1 / 14
2 / 14
Gerald Darr's smaller photo.
3 / 14
22 HP Keck Gonnerman with 5-16 '' bottom trip plow.
4 / 14
George Derting, age 3. He likes steam engines!
5 / 14
Miller picture #1.
6 / 14
Miller picture #2.
7 / 14
8 / 14
9 / 14
Automobile Trade Journal, March 1912
10 / 14
11 / 14
Miller picture #3.
12 / 14
Miller picture #4.
13 / 14
In the photo are Ed Corson, Bud's father, and Ivan Corson, Ed's son.
14 / 14
Gerald Darr's photo.

Once again, we have quite a lot of letters this month, and
we’re very pleased about that. In this issue we also have
several stories about the various ‘Steam School’ operations
that are popping up at clubs around the country. These schools
offer hands-on instruction to the steam engine novice, and
hopefully help the clubs to build on the number of capable
volunteers in their ranks. We think you’ll be interested in the
stories and the comments from some of the students. Maybe this is
something your club should start doing!

Well, on to the letters:

GARY JONES, 576 Murray Street, Owatonna, Minnesota 55060 writes,
‘This is just a little mix up at our house that some readers
might get a chuckle out of.

‘I have two steamers, a 65 HP Case and a 19 HP side mount
Keck Gonnerman. I have a recipe for cylinder oil which I mix up
myself for my two steamers. In making this I naturally need to add
tallow and lard to make my oil. The cylinder oil is probably one of
the most important components in having an engine perform well, but
unfortunately, is one of the last things I think of making before a

‘Since you can’t buy rendered tallow and the lard you
buy often has salt in it, I usually end up rendering tallow and
lard out in my driveway about midnight, a few days before we start
to saw in the spring. A year or so ago, I spent an entire evening
rendering out a few pints of tallow. It was clear and perfect and I
was delighted with the fruit of my labors. Anyway, I put it into a
little saucepan, covered it, and stuck it in the refrigerator to
cool overnight before starting on my lard the next evening. The
next morning I checked my tallow and it had solidified into a nice
orangey-brown. I patted myself on the back and left for work.

‘Quite often my wife and I will make little treats for each
other and leave them in the refrigerator or in the kitchen with a
note saying, ‘Enjoy your treat.’ Well, my wife is usually
still in bed when I leave early for work, and when she looked in
the refrigerator and took the cover off that pan she thought it
looked like butterscotch pudding. (It looked JUST LIKE butterscotch
pudding. I can see how she made the mistake.) Delighted with her
husband’s thoughtfulness, she took the pan over to the kitchen
table, picked up our Chihuahua and sat down at the table to read
the paper and sample her treat.

‘She dropped the spoon, almost dropped the dog, and went to
rinse her mouth out. It was not what she was expecting. Boy, did I
ever get a phone call at work! She initially thought I had pulled a
prank on her and was not very happy about it. When she learned what
it was, she was not any happier with me, but we both laughed over
it. So the moral of the story is, if you are using chemicals,
renderings, oil, and ESPECIALLY boiler compound, keep it completely
separate from anything in the house so there are no mistakes.
Fortunately, this little event turned out to be a comical mix-up,
but it could easily have been something serious. This letter is
meant only as a reminder of something that everybody already

‘Have a great year in 1998!’

DAVID and SANDY MILLER, 25 Washington Lane, Apt. 3, Westminster,
Maryland 21157-5850 write: ‘Here are a few more pictures for
your consideration for IMA.

‘Picture #1 shows Mark Sheldon of Glen Rock, Pennsylvania,
and his A. D. Baker engine at Williams Grove, Pennsylvania, August
31 1997.

‘Picture #2 shows the formation of the parade at the Mason
Dixon Show in Westminster, Maryland, September 5, 1997. Leading off
is the 50 HP EB Peerless owned, restored and operated by William,
Jerry and Ben Lucabaugh of Glen Rock, Pennsylvania. The parade
featured Fricks, Geisers, Cases, Aultman-Taylor and a Baker. The
Mason Dixon, and the Maryland Steam Historical Society Show in
Arcadia both enjoyed the best display of steam in many years.

