We'll really be into Spring when this magazine enters your hands -so much of the vegetation having lain dormant all winter will burst anew as we herald another beginning - a new Spring - to see, hear, touch and enjoy as our Creator brings forth the beauty of the earthly greens, and flowers - a new season to bring a new your precious engines and machinery to another 'get together of Steam Folks - and that's a good time any season.' And if you don't thing Spring is in the air - believe me, it is -I have an asthma indicator and I KNOW -but I love Spring anyhow. For me, it also means another Easter, after the period of Lent when I celebrate the resurrection of Christ, my Savior and Lord of my life -Hallelujah! And that's not a new story, but is always a beautiful time of renewing and a time of re-strengthening. Have a Blessed Easter!
And another new item is the formation of a club called 'Thee Olde Time Farm Show' which will be held July 3, 4, 5, 1976 at the Kankakee Fairgrounds, Kankakee, Illinois. We did not receive the information in time for our 1976 Directory so we will mention it here - contact William A. Yohnka, 1080 8th Street, Kankakee, Illinois 60901. So far they have 38 members and 110 engines promised for the first get together. Good Luck to our fellow enthusiasts - so far they are a Gas Engine Club -but just wait, I'll bet a steamer shows up!
RUPERT ANDERSEN, 2102 Avenue 'D', Kearney, Nebraska 68847 would like to build a small steam engine, about 1 or 1-1/2 inch bore and build it from scratch, no castings. I bet he would love to hear from some of you men who have done this.
Hey Fellas! Here's another new club that has been forming for the last few years - we wish them good luck, and I'll enter letter here sent by JIMMIE H. RUSSELL, 1001 MC Cambrige Avenue, Madison, Illinois 62060:
For the past 4 years, several fellows have displayed antique tractors, engines, and farm machinery at the (Illinois) Bond County Fair, located 50 mi. East of St. Louis, Mo. Interest in the displays and the number of participants has increased to the point that a club was organized last November. Three meetings have been held, the 3rd being an indoor 'gas-up', on February 15th.
There are 55 charter members, representing 8 counties. The group selected as a name: Bond County Antique Machinery Club. The following officers were selected: President: Michael Evans of Pocahontas; Vice-President: John Anthony of Greenville; and Secretary-Treasurer: Jim Russell of Oblong and Madison.
Last year's show had over 45 antique tractors, both gas and steam. There were over 100 gas engines, and several other pieces of working machinery. All displays are under roof (except for the overflow!) and are under 24-hour guard. Being held in conjunction with the County Fair, there is the usual flea market, and 'ladies tent'. This year's show dates are August 21 to 27.
From JOHN W. HEDGE, 304 Glover Drive, Longview, Texas, 75601 comes a short story worth passing on to you. He calls it (Fierce Bull Defies Steam Locomotives to do Battle). I call it (How To Throw The Bull).
In the early part of our century I grew up in the forest area of East Texas. A Mr. White owned and operated a lumber mill in our community. He had quite a herd of strong oxen which were used to haul the logs from the forests to his mill. In this herd of animals was a fierce bull with long horns, and dark-reddish color, and which was as mean and unruly as he looked to be. No fence was too high nor strong to stand in the way of this bull when he felt the urge to roam in the community. He refused to be held captive. He could have been referred to as 'THE BULL OF THE WOODS' in our section of the country. Often times he would wander onto the tracks of the old I.& G.N. railroad and there defy steam locomotives to do battle with him. He would stand in the middle of the track, toss his head high, bellow loud, and throw dirt high into the air in defiance. Due to his size trainmen were afraid to pit their steam locomotives against him lest it wreck the train. The only way to dislodge him was by way of throwing chunks of coal from the train tender or rocks gathered up beside the track. But one engineer, after having to deal with this bull in such mild manner more than once, swore vengeance against him. On the following day this is what happened:
This 'brave engineer' was on his return trip when the old bull appeared at the usual place and in his defiant way. The train was traveling at a low rate of speed and this engineer decided that he needed more speed before hitting the bull. So he threw his train in reverse and went back perhaps a half mile. Then he opened the throttle valve in full and with a speed up to about forty mils per hour he came forward and hit the bull right in the face. When the train came through our farm a short distance away we observed that there was bull scattered and splattered all over the front of that locomotive. The engineer had been the winner over the bull and he gave us a friendly wave of the hand and went on his way doing some 'fancy whistling'. He had won the victory.
