Soot In The Flues

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Hi There! Here ’tis the March-April issue already into the
New Year of 1987 Have you given up yet on your resolutions or are
you hanging in there? I hope so and as we plan for the big year of
more shows, reunions, steam-ups or what-have-you let’s take
time to promise ourselves we will be more thoughtful as to others
and see how much joy we can bring in someone’s life. Following
is a short story entitled The Banker and the Beggar. A series of
reverses had deprived him of money, possessions and finally of
self-respect. He turned despairingly to begging extending an unsure
hand with a few pencils in it at subway stations in downtown

One day an elderly banker dropped a quarter in the beggar’s
trembling hand, turned to go, hesitated and then wheeled on the
mendicant with: ‘I want to apologize for treating you as a
beggar. You are a merchant, of course, and I came back to get the
pencil I paid for.’ The astonished peddler handed the banker
five pencils and thanked him with wondering warmth.

Many months later the banker stopped into a small stationery
store on the outer fringe of the Wall Street area. As he was about
to leave after making a few minor purchases, the proprietor stopped
him and said: ‘I’m sure you won’t remember me, but I
will never forget you. Some time ago I was a subway beggar with a
handful of pencils and you treated me as a business man a
‘merchant’ you called me. That remark gave me back my
self-respect. From then on I refused gifts and really sold pencils
lots of them and good ones, too. From this sidewalk business I
saved my money, borrowed a bit more, and then opened this little
shop. I’m beginning to make a go of it. And all because of a
few words from you’.

And now on to the wonderful communications from our Iron-Men

Presenting some background and a desire for information, this
letter comes from GEORGE WARE, 1765 Hoover Pike, Nicholasville,
Kentucky 40356: ‘I have been a subscriber to the
IMA from about the beginning.

My father, Luther Ware and his two brothers operated two steam
threshing rigs, a sawmill, did clover hulling and tobacco bed

Dad was a blacksmith and was quite capable of keeping the
machinery in top operating condition. I was raised in the
blacksmith shop and have stepped into more hot iron barefooted than
I like to think about; it would sometimes stick to your feet and
you would have to knock it off.

Having been around steam engines since I was big enough to go
along and open the gates, I guess I have a combination of steam,
steam cylinder oil, coal soot and wood smoke in the tissue, blood
and bones.

At the present time I own an 80 HP Case engine No. 35827.1
bought it in 1943 and sold it in 1956. I bought it the second time
in 1984. This was one of the last two engines sold by the Case
Company. The other one being 80 HP No. 35825. Both engines were
sold by the Case dealer in Kokomo, Indiana, one in 1930, the other
in 1931. I would appreciate hearing from the present owner of these
engines No. 35825 and 35826. Any information on these engines by
anyone will be most welcome.

My present desire is to own a steam calliope. A few years back I
received a catalog from The Davis Steam Calliope Works in Seattle,
Washington. However, all my efforts to get in touch with them at
the present time have been in vain. If anyone has any information
on the present status of the Davis Works, or knows any way to get
in contact with them, I would certainly appreciate hearing from

‘Just a little bit about Avery tractors,’ writes ANDY
MICHEL’S, 302 Highland, Plentywood, Montana 59254.

‘When the 25-50 was introduced, I believe it was on the same
chassis as the 20-35. (If not, some good old boy will shape me up).
The company offered a ‘Motor Package’ to convert the 20-35
to a 25-50 for $325 complete.

If you were to keep the oil level up in the 20-35 it would use
up to seven gallons a day by putting a Madison Kipp or other
mechanical oilier on, you could cut it down to three

Sending a backlog of memories, this letter comes from BRUCE Mc
COURTNEY, Box 121, Syracuse, Nebraska 68446: ‘Since I have been
a subscriber of this No. 1 magazine from the beginning, I feel like
we are all kin folks (7 surely know you Bruce, as I’ve heard
from you different times, and we all do seem like family, don’t

‘I first met Elmer Ritzman in the middle or late 40s. I have
all copies to date and I sure wouldn’t want to miss a copy now.
I’ll be 81 in January of ’87 and cut my teeth on the rear
wheel of an old bevel-geared Aultman & Taylor engine. My father
had three steam rigs when I was born in 1906; the A & T, Case
and Stevens engines. I ran my first engine when I was nine years
old, an old left-hand Huber. The next year Dad let me have a 16 HP
Aultman & Taylor, a much easier steamer; next was a Russell
which was the most simple and easy to steam run and guide. We had
23 steamers at one time.

