With our March/April issue, we are expecting spring to be just around the corner! Soon it will be planting time, and time for spring steam ups and swap meets!
We have been working very hard on our annual Steam and Gas Engine Show Directory, which will be available early in the month of March. If you haven't ordered your copy of this invaluable guide to engine events, you may wish to do so before long!
Without further ado, we'll move right into our stack of letters. We have heard from some new contributors this time, and are pleased to welcome some new readers as writers!
BRIAN LOAGUE, 4620 S. E. 26th, Del City, Oklahoma 73115 writes, 'The reason I am writing is that I have been looking here in Oklahoma for scale steam tractors in larger scale, say 1/3 or larger. Years ago, when my father first started taking me to the show in Pawnee, there were a lot of scale machines and they really attracted me. I could stand and watch them all weekend long and never move away. Today there aren't but a couple here at the shows. The state boiler inspector won't look at them unless they have code boilers. What I am wondering is where they all went. Hopefully, the majority of them are just hiding in the back corner of a barn or garage somewhere, waiting for someone to reboiler them and bring them back to life.
'I remember a lot of unique small machines at shows in the past, models of undermount Avery, Russell, Leader and Advance tractors. I just hope that none of these were lost to the scrap man's torch. I'd really like to take on the project of bringing one back to its original beauty myself. I've been kicking the idea of building from scratch, but why not restore one and keep someone's dream and expert craftsmanship around for others to enjoy?'
David Vanek Jr., holding son John on Russ Gelder's 75 HP Case steam engine at Barnes' Steam and Power Show at Belgrade, Montana, August 26, 2000.
1909 30 HP Cross Compound Advance s/n 11574 under pressure at Vanek Ranch after being purchased from Alvin Hagen Estate in 1992.
'Just thought I'd share a picture of my son John and myself taken at Barnes' Steam and Power Show on August 26, 2000,' says DAVE VANEK JR., RR #3, Box 3115, Lewis-town, Montana 59457. 'John was 2 months old at that time. He is sitting on Russ Gelder's 75 HP Case steam engine. If he takes after his dad, he will really love operating steam engines and enjoy the people who make this hobby as wonderful as it is! Guess I'll have to wait a few years to find out if that is his THING. By the way, Russ had done a very fine job on the restoration of his Case!
'On another note, I had John Schrock come out here to Montana from Michigan and put a partial crown sheet in my 30 HP cross compound Advance traction engine. We replaced staybolts as needed. Finally this fall I had the opportunity give the boiler a hydrostatic test. Everything went well so, since I had the water warmed to about 120 degrees, I figured I'd throw more fire in it after draining the water down to the working level. I steamed the beast and drove it around! I had a great time, just me and the engine. I had it up to 110 psi and it ran well. I have a few leaky packings and some repainting to do, and I will also have the boiler inspected before I can show it at Pioneer Power Days annual tractor show in Lewistown, Montana, on June 9 and 10, 2001. I need to know where I can get the decals for the coal box and water tanks for Advance engines. If anyone can help me, I'd sure appreciate it.
'The Advance 30 CC is a 1909 s/n 11574. It was repainted red in the 1980s. After digging and scratching under old grease and brackets, I found that Clyde Corley was right when he painted the engine blue back in the 1950s. Clyde said he tried to copy the original paint as close as he could.
'So I will paint it blue, as the original paint chips can't lie! More about the engine later. Hope everyone out there is Engine land is wintering well!!' (Dave's e-mail address is email@example.com)
C. RICHARD MARSH, Camlad (59), Sandy Lane, Romiley, Cheshire, England SK6 4NH, writes, 'I enjoy reading your Iron Men Album and it certainly brings to mind that English steam traction engines and road locomotives are certainly visibly different to those made in the U.S.A.
'My own preserved steam engine, 'Lord Lascelles,' is authentically restored to a high standard. Our designation for this classification is 'Showman's Road Locomotive.'
'This enhanced variation was developed from heavy haulage road locomotives to satisfy traveling showmen's needs. In common use from the late 1800s to around 1940, these showman's road locomotives would haul up to nine coupled trailers totaling 40 tons or so, as they moved traveling fairs between sites. On arrival they would belt drive their own dynamos to provide illumination and to power the fair.
'To enhance the visual impact, showmen embellished their locos with polished brass metalwork and a high standard of paint finish with gilded highlights. Premier models such as 'Lord Lascelles' were additionally fitted with a second (exciter) dynamo and a detachable jib crane.
'Historic technical and recent load test data have been incorporated into a web site together with lots of pictures. I am pleased to share these with interested fellow enthusiasts who log on to www.lord-las-celles.co.uk.'
