By the time this copy is in your hands, a few of the Shows will be memories, but there are many, many reunions ahead if you can get to them! And right now it is just a few days until Spring is officially proclaimed as making an entrance. So, I suppose everyone is not only busy with thoughts of the upcoming events, but also with seed catalogs and flower and shrubbery brochures. I'll bet there will be more gardens planted this year than in the past few years I've seen ads in the local newspapers where people are inquiring about lots to rent on which to plant a garden. If one can do it though, it is quite rewarding to have your own fresh produce and also some to can Mmmmm!
And that is enough of my echoing my thoughts as we have quite a few letters this time - and I can talk to you whenever we do not have as many writings from our FAMILY of Iron-Men Album Folks.
I might say this - I wanted to thank all our friends out across the land for remembering us throughout the year with cards and notes. We had quite a few Christmas cards and it is not unusual to get cards throughout the year. I'd like also to thank Dennie and Hazel Magnuson for their thoughtfulness in sending us one of their calendars.
The Magnuson's have a Museum called 'Yesterfarm of Memories' at Center City, Minnesota, 55012. The museum was established in 1966 and they have since erected five pole buildings to house an extensive collection of the memorabilia of our pioneer settlers, preserved and displayed to set the scene of yesterday. This collection represents a life-long interest in the ways of our forefathers who settle this land. Many of these items belonged to Dennie's family and also from families in the surrounding area. The Museum is open daily from 1 to 6 from May 1st to Nov. 1st. There is free parking and shaded picnic area but there is a small admission charge to tour the museum. Take notice of the picture on the calendar of Dennie and Hazel Thanks again and good luck with your efforts in preserving the past for the future.
DONALD E. WATKINS, Box 163, Sulphur Springs, Arkansas 72768 wrote us he had just recently learned of our publication and feels we are doing a wonderful service to preserve what-used-to-be. His primary interests lie with the current need of building engines that could be used today. He knows of no group promoting this use and would like to know if there is such an organization, experimenting with stationary and automotive applications. (If you know of any, please contact Don - and let us know too. - He means aside from the steam reunions).
LANDON DE SMET, Route 1, Box 1339, Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87105 recently purchased a Russell steam tractor and would be very happy to hear from anyone who might have some information on this tractor.
Seeking data is one of our Southern gentlemen as WILLIAM H. WESTBROOK, Route 2, Forsyth, Georgia 31029 states: 'I have never seen any authorative data on the amount of steam cylinder oil that engines of various sizes should use. I have several different catalogs, but no mention is made of what is a sufficient amount of oil for the various sizes. In my area it was customary to use steam cylinder oil to oil cross-head, connecting rod and main bearings. Perhaps someone will give the Iron-Men Album this information. I have a 9 x 12 portable Frick made in 1896.' (Please help our I.M.A. member from Georgia).
JERRY KEHR, R. R. 3, Box 160-B is restoring an old bevel gear drive steam tractor. He would like to know how it was painted when new and also where can he find the serial number. He said the number on the front of the smoke box is 984. He'll be waiting to hear from one of our readers.
From BRADLEY VOSBURG, Farmersville Station, New York 14060 comes a picture of a happy family enjoying a ride on one of their engines at the 1972 Alexander Show. That's Fran, Brad and daughter, Michelle. Clifford Fitts of Clarence, New York took the snapshot.
Does anyone out in STEAM LAND have any dope on the 150 HP Case traction engine? This is an inquiry from ALDIS C. LEE, Route 1, Rushford, Minnesota 55971. (Perhaps there is a story with picture to be sent in - eh Fellows?)
A. AFFHOLDER, 1708 Mayfield Lane, Madison, Wisconsin 53704 sends us a little yarn of years back, 'I am an old retired farmer - a fellow gave me an old Iron-Men magazine to read - and I read it from cover to cover. It brought back memories to me. We have two good Thresherees in our state, but I thought this story was one for the books - Pumping water with steam - it was hot and dry on a Saturday afternoon. The old man finished thrashing so went fishing up north for a few days - no wind, no water, no gas - engine wouldn't start. The two boys had to pump water by hand - so they said 'Nothing Doing' - so they run the rig over to the pump. The blower on the machine was too short. They have a Papecsilo filler, pulled it out of the shed. The pipes were long enough That Buffalo Pitts idled along - you couldn't hear it run it done the job! The mother would throw in a few blocks of wood, open up the injector - there was nothing to it and the boys went to making hay!' (I'm sure a lot of you Folks will understand this story better than a lot of us that were not familiar with this type of living).
B. BRYANT YOUNG, R.R. 1, Box 704, Dover, Delaware 19901 is very interested in finding where the location would be of a foundry that would pour some iron castings. He is in the process of restoring a Frick traction engine and would like to get some needed parts casted. Any information as to a foundry within a reasonable driving distance from his home in Delaware would be greatly appreciated.
ROGER L. ESHELMAN, Box 63, College Springs, Iowa 51637 sent us a nice group of pictures of the A. C. Eshelman Show of 1973. You'll see them in the Album this month. This one was a bit different and so I thought I'd put it in the column. This is Becky Miller, Griswold, Iowa modeling her Great-grandmother's dress. She is standing in front of the log cabin in which her Grandfather, Asa Miller, was born. The cabin was donated to the Eshelman Show by Asa and is now displayed at the Southwest Iowa Threshing Show.
HOWARD A. SHARRAR, 92 Sussex Ave., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S-1K2 would be pleased if you could give him an answer to his letter: 'I look forward to both I.M.A. and G.E.M. and enjoy them very much. I am 65 years young and make medium sized working models of old time engines and equipment with all working parts functional on live steam or compressed air to show at various shows here in Canada.
I was born in Nebraska, March 1909. We moved out to Colorado about four years before World War One. My father was a contractor and we helped to develop the West as best we could, so with this note I am seeking all or any information that I can get on the Monighan walking drag line excavator. As a child, I used to run it for Father for irrigation purposes - under Dad's supervision of course. I have very little information on these units and I would like to make a working model of one. (Here's hoping someone out there in our I.M.A. Family can help you).
An interesting letter from GEORGE SHEPHERD, Museum Curator, Western Development Museum, Sasktoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. George received a letter from the Principal of the University of Saskatchewan stating: 'The Joint Committee of the Senate and the Saskatoon Council has recommended that you be awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws at Spring Convocation in 1974 and it is my pleasure to invite you to accept this Honorary Degree. I hope that you will be in a position to attend Concovation on 16 or 17 May, 1974 and look forward to seeing you at that time.' Signed R. W. Begg.
George says people now tell him he has caught up with his son, Gordon, who has his doctor's degree in Physics. Continues George, 'This is a great honor for me, It's not that I ever did anything remarkable. It's just that I have lived through historic times, have been with the Museum over 20 years, have written two books and have survived to start on my 85th year.' (Could be, you are too modest, George.
George also sent along a little story entitled, 'I Remember When' See what you think of this one.
When I was living in the Cypress Hills of S. W. Saskatchewan, fifty miles south of Maple Creek, 60 years ago I met some colorful and interesting old timers. One of these was 'Dad' Gaff an old time rancher and frontiersman.
Visiting with Dad in the Govenlock Hotel one afternoon I was getting some very interesting stories on buffalo hunting on the Kansas plains in the 1860's.
Dad and I were making good progress but were much annoyed by a fussy talkative woman who kept breaking in on our conversation. Dad was telling me about being out on the buffalo plains when one of the men in his party was shot and killed by Indians. The party was out on the plains four days away from town but they determined to take the body back to town for Christian burial. At this the woman interrupted by saying 'That's ridiculous. How could you take a dead man back for four days in all that Kansas heat'. Dad quietly knocked the ashes out of his pipe and quietly drawled, 'Oh you just gut 'em and stuff 'em full of salt'. This really floored our inquisitive visitor who bounded out of the room and Dad and I were left in peace.
Dad had been one of the tongue hunters. As a boy in his early twenties he used to ride horseback out on the Kansas plains when buffalo were still plentiful. With good luck he might shoot eight to ten buffalo in the course of a day. Cutting out the tongues he would take them back to town where they sold for fifty cents apiece. They were pickled and shipped back to the effete Easteners where, as buffalo tongues from the West, they were esteemed a great delicacy. In this method of hunting nothing was taken but the tongues the rest of the buffalo being left to rot on the prairie, a sad waste of a vanishing natural resource. By the way, to the old time plainsman, a buffalo was always a buffler and an Indian was always an Injun. Shades of the shadowy past!!!.
DOUGLAS DANN, 241 Warren Road, Ithaca, New York 14850 has some information for us: 'I surely enjoy the magazine and I look forward to each issue. The pictures of the 150 HP Case steam engine in the Nov.-Dec. 1973 issue were of special interest to me. According to Floyd Clymers Album of steam engines, only three of these engines were made. They were used for ore hauling and heavy drawbar work. These engines had a bore and stroke of 14' x 14'. If any of these engines still exist, I would imagine they are extremely valuable. It would be interesting to know if anyone knows the whereabouts and history on any of these engines. They were evidently made somewhere around 1900-1905 era. I have original copies of annual Case catalogs for 1901 and 1903 and a reprint copy for 1914. No mention whatsoever is made of the 150 HP Case steamer in these catalogs. It sure would be interesting to find literature on these brutes.
Russell and Company of Ohio also made steam engines of 150 HP. One is pictured in Cramer's Album (he keeps saying Cramer's, but I wonder if he doesn't mean Clymer's) that is hauling 30 tons of railroad ties and lumber, up a slope. One doesn't realize how huge these engines are until you look at the pictures and see the front wheels of these engines are shoulder height or maybe higher on the men standing alongside of the engines.
I also enjoyed reading the history of the J. I. Case company in two issues of I.M.A. earlier in 1973. If possible, it would be interesting to feature the history of other farm equipment companies in forthcoming issues.
DAVID BONER, Route 2, Caledonia, Ohio 43314 would like to hear any information that you might have to offer on a 22 x 34 separator, built by Bell City Manufacturing Corp., Racine, Wisconsin.
And with that, Dear Friends, I'm going to close and wait for all your letters to keep coming so I can fill up the column next time with your cheery words and bits of information.
ALICE VANDERHOOF, 67, died January 8, 1974. She attended Sioux Falls College and graduated with a B.A. Degree in 1928. She married Vernal Vanderhoff in 1935 and they farmed in Lyons Township ever since. Alice enjoyed going to the Gas and Steamers Club in Sioux Falls. Grateful for having shared her life are her husband and host of relatives and friends.
Submitted by Vernal E. Vanderhoff, Baltic, South Dakota.