. That
evening the other three children came by and we all made homemade
ice cream, my favorite dish. I thought that in itself was great.
The next day I went down to Keli’s to baby sit the two
granddaughters and as I opened the door there four of the five
children and families were snapping my picture as I came in..
.Surprise!! It certainly was I still can’t get over it. They
had prepared a beautiful table of food to last all day as they had
open house from 2 to 6 and invited many of my friends who just
dropped in all day long. I surely don’t know how I’m so
lucky, but I praise the Lord for unexpected love gifts such as
this. Just thought you would like to share with me.

Another tale from Wellsprings of Wisdom entitled ‘The
Cheater’. A baker in a small town regularly bought a fairly
large amount of butter from a neighboring farmer. One day the baker
suspected the butter was not the weight he ordered and paid for.
His scales confirmed his suspicion. Thereafter the baker weighed
all the butter from the farmer and found he was getting less and
less than he paid for. Finally he had the farmer arrested on a
charge of fraud.

At the trial it was revealed that the farmer had no scales. The
astonished judge asked the farmer how he could weigh the butter
without scales.

‘It’s this way, Judge,’ said the farmer. ‘When
the baker began to buy butter from me I began to buy bread from
him. I buy this one pound loaf and I always use that as the weight
from my butter. So, if the weight of my butter is wrong it is only
because the weight of his bread is wrong. If I have been cheating
him it is only because he has been cheating me.’

‘Case dismissed!’ said the judge. (Don’t you just
love that?)

And now on to better and wonderful reading which comes from our
contributors.

FRANK WM. DEDEH, JR., P.O. Drawer 512, Rosenberg, Texas 77471
writes: ‘On a recent trip through Pensacola, Florida, I was
privileged to visit the city’s Transportation Museum
accompanied by Pete Olcott, 904-478-2289, 10100 Hill view Road,
Pensacola, Florida 32512. They are restoring a Berney Electric
single truck street car, but do not have the wheelsthis is all that
it is lacking. Can you be of any help? (How about it Fellas?)
‘Thank you for a great magazine.’

This letter comes from new subscribers WALTER & TONI THOMAS,
Route 1, Box 225, Lyons, Oregon 97358: ‘We received our
magazine February 16th and it was all I’d hoped for it thank
you very much! I ordered the magazine for my husband for a birthday
gift in July. He and I are both steam and antique equipment buffs.
We grew up using many of these early treasures.

‘This issue answered a question for us we’d been asking
for many years. Our local Antique Powerland at Brooks, Oregon holds
an Annual Steam-Up two weekends each summer (usually the last one
in July and the first in August). In one of the buildings with
equipment to be restored is a machine we couldn’t name or
figure its function and no one else we asked could either. Now we
know, for on Page 17, upper right hand corner is almost a duplicate
of what we see there (ours has lots of dust), the Groundhog
Thresher. We’re looking forward to many more mysteries solved
in the future. Thankfully, the magazine is the right size and only
comes bi-monthly, so I think we can get some work done between
issues.’

We hear from ORVILLE ANDERSON, Route 2A, Madelia, Minnesota
56062, phone 507-642-8268: ‘I have read your magazine for a few
years now and look forward for each issue.

‘I got in on the last years of threshing, mostly hauling
grain and helping with the separator.

‘My dad told many tales of the days he spent following the
separator all fall pitching bundles from the stacks and hauling
water for the steam engine. One farmer came to the crew in the
evening and said he would give each man two dollars extra if they
would finish up that night. They agreed and threshed till midnight,
with lantern light.

‘My grandfather started farming in 1875 and used a Marsh
reaper. I would like to know if there are any in existence today. I
would like to see one or to see a picture of one. Would also like
to hear from someone who has a 20 HP International gas engine
mounted on a horse drawn truck. We had one standing in our grove
when I was a young boy and my dad sold it to a scrap dealer for
eight dollars. How I wish I had that engine today!’

Here is an interesting letter for many of you folks. It comes
from REV. NORBERT J. LUCHT, RR 1, Box 161, Athens, Illinois 62613:
‘Let me introduce myself. I am Paster Norbert J. Lucht and I
was born near LaValle, Sauk County, Wisconsin on July 12, 1920.
After graduation from high school in 1939, I worked on my
father’s farm untill 1949 when I entered Concordia Theological
Seminary in Springfield, Illinois (a Seminary of the Lutheran
Church-Missouri Synod, now located in Fort Wayne, Indiana.) I was
married on August 15, 1953 and we moved to Maiden, Missouri, in the
boot heel, where I spent my year of vicarage (practice
preaching).

After Seminary graduation we moved to McClusky, North Dakota. I
also served Arena, 42 miles away on a gravel road. This parish was
in the center of the state. Because of the extreme dry and dusty
conditions, I developed throat trouble and was advised by my doctor
to move to a different climate. So in September 1957, we moved to a
small rural parish near Iuka, near Salem, Illinois. I then served
parishes in Altamont and then Athens, Illinois. It was there that I
developed Viral Encephalitis and was in the hospital until March 6,
1971. I took a leave of absence until July 1. I preached my last
sermon on December 19, 1971. We moved out of the parsonage on April
12, 1972 and moved to a farm home near Fancy Prairie, Illinois and
have lived here since.