‘#3 is a Geiser Mfg. Peerless owned by William Burke of
Finksburg, Maryland, at the Mason Dixon Show at Arcadia.

‘#4 shows part of the lineup of steam power at the Maryland
Steam Historical Society Show at Arcadia September 13, 1997. This
show featured Fricks, a Case, Baker, Kelly Springfield, Buffalo
Springfield, Farquhar, and Geisers.

Steam Commercial Cars

‘Keep up the good work!’

JOHN A. DAVIDSON, Box 4, 8250 200 Avenue, Bristol, Wisconsin
53104 says, ‘While browsing through one of my old automobile
magazines I came across this ad for a steam ‘commercial
car’ (truck). Quite unusual, for it has a V-8 quadruple
expansion steam engine under the hood with chain drive. I do not
know how many they made, if more than this one.

‘Cadillac car had the first production V-8 auto in 1915,
though other V-8s were in cars as experimental. Curtis Motorcycle
offered a V-8 in their motorcycle in 1908 for $200. This
information may be of interest to the steam boys. I am a gas engine

Our friend GLEN CHRISTOFFERSEN of 15 Winston Way, Redwood City,
CA 94061, says, ‘I feel a need to respond to Larry Creed’s
comment in Soot in the Flues, January/February 1998 issue. I, too,
am disappointed when the same story appears in both Iron Men Album
and Engineers and Engines. Now, here is what happened to me some of
you will have noted that my Russell #12857 appeared on the covers
of Iron Men Album, January/February ’98 edition and of E &
E October/November ’97 edition. I think you will agree that I
picked widely different settings so that no-one would object to my
tractor showing up on both covers. I expected to get the standard
2′ x 2’ description of my engine inside the magazine. My
mistake was including with each set of photos the brochure that we
distribute when we show the tractor. Both magazines chose to print
it almost in its entirety! So I stand guilty as charged by Larry,
but, 1 assure you, it was unintentional! By the way, here’s a
big thank you to the IMA staff for doing such a good job on my
engine cover.

These two old logging photos come from Marc Corson of 9374
Roosevelt Street, Crown Point, IN 46307. are Charlie Bunt and Bud
Corson (right), Mark’s grandfather.

‘Because we live in the heart of the San Francisco Bay urban
area, the audience for our tractor consists mainly of people who
are totally unaware of the existence of traction engines, let alone
how they work. It has been my observation that, as we sit idling
for people to watch, the typical woman will bombard me with
questions, not stopping until she has a reasonable idea of what it
is and how it works. The typical man walks up and stares with
furrowed brow and pursed lips, his facial expression saying,
‘I’m supposed to know what this thing is, and I’m not
going to risk my masculinity by asking silly questions.’ On our
most recent outing, a man was staring, completely mesmerized, at
the governor and its 1′ wide drive belt. I asked him if he had
any questions; he said, ‘No.’ He continued to stare.
Finally, he said, ‘I think it’s really amazing that that
little tiny belt can transmit enough power to turn all of those big
gears and wheels.’ He seemed quite relieved when I explained
all of the workings of a steam engine to him!!

‘Happy Holidays!’

We received this letter from MAURICE POOLE, 89, Glebelands,
Pulborough, West Sussex, England RH20 2JH United Kingdom: ‘Some
time ago, I was in correspondence with you. I am a subscriber of
Iron Men Album via the N.T.E.T.

‘I am writing to ask if you can help me. For some time I
have been trying to put together a list of all known steam road
vehicle publications, this includes steam automobiles.

‘Can you help me fill some details of some publications
published in your county ( Lancaster County, PA) and Canada? I have
written to the British Library who have not got these publications
in their 19 million-plus publications. I will send you a copy of my
list when it’s finished.

‘The information I require, if available is:

‘(1) The Album of American Steam Traction Engines 1900-1930
by T. H. Smith.

‘Do you know if the book is case-bound or soft backed? Do
you know the year of publication?

