Farm Collector


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

‘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

‘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

‘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

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’

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

‘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

‘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

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

‘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

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

‘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

‘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

‘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,

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
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

  • Published on Mar 1, 2001
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