SOOT IN THE FLUES

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Hi, Wonderful Friends of so many years another chance for me to
greet you and share your excitement as you trek the highways to the
reunions and shows and please don’t forget to share the
happiness of the trips and miles that you travel this summer of
1986.

Before we get into the letters, I have a story from Wellsprings
of Wisdom entitled ‘The Sparrow’. (It’s more about
love, though):

‘I was returning from hunting, walking along the avenue of
the garden, my dog running in front of me. Suddenly she took
shorter steps, and began to steal along as though tracking
game.

‘I looked down the avenue, and saw a young sparrow, with
yellow about its beak and down on its head. It had fallen out of
the nest (the wind was violently shaking the birch trees in the
avenue) and sat unable to move, helplessly flapping its half-grown
wings.

‘My dog was slowly approaching it, when, suddenly darting
down from a tree close by, an old dark throated sparrow fell like a
stone right before his nose, and all ruffled up, terrified, with
despairing and pitiful cheeps, it flung itself twice towards the
open jaws of shining teeth.

It sprang to save; it cast itself before its nestling all its
tiny body was shaking with terror, its note was harsh and strange.
Swooning with fear, it offered itself up!

‘What a huge monster must the dog have seemed to it! And yet
it could not stay on its high branch out of danger a force stronger
than its will flung it down.

‘My dog, Tresor, stood still, drew back clearly he too
recognized this force. I hastened to call off the disconcerted
dog,-and went away full of reverence.

‘Yes, do not laugh: I felt reverence for that tiny heroic
bird, for its impulse of love. Love, I thought, is stronger than
death or the fear of death. Only by it, by love, life holds
together and advances. ‘Ivan Turgenev.

And now on to the communications:

RAY APPRILL, 310 S. Washington Street, Oconto Falls, Wisconsin
54154 writes: ‘When I received the Jan-Feb issue of IMA, I
glanced at the front cover and something caught my eye, and I
tipped the magazine over to the back cover and something caught my
eye again. Some beautifully restored engines which the owners and
the ones that restore them can really be proud of.

‘The man standing by the rear wheel of the Garr Scott also
on the deck of the Case engine is very becoming with the antique
engines and his blue denim bibbed overalls and old felt hat.

‘I am an elderly man and can remember years ago when my
grandfather wore the bibbed overalls and felt hat when threshing
and sawing lumber when working with and around the steam
engines.

‘I attend many steam shows every year and am a member of
several shows and would like to see more of blue denim overalls and
felt hats on the operators of the steam engines, and also when they
run old tractors and other antique equipment.

‘Let’s not forget the old gas and kerosene two flywheel
one-lunger engines. I own a scale Case steam engine.’ (I’d
say Ray was doing a little bit of reminiscing how about you? Get
those thoughts and letters to me.)

‘Herewith a little more railroad iana for the special
interest of those many of our readers who enjoyed a comeuppance
within the confines of the Iron Horse, as well as others who are
simply interested in any steam engines,’ says FRANK J. BURRIS,
1102 Box Canyon Road, Fallbrook, California 92028.

‘Snap #1 is the result of a surprise encounter on a foggy
morning way back in the Southeast, about 1960. when in my travels
on official duty I stopped at a little restaurant along the way and
saw three mammoth truckloads of old-timer locomotives, presumably
retired from former lumbering operations, headed for their new home
at Mount Pleasant, Iowa, where they have long since taken new
breaths of life and thrilled all those who arrived each year to mix
it up with the old Midwesteners. It may be seen that two of the
locomotives proper are loaded on two trucks standing alongside each
other while their truck masters were presumably partaking of a
morning repast before continuing on with their long journey. At the
rear was the third truck, which carried both tenders of these fine
old specimens. As I recall, later photos of these engines, in
operation during the annual shows, revealed that they were equipped
with the Southern (radial type) valve gear. They really sported
‘cabbage’ stacks in order to suppress sparks amidst the
timber stands.

‘Snap #2 is that taken of a miniature ‘Shay’ type
locomotive, which is one of the several types that are steamed up
usually every Sunday at the (Hunter’s, as I recall) park in
Riverside, California. This miniature railway club, sporting both 6
and 7 inch gauge trackage all the way around a tremendous perimeter
of the park, while being only a shadow of that at Travel town in
Griffith Park in Los Angeles, is nevertheless a splendid hobby
exhibit, and is found hauling visitors on its Lilliputian cars for
but a small donation to help pay for the Welsh coal and oil used
for fuel. The workmanship and skill involved in design and
construction of these little fellows, often made from scratch
without benefit of ‘kits’ is simply astounding.

‘Photo #3 shows this particular ‘Little Toot’ under
full head of steam climbing a grade in the course, carrying her
engineer and a passenger on the attached flat car. Such little
three-cylindered engines when travelling at scale speed really emit
a tiny thundering staccato from being geared down that would remind
a listener of a standard locomotive travelling over a hundred miles
per hour. It is always a great thrill to examine these little
giants and see them in action.