‘(2) Canadian Steam Engine Album, G. E. Smith
Printing & Publishing Co. Ltd., Orillia, Canada. Do you know if
the book is case bound or soft backed? Do you know the year of

‘(3) Days of Steam and Glory. Dana Close Jennings,
North Plains Press, Aberdeen, USA. Do you know the year of
publication and ISBN?

‘(4) Farm Steam Shows USA and Canada. Dana Close
Jennings. Do you know the publisher and address together with the
year of publication?

‘(5)The Greatest Show on Earth. Dana Close
Jennings. Do you know the publisher and address together with the
year of publication? Do you know if the book is case bound or soft

‘(6) The Wheat Album, by Kirby Brumfield. The
Superior Publishing Co., Seattle, USA. Do you know the year of

‘I would like to purchase the titles I have listed if any
turn up. I believe they are all out of print.

‘Some time ago you sold badges of traction engines. If you
have any still available please can you advise me?

(We printed this letter in its entirety in case someone else can
help with the books. We do know that (1) was a soft cover book, as
we have a copy in our office. The original publisher was Billy Over
turf of Oak, Nebraska 68964, but we do not know whether Mr. Over
turf is still living, just that he is not a current IMA subscriber.
There was also a companion book by Smith on gas tractors. These
appear to have been published about forty years ago or so. We also
were able to learn that (3) was published in June of 1968 and has
an ISBN number of 0879701021. We don’t sell badges of traction
engines, but possibly some of our readers do!)

We have this suggestion from JAMES W. RUSSELL, 125 E. 600th
Avenue, Oblong, Illinois 62449, ‘I am sending in an old article
I thought might be of interest. It was first published in IMA in
the July/August, 1954 issue. I am fascinated by the stories written
by men actually involved in the era of steam. These stories are
gone forever, unless we have a chance to re-read them. Not everyone
is lucky enough to have a set of the old Albums of the ’50s and
’60s. People my age (30) have not had the chance to read these
wonderful stories.

‘I am not much of a writer myself, but will be glad to
‘re-contribute’ these stories if you will print them.
Thanks for the opportunity to contribute to a wonderful magazine.
Keep up the good work!’

This is the article he sent:


By J. F. Percival Spokane, Washington

I did my first plowing with a 35 HP double Nichols & Shepard
engine. I pulled a 12 bottom Cock shutt plow along with discs and
harrows and I wish to say that as a plow engine, this one was a
real lemon. It was a real good steamer and had plenty of power but
the gears were never made for plowing. About every ten days we
would have to put in new differential pinions of a clutch spider or
some other gear, or a part that was not built to stand the heavy
work of plowing.

My second plow engine was a 32 HP simple Reeves and this engine
was a honey. Although not as easy on coal and water as the 32 cross
compound, the Reeves was really built for plowing and hauling. It
was equipped with ample water tanks and coal bunkers and had no
unnecessary spur gear to get out of line. During my 22 years as a
traction engineer I operated five different Reeves engines and
every one of them were great on the draw bar, all were good
steamers and very economical to operate. I say without prejudice
that the Reeves topped the field for plowing. In those years in
Canada, I saw many engines perform in the fields when we would
visit other plowing outfits and here are some of the different
makes and faults I would find with them. Take the Case 110 HP.
Simple: boiler too small, steam dome too small and low. This caused
the big Case to prime easily and if the water was very bad you
would have to drain and wash the boiler three or four times each
week. It did not have large enough water tanks to carry it the two
mile round that was necessary when plowing a 640 acre field like we
had up there. I owned one of these 110 Case outfits so I know what
I am talking about, but this 110 and the 25-75 and 28-80 that I
operated in 1914 and later, were all good steamers and easy on

