Greetings to each and every one of you out in Engine Landhere we are into another season of shows, reunions, get-togethers, whatever you choose to call it. One thing for sure, the common interest is there for engines, threshers, old time furniture modes of living, all memorabilia of years gone by. It is fun to relive the past, at least for just a few days a year. And what joy in meeting your old lifetime friends and new acquaintances and to hash over the particulars of the mutual points of interest. And now onto the letters that are instrumental to the success of this column.
BRUCE ATKINSON, Box 65, Monrovia, Indiana 46157 would like to see a story of steaming tobacco beds. He wants to know how they do it and for what purpose? Maybe someone acquainted with this item will write us an articlewe'll be waiting.
A letter from EDMAR TANGEN, 305 Sinclair Street, Bottineau, North Dakota 58318 tells us: 'The unclassified photo #3 in the March-April issue is a Minneapolis steamer, maybe about a 30 HP single cylinder. I would guess that it may be about 1909.' (Thanks Ed, we appreciate hearing the information on these pictures.)
An interesting writing comes from GARNETT B. FLACK, Edinburg, North Dakota 58227: 'This is in regard to the 110 Case shown on page 19 of the Jan.-Feb. 1981 I.M.A. If this engine is the one I think it is, it came from this area and used to thresh on our farm, 3 miles south of Milton, North Dakota.
Back in the early sixties when I first became a subscriber to the Album, I wrote a letter which was published in your magazine, in which I referred to this 110 Case which was equipped with power steering. This engine was owned by Mr. Nets T. Nelson of Union, North Dakota and he threshed for my father in 1915, when I was just a small boy.
A short time later I received a letter from the late Justin Hingten of LaMotte, Iowa telling me that he had purchased this engine and restored it. Nels Nelson's son, Theo, sold it to Mr. Hingten. To quote Mr. Hingten 'I loaded this engine in Union, North Dakota on a lovely summer day. It is now completely restored and is a beautiful engine.'
In the fall of 1979 at the Central North Dakota Steam Threshers Show at New Rockford, North Dakota I was talking with Mr. Woodmansee and asked him if he knew what became of Justin Hingten's 110 Case and he told me it was at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, which leads me to believe the one pictured is the same engine. Perhaps someone can verify this, or set me straight if I am wrong.
When this engine threshed around here it did not have a cab, but that was put on by Mr. Hingten when he restored it.
Nels Nelson used this engine to power a 40 x 60 Minneapolis separator. 1915 was a big crop year, and although I was too young to remember much about it, I have heard that they had 12 bundle teams with two men to each team, one or two tank teams, engineer, separator man, oiler, night watchman and two cooks in the cook car. It rained for three weeks that fall and this outfit was camped on one of our rented farms. Finally Mr. Nelson moved the teams and cook car home to his place at Union, but the day they moved back, it started to rain again. Nels threshed for us again in 1921 and this is the first steam engine I ever got to ride.
Changing the subject, the unclassified photo #4 on page 29 of the Jan.-Feb. Album looks to me like a Twin City 40 tractor.
I might add that a good friend of mine, Mr. William Swanson of Milton, North Dakota, age 73, died recently as the result of a fall at his farm home. Mr. Swanson was a steam engine and threshing enthusiast and a subscriber to the Iron-Men Album. He had a large collection of stationary gas engines and also some antique cars. It was through Mr. Swanson that I first became a subscriber to I.M.A.
Seeking your help, this appeal comes from JOHN LAUE, Box 29, Wolf Road, Geneseo, Illinois 61254: 'I have recently acquired parts of a Wood Bros. 30 HP double geared plow engine. I need a lot of help if I'm ever going to get it restored. It is a big engine, 38' boiler, 82 flues. I would like to hear from anyone who knows of, or anything about these engines. I am told that there were only five or six of this size made. I am going to have to have gears cast. Would you please mention that I would like to hear from anyone that can give me help, with pictures, advice, or if they have an engine like this one, I would like to talk with them.'
Hoping you will assist in engine numbers, this statement comes from HERB E. BECKEMEYER, R.R. 2, Box 159, Champaign, Illinois 61820, (white shirt engineer)Herb said that, not I. 'I have been for years trying to put together a complete list of A.D. Baker steam traction engines, and would you believe there are about 100 still alive in the United States that I know of. I would like to know the owners of the following number engines: Engine number 1077, 1329, 1358, 1511, 1564, 1596, 1610, 16150, 16159, 16280, 17305, 17306, 17538, 17545, 17550, 17662, 17783.
There are engines in Canada which I don't have and probably some in the United States. I hope these Baker people will contact me and if they so desire, I will send them a copy of all Baker engine owners, serial numbers and horsepower.
Enclosed find a picture of my A. D. Baker engine #16389, 21 x 75 HP. I also own a 25 x 50 gas tractor, serial #G30282.
A. L. HEILAND, 15323 C. R. 25A, Anna, Ohio 45302 has some information go give us on a picture in Jan.-Feb. 1981 Iron Men Album Magazine. 'It is a Huber steam engine and sawmill. It is an old style Huber engine with a square rear axle with the springs in the wheel hub and straight cleats on the rear wheels. All later models have a round axle and no springs with a V style cleat arrangement on the rear wheel.
