SOOT IN THE FLUES

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Craig Detwiler's picture of a 1921 22 HP Greyhound, serial #2111.
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Power plant of the steam launch Tinkertoy.
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Steam launch Tinkertoy running on the Pawtucket River in Rhode Island. Photo by Carl Lathrop.
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1 2 x 12 Cylinder Simple Traction Engine.
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From an old geography book, this is the first model 40 HP Reeves U.S.
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Z-1 Peerless on sawmill at McConnelsburg Greace, Steam & Rust Show.
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60 HP Frick 9 x 10, Steve Coldsmith at McConnelsburg Grease Steam & Rust Show.
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Bridge wreck of W. M. Brown, LaPorte, Michigan, sent by Carlton Johnson.
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Photo by Don Bodine
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Robert H. Babcox, Jr., with his A. B. Farquhar Co. Limited, manufactured in York, Pa., #5103.
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Craig Detwiler's picture of a 25-52 Greyhound (1928 or 1929) made by Banting Mfg. Co. of Toledo, Ohio.

We have lots of letters this month, so we’ll get to them
directly:

DAVID BEACH, 919 Chestnut Street, Roaring Spring, Pennsylvania
16673 writes: ‘I just got back from the Grease, Steam and Rust
Association’s Show at McConnelsburg, Pennsylvania, and it is
with great appreciation that I write this letter! The weekend
started with stream-flooding rain that lasted till early Saturday.
Though I gave the steel wheels on my Z-1 Peerless a brown coat of
valley mud, the show went on and I did my best to keep up with the
excitement.

‘The ‘steam guys’ at this show are fun loving,
helpful individuals who gave me all the information and
encouragement I needed for my first show away from home. We
‘green horns’ like to take every opportunity possible to
use our steam engines and the GSR’s events schedule allowed me
to belt to the saw mill, pull the big ‘TERMINATOR’ sled and
parade around like a general idiot.

‘I am particularly thankful for the wonderful appreciation
showed to me on Sunday through presenting awards and being given
the chance to parade in front of the grandstand with my steam
buddies at McConnelsburg.

1914 Z-1 Peerless 10×10 that David Beach bought from the Willis
Abel collection in October 1994. The bell is Pennsylvania
Railroad.

‘The other show that I took my Z-1 to this year was
September 16th and 17th. The Southern Cove Power Reunion was a
fabulous little show with a schedule of events that ran like a
clock with enough tractors on display to please any onlooker. Mike
Miller of the New Centerville Show displayed his 20th Century twin
traction engine, as well as his Austin Road Roller. The engineer on
these pieces was a split-duty between Jerry Schimpf and various
club members who wanted a crack at the throttle.

‘The big feature for this year was a steam engine drag race
that had me cranking up my governor to put that Austin in the dust
behind me! Jerry is the kind of fellow who relishes the chance to
get around good friends and swap steam stories of the show season.
I regret that I only get to see Mike and Jerry a few times each
year. They are the kind of people that I could spend a lot of time
with to learn more about steam and experience some of the best fun
I have ever had the chance to share, since my grandfather and
father both took me to steam shows when I was seven or eight years
old.

‘I cannot put into words the feeling of being on an engine
at a show and moving around the grounds between spectators and
exhibits. I wish this could happen every weekend but we all have
other responsibilities in life and it’s nice to get together at
least those few special times each year to shovel coal and brag
about ourselves!

‘Thanks to all my friendsyou know who you are!’

CARLTON JOHNSON, 2256 W. Wilson Road, Clio, Michigan 48420 sent
these photos with this note: ‘I don’t remember seeing
anything in the Album about the trouble threshers had
using bridges after the turn of the century.

‘They were building larger engines and many of the county
and township bridges were not strong enough to hold them. For the
next 12 to 15 years after 1900 there were many bridge wrecks and
many lives were lost

‘These two photos taken from the old American
Thresherman Magazine
axe an example and show the problems they
had trying to cross the bridges with so much equipment weight. The
wreck in Michigan was February 1908 and the one in Wisconsin was
August 1911.’

From TIMOTHY D. O’CONNELL, 514 NW 5th Street, Madison, South
Dakota 57042-1423 we received this: ‘Joe Habager and myself are
in the process of restoring a 6 HP 1907 Case portable steam engine,
#18348, that was donated to Prairie Village here in Madison back in
the late ’60s. The boiler itself is in very good shape and has
just been sitting all this time. We decided that the boiler is in
too good of shape to just be sitting around, so we decided to try
and restore it this winter. The problem is that the original engine
was taken off the boiler before it was donated to the village and
its whereabouts are unknown. We are trying to find another 6 HP
engine like the one that was originally on the boiler or find
somewhere that I could have one cast for it.