In 1915, ’16 and ’19, I did over 2,000 acres of stubble
plowing with a 28-80 Canadian Special Case engine and I pulled ten
plows and harrowed with it. In my book of engines, this was the
best steam engine turned out by the Case Company. I operated this
engine in the falls of 1915, ’16, ’19, ’22, ’23,
’24, ’25, ’26 and’27 and my salary was $ 10.00 a
day. The average run was 32 days of threshing. To get away from
plow engines I will thresh awhile and for this I am going to pick
as my favorite threshing engine, a 30 HP single simple Advance and
a Rumely 40-64 Ideal separator equipped with Ruth self-feeder and
Hart grain weigher. This is the simplest steam engine and the
smoothest running separator ever built. In knocking around the
Dakotas in my 22 seasons, I had occasions to belt up to a 44 x 72
Avery; a 40 x 63 Reeves; a 40 x 64 Nichols & Shepard; a 40 x 62
Minneapolis; a 40 x 60 Case. I have also pitched grain bundles into
an Aultman-Taylor, Gaar Scott, Buffalo Pitts, Advance and the
Russell but none of these machines compared to the Rumley

James Russell continues, ‘I hope you will print this article
when you have space in the Album as I like to hear others spout off
about their ‘pets’ and ‘peeves.’ I’ve got my
pressure down now so will bank the fire and call it a day for this

GERALD R. DARR, 2220 Bishops gate Drive, Toledo, Ohio 43614
writes: ‘I have read through the January/February issue of
IMA. I found a lot of interesting stories including
pictures of those four Mexican men ‘riding shotgun’ on the
front of a locomotive. The scene was not so hilarious, as I could
imagine their feelings.

‘The picture of the large Case pulling a plow turning eight
forrows, they were probably breaking prairie sod. It looks like
Green County.

‘What a job the Schusters did restoring that Champion
traction engine.

‘Hats off to John Steel and the crew who brought that piece
of engine back to reality after being found in a ditch in Kansas.

‘Under separate cover I am sending two pictures for
publication. The larger picture (above), I really cannot give much
history on it. It was probably taken somewhere in Ottawa County,
Ohio, near Port Clinton, New York. Mother was born in Port Clinton,
Ottawa, and I think this picture was among the things she

‘The smaller picture was taken about 1938 at my father’s
farm. The tractor is a Huber and the separator is a Nichols &
Shepard, I think a 28 inch. This is south of Clyde, Ohio.’

ALAN DERTING, of Tree house Farm, 1425 Everette Lane,
Hopkinsville, Kentucky 42240, writes, ‘I’ve enjoyed
IMA for many years. Thank God I was able one day to afford
a traction engine!

‘I started a family late in life by most standards42 and the
photo is of my first engineer. He used to call them
‘bungines’ but it is now engines. A few years and I’ll
have an accomplished fireman.

‘The poem was inspired by the sight of a large engine in
Alberta that was sitting for sixty years or so, and never restored.
The analogy is to my life before and then after Jesus became my

‘There is a great thrill when the throttle is opened with
several plow bottoms deep in the ground. Nothing on earth is quite
like that sound!

The Empty Steam Engine

Sitting alone upon the high plain,
Quiet and still, its being in vain.
Oh shall it ever come back to life,
And shout forth its song, upon its old fife?
All of these years, silent and cold,
Its heart still unknown, its story untold.
For what was this made, what use can it be,
Here doing nothing, of service, you see?
Then cometh one who pitied the sight,
Of such a creation, who lost all its might,
He gently began to fill up its heart,
With life giving water, so made he a start.
And when it was full, he said with a smile,
‘It’s time for the fire to heat thee awhile.’
And so he lit, a great fire within,
And slowly to life, this one did begin.
It creaked and it groaned, it whistled and hissed,
Oh how it loved, the life it had missed.
Nearly forgotten, the feeling, the strain,
The ere long lost joy, it felt once again.
Its heart all aglow, its bowels all full,
The throttle now open, it began then to pull.
And do that for which, it was clearly made,
So with all its might, it pulled up that grade,
Now singing the song of fullness within,
It’s now only joy, its service to Him.

‘I recently tried to learn about horses and do some work
with draft horses on the farm. My wife saw how I just didn’t
take to it very easily and concluded that her husband is not really
an animal person, but rather an Iron Man. Well, I didn’t mind
that statement at all and decided that she is right and sold most
of my horses. I’ll have to borrow horses for our annual

Thanks for the continuing work of producing the Iron Men Album.
May God richly bless you.