The top posts run all the way down side of the boiler while the later models had a bracket bolted on the side of the boiler, then the top posts were bolted on to it. I also see this engine has a compound cylinder which they only used this type for a while. It doesn't have a friction clutch, only a pin to drive the gearing. If I had the serial number, I could tell the date it was built. I do have all the Huber catalogs with builder's dates and who was the first owner.
The engine must be around 1890 with the pin drive and straight flywheel spokes as for the compound, the catalog shows the first models in 1897 and the last in 1902. This is about all the information I can come up with at this time.'
Anyone out there have more research material on the Bryan steam tractor made in Peru, Indiana? If so, CARL BEEBOUT, 141 Callan Avenue, Evanston, Illinois 60202 has requested you send us a story to put in the Iron-Men Album as many folks would probably appreciate it.
Minneapolis engine fans will be most interested in hearing from DR. GERALD D. PARKER, Box 520, Casselton, North Dakota 58012 as he writes: 'I have recently acquired the production records of the Minneapolis Threshing Company, 1890-1924. I am in the process of analyzing these records and hope to be able to make my findings available some time in the near future. In the meantime I would like to develop a registry of all existing Minneapolis traction engines. All who own a Minneapolis should write to me giving the serial number on their engine. In return, I will look up the engine and give all available information back to the owner. We are lucky that any records exist at all as most of the important records were lost in the dissolution of the company in recent years. The records that I have are quite complete and contain a wealth of information. Any help that you can give me in this project would be greatly appreciated.'
A letter comes regarding the March-April unclassified photos. It is from WALT THAYER, Wenatchee, Washington 98801. 'No. 1the Bates steel mule was a name sometimes given to early day Fordson tractors with Crawler tracks. Fordson never made a Crawler, so the Cat tracks were either factory made elsewhere, or made by various mechanics. Here within Wenatchee's city limits a Fordson crawler is rusting away in a private driveway. The owner would rather see it rust away, then sell it and see it restored. No. 2looks like a Case outfit, but there is not much to identify it. No. 3looks very much like a Minneapolis or a Buffalo Pitts or a Case, but I'll settle on the Minnie. No. 4A real 'oldie', but looks like a Russell or Aultman Taylor. No. 5looks like a big Minnie or Nichols & Shepard. No. 6It's a water tank or water wagon for a Reeves or at least it was originally with a Reeves. No. 7 Hard to tell what make it is by the stack and smoke box. I'll make a wild guess it is an old Avery, but remember I spent most of my time on 'hot and cold ballast' between the rails. How about a picture of a Flex-Thread tractor or the Shandoney Hitch?'
A note from A. W. BLACK-WOOD, 480 Clear Brook Road, Orange, Connecticut 06477: 'Thank you for publishing Carl Lathrop's article on the economics of backyard power generation. It's not the message we want to hear, but the unfortunate fact is that only the incredible efficiency of the large central power plant makes electricity as cheap as it is.'
The following letter comes from JOHN A. FONTANA Z A/E, U.S.N.S. H.H. Hess, FPO 96667, San Francisco, California. This letter is not about engines, but about a subject that is interesting to many of you engine men. 'Really enjoy your fine magazine, the article on A Specialized Sawmillit was really good, but unfortunately a little late for me. I had about six nice walnut logs two summers ago. A neighbor sawed them for me. After making several inquiries and getting many suggestions, we decided on stacking lumber on lastings (a sort of surveyor's stake) and it cracked quite badly, even tried hanging it in hayloft, still cracked. Anyway, maybe someone knows how to seal the cracks and how long should the lumber dry before I can use it? Too bad I never thought of writing you a couple of years agooh well, live and learn!
I am currently 2nd Assistant on this cargo ship. It is steam turbine 22500 horsepower, mostly automated, and makes about 25.8 knots. I am always looking forward to the next issue of I.M.A.'
(Now fellas, there is a new question, as I don't believe anyone has ever asked about the lumber in this column. I am sure there are some lumber experts out there that can answer John's letter.)
Many points to ponder comes through this writing of MELVIN R. GRENVIK, 115-1st Avenue N.6, Kenmare, North Dakota 58746: 'I didn't write on the unclassified pictures in the Jan.-Feb. issues, but I find that in the March-April issue, some incorrect identifications were made; so I'll do my bit to set it straight. My purpose is not to pick apart anyone's work, or to criticizeonly to inform. I also, am prone to error.
Re the Jan-Feb. photos, in order:
1. This is not a Case, but an Advance 22 HP. Some identifying features are the cylinder set far forward nearly alongside the smokestack, much like the Russell enginesalso the absence of a feed-water heater, used on all Case engines. Incidentally, this same bridge accident scene is shown in the unclassified photos in the March-April 1979 issue, with the shot taken from the right front of the engine, instead of the left.
2. I had decided this road roller was made by Aveling & Porter in England, as explained in this last issue, in the letter from Mr. David Gray of Woodbury, Long Island. But, I could not even have guessed at the horsepower or other details.