‘We have a 9 HP Nichols and Shepard engine that we would be
willing to trade for a 6 HP Case engine. If we cannot find an
engine, we are thinking of modifying the Nichols and Shepard engine
and putting it on the Case boiler so at least it will be operable
until we do find a Case engine for it.

‘I have restored a 1914 50 HP Case steam traction engine,
but this is my first attempt at working on a portable steam engine,
so any information I can find would be very helpful. One question I
have is: did the portable 6 HP Case steam engine have any kind of a
reverse mechanism or was this achieved by flipping the belt? Also,
did the 1907 models have a pre-heater on them?

‘I am also looking for a smoke box door ring and a firebox
door. I would greatly appreciate any information you might be able
to give me on the 6 HP Case engine or the 9 HP Nichols and Shepard
engine.’

Three men went down with the engine but no one was hurt. Outfit
of Hank Steininger, Monroe, Wis., Sent by Carlton.

‘I took this picture on the last fire-up day of the year
before we put her away for the winter,’ says DON BODINE, 110 N.
Daisy Lane, Danville, Illinois 61832. ‘It was a nice fall day
in October. My grandfather, Harold Bodine, is on the coal bunker.
He is 88 years of age. The engine is our family’s 1917, 24 HP
Minneapolis. The water wagon was built by my father, Terry Bodine.
Our engine’s serial number is 8042. We were running the engine
around the pastures of my father’s farm. I would like to
correspond with other Minneapolis owners.’

‘This is a picture of an A. B. Farquhar Company Limited
engine from York, Pennsylvania, and is #5103. I thought some of the
older readers would like to see the picture, and possibly a feature
on it, as this is a museum piece that was put in perfect working
order by Herbert Dowler and me.

‘Having known the founder of the Iron Men Album,
who was after me for a picture, I have finally had one taken.

‘This engine was used for a carousel. The engine is in
perfect condition and runs like a Swiss watch. It will start on 10
lbs. of wet steam and will operate on 10 to 150 lbs. of steam.

‘This is quite a joy to have and to have refurbished.’
ROBERT H. BABCOX, JR., stationary steam engineer License #70458,
State of Ohio, 7424 Rockingham Drive, Mentor, Ohio 44060.

ANDY SINE, of P.O. Box 165, Painted Post, New York 14870, sent
us an account of a train boiler explosion which appeared in the
September 1995 issue of Trains magazine.

‘It really underscores the serious side of our wonderful
hobby. If not for the Special Canadian Pacific boiler involved
here, the incident could have been a major catastrophe.We must be
sure to keep the gauge glasses clean and free of scale.’

We have heard from readers before that they don’t care for
us to reprint accounts of such incidents in the pages of
IMA, so we have chosen not to do so, but we appreciate
Andy’s sending the article and expressing his overall concern
for safety in the steam hobbies.

We hear this from CRAIG DETWILER, 14938 County Road 38, Goshen,
Indiana 46526-6974. ‘I have three Greyhounds, they are a 22 HP
1921 steam traction engine; 25-52 HP gasoline tractor; and a 26 x
42 threshing machine. See photos. There are eight Greyhounds known
to exist in the United States.

‘December 2nd I am going to Toledo, Ohio. I am doing my
research on the history of Banting Manufacturing. However, I am
going to the Toledo Public Library and Maumee Valley Historical
Society of Maumee, Ohio. I have a 35 mm camera ready to take
pictures of the old Banting buildings, etc. There will be more
information after this. Maybe I can write some stories on his
adventure, though I am not a good writer. I appreciate and
enjoy-doing my share of the magazine about Greyhound
products.’

CARL M. LATHROP, 108 Gar-field Avenue, Madison, New Jersey 07940
sends this: ”Build Steam Engines Without Castings’
often appears as it does in the current FOR SALE section by R. F.
HasBrouck of New Paltz, New York. One needs to read between the
lines to realize that here is not only a fine gentleman but a
craftsman extraordinary as well. His 16 foot steam launch TINKERTOY
is a fitting example of the latter.

The ad reminded me of the second International Steamboat Muster
at Pawtucket, Rhode Island, which I attended back in August, 1993,
where 18 live steam launches gathered One of them was TINKERTOY.
Ray succumbed to my wistful glances and invited me to have a ride
around the harbor. Steam launches glide silently through the water
with the only sound being the faint metallic clicking of the
engine’s valve mechanism. I hope you will enjoy the two
pictures of the launch and its power plant.

IVAN E. BURNS of 8100 N. Burns Road, Edmond, Oklahoma 73003,
sends us this picture (next page) of his 25-85 Canadian Nichols
& Shepard heavy steam traction engine pulling on the Prony
brake at Pawnee, Oklahoma, in the spring of 1995.

‘Ed Larson is the engineer and the weather conditions were
terrible. The mud was at least two feet deep. Ed pulled 107 HP out
of the engine, not bad considering the weather.