Our next letter comes from THOMAS STEBRITZ of 1516 E. Commercial
Street, Algona, Iowa 50511. Mr. Stebritz takes issue with Andy
Robson’s article which appeared in the November/December issue
of IMA. We recognize that reading IMA can lead to
strong emotional responses when there are disagreements, but we
must stress that ‘Soot in the Flues’ is a forum for
different viewpoints, which must maintain civility at all

‘Mr. Andy P. Robson’s fantastic, and sometimes amusing
assessment of the worth of the 21 HP tamden compound rear-mounted
Advance steamer gives me pause!

‘Mr. Robson’s distortion of some facts prompts me to
respond. He turns to a couple of men he classes as experts to
support his stand. Maybe they are experts. However, I believe the
experts in the steam engine field are long dead!

‘Mr. Robson suggests the 21 HP Advance probably carried 80
to 100 lbs. steam pressure which made it worthless. He says, and I
quote, ‘I found out that these experimental Advance tandem
compounds were reckoned to be notoriously poor performers.’ Who
told him that?

‘Advance compounds were no experimental venture like Robson
suggests. I have catalog cuts of the Advance compound built in
1898, the steam pressure was 150 lbs.

‘My 1909 catalog lists the steam pressure on Advance engines
up to 30 HP, 150 lbs; a 30 HP and above was 160 lbs. However, in
reading the number of letters in the early IMA issues by a
real expert, Marcus Leonard, of Salina, Kansas, we find the simples
and compounds alike carried 175 lbs. pressure in the early 1900s.
It then seems reasonable the 21 HP tandem compound rear mounted
carried 175 lbs. pressure, also.

110 Case #29514 owned by Ron Holland of Forest City, IA. Plowing
at Hanlontown, Iowa show, August 16-17, 1997.

‘Number 14291 clearly is mounted on a crippled boiler of 100
lbs. or less steam; that alone would make it about worthless with
no discredit to Advance Thresher Company. Let’s presume, also,
the pistons are worn and rings are shot, and very importantly, the
packing between the cylinders is long gone, and then how much wear
is in the engine proper and the governor?

‘Who started the idea that the 21 HP T.C. rear-mounted was a
very rare experimental engine? My father told of one like this that
threshed about fifteen miles northeast of here in the 1920s to
1930s. Neil Miller, of Alden, Iowa, bought a 21 HP T.C. Advance
rear-mounted in the 1960s and restored it. It came from Western

‘The 21 HP compound which evolved from the 20 HP simple was
built a number of years as a side-mounted, in 1912 the 21 HP was
also built as a rear-mounted engine in both coal burner and straw
burner boilers. The first 20 HP simple rear mounted was built in
1913 in both coal and straw burner boilers. These two styles of
engines had cast iron wheels in 1913. In 1914 three-quarters of all
the engine sizes in Advance, Rumely, and Gaar Scott lines were
eliminated. The 21 HP was eliminated and the 20 HP rear-mounted now
had steel wheels.

‘Mr. Robson tells about what is supposed to be the first
Advance-Rumely engine built, #14438, in late 1915 or so, one expert
told him so.

‘According to Marcus Leonard’s research, the
Advance-Rumely Company was incorporated December 1915, and was
admitted to do business in January 1916. These facts came from the
Secretary of State of Indiana. When #14438 was built, I don’t
know, but not in 1915 or 1916 either. I have the first catalog of
the new Advance-Rumely Company. Like the rest of Advance-Rumely
catalogs it’s not dated, but reading the part about the
Winnipeg Motor contests it establishes the date of the catalog as

‘The two companies are represented, the Advance engines were
built in the 20 HP rear-mounted, also the 22 HP simple and 26 HP
tandem compound. The Rumely was built in just the 16 HP and 20 HP
single and double engines. In 1916, there were no Advance-Rumely
engines listed.

‘In the 1970s, Engineers and Engines magazine printed a
number of pages from an Advance-Rumely catalog. Pictured therein
were the Rumely engines, the Advance-Rumely engines, and if I
remember right, the 20 HP rear-mounted Advance, and the engines had
the Advance-Rumely transfers on them. I believe this catalog was
1917. If you ordered an Advance-Rumely engine, you might have
gotten one, or an Advance, or a Rumely engine, marked
Advance-Rumely the last two being carried over inventory.