MRS. BARBARA DAWSON, 6 Cormack Crescent, Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada P1L 1R3, tells us, 'I am writing this letter to inquire of your subscribers about the Buffalo-Springfield Company. Our club, Muskoka Pioneer Power Association based here in Bracebridge, Ontario, has had the good fortune to have had two Buffalo-Springfield road rollers donated to our organization.
'I am planning to write an article about these machines, their former owner, and the company itself. I know nothing about Buffalo-Springfield Company, and the Internet has sparse information. Coincidentally, there is a rock band by the same name and there is tons of info about them.
A lineup of almost all of the Burrell Scenic Showmans Road Locomotives at midnight at the Great Dorset Steam Fair in September 2000. Lord Lascelles is the first in full view.
'I enclose two photos but will give some technical information. The one is smaller about five tons1926 with a serial number of 14015. The second one is much larger about 15 tons with a serial number of 16000 1930. It has an air compressor attachment with a scarifier. Both are gasoline powered.
'The smaller one is in good running order and the larger one needs some restoration and maintenance. They have always been stored inside.
'We are thrilled to have been given these machines, but to do justice to a story about them I need more information about the company. Is it still in business? Production numbers? How long were each of these rollers produced? And so on. Has there been a book published about the Buffalo-Springfield Company? Was the road roller operation a separate division?
'If there are any of your readers who can help me with this background information, I would be most appreciative.'
We got this interesting letter from ROBERT RHODE of 4745 Glenway Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45238-4537:
'My cousin Hugh Rhode has been reading the history of the Aultman & Taylor Company with keen interest. He and his father, Cecil, were well acquainted with that firm's tractors and threshers.
'In a recent telephone conversation, I first asked Hugh about the Reeves steam engine that his father ran. 'I'll tell you about that Reeves,' Hugh began. 'My father got rid of that Reeves when I was six years old. It was a twenty-five horse cross-compound. We pulled the Reeves engine to a Nickel Plate flatcar in downtown Metcalf and loaded it to be sent to Decatur, Illinois. It was transferred to the B & O to run it into Decatur. The Union Iron Works was in Decatur, and they sold Aultman & Taylor tractors. We had two threshing machines, the biggest you could get. They had a divider board in the feeder, so the pitchers were able to keep two streams of bundles going into the thresher at all times. And that six-inch wagon loader was running plumb full. One of the threshers was an Aultman & Taylor, and the other was a Reeves. After we sold the Reeves engine, we got two of those 30-60 Aultman-Taylor tractors. They were powerful. One of them pulled a three-quarter-inch steel cable right clean in two!'
'The cable snapped when the tractor was tugging on a hedge tree near Dana, Indiana, nineteen miles from Hugh's home. Moving the tractor that many miles 'was pretty slow,' Hugh told me. 'The road gear speeded it up a half mile an hour. I got on the tractor at eight and stayed on until six to make those nineteen miles.'
'Cecil's Aultman & Taylor tractors were in the 900 and 1100 series. Hugh and Cecil used one of them to shell 5,000 bushels of corn for a farmer near Hume, Illinois. By the end of the job, they had seventeen wagons and three Model T trucks filled. 'That old Sandwich shelter would shell corn faster than the cone type,' Hugh commented.
'One day, Hugh helped move a house seven miles. 'We got it as far as a field that was just starting to thaw out. We put planks sixteen feet long by sixteen inches wide by three inches thick under the trucks. When we got back the next morning, those planks had sunk six inches in the ground.'
'Cecil graded all the township roads to prepare them for gravel. 'Pete Planck ran the grader,' Hugh said, 'and I thought that was the biggest machine there was. But it wouldn't amount to much now.'
'Over seventy-five years later, Hugh still thinks highly of the Aultman & Taylor equipment that he and his father used.'
DENNIS D. DOWLING, 3070 S. State Road 119, Winamac, Indiana 46996-8421 writes: 'I've noticed several recent references in your magazine to 'horsepower' as related to steam engines, gasoline engine tractors, internal combustion engines, diesel locomotives and other prime movers.
'As for the recent article about the 8,000 HP diesel locomotives not being able to directly replace the 6,500 HP 'Big Boy' steam locomotives, this type of comparison cannot be made without knowing other factors.
'By definition, a unit of horsepower is the same whether it is produced by steam, internal combustion, electricity, water power or whatever.
'James Watt needed a method of rating his improved steam engines. He noted that a horse could lift a weight of 550 pounds at a speed of one foot per second, or 60 feet per minute. He used these figures as a basis for his theoretical horsepower rating. The figures more commonly used are foot-pounds per minute (60 fpm x 550 pounds = 33,000 foot-pounds per minute).
'One horsepower provides the ability to do 33,000 foot-pounds of work every minute. One horsepower of work is any product of force (in pounds) and distance (in feet) equaling that number. We are normally more concerned with revolutions per minute and lb-ft of torque than we are feet per minute. Without going into all of the details of how the formula is converted from fpm to rpm, the formula to find pound-foot of torque is: HP x 5252 divided by rpm. (Lb-ft of torque is the force in pounds at a radius of one foot from the center of the shaft. For instance at the rim of a two foot diameter pulley.)
'Because 'horsepower' is found by multiplying two factors together (torque x rpm) and dividing them by a constant (5252), a 'horsepower' rating without knowing one of these other factors is almost meaningless.
'In order to be efficient, the prime mover (for instance the locomotive) must be matched to the load, just as a draft horse is used to slowly pull a heavy load, and a race horse is used to rapidly pull a light sulky; so it is with a source of power and its load.
'To design a prime mover, the first thing that must be known is the maximum torque that will be required; the second thing that must be known is the speed required. From these two parameters the 'horsepower' requirement can be calculated. Increasing either the torque requirement or the speed requirement will require more horsepower.
'The published horsepower rating given for any prime mover is that which is developed under very specific conditions, such as at a specific speed, and at a specific output torque. Deviations from any one of these conditions may or may not result in attaining the published rated horsepower
'Therefore, a steam engine rated 50 HP, at 200 rpm and 150 psi steam pressure, can develop up to 1313 lb-ft of torque under specified conditions (50 HP x 5252 divided by 200 rpm = 1313 lb-ft). Note, however, that if we geared this engine's speed up 20 times so that the output shaft of the increaser revolved at 4000 rpm we would have only about 66 lb-ft of torque available at the output shaft. Disregarding losses in the speed increaser, this still works out to be 50 HP (66 lb-ft x 4000 rpm divided by 5252 = 50 HP).
'An internal combustion engine rated 450 HP at 4000 rpm can develop up to 591 lb-ft of torque under specified conditions (450 HP x 5252 divided by 4000 rpm = 591 lb-ft). Note, however, that if we geared this engine down 20:1 so that the output shaft of the reducer revolved at 200 rpm, we would have 11,820 lb-ft of torque available. Disregarding losses in the speed reducer, this still works out to be 450 HP (11,820 lb-ft x 200 rpm divided by 5252 = 450 HP).
'The 'Big Boy' locomotives each weighed 772,000 pounds, and had 540,000 pounds on its drivers to get the tractive effort required. I believe with the tender this locomotive weighed 1.1 million pounds.
'There were 25 of the Big Boy locomotives built, and there are eight of them left. I saw one this last summer up at the railroad museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin. According to the Internet, another of the remaining locomotives is to be refurbished for use in a movie.
'To summarize: A power source that develops its rated horsepower at a higher speed, lower torque cannot be directly compared to a power source that develops the same rated horsepower at a lower speed, higher torque, and vice versa.
'For example: a fully loaded 50 HP, 875 rpm electric motor which is capable of developing 300 lb-ft of torque cannot be directly replaced with a 50 HP, 1750 rpm motor which is capable of developing only 150 lb-ft of torque, even though both motors are rated at 50 HP.
'Each motor is designed specifically for its horsepower, speed and torque ratings.'
ALAN DERTING, Treehouse Farm, 1425 Everett Lane, Hopkinsville, Kentucky 42240 says, 'Hello! I really enjoy the photos of Larry Creed and Gary Yaeger. The only thing missing is the firsthand account of those photos. Since virtually all of the old timers who used steam are gone, why not rerun old articles written by them? I wonder how many of your current subscribers were reading the magazine thirty years ago? Not too many, I suppose?
'Larry is right, of course. If we want pictures of people, we would read People magazine.
'Steam engines look better than most people anyway. Be good!'
Our loyal contributor, LARRY CREED, R.R. #13 Box 209, Brazil, Indiana 47834 sends this: 'This fall I was fortunate to attend three steam auctions: Ivan Burns' sale in Edmond, Oklahoma; the Brockman sale in Detroit, Michigan; and the Spires sale in Lancaster, Ohio. I would like to share some observations I made at these sales.
'The steam hobby is alive and well, as was shown by the vigorous bidding I saw at the sales.