‘Ed Larson is one of the outstanding young engineers of the
Pawnee Show, others being Paul Martens, Dale Wolf, Steve Dunn,
David Bennett and Shane Fry. These young men are surely a credit to
the hobby.

‘Come see these young engineers at our 1996 Show in Pawnee,
Oklahoma May 3, 4,and 5.’

GARY YAEGER, 146 Reimer Lane, Whitefish, Montana 59937 writes,
‘I am attempting to write a history of 40-140 Reeves steam
engines. I will attempt to procure serial numbers, owners, dealers
and locations where the engines were used. I believe I have
pictures of nine different 40s used in Montana. I have some sketchy
information on a total of 12 or 13 which were used here. My
information includes the Smolik Bros. 3rd model Canadian engine,
which I’m proud to be able to say I’ve run. I have
information on three of them in Canada, including the
‘Rut-ledge’ Forty which is now owned by Mark Pederson of
Luverne, North Dakota. I also have one picture of a Forty that was
located in Utah. I am interested in getting information of any
kind, no matter how trivial, and would like to have photographs or
photocopies that any of you out there in ‘engine land’
might have. I would be glad to reimburse any copying costs. I do
have Haston St. Clair’s book Historical Stories About
Reeves Engines in my library.
I have written ‘Mr.
Reeves,’ Lyle Hoffmaster, and as of today have not received a
reply. I know he is a busy man.

‘As a J. I. Case owner, I naturally have a book of their
serial numbers in relation to horsepower of their engines produced.
Does anyone have a list of Reeves engines serial numbers in
relation to horsepower? I’d sure like to hear from you, if you
do. Reeves & Co. had a fire at the factory years ago and lost
their blueprints. Maybe they lost these records in the same fire. I
do not know. When I told Lyle Hoffmaster that I had the blueprint
of the 32 HP Reeves Canadian boiler head sheet with the cannon
bearing and shafting dimensions at the 50th N.T. A. show in
Wauseon, he became very excited, as he said he only knew of one
other Reeves blueprint and he owned it. Lyle is started on a book
on Reeves engines covering the whole spectrum.

‘My dad and his brothers had borrowed their neighbors’,
the Otten Brothers’ 32 Reeves C.C. Canadian engine #7181 (now
owned by the Tyler Brothers) when their own 32 Reeves CD. Canadian,
#6269 was down for repairs. Dad stated that when they were plowing
with #7181, it developed a ‘thud’ every revolution of the
differential gear. Upon investigation, they discovered that the
countershaft was broken. This was in the early 1930s, after Reeves
was out of business and J.I. Case had bought the
Emerson-Brantingham Company. They weren’t able to find a 32 HP
Reeves countershaft, but found a countershaft at Stanford, Montana,
in a 40 HP first model, U.S. lapseam boilered Reeves. This was the
reason they possessed the blueprint mentioned above. They bought
the countershaft out of the Forty and proceeded to turn it down
(5/16 of an inch, I believe) to fit the 32 HP
Reeves. Dad said there were a couple of wheelbarrow loads of
shavings below that old 16 foot bed lathe! I remember asking as a
young boy, ‘Why the heck didn’t you just buy the Forty
Reeves and put the countershaft from #6269 into the Otten
engine??’ Oh, well, wouldn’t I be hard to live with, if I
now owned that Forty Reeves? It’s probably just as well. I am
not a fisherman, but it’s always fun to talk about the ‘big
one that got away!’

This is a picture from the 1906 J. I. Case catalog showing what
is listed as a ’32 H.P.’ Case and it obviously has flat
strap rear drive wheels. The 1907 catalog shows the 32 H.P. with
round spokes. The engine in the factory engraving is in fact the 40
H.P. (150) 14′ x 14′ bore and stroke, 8′ high drive
wheels. I personally feel Case was in such a hurry to get another
engine on the market to try to recover themselves on the failed
150. This was probably as close as they could come to a 32 H.P.
engraving by that date. Only my guess.Gary Yaeger.

‘I received some information from Don Bradley of Forsyth,
Montana, last night. It had more information about Frank Strouf and
his 40 HP Reeves engines. His daughter Helen Strouf Fulbright wrote
in 1977 that Frank ‘owned six large engines, many teams of
horses, at least 30 hired men year round, and farmed 9,000
acres.’ Her mother had two women hired year round in the
kitchen also. She mentioned a ‘smaller’ engine used to haul
water to large engines. I believe Mr. Strouf also had a couple of
Forty HP Peerless engines. I’m sorry I don’t know what they
all were. I just heard that three of the engines were Reeves.

‘Enough chatter from me. I would be thoroughly elated with
any Iron Men Album reader who could give me any help on my
40 Reeves project. I think it is a worthy project that could be of
an historical nature for future generations. Someday, there will be
few people available to accomplish this task, so I feel time is of
essence.