‘To the bear out this belief, I have a catalog cut of the 20
HP rearmounted engine and the number is clearly visible and is
#14594. My late father collected engine numbers from the turn of
the century, one of these numbers was a 20 HP rear-mounted Advance
#14597. When Advance-Rumely engine number #14438 was built, is a
good question. Certainly not 1915, maybe as an experimental model
in 1916, who knows. Someone a few years ago sent in, to one of the
magazines, some lists of Advance-Rumely engines and when they were
built. Were they all Advance-Rumely, or were there some Advance and
Rumely engines included, called Advance-Rumely, with the Advance
Rumely transfers on the engines?

‘All of this would have been clarified if the Advance-Rumely
would have dated their catalogs. Besides my 1916 catalog, I have a
gray cover catalog my father said he got in 1918. I had a 1923
folder with no date, my father knew the date when he got it,

‘Mr. Robson talks about the merger of the Advance and Rumely
companies. The Dr. Rumely Company bought the Gaar-Scott, Advance
and Northwest companies. There were no mergers of any kind, ever.
To quote Marcus Leonard, ‘if there had been any mergers, the
expertise and brains of the other company’s officers would have
had some influence on the shaping of the company.’

‘Sadly, the bloodlines were thinned out and the stockholders
took the money and ran, and never looked back, much like today.

‘Why was the new company called Advance-Rumely? One very
important reason, the Advance Thresher Company was the dominant
company and could not be ignored. Rumely started in 1853, while the
Advance Thresher Company started out in 1881. The Advance Company
started out building traction engines in 1885. The company never
went through the infancy stages like Rumely and other builders.
However, the Advance Company went through a very rapid growth and
by December 1911, Advance Company had built about 13,000 engines,
while M. Rumely built about 6,000 engines. The name Advance-Rumely
had a nice sound to it, however, Advance Company, like the other
affected companies, was nonexistent. But, as the Advance engine was
much more popular, the new Advance-Rumely steamer was about 99%
Advance. The rest is history.

Hanlontown, Iowa, Augest 16-177, 1997. Left to right, rock
crusher, half scale 18 HP Huber in background, 18 HP Huber belted
to rock crusher in far background 110 Case. Photo courtesy of
Thomson Stebritz.

‘Now, let’s get back to Mr. Rob-son’s remarks about
persons running their compounds as a simple and getting more power
at 80 to 100 lbs. pressure. Where is he getting his information
from? From some of Harry Woodmansee’s Michigan disciples? I got
a letter from a man, last year, who read some of my letters in
Engineers and Engines magazine. He said that he didn’t write
publicly. He said he knew the Woodmansees for years and Harry
didn’t like compounds because they didn ‘t have a bark to
them. I wrote about what one of Harry’s disciples said about
Harry watching a test of the 40 HP cross compound Advance. He
didn’t think much of the engine and had the same opinion of the
other compounds, including the 35 HP.

‘Harry Woodmansee was nine years of age in 1911, when
Advance Company was bought out, and was eleven years of age in
1913, the last year of all the big engines. I wonder if he ever saw
either the 35 HP T.C. or the 40 HP C.C. engines at that tender

‘One of the Michigan crowd has a 35 HP tandem compound
Advance. He said he took out the high pressure valve because the
engine has no power. Maybe the engine is in the same sick shape as

‘I have most of the early IMA issues, also those of
the other companion magazines. I just re-read a letter in IMA from
the 1950s. This was from Marcus Leonard of Salina, Kansas. He sold
and serviced Advance engines in the early 1900s to sometime in
1912, when he quit the new Dr. Rumely Company.

‘In 1906, Leonard sold a 35 HP tandem compound Advance and a
12-bottom plow to a Mike Jensen. Jensen plowed many acres, as
Leonard told it, and the load going through the wallows tore two
cogs out of the main pinion. Later on, the plate under the
intermediate gear bracket cracked and the boiler leaked.

‘Advance Company sent a mechanic and a boiler maker to fix
the engine. After several weeks, and a patch inside the barrel, the
engine was repaired, Jensen went back to plowing and the engine
worked satisfactorily as a compound.

‘Leonard stated that going through the wallows, the pace
never slackened but that load was such that the engine barked like
a simple. That would have warmed the hearts of the Michigan 35 HP
T.C. Advance owner and Harry, if they had been there.

‘To finish the story, the Advance Company made some
adjustments and Jensen got a new engine that now had six to seven
inch gear train. The older engine had five to six inch gear train.
This was rebuilt in the factory and was resold and used

‘This incident caused the Advance Company to make a wide
base combination bracket that the intermediate gear bracket
fastened to, and the crankshaft bearing was part of. This corrected
the problem.

‘According to Leonard, quite a number of companies who
thought they had a good plow engine got an education plowing
buffalo grass sod to their sorrow. Marcus Leonard had some of his
ideas put into the design of the Advance 30 HP and 40 HP
cross-compounds. These engines are shown and listed in the 1910
catalogs. They were the first Advance rear-mounteds. This type was
copied and observed by men like Leonard because the Reeves was the
most popular plow engine in Northwestern Kansas. To quote Leonard
in 1906, Reeves delivered probably more engines in local Thomas
County and neighboring counties, than all the other companies
combined. These Reeves engines were cross-compound rear-mounteds,
heavy and well designed. Leonard pointed out the advantages of the
intercepting valve which he said, when properly operated, was a
good thing. Badly operated on heavy loads, it was bad on brackets
and gearing in buffalo grass sod.

‘Advance Thresher Company built a great line of engines and
machinery that stood the test of time and also, the Sears and
Roebuck types of experts and critics.

‘Regarding Mr. Robson’s remarks about the Advance
trademark, the figure is not a man, but a handsome young lad of
about 16 years of age with wavy blond hair. I believe the theme is
of Scottish origin.

‘Regarding #14921 bracketing, these are not riveted on but
put on with square head cap screws. The later engines, before the
Advance-Rumely, had studs instead of cap screws.

‘I take issue with Mr. Robson’s description of the
construction of the drivers and wheels. The spokes were tinned
before they were cast in place and the finished product was high
class. Many companies built the cast iron driver. They classed them
almost unbreakable. Many thousands were built. The process shrunk
the spokes to the rims and hubs. The making of a cast iron driver
with the different cores took much longer to make. The end result
was, you didn’t have to watch out for loose spokes all the
time, like the round spoked tension type wheel.

‘I always recommend to the younger and newer steam engine
owners to get yourself some repair and catalog books, and pore over
them. You will learn something every time you look at them.

‘My late father observed the many changes over the years
from before 1900. He was part of the one-percent who loved a steam
engine, back when we had many of them. About 99% of the steam users
used the engines, abused them and junked them and never looked
back. Did you ever stop to realize that the reason you have an
engine to run is because of the minority who kept their engines
because they liked them, and didn’t want to junk them? Also,
get into print about your engines.

‘One last thing for Mr. Robson; Gaar-Scott built some
firebox return flue engines in simple and compounds. These boilers
only carried about 125 lbs. steam and quite apparently were
successful. Case built compounds that carried 125 to 130 lbs. in
the early 1900s. I believe that a compound is best at much higher
pressure, however.

‘It’s quite a drop in pressure on that Super Sentinel
Wagon. Mr. Robson said the gauge on the boiler was 240 lbs. and a
gauge on the cylinder was 135 lb. I think something needs checking.
Port Huron Company, who believed in high pressure, said in a
catalog, if the dome pressure was 125 lbs. the steam to the
cylinder was 90 lbs., which figures to be 70%. Using that ratio the
Super Sentinel Wagon should have been about 168 lbs. pressure.

In our May/June 1997 issue, we had a cover story about Sherwood
Hume’s beautiful restoration on his Sawyer Massey engine. We
heard from the firm that rebuilt the boiler for him and we’re
passing along that information for anyone who may be interested in
such services. The firm’s name is Boiler smith, Ltd., PO Box
70, 156 Main Street South, Sea forth Ontario N0K 1W0. Telephone is
519-527-0600, Fax 519-527-0150.

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