SOOT IN THE FLUES

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George Shepherd, Curator of the Museum for over 20 years. Now embarked on his 85th year. Courtesy of George Shepherd, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

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.

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