'Ivan Burns was past president of the Oklahoma Steam Threshing & Gas Engine Association for over 20 years. Ivan was also an instructor for the Pawnee Steam School. Ivan owned over 30 steam engines over his lifetime. At the time of his passing, he still owned almost one-third of these engines, which were sold at the auction. The engines with the better boiler condition did not necessarily sell for the highest price. I believe the bidders were looking for a particular make of steam engine, just like we would shop for a Ford or a Chevy automobile. I believe Ivan is looking down with approval upon those of us who are involved with his fondest activities, the Pawnee Steam Show and the Pawnee Steam School.
'The Brockman sale in Detroit was well attended and it had a large variety of steam items. I saw a large stationary engine bring within a few hundred dollars of what a traction engine brought. The Spires sale in Lancaster, Ohio, was interesting, but I would offer a word of caution against placing too high a reserve bid on an item because you need that first bid to get the ball rolling. At this sale I purchased a lifetime supply of soft plugs.
'Gary Yaeger has me a bit worried, as the majority of photographs he last submitted to Soot in the Flues were of an Avery undermount. Gary, you are not planning a defection to the 'teeth that talk' bunch, are you? (Chady Atteberry was the last to succumb to this near fatal and debilitating disease; Beverly considered having some type of papers drawn up to prevent a recurrence.)
'Gary is partially correct in his assumption. I have only one engine with a canopy and I enjoy rattling the tin with its whistle. If you pull on the tail feathers of the Case eagle you want to hear the bird squawk, don't you, Gary? This reminds me of the story of a songbird sitting on a windowsill looking at a brand new Case steam engine. To hear the conclusion of this story, please contact my friend Lyle Hoffmaster.
'I have dug into my collection of photograph postcards to share with you. Postcard #1 (which I hope will redeem me with my Case friends) is of a 75 HP Case hooked to a water wagon and separator. The engine is equipped with a Waters governor and the flywheel is shiny from belt work. Case customers claimed this engine 'would pull anything that is loose at both ends.' The age of the engine would be 1905, 1906 or before, as the smokebox door handles are round instead of the more familiar latches used on the later Case engines. My 1905 Case catalog lists the price of the 11 x 11 inch cylinder, rated 25 HP simple traction engine at $1950.00F.O.B. Cars, Racine, Wisconsin.
'Postcard #2 is a barnyard baling scene. The steam engine is a class 'Q' Peerless traction engine belted to a wooden-wheeled stationary baler. The engine had a 7 x 9' cylinder rated at 10 HP. Although the engine had wooden front wheels and a left-handed 44' flywheel, it was equipped with a piston valve. The engine would be a dandy to own, as it was only six feet six inches wide.
'Postcard #3 pictures a steam engine hooked up to a coal wagon and a large wooden separator, which is equipped with a split feeder. The large straw pile would indicate the crew is ready to move on the next 'set.'
'Postcard #4 is a close up of the steam engine and threshing crew, two of which are staging a mock fistfight. I have heard that some crews 'smelled like goats, fought like dogs, worked like horses.' Most crews I am sure were not this colorful. I suspect the engine did winter duty in a sawmill, as the original smokestack has been replaced with sheet metal pipe. Extra lengths of pipe could be added to the stack and anchored; this increased the draft considerably when parked at a stationary location such as a sawmill.
'I would like to close with a word about Pawnee Steam School. Since hitting the road, the school has been held at Boonville, Indiana, Rushville, Indiana, and this year at Lathrop, Missouri. As the 2001 school winds up, we are looking at clubs that have indicated an interest in hosting the steam school in a future year. To be considered as a school host, the club would need a facility that can accommodate at least 200 students, tables and chairs. The expense of the school is covered through the student tuition fee. If your club would be interested in hosting a future session of the Pawnee Steam School, please contact me, Joe Graziana, or any of the school staff. The school would like a club representative to attend the school to learn first-hand what the school is about and what we achieve at the school. Many thanks are due to the school's founder, Chady Atteberry, for allowing the Pawnee Steam School to further the understanding of steam and the steam hobby to places far from its start in Pawnee, Oklahoma.'
And so we come again to the end of our correspondence for the time being. It's always so nice to hear from everyone, both from our old friends and from those new voices who pipe up with good ideas.
One of the publications that comes into my household these days is The Smokestack, the fledgling magazine of the North American Steamboat Association, edited by Charles Roth. It's full of news about those folks who are involved (or should I say obsessed?) with steam launches. As I read through the articles and reports in that little booklet, recognizing so many familiar names of both people and boats, and sharing in their technological trials and triumphs through their stories, I imagine I must be getting a taste of how the early readers of this magazine, Iron Men Album, must have felt happy to be part of a fellowship of kindred, albeit greasy-fingered, souls who appreciate the genius of bygone mechanical doodads and geegaws. It's a nice feeling! Thanks for being part of our steam circle, friends!
Stearncerely, Linda and Gail