‘#4, alas, is a picture of one of the Northwestern Pacific
2-8-8-2 simple mallet type locomotives that had rendered a faithful
service over so many years but now became so unfortunate as to be
forsaken to the scrap yard near Roseville, California. The diesels
had simply ‘done her in.’ One can but wonder at such fate,
for, while the old steamers did not provide the continuous
availability of the diesel types, they could be converted (those
that were oil-burning) into workhorses that were independent from
any threats of oil shortages and rationing or cutoffs. And, while
they did require more manpower for maintenance and operation, they
did relieve the work shortage limitations by that much. And
cost-wise, the smaller steam locos could be turned out of the
factories for even as much as one-tenth the cost of their more
sophisticated brethren. Even the interest on the investments,
comparatively, would offset many of the other costs. And, of
course, the most devastating effect upon we old steam boys, was the
complete loss of romance in railroading. No more the warmth of
life, the speed-related sound of stack music, nor the enchanting
sounds of chime whistles and those beautiful silver-alloyed bells!
I once remarked to the publishers of Railroad Magazine that the
railroad engineer’s life had been reduced to that of a
glorified truck driver! (But they did not publish this sentiment,
as they likely felt that the old engineers had already suffered
a-plenty).

‘I am running a bit short of old black-and-white shots of
interesting hobby scenes; however I do have some 3000 35m color
slides of many interesting subjects. So maybe I can fire up the
Carousel, project some interesting slides upon the screen and then
snap them with a black-and-white Polaroid in order to obtain
suitable material for publication. I will get to this soon as
possible, since this endeavor will have to be sandwiched in between
my computer classes and also, my long-neglected piano practice.
After all, at 82 one should be at least triplets in order to
approach accomplishments of half of what he intends to do. Seems
like the Sunday funny paper comes every three days, and New Years
almost follows upon New Years. At least now, with the video
recorder, some of these much-appreciated events may be preserved
for more continual enjoyment. (Isn’t it wonderful folks like
Frank may get older, but they will never be old.)

‘Oh yes, I should remark that while visiting the railway
scrap yards, I did manage to acquire a heavy solid brass 5-tone
loco whistle from the NP number 2222; a brass bell off a switcher
(that ‘clugs’ more than it ‘clangs’); a nice
compound turbo headlight generator; and a ‘bullseye’ water
gauge from one of the four Clinch field simple mallets. What a
shame! Some of the largest steamers were scrapped after only four
years of service! But extravagance always exacts its toll, and some
rail lines have ‘gone under’ possibly more due to the
accelerated changeover. But amongst the electric boys, is the
wrongful discontinuance of electric traction in the Cascade tunnel
which required a stupendous and monstrous installation of air
blowers to accommodate diesel locos in the 6-mile passageway. And
of course the same applied to the Milwaukee when 700 miles of
electrification was abandoned together with ‘free’ water
power out in the mountains! Some of these things simply stagger the
imagination. But good bye until next time.’

‘Your column has helped me and others many times, so I am
asking for help again,’ states EDWIN H. BREDEMEIER, Steinauer,
Nebraska ‘I acquired a J. I. Case Threshing Machine Co. book or
year book. It has the two front pages missing. Mine starts with
page five with a picture at a dock with a picture of a RR engine
carrying No. 1930 and in the background is an ocean vessel and
loading cargo boxes with Case in large letters on them.

Page 5 has a full color of tractors (10 x 18, 15 x 27 and 22 x
40. This was published when Case still used the green and red
colors on their tractor. I would like to know what year this was
published. I think some pages are missing at the back also. Last
page is 106. It was bound like a book and not like an ordinary
bulletin with metal staples.’ (Anyone out there can you help
Ed?)

‘Enclosed find a picture of a portable steam engine I bought
at the October 19th sale of Henry Ford Museum at Greenfield Village
Museum,’ says DWIGHT PATTERSON, 4066 Forest Street, Leonard,
Michgan 48038.

‘I can get no information from them as they kept no records
in the early 30’s. Perhaps some of the readers may know the
make of engine. The Museum supposed it is about 1900 manufacture.
It is #208 in the Sale Catalog. I cannot find any print or numbers
on the engine or boiler. It is going to be a good while until I can
fire it up. It was completely gone over with lots of new parts, new
wood, grates.’ (How about it, guys? Any information for Dwight,
please let him know and us.)

WILLIAM FLOWERS, Route 1, Box 332, Adena, Ohio 43901 writes us:
‘Please find picture of a steam turbine that powered the
boiler-feed pump at the Federal Paper Mill in Steubenville, Ohio.
It was replaced with an electric motor. The turbine delivers 5 HP
at 1800 rpm and is made by the Carling Turbine Blower Co. of
Worcester, Massachusetts. It carries s/n 8862.

‘The stationary engineer at the plant saved it from the junk
man. I will answer all correspondence concerning the
turbine.’

An interesting writing comes from GEORGE PERKS, 611 East Sixth
Ave., Colville, Washington 99114. George is a recent subscriber and
tells us: ‘The old-timers around here that I have met tell me
that I have a bad case of the steam engine bug. It became an
incurable case last fall when a 12 HP Russell came to live with us.
Since then every spare moment has been spent on cleaning, chipping
paint, sand blasting, cutting pipe and making new parts.

‘We are making a photographic record of the restoration as
progress is made. Right now it is setting on blocks with the front
end off.

‘One task was to take ultrasound readings of the boiler
parts which indicated that things are in good shape after more than
70 years.

‘There are many questions that I am looking for answers to
including when the engine was made and who all of the previous
owners were. The engine number on the smoke box emblem is 14879,
the number on the engine casting is 14874. The engine was once
owned by a Mr. Walters in Oregon, but I can’t find out how long
he owned it.

‘Also I am interested in corresponding with anyone who may
have operating instructions for Russells and other material that
might be helpful with the project.’ (There you are guys,
someone just waiting to hear all the information you might have on
the Russell engine he’s hooked, let’s keep him that
way.)

We received a letter from W. M. BEATTIE, Box 397, Innisfail,
Alberta, TOM 1A0 requesting some information maybe you can
help.

‘I would like to get a set of blueprints of a Case threshing
machine, for my prototype Case threshing machine that I am
building. My machine is a scale model of 1/5 the size of a 32′
x 54′ Case threshing machine.’

(Now, Mr. Beattie, we usually do not mention anything in this
column that can be purchased it should come in the form of an ad.
But since we have no blueprints, I’m throwing this out to our
readers in hopes that maybe someone might know where to write for
this item. If any of you happen to know, please let Mr. Beat-tie,
and us, know the address. Thanks!)

‘I am trying to locate information on the S.S. Messinger
& Son Manufacturing Company of Tatamy, Pennsylvania and
specifically, material on their threshers,’ writes GENE
JOHNSON, 4614 Candlestick Drive, Garland, Texas 75043.

‘I have a wooden thresher which is their model Ideal No. 22
Under Shot. I would like to communicate with someone who has
information on this thresher and also any history of the
company.’ (How about it? Anyone have the history or data of
this company? Please let us hear from you, and also get in touch
with Gene.)

ELMER ANAS, R.R. #1, East Carondelet, Illinois 62240 sends along
this picture of an 18 HP Keck-Gonnerman engine loaded on a float to
move to another area. Picture taken Nov. 9, 1955. Engine No. 1619,
owners are John Arras & Sons.

I received a letter from COLONEL NORM STUCKEY, 4777 Upper Valley
Road, Dayton, Ohio 45424been a long time since we heard from you,
Sir. This should be in the Gas Engine Magazine and I’ll see
this gets to Mr. Wendel for that magazine, but I thought I’d
put it in this column also as many of you pals take both
magazines.

Colonel Stuckey thinks what is needed is a reference book for
each make of tractor to show each model and design with a paragraph
of data like in the Tractor Field book. Also he would like for
someone to write in and tell him without using serial numbers, how
to distinguish an Oliver-Hart-Parr 28-44, Oliver Hart Parr 28′
Industrial, Oliver 90, Oliver 99, and an Oliver 99 Industrial.

‘I haven’t seen an Iron-Men Album Magazine for about a
year and I truly enjoy steam engines so I am re-ordering,’ says
CRAIG DETWILER, S #3266 Hwy 13 So., Spencer, Wisconsin 54479.

‘I have run my grandpa’s steam engine, Greyhound 24-75
Ser. 11111. It’s good running. I also worked on his 1909 15-45
Case Ser. #14126 last summer. I helped him restore it. He purchased
it in Junction City, Wisconsin two years ago. There are only six
Greyhound engines left as far as is known.

‘Here are two pictures of Greyhounds. The Greyhound 24-75
was purchased at a sale seven years ago. The Greyhound was used in
shows at Fort Wayne in 1952 (?). I enjoy the shows in summer at
Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin and Iowa.’

This 21-75 HP Baker is owned by John McDowell of Plainfield,
Ohio. The above picture was taken at the Darke County Steam
Threshers Reunion in 1982.

LARRY GRENKO, RR 2, Box 22A, Muscatine, Iowa 52761 (phone
319-262-8872) recently purchased a very old Russell steam traction
engine which needs a lot of work. As nearly as he can tell,
it’s an 8 HP compound engine. He would appreciate any
information readers could send him about the smaller Russell steam
engines. (How about it, Russell owners?)

And in closing, some thought teasers It’s not the greatness
of our troubles, but the littleness of our faith that makes us
complain. Some people are like blotters; they soak up everything
but get it backwards. A man in the right with God on his side, is
in the majority, though he be alone. Lost yesterday: somewhere
between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty
diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.
Till next time.

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