DON RILEY, 21224 Placeeita Canyon Road, Newhall, California 91321 writes:
'I have been taking the I.M.A. for years and think it's the best and most informative publication on steam engines that is available. It is surprising how many different styles of valves and engines manufacturers went thru over the years to achieve similar results.
I have a steam engine with no name tag that has never been shown or described in I.M.A. to my knowledge. It is a horizontal, closed case engine with 'D' valve. . . 3-1/2 B x 3-1/2 S x 3-1/2 gear ratio in enclosed oil case. The connecting rod, from cross head to crank, drives a large gear which in turn drives the smaller gear on the flywheel shaft at 3-1/2 times crank speed.
This gives advantages, one of which is weight of engine of less than 100 pounds. The weight of the flywheel is 10 pounds, and the size of the flywheel, 12-inch diameter with 1-1/4 inch face, makes for fast belt work.
This engine must have been used for driving a grinder or for some other high belt-speed use. I'm sorry it doesn't have a name plate on it or some information.
The large gear runs in oil which is thrown over all moving parts in the gear case (main bearings for crank shaft, and flywheel shaft, cross head, both ends of connecting rod, as well as the gears). A regular lubricator is used to oil the valve and cylinder. The gear case has a round glass approximately 1-1/2 inch diameter inletted into the case to check the oil level. The oil looks, feels, and smells like regular steam cylinder oil.
There is a one-half' hole in each corner of the lower base casting to bolt the engine down. The steam pipe has a 3/4 inch inlet and one-inch exhaust.
The disadvantage, of course, is that there is only flywheel rotation, no action.
I would like to hear from anyone who has knowledge on this style engine. Perhaps someone has one.'
Had a letter awhile back from WILLIAM C. MAUPIN, Route 1, Box 303, Arbuckle, California 95912 and he had been on a trip last Spring as: 'I just returned from a trip to Ohio and Pennsylvania. Preston Foster took me through the Pennsylvania oil fields. We saw many fine old engines still pumping oil. He showed me other fine collections and the 1000 HP steam engine at the Cleveland Waterworks. We were very fortunate to see them start and run it while we were there.
That was my first trip East of the Mississippi. The country is beautiful but the weather was cold. We rolled the windows down and shed our sweaters as we came down out of the Sierra Mountains into California - No kidding!'
RALPH PARVIN, 202 College Street, Holly, Michigan 48442 writes: 'Some of the grandchildren of Robert Crouch Parvin have become interested in the steam plow which he invented and produced in the last half of the past century. Do you have any information relating to the Parvin Plow?' (I answered Ralph that I have no information, but that maybe one of our readers could help - how about it?).
I can't make out the man's name, but the address is MODEL ENGINEERING SUPPLIES 23 Arlewis Street, Chester Hill, Sydney, Australia 2162 and he says 'I own and am at present restoring a single cylinder Buffalo Pitts Traction engine Shop No. 9587 of which I would like to find out the date it was made and the model, type and horsepower'.
MRS. FLORENCE TOMLIN-SIN, Box 1213, Camp Verde, Arizona 86322 writes: 'In 1967 my mother, (Mrs. Zelma Hallom) sold a model of a reaper which my father (Holmer Hallom) had made, to someone connected with a museum in Pennsylvania. I am trying to find out where it is. We would like to be able to see it and to tell our grandchildren of it. Zelma Hallom's address used to be 1232 E. Longfellow, Spokane, Washington 99207.' (Anyone out in Engine Land know of this reaper, or know anything about which Mrs. Florence Tomlinsin is speaking?? - please get in touch with her it you do).
Just a friendly word from R. I. WILSON, Blyth, Ontario, Canada - 'I like the Iron-Men Album very much and the last one had a lot of machinery pictured. I have run a threshing machine since 1909. I am 81 years young in June 1976. I take in quite a few thresher shows each year - still like to feed one's with carriers. I belong to Huron County thresher show and it is getting bigger every year. 1976 will be our 15th show the week-end after Labor Day. Blyth is going to have the Centennial in 1977.'