‘I had eight sisters and two brothers, I was in the middle.
Dad had we three boys and two of our sisters running engines
shortly after we were weaned. We threshed, graded roads, crushed
rock and moved hundreds of buildings. Many were churches, grain
elevators, etc. and lots of heavy machinery.

‘We launched one ferry boat in the Missouri River at
Brownsville, Nebraska, that others had tried and failed. It was
built on the bank of the river. It seemed like our old Dad had
every kind of work that was hard work. We baled hay and shelled
corn in the winter when it was too cold to work, lots of baling,
threshing and shelling jobs also several house jobs that
haven’t been paid for yet. But guess that goes with the

‘Most of my ancestors were Irish. My Granddad on
mother’s side was half Scotch. So my nationality has caused me
a little temper. The Irish like their whiskey and the Scotch are
too darned tight to buy it. My Dad was a full-blooded Irishman and
didn’t use liquor or tobacco can you imagine that?

‘I have had my pleasures and grief with steam engines, I
have rode four engines through bridges. I got pretty roughed up in
the first one.

‘Hope you can decipher this if my writing gets any worse,
I’ll be a doctor or lawyer or etc.’ (Bruce surely has a
sense of humor also for his 81 years young.)

This writing comes from OREN MEARS, Blake, Nebraska 68779:
‘In a recent article in the Album an ‘Oakie’ wrote that
Case separators threshed more wheat in Kansas than all other makes
combined. He could have further qualified that statement by saying
that a Case separator was capable of wasting so much wheat as four,
five or six other machines.

I’ve seen Case threshed straw piles a few days after a good
rain. They took on the appearance of a newly seeded lawn. A person
wondered how many bushels were in that pile that should have gone
into the wagon.

Another thing, that short shoe
shake5/8‘ was too short to keep straw
from bridging between the chaffer and shoe sieve. That was
disgusting to the thresher men that liked for his sieves to stay
clean. One Case owner told me to do a good job run the engine half
empty. About the only way that could have been done would have been
to slow down the feeder raddle. The bundle haulers always wanted to
get their load off as soon as possible.’

ERNEST BLAHNIK, Route 1, Box 269, Luxemburg, Wisconsin would
like to know of the history of the Birdcall Company, especially the
12 HP steam engine that was made around the year of 1900 or
earlier. He’ll be watching for information in the mails,

Comments on some old tales come from GERALD DARR, 2220 Bishop
Gate Drive, Toledo, Ohio 43614 as he writes: ‘I enjoyed Frog
Smith’s column on the prohibition days. I have heard similar
tales to the ones he related. The one about watching for a certain
car on a certain road is an old true tale. The car with the real
stuff went unchecked.

‘It really does not make sense in this day and age to vote a
county dry as the residents who need a drink will go to the next
county or state to obtain same. I think there are eight counties in
Ohio that are dry. I started out World War II training at Camp
Walters, Texas. One PX was in Parker County and another PX was in
Pal pinto County. One of the counties was dry, so hence no beer in
the PX.

‘A movie I saw a couple of years ago was ‘Paper
Moon’ with Ryan O’Neal. That was about selling bootleg
whiskey in part.

‘In the column a reader commented that he enjoyed Mr.
Hoffendasher’s merits for other engines besides the Case
engine. For my part though, I think the Case is a streamlined
engine for its day. Some of the engines I have seen at shows look
so clumsy. I do not wish to mention them by name.

‘I was cutting firewood today and I wear bib overalls when I
do that type of work. What kind of overalls are the best? I have
worn the old standard Oshkosh, besides Big Mac, Lee, Car hart and
one pair of Grant’s, with a zipper fly; the only pair I ever
had like that. Overalls fade out before they wear out.

‘I like to go to the Eastern States Horse Sale in Columbus,
Ohio and observe all the different brands of bibs. I have a new
pair to wear to the sale. It will be February 2 and 3 at the
Fairgrounds in Columbus, Ohio. Perhaps some IMA subscribers will be
there also.

‘Well, this is enough of this stuff and I enjoy the magazine
very much.

‘Oh yes, I had thought I could contribute an old picture of
a threshing crew in Ottawa County, Port Clinton, Ohio. It was in my
mother’s possessions and after she died my sister got those
personal things and somehow she lost them or threw them out by
mistake.’ (Keep looking Gerald, and send anything along of
yesteryear or perhaps we will be getting another letter from you.
It’s interesting to enjoy one’s memories.)

GEORGE PERKS, 611 E. 6th Street, Colville, Washington 99114
writes: ‘Thought that you might be interested in seeing a
photograph of the 12 HP Russell at this point in restoration. All
new plumbing was installed using schedule 80 pipe, a new oak
platform built, rusted-out tanks repaired, a new canopy built, all
smoke box, yoke and front pivot and axle bolting replaced, and the
front axle and wheels sandblasted. The entire engine was stripped
to bare metal with an air sealer, then wire brushed, epoxyed and
painted with polyethylene with the exception of the drive wheels
and gearing which are this winter’s project.

‘The boiler was ultrasound tested and hydroid to 175#. The
safety valve is now set at 100#.

‘The Case water wagon and pump were rebuilt this spring and
is a nice complement. The engine has appeared in three events this
year so far and is quite an attraction as it is the only operating
engine in the local area.’ (It looks beautiful George all that
hard work shows.)

A letter comes from J. M. DAND, Box 905, Wainwright, Alberta,
Canada TOB 4PO as he tells of his recent project and is looking for
some help from you. ‘I am a retired pensioner in the process of
building a 1/3 scale 65 HP Case steam engine
and I also want to build a 1/3 scale
functional working model of a pull type thresher combine with an
input propeller speed of 540 RPM, preferably the make should be
Case to match the engine; also a water wagon complete with
hand-operated filling and discharge pump.

‘In order to build this combine I need scale model drawings
and instructions. The reason I want to build it is to prove a
‘concept’ in that it may be possible (though I’ll admit
a little far fetched) to use a full size steam engine to pull and
provide the operating power to a full size type thresher combine.
If times and circumstances should repeat themselves like they were
on the prairies in Saskatchewan in the years 1937 and 1938, the
article in the Iron-Men Album, Nov/Dec 1985 titled ‘With Steam
the Seed was Sown’, gives a very good example of what could
happen if history should ever repeat itself.

‘Briefly, this article describes a situation where this man
did not have any crop in 1937 and in the spring of 1938 was not
able to get any financial help that was of any use to him. All he
had for power (that he could afford to operate) to pull the
machinery to sow his crop was his ‘steam engine’, which he
used quite successfully in that he was able to grow a crop that
netted him enough profit that he was able to purchase two new
expensive tractors that fall, which he would have had to pay cash
in full for, because getting credit to buy farm machinery in those
years was very unlikely.

‘After having lived on a farm in the same part of the
country during the period that the above article was written about,
I would like to build in a home workshop, as a hobby, these scale
model machines. It is no problem obtaining the technical
information and drawings for the steam engine, but the combine in a
scale model to the best of my knowledge has never been attempted by

‘The ideal people to produce drawings and instructions would
be engineers and drafting personnel employed with a farm machinery
manufacturing company, but I think that unless they were to do it
free gratis, the cost would be prohibitive. This leaves only people
that have the ability and expertise and the most important thing,
is to be interested enough to accept a challenge of this magnitude.
I feel quite confident that I can build it if I were able to obtain
at least good working sketches with instructions, neither has to be
prepared professionally; pencil sketches with hand-written
instructions would be quite good enough. I should like to
correspond with anyone that might find this project interesting,
even if you just give me your opinion.’ (There you are,
fellows, that’s a real challenge if you feel you have the time
and can help J. M., please contact him and if all this
materializes, please let us have an article upon completion, or
while in the process of same.

‘Enclosed are three photos I had copied and enlarged from
old photos,’ writes TED S. JANSEN, 1507 W. Lancaster Ave.,
Leesburg, Florida 32748.

‘The one of the steamer tractor and separator is not very
good but could you tell me what kind of a threshing machine it is,
and make? I would like to know the make of the steamer, perhaps
Gaar Scott? Also the make of the gas tractor.

‘Both of the tractors belonged to my wife’s grandfather.
I think they are in the early 1900s as they were both gone by the
time I was born in 1929. He also used these tractors to move houses
and shell corn.

‘I was an engineer on an Aultman & Taylor when I was 15.
It was used on a threshing run in Central Illinois. Thus old
engines are dear to me.

‘Anyway, could someone please identify them for me? Please
let me know what they are I will surely appreciate it.’