‘In October of 1973, The Illinois State Department of
Vocational Rehabilitation sent me to Brown’s Career College in
Springfield, where I took accounting and typing. Since I
couldn’t grasp accounting, I quit and from 1973-1976 I sold
Rawleigh products. Since I had so few customers, it was not a
paying proposition.

‘Back in 1970, I wrote up six note books full of historical
materials and I am now typing them up for publication.

‘I was one of the original subscribers to the Farm Album,
now the Iron-Men Album and The Gas Engine Magazine, but I had to
give them up due to my financial condition.

‘I started to collect steam engine catalogs and photographs,
also Thresherman’s Magazines in 1946 and I have been collecting
tractor catalogs since 1939. I have a nearly complete set of Red
tractor books going back to 1926, and Tractor Field books going
back to 1935. I would like to correspond with owners of
McCormick-Deering W40 and WD40, Rumely 6, Eagle 6A, Lauson 25-45,
Huber HK 33-45, Baker 25-50 and Keck Gonnerman 25-50 tractors.

‘And Steam Engine Owners, please send snapshots of your
engines. I would like very much to have pictures of 40 HP Reeves,
Gaar Scott, Advance and 36 HP Rumely and 30 HP Nichols &
Shepard plowing engines. Also 30 HP Peerless, 32 HP Port Huron, 51
HP Northwest and 110 HP Case, and Port Huron double tandem compound
and Minneapolis 45 HP double cylinder or heavy hear plow engines.
Since I am retired, I have plenty of time to answer your
letters.’

From ‘down under’, we hear from K. H. COLLINS, 4 Chapman
Avenue, Chatswood, N.S., Australia, who writes: ‘Around the
turn of the century, my father made many trips to America on his
way to Henry Disston & Son of Philadelphia, a firm of saw
makers and timber milling equipment manufacturers which he
represented throughout Australasia. I have often wondered in these
days of ‘take-over’ if the firm still is in
existence.’

This most welcome letter comes from one of our older, dear
contributors, FRANK J. BURRIS, 1102 Box Canyon Road, Fallbrook,
California 92028 : ‘It has been many years since I was a
regular contributor to the Album (Gossip from the Backshop), but
noting that you are a bit in need of additional material for good
Elmer’s Masterpiece at this time, I shall try to move my
wearied (82 year old-young?) bones and get back into a little frame
of harness. (Thank you so much Frank). This is in the form of
submitting to you a couple of photos each month, together with
supporting comment, of subjects which should be of interest to all
other old steam men. (Please do, we will look forward to each
issue, Frank).

‘Enclosed are two openers which are described thusly: 1. A
photo which I snapped with my first good camera, a Voight lander
film-packer, back in 1927 when I became a student-engineer with
G.E. at Schenectady. This depicts one of those most venerable
‘Hudson’ class NYC locomotives with her express consist,
picking up water on the run just across the river at Scotia, New
York. The water reflection may be seen in the near track pans,
while the scoop splash may be seen under the tender of the
locomotive which was slowed to 45 mph for picking up. The large
coal section of the tenders allowed of considerable length of runs
between stops. These locomotives, built by American (next door to
G. E. at Schenectady) were regarded as the ultimate development of
the 4-6-4 wheel arrangement up to the close of the steam era.

‘2. This snap was of the beautiful trestle and bridge across
the Hudson, termed the Castle Cutoff, just below Albany, New York
on the B & A railroad; understood to have been an affiliate of
the NYC. The main motive power and loading on this route were the
Berkshire engines (2-8-4) with heavy freight consists up into New
England. Those were the halcyon days of railroading!

‘By slippage of the pen, it is noted that in Carl
Lathrop’s fine little skit of his experiences over in those
terrible ‘Curtain’ countries (page 15 of the Mar/Apr
’85 IMA how did he dare those ventures?) the Turkish 2-10-0
freighter locomotive was referred to as a ‘Decapod.’ He may
have been wafted some black smoke this time for this slippage; for
the 2-10-0 wheel type bears White’s classification as
‘Santa Fe.’ In our country, Pennsylvania built the largest
Decapods ever; exceeding 100,000 pounds of maximum tractive effort,
(2-10-0).’

1925 hand-fired Baldwin 2-6-0 steam locomotive no. 97. Still in
use! This train operates on French Lick West Baden and Southern
Railway on weekends at French Lick, Indiana.

Thought maybe you would like to try this Layer Salade specially
for a covered dish affair or if you are serving quite a few folks.
Make it the night before, which is an aid many times in preparation
of a big dinner:
1 head of lettuce
1 cup celery, chopped
4 hard boiled eggs sliced
1/4 cup chopped green peppers
1 10 oz. pkg. frozen peas
1 medium onion, sliced
Mix 2 cups mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons sugar and spread over
top-then bacon bits on top of that and then one cup grated cheese.
Just put it in layers beginning to end. You’ll be surprised it
is really good, and especially with spaghetti, lasagna or etc.

That was food to eat and now some food for thought To belittle
is to be little, to be grateful is to be great. .. .If you were
another person, would you like to be a friend of yourself?.. .Some
people know how to make a living but don’t know how to live….
Have your tools ready and God will find you work…. Some people
grin and bear it. Others smile and change it.

And that’s about it for this time. I’m sure there are
more of you out there who could be sending good writings for the
Soot in the Flues, so keep writing. Love Ya! Have a good
summer!

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