LAURENCE GRAVES, Route 1, Box 147A, Suisun City, California 94585 writes: 'Last Spring, I decided to see how much steam pressure I could raise in one of my double pancake flash coils. They are made of black iron pipe. Pumped about a pint of water into it. Heated it with my weed burner. About 20 minutes to reach 800 psi., 10 minutes to reach 1000, another 10 minutes and 1500 psi. and a few more minutes and 1600 psi. Held it there a few minutes, then turned down heat slowly. At about 500 psi. turned off burner. Used no safety valve. Even if pipe broke, all pressure would be exhausted in under 5 seconds. Used old 3000 lb. oxygen gauge. A 1/4' pipe gate brass valve held the full pressure. No visible leaks. Didn't open it as I didn't want to over extend my luck!'
HERB BECKEMEYER, Tolono, Illinois 61880 sends us this article on their club activities and he entitled it: Beckemeyer Again Heads Threshermen.
A nice warm partly cloudy beautiful autumn day - Saturday, 8th day of November - just another day! Oh no, the 27th annual meeting of the Central States Threshermen Reunion, Pontiac, Illinois. A drive from Champaign to Pontiac which I've made many, many times because I am one of the boys on the board of directors. Meeting held today at McDonald's Restaurant, Fairbury. A group of 80 people gathered for a delicious meal and to attend to the business at hand.
What have we accomplished this past year and where are we going in the year to come, 1976? Sylvester Fosdick Jr. entertained the group with a selection of slides of past shows. The secretary's report was read and approved; the treasurer's report was read and a loud applause from the membership followed. We ended up only $250 in the red after two days of rain and mud. I was most delighted, but two days of rain can put a kink in any show's financial report. I gave my short report, thanking the membership and especially the board of directors and committees for all their cooperation and labor in putting on a successful five day show. Making several recommendations towards improvement for our 1976 show which will be September 2nd through Labor Day - five action packed days. And to that I was not a candidate for President for the coming year. I enjoyed the position the past two years but felt I was too far from Pontiac to give the office the utmost. (90 miles one way is a fair drive after a day's work).
The nominating committee presented their report and the following people were nominated for directors:
Paul Alsip, Ogden; Ed Branz, Odel; Joe Rittenhouse, Bement. There were no nominations from the floor and the above three were elected to the board. With regrets, Olof Jacobson did not wish to serve on the board any longer after serving 17 years. One can only say 'thanks' for a job well done and I am sure he will be missed in helping to make decisions at our meetings.
The board then met to elect their officers for the next year. Carl Ogle, treasurer; Robert Kipfer, secretary; Sylvester Fosdick, 2nd vice; Art Erickson, 1st vice; Herb Beckemeyer, President. Yep! Me again! Oh - I have appointed Brenda Koopman as assistant secretary.
The Ladies Division re-elected Mrs. Helen Rutledge of Stanford, president; Mrs. Logan Shaw of Blackstone, vice; and Mrs. Lee Rathers of Pontiac, secretary-treasurer. We just cannot get along without these gals.
We are always looking for new ideas and events. One event which was much enjoyed at our last show was the antique tractor pull (5 classes of pullers) and something else that really hit the high point was the mini tractor pull in 4 and 6 pound classes. These were little model tractors that were purchased from the Implt dealer and powered by a 0.49 model air plane engine and gear train. These little fellows will put on a show. Anything a large tractor will do in a pull these minis will do.
We have all ages involved in this event and that's good. Can you imagine a 12-year-old boy and granddad working together trying to make these little devils run? Over 30 participants and one tractor came 315 miles to participate.
We have a going show. There's something for everyone. Our show may not be among the largest but you can bet your boots it's one of the best. The good Lord willing and the creeks don't rise I'll be seeing you all at one of the shows -or the Central States show - why not!