We’re real glad to hear from one of our younger steam men as
he tells us: ‘First of all, I’m 24 years old and have never
been around steam engines much, but have always loved them. I would
like to hear or read some stories from younger people in you
magazine so I won’t feel like I’m the only young person
with interest in power of a by-gone era. (I’ll bet we have more
young folks than you can imagine, Mark may be some will drop you a
line, so you can have buddies interested in the same work that you

‘Secondly, I wonder why nobody uses all of that power for
anything but show. When I built my small house on my father’s
land this summer of 1986, we had to power our table saw with a 1922
Fairbanks Morse Z, two horsepower gas engine. It never missed a
stroke and had more than enough power to rip 2 x 10 oak lumber. The
electric motor burnt up on the first board.

‘This spring, we are going to try to get a sawmill in.
I’m going to power it with a 16 HP portable Frick engine.
I’ll be running a planer and a generator (power for lights at
the mill and two houses). I’m no doubt crazy, but I’m also
sure it will workjust lots of work!

‘I’m really enjoying the arguments over the best steam
traction engine company.

‘We use an 8 HP FM to power our two houses, a 6 HP headless
Witte keeps our batteries charged. The batteries are for power at
night. Our electric company here is going crazy with

A letter from CARL M. LATHROP, 108 Garfield Avenue, Madison, New
Jersey 07940 is always welcome, as he contributes quite often for
which we are thankful.

‘The Jan/Feb issue has arrived and like so many of the
subscribers I read it cover to cover. Since your column is page
one, it generally gets read first; and, it being the first for the
year gave me cause to reflect on, for example, Charles
Hartman’s observation,’… the good Lord gave us the
greatest computer ever made, the human brain, that has been
collecting memories…’.

‘I’m using an electronic typewriter that can store
64,000 characters (about 10,000 words) on a little chip of
inorganic silicon. I can tell it to search its memory for a word
and it can find it. I ask myself, ‘What’s Anna Mae’s
name?’ and my mental process starts the search in my organic
brain and comes up with Banyan. (Should be Banyan, Carl, but
that’s pretty good!) The little sparrow out my back door builds
a nest without any instructions other than those in an even more
miraculous system of information transferring, the DNA molecule and
the genes passed from parent to offspring via the embryo; we call
it instinct. There is a body of thought that suggests that as
today’s computers reach their zenith the next step in the
future will be an organic computing element.

‘Then L. J. Palmer came through with the whistle code. I had
been waiting to see if someone would come up with a reply for Ed
Bredemeier for I wanted to see if it bore any relationship to
railroad whistle signals. Last summer while running as conductor
(sometimes it’s engineer) on the Catskill Mountain Railroad
(tourist) I had an engineer that has had more hours in an engine
cab than Mr. Carter had Little Liver Pills. We were hauling a bus
load of New York rail fans and he let several ride in the cab. That
was okay with me until some clown reached up and blew two shorts on
the whistle which would be an engineer’s acknowledgement of a
conductor’s order to proceed. I just about jumped out of my
skin for no such order had been given. I stuck my head out the door
just in time to see and hear that old boy explain to the guy just
how it was that the cow ate the cabbage. He won’t do that again

‘Then I came to Ross Abendroth’s request for information
on how an injector works. An article of mine, ‘The Injector and
Perpetual Motion’ had appeared in the May/June 1983 issue of
IMA. I’m sending him a photocopy of that
manuscript since there was a typesetter’s omission in the
article as it appeared in that issue. If you want to live in the
past for memory’s sake just remember: the injector was invented
by Henri J. Giffard in 1858 for the steam engine that powered his

JOHN J. HOLP, SR. and JOHN J. HOLP, JR., 7543 Delisle-Fourman
Road, Arcanum, Ohio 45304 just wanted to write a few lines and tell
Mr. J. Hoffendasher, Two Dot, Montana, that both of them say Amen
to his article.

‘We get just a little tired of reading about how much better
the Case, Avery, etc. are over the other makes.

‘We also have a question for the self acclaimed experts
writing these articles. Have you ever actually earned a dollar
using this superior machinery, day-in and day-out, threshing,
plowing, sawing, etc.?’ Come on boys, give us a
(The Helps are owners of Advance and Gaar Scott

‘In Jan/Feb IMA it was requested by Mr. Russ Abendroth to
read an article on how the injector works. I have many writings on
the injector, and this one by Mr. Edsel H. Corley, I think, is the
best,’ writes HASTEN L. ST. CLAIR, R.R. 1, Holden, Missouri

‘To many people the injector is the most mysterious device
on a steam engine and steam boiler. It takes steam from the boiler
and, with no moving parts to gain a mechanical advantage, puts
water back in the boiler at the same pressure or even will
discharge water at a higher pressure than the steam entering the