‘Thank you for allowing me to use your magazine for
accomplishing my dream.’

Also from GARY YAEGER: ‘Most serious J. I. Case aficionados
will tell you that when Case came out with the 32 HP (110) in 1906,
the first ones came out with the flat strap spokes in the rear
drive wheels. As a Case owner, I’ll be first to tell you that I
have a lot to learn about Case transition of supplied equipment. I
know quite a few 110 owners. I’ve asked a few of them about the
flat spokes.

‘I opened a real keg of worms when I wrote an article last
year for Soot in the Flues regarding the ’32 (110)
HP’ shown in the 1906 Case catalog. I stated the engine shown
was, in fact, the 40 (150) HP and not the 32 HP. I received some
flak over that letter as the specifications in the J.I. Case
catalog ‘couldn’t be in error’ since they printed it
themselves. In other words what do I know about it?

‘Tom Stebritz of Algona, Iowa, wrote a letter supporting my
position that this is indeed the 40 HP (150) engine. Since Tom has
blueprints and castings available for scale models of both of these
engines, he has studied the comparisons probably as much as anyone
alive today. My friend ‘Slim’ Rennewanz of Ennis, Montana,
is one of few people alive today who actually saw a 40 HP (150). He
also agreed that the engine in the 1906 Case catalog is indeed the
40 HP. Their stance is much different from the 32 HP.

‘Tom Stebritz answered another letter of mine stating that
the first 32 HP (110) did, in fact, have flat spokes in the drive
wheels, in the beginning. He sent me photocopies of an early 32 HP
Case showing one of the two speed arrangements offered on early
32s. There were two different types of two speed arrangements
available early in the 32 HP production, I believe, if not three.
But, he didn’t have a picture of the flat spokes in the drive
wheels.

‘I am not disputing anyone who says the flat drive wheel
spokes were used on the first ones. I just have no proof of it and
would like to see a photograph or an engraving of one.
(Incidentally, three of my grandparents moved to Montana from
Missouri in the last century!) I am not doubting anyone’s
integrity. If anyone has a picture, please send me a copy and
I’ll gladly drop the subject. Also, I’ll be glad to
reimburse them for any expense incurred.

‘Thanks for much for letting me have my say and keep up the
good work at Iron Men Album. It’s still my favorite
piece of mail!’

HENRY J. MAST, 25622 Wasepi Road, Centreville, Michigan 49032,
writes: ‘We have a circular sawmill powered by a 9 x 10 Frick
center crank steam engine. Does anyone use a steam engine similar
to this? It is a portable on wheels. We also used it to run
ensilage cutters for some neighbors this fall.

‘Now, my question is do any of you have a 28′ or 32’
thrashing machine along with a traction steam engine of comparable
size for sale who would have joy in seeing it put in to use to
thresh for farmers?

‘I can still remember going with my dad ‘when quite
young,’ to attend the engine for him, but it was not a steam
engine. However, after now having some experience with a steam
engine, I look forward to finding out if someone would have an
outfit like this for sale. I am interested in an Advance Rumely
steam engine, but it does not have to be if it’s of comparable
maker and in good, safe running order. Thank you in Advance for a
favorable response!’

We received another inquiry from a P. THORNLEY of Box
118,Campbellton, NF, Canada 40G 1L0, who is looking for a half size
traction steam engine to give rides to customers on his U-pick
farm. He’d also like it to drive a saw mill, and asks if
we’ve heard of anything. Maybe one of you has just what Mr.
Thornley needs?

Our final note this month comes from faithful contributor MORRIS
BLOMGREN, 1039 Blomgren Rd., Siren, WI54872. Morris has a seemingly
endless collection of beautiful photos from the early 1900s. Of the
one below, he writes:

‘This picture is of the Green brothers: August Rask with
hand on steering wheel, Joe Green standing on the ground to the
left, and Richard Green just above him. Is there anyone nowadays
that could build a grain stack like that? Look how well formed it
is. Green brothers also bought a new Indiana tractor in 1920. I
have it now. They lived a mile east of Balun Hiway 70, a half mile
north.’

We are very encouraged by the number of letters we received for
this column this month, and have to say thank you, and please keep
writing to us! As we get this issue ready for the printer, we have
been slowed down by the so-called ‘Blizzard of ’96’
which has completely paralyzed our local community. Along with the
many tales of woe and petty inconvenience, there have been great
stories here of heroism and team work, as neighbors help each other
to cope with the awesome power of nature.

We have been running a reprint of the 1891 book,
Zwicker’s Revised Practical Instructor on the pages of
IMA, but we decided to interrupt the series this month
since we had some good stories that we wanted to use right away. We
regret that this issue is rather light on advertising, and thus is
smaller than usual, but expect things to pick up by next month.

Steamcerely,

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