Apparently the advent of spring has been a great inspiration to our readers this year! We have lots of letters, arriving by mail, fax, and now even by 'e-mail' as well. We'll get right to them:
JAMES D. MARTIN, 5085 Lincoln Highway, East Gap, Pennsylvania 17527-9613 writes, 'Thank you for all of the fine information that comes through IMA. The first traction engine I ever touched (even drove) was Reverend Elmer Ritzman's four wheel chain drive Birdsall.
'Walter E. Schum used to operate an R R Peerless in his younger days and today we operate a '2' Peerless at Rough & Tumble powering the shingle mill. He sure has taught me a lot. Stop by and say hello to him. By the way, R&T continues to look for information on the Scheidler traction engine made in Newark, Ohio. We especially need technical manufacturing specs. I really did not intend to ramble on but keep up the good work! P. S. I will try to get my daughter, Ellen, an able young engineer, to write more from the female perspective.'
We received this letter from LARRY S. ENGLE, 3018 Cook Road, Fayetteville, Pennsylvania 17222, 'While glancing though my old issues, I realized how much I enjoy seeing all the pictures of different engines. At the same time I thought maybe other readers would enjoy seeing some of the pictures I have taken. So here are a couple. These were all taken within the last ten years at various shows around central Pennsylvania.
'The first picture is Dean Deibert's 60 HP Frick. The engine in the background was Sam Kolva's 23-90 Baker. This was taken at the Gratz Area Antique Machinery Show.
'Picture #2 is Dean Deibert's model Frick engine built mostly from scratch. If I remember right, this model runs at 125 psi and makes 7 HP.
'Pictures #3 and #4 are of an 1890s Nichols & Shepard 10 HP traction engine. This is a beautifully restored little engine. It has an interesting clutch arrangement where the wear blocks tighten against the flywheel in an axial direction relative to the crankshaft instead of in a radial direction. These pictures were taken at Nittany Antique Machinery Association.
'Picture #5 is also from the Nittany Antique Machinery Association Show. It is a 1914 Frick owned by Steve Griel. This is the only wet-bottom Frick that I know of.
'Pictures #6 and #7 are of a George White engine owned by John Kiessling (sorry if I got your name wrong, John). John had a heck of a time getting this engine inspected due to paperwork requirements, but last fall she did her share of sawing at Williams Grove's show. We had fun the years it wasn't inspected, too. During one parade, we pulled her around to the lineup position with her engine in reverse. This gave her enough pressure to blow her whistle to the surprise of the parade announcer. This engine has two forward speeds, but the engine must be reversed while in one gear and must run in forward while in the other, to get forward direction out of both.
'Pictures #8 and #9 are of a Heilman engine shown at the Two Top Ruritan Club's Show.
'Pictures #10, #11, and #12 were all taken at the Rough & Tumble shows. Obviously, #10 is a 110 HP Case. You can see the power steering gearbox and shaft (beside flywheel) fairly well in this picture.
'Picture #11 is the only running Huber that I have ever seen. I don't know much about these engines, but it looks like it would be a real challenge to get a good clear view of what's in front of you.
'Picture #12 is of a 65 HP Frick 91/2 x 10 engine. I think this engine has a very strong and well-proportioned appearance. Unfortunately, I have not had the pleasure of hearing a 91/2 x 10 under a good stiff load, yet.