‘Let us take a boiler operating at 150 lbs. pressure. That
is a common operating pressure for traction engines and many
stationary boilers. Now suppose we had a water tower or stand pipe
that had a 150 lb. pre-sure at the bottom of it and we would have a
column of water 345.62 feet high (found by using the formula lbs.
pressure the constant .434) equals the height of column in feet.
Now if we had a pipe at the top of the tower that came straight
down and the water rushed down the pipe the velocity of the water
when it reached the bottom of the tower would be the same as the
velocity of water escaping from a valve at the bottom of the

‘Now the velocity of the water coming from the top of the
tower would increase just as fast as a rock or weight would that
was dropped from the top of the tower. To find that velocity,
according to Newton’s laws of gravity velocity squared equals 2
times the acceleration times the distance fallen so the velocity
V2=A times d for distance V2=2x32x345, 62 (32 ft per second is the
acceleration of gravity) V=22119.68 V= 148.73 ft. per second just
to equal the pressure inside the boiler.

‘Now, how does an injector impart a velocity like that to
the water? Steam entering the steam jet of an injector at 150 lbs.
pressure is traveling at 2500 ft. per second. This goes down the
jet and into the suction jet and creates a partial vacuum in the
suction chamber which is connected to the water supply, usually by
a hose on a traction engine. This water is drawn into the suction
jet through the small opening between the bottom of the steam jet
and the top of the suction jet. The water condenses the steam but
in doing so has a velocity imparted to it that is strong enough to
overcome the boiler pressure and is forced into the boiler.

‘There are numerous causes of injector failure but I believe
that the most common and critical one is the space between the
bottom of the steam jet and the top of the suction. I have found on
a medium pressure injector about .055 of an inch is the most
satisfactory. If this opening is too large more water will be drawn
in than can be discharged, and if too small the steam will not be
condensed and either will not let the injector work.

‘An injector that is in good condition will put up a
discharge pressure of 180 lbs. when the steam entering it is only
150 lbs. and this would have a velocity of 162.9 per sec. of the
water discharged which is much more than is needed to get it into
the boiler.’

Caption on above picture, dated 3-6-1909 reads: ‘The Reeves
40 HP Cross Compound Double Cylinder Plowing and Hauling Traction
Engine running compound with 150 pounds of steam, drawing a load of
404,000 pounds or 202 tons. The greatest, best and latest traction
engine built. Boilers of the engine were all completely filled with
water to obtain greatest weight possible.’

‘I am sending you a picture that I used in the book I wrote
a ‘Historical Stories About Reeves Engines.’ It is a Reeves
40 HP cross compound, double cylinder plowing and hauling traction
engine running compound with 150 pounds of steam, drawing a load of
404,000 pounds or 202 tons. The greatest, best and latest traction
engine built. Boilers of the engines were all completely filled
with water to obtain greatest weight possible. Date marked on
picture 3-6-1909.

Many other people wrote to RUSS ABENDROTH, Route 1, Greenville,
WI54942, to explain how the injector works. He wrote us again to
say, ‘I would like to express many thanks to all who took the
time to write helping to explain the thermodynamics of an injector.
I now better understand what is going on with the parts of an
engine when I help my friend John Sell of Brillion, WI fire up his
1′ model 65 Case engine which he uses to power his model
threshing machine.’

Those who wrote to Russ were Simon Spoelman of Palmetto, FL;
Carl M. Lathrop of Madison, NJ; Ernest Swann of Lone Jack, MO; Gary
Kappedal of Len by, MN; N.B. Cole of Louisville, KY; R.J. D and of
Alberta, Canada; Frank Mc Cutcheon of New Brunets, TX; and William
Patterson of Saskatchewan, Canada. (Thanks for your response,

Time to close this column and wish you all a great Spring time
it’ll be here before you know it Something to think about every
person has two ends; an end to think with an end to sit with. What
he accomplishes depends on the end he chooses heads, he wins,
tails, he loses . If some people had an operation to remove their
conscience, it would be a fairly simple operation You are not just
one person, but three the one you think you are, the one other
people think you are, and the person you really are!… Do
something either lead, follow or get out of the way … You
can’t change the past, but you ruin a perfectly good present by
worrying about the future … and I see the gleam in your eye as
you are making plans for those Reunion trips won’t be long you
know, so get that restoring, painting, priming finished and get
ready to roll Love Ya All

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