3. This engine is an A. W. Stevens, built about 1900. The giveaway on this one is the half-moon guard outboard and below the crank disc. This engine is pictured in Norbeck's Album.
4. Here is the Old Man of the Mountain, the most powerful gas tractor built in America at that time, rated 60-90 HP and designed to pull 14 plows. People who have run this tractor report pulling 16 plows very handily. Power plant is 6 cylinder, 7' bore and 9' stroke. It was the biggest of a family of four sizes being built by Twin City around 1917.
5. If the gentleman operating the log saw in this picture stayed in that position very long, he probably lost some keys and change from his pockets. (You are right-pix. is upside down.)
6. This is indeed a Case and judging from the diameter of the boiler barrel, I'd say 60 HP.
7. The young fellow in this picture is leaning against the flywheel of a Rumely double cylinder16 or 20 HP. The drive wheel construction and especially the grouters, are solid I.D. marks, plus the position of the crankshaft and flywheel.
The picture on page 17 of March-April came as a real shock. I had thought as I'm sure many have, that the 150 HP Giant Case experimental engines were all long gone. This must be certainly the only one in existence. Reports vary as to the total number originally built. Some say 3, some 6 and some 9. I wonder if the Case people have records of it anywhere?
I didn't really mean to be so long-winded. Everyone on the magazine staff deserves, and gets, the sincerest of congratulations for a publishing job well done; and I'm sure the continuing good wishes from all readers.' (Thanks Melvin, we appreciate the comments.)
Another comment on the big Case engine comes from RANDY E. SCHWERIN, Route 2, Sumner, Iowa 50674: 'I have been a subscriber of your fine magazine for about 10 years now and look forward to every issue. On page 17 of March-April issue there is a picture of a Case engine labeled as a 150 HP size. I felt compelled to write and shed some light on this particular engine. It is housed at the House on the Rock near Spring Green, Wisconsin and is well worth the trip to see this splendid, engine along with all the other attractions there. The point is thisthe engine pictured is not a 150, but only a 110 HP. The fact that it is parked on a raised platform and having a lot of extra brass and ornamental lighting, etc. makes it appear larger. I have viewed the engine on three or four different occasions and I am sure that anyone acquainted with 110 Case engines and interested in the matter would agree after seeing it themselves.'
And one more writing concerning the above mentioned enginethis one comes from GENE DRUM-MOND, 15509 Drummond Road, Orient, Ohio 43146: 'The reason that I write is that I am very interested in the big steam engine that is pictured on page 17 of the March-April '81 issue. The caption with the picture states that the engine is a 150 HP Case, which is the largest engine built by that company. Over the years much has been written about the Case Company and the steam engines they built. In all this data printed on the history of the Case engines, all that is said to remain of the big 150 Case road locomotive is a boiler. This boiler is owned by Mr. George Hedtke of Davis Junction, Illinois. Now after all these years a rather dark picture of a huge traction engine is printed with the claim that it is a 150 HP Case. I would like to see more date in IMA on this mystery engine.'
Now, after reading the above letters, I must tell you to look for the NOTICE in this magazine from RAY URBAINZICK, 2815 N. 57, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53210. It is NOT a 150 Case. It is a 110 Case. AND Ray did not send this picture in someone else did and we don't know who it wasbut they used Ray's name. Please, members of our IMA family, don't ever do that without permission of the person whose name you are using. It causes a great deal of trouble and also reflects on the honesty and sincerity of this publication. Thank you.
Commenting on a picture from March-April a notice comes from FLOYD ELLIS, Belle Glade, Florida 33430: 'The unclassified photo, number 4, the man at the wheel is my first cousin, Cecil Ellis, Clinton, Illinois. The man with the hat looks like our Uncle Henry from Newton, Illinois. Cecil began running steam engines in his teens, moved to Clinton and railroaded until retirement. Had his own thresher in the 30s and died about 4 years ago. This picture must have been taken in the mid 30s.'
JOHN W. BREELAN, Route 2, Box 114, Washington, West Virginia 26181 sends a message to all engine, steam and gas enthusiasts out in New Mexico. He plans to visit Albuquerque for two weeks during June and would like to hear from youhis future friends. Don't let him downif you are interested in the same hobby, he'll be more than happy to hear from you.
A. G. McCONNELL, R.R. 1, Box 37, Danville, Kentucky 40422 sends this interesting write-up and background of Lee Injector Co. First, his introductory letter: 'In going through some old family papers, I ran across a scrap of old newspaper which had the following ad. I do not know the date, nor the name of the old newspaper. Since the Penberthy injector is so popular with Iron-Men, I thought you might like to have a copy of the clipping.
It is interesting to note that great emphasis is put on Mr. Lee's character and religious convictions. This is quite different from today's view. It seems as any mention of morals or religion is offensive in today's world.'
We present herewith a sketch of Mr. Lee, one of the pioneers in the manufacture of injectors, who also represents the typical self-made American. He was raised on a farm and his early education was obtained at the district school. At the age of 17 he decided to start for himself, but at the outbreak of the Civil War enlisted and fought throