Brrrrrr! It's cold and beautiful out and if I get caught up enough in my work the next few days, I just might get out the ice skates and give them a whirl and later I might put them on and try skating. I surely wouldn't be a candidate for the Ice Follies, but I betcha maybe I could stay up for five minutes, and then a couple minutes more I got persistence. But even that long is fun, so I'm hoping the freeze will stay awhile.
And now onto a few other subjects of more enjoyment to you
HARRY E. YOUNG II, 485 S. Hillside Drive, Canfield, Ohio 44406 is interested in any information on the history of steam shovels. Anyone else with this line of interest Harry will be glad to hear from you.
From A. L. RENNEWANZ, 1025 4th Avenue N. No. 10, New Rockford, North Dakota 58356 comes this helpful and amusing note. 'The question you had concerning the picture on page 14 of Jan-Feb. issue the one on the right is a Case with rubber wheels. The one on the left is a Frick. The engine in the center with the E. B. nameplate stands for Emerson-Brantingham Co. This company built the Peerless engine at one time. I'm not sure of the years, but no doubt it was about the time of the great shuffles when you never knew who was on which side of the fence from one day to the next.
And I'm at a loss to prescribe a balm for the lashes laid on by censors of pictures with improper captions.' (That comes from me commenting sometimes that I'll take so many lashes whenever a caption is wrong under a picture).
From The Pioneer Engine Bugle newsletter of Jan-Feb. 1972 I'm borrowing the following as I'm sure you will enjoy it and thank our friends for sending along these newsletters.
'Dear Son, Since you went to the army, your pa got himself a job. His bring-home pay is $52 after them taxes is took out. We sent to Sears Roebuck for one of them new fangled gadgets they call bathrooms. They sent a feller called Plummer to set it up. On one side of the room, they's a long thing like a pig trough, only its for humans to wash in with their clothes off. On the other side, they's a sink to dunk your face and hands in. In the corner they's a real funny contraption. You wash your foot in it, then pull a chain and get fresh water for the other foot. They was two lids for the danged thing, but we couldn't find any use for them, so I'm using one in the kitchen for a bread board. The other one wouldn't have been much use anyway, it had a big hole right through the middle, but Pa used it to frame our wedding picture. Them Sears Roebuck folks is sure nice people to deal with. They even sent along a free roll of writing paper with the outfit. Take care of yourself and keep an eye peeled for the enemy. Love, Mama.' (Sent in by Clarence LeRoy of Fairville).
A lady decided she wanted a concrete floor in her garage. She called up the local ready-mix dealer and a load was sent out. The truck driver asked her where she wanted it and she said, 'Just dump it there in the garage, my son-in-law is coming over tomorrow afternoon and I'll get him to trowel it down'. (Thanks to Lewis H. Cline, 1102 West River Road, Battle Creek, Michigan 49017 for that one).
An interesting letter from J. REX HAVER, 643 Bellefonte Ave., Lock Haven, Pennsylvania 17745 goes like this: 'I have a collection of toy steam engines that were made 50 to 75 years ago. Most of them have single acting oscillating cylinders. Two years ago, I attended the Morrison Cove show at Martinsburg, Pennsylvania. They had an old steam diamond drill that had been used to test the depth and thickness of coal in Cambria County. It was operated by a two cylinder and I believe, double acting, oscillating cylinder engine. They got it started just before I had to start for home and believe me, I got a kick out of it. I think this is the only time I ever saw such an engine used for commercial purpose.
I have been told that oscillating cylinder engines were used on some of the old steam boats that towed coal barges on the Monongahela River but have no proof. Maybe if you send this out we can get some good articles on the oscillating cylinder engine and some pictures.
(This article would be for our Gas Engine Magazine, but Mr. Haver is a subscriber to Iron-Men Album also, and I thought the letter would not go amiss for this purpose).
Please Folks when sending in newspaper articles and pictures send along written permission from the editor or we cannot use them.
By the time you get this magazine you'll be leafing through all the garden magazines and ordering seeds for spring planting and planning for the steam reunions also. Won't be too long till pussy willows make their appearance in the farmers' markets and then you just know whats around the corner and this really gives you spirit to use the elbow grease and get the machinery shining and in A-1 shape for the forthcoming season.
'Nuff said by yours truly except like I mentioned we are looking forward to Spring and remember Spring hasn't really reached the suburbs until you are awakened by the first lawn mower. And in the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns from thoughts of work! And in the Spring a young girl's fancy turns to thoughts of love the same ones she has been thinking about all winter. (And by the way, take a lesson from Spring and give someone some flowers, or pick a few, give 'em to your Honey works wonders -she might even encourage you with your steam hobby and you don't have to wait until Spring to do that either. Folks appreciate flowers most any time they're part of God.)