DORIND. DeLANCEY, R.D. 2, Box 124, Coggon, Iowa 52218 writes: 'The horsepower hay baler in the Nov.-Dec. I.M.A. is a David Bradeley. They were made and sold by Sears, Roebuck Co. Chicago, Illinois. There were four or five in our neighborhood when I was a boy South of Manchester, Iowa. I am now 75.' (Thanks Fellow Member for the data).
E. R. DUGAN, 436 Library N., Waterloo, Illinois 62298 has some comments to pass on to Iron-Men Album, Mr. Ben Walsh and 'my Fellow Steam Engineers'
'I, E. R. Dugan, the Flying Engineer and reader of the Iron Men Album magazine for many years, have sent in many stories in the past, but the one about the American Hobo sent in by Ben Walsh of Courtney, North Dakota, is the best I have read in a long time. It brings back old memories of the ten years I had roamed and worked with the hobos and I. W. W. from the panhandle to Moose Jaw. Of course I used to run the steam engines. I made good money and rode the passenger trains most of the time, so I guess you could call me one of the first-class hobos. In the early 20's I recall coming into Jamestown, North Dakota, and while there - a N.P. freight train went through West loaded with hobos. It looked as if there was more tonnage of hobos than freight. I went out on a branch line to Pettibone, North Dakota, where I got a job running a steamer on a thresher. The thresherman said to me, 'We will have to get some men.' He told me to drive the truck and he took the car. We drove about thirty miles to Carrington, North Dakota. There was a government employment office there that hired out those hobos. We came home with fourteen hobos and went to threshing. Yes, this great country to ours was built by the Wheat Belts and Railroads and the American Hobo did the work. Yes, Mr. Ben Walsh of Courtney, North Dakota, has a great hobo story here condensed to two pages, but I, having had much experience with hobos for many years could see a book on him two inches thick and a foot square. I will have to come later with a story on this.'
From WILLARD M. JACKSON, Eleva, Wisconsin 54738, an interesting letter: 'In your Jan.-Feb. issue, page 20, an article by Mrs. William M. Ross telling of her father and his engines - I first noticed the words 80 HP Case S/N 35824 and that made me jump, as it was the number of the Case 80 I used to own. I wrote to Mr. Walker and have given him details on the engine's history. It was unloaded at Strum, Wisconsin in 1927. It was shipped out of Racine, Wisconsin on July 12th of that year and the price was $3510 F.O.B. I put new flues in it in April 1953. I was using it for threshing and sawing lumber. I have owned four threshing outfits and two sawmills. Co-owner and builder with my brother, Clinton, of the first Jackson Lumber Harvester.
In your March-April issue, the article on Hoboes caught my eye. I have, rode the flats, gondolas, boxes, the ice pits on the reefers, also the blinds on the passengers and on the tenders, but never rode the rods. I have counted 80 heads I could see at one time on a freight. I did that traveling because I needed the money I made in the Dakota wheat fields to feed my wife and two children. And talk about change! When I went to the country school, I used to see a yoke of oxen go by to town and I've flown the Atlantic five times and the Pacific once. Spent two months in Ceylon in 1961 sawing lumber. Also prospected for gold in Canada and was a guide there for moose hunters. Worked for pipe line outfits from Texas to Wisconsin. Sawed lumber from Texas to Carolina to Ohio and West to Washington.
At present I saw lumber and act as tour guide in the summertime at Hayworth, Wisconsin at History-land, an educational display of the old time logging equipment.
I started with steam at the age of 12 on my father's 16 HP return flues Minneapolis and I fired with barley straw. That was 60 years ago and I've fired with coal and wood and also with oil on a steam pile driver. I put in an oil burner in the Case 80 at one time. I had made the burner myself. I didn't use the regular oil the contractor used on the pile drivers. I used old crankcase oil from the filling stations. It worked too, but made more smoke. - All this to say I like the magazine!'
I'd love to chat a bit with you folks via the column a bit, but I've got to make deadline - it's been a bit hectic as it is busy time with all the ads, etc. and we've been having our kitchen redecorated, paneled really with a paneling with wallpaper on - it's finished but the debris is not yet all cleared away -have a good time - for with this issue the Reunions are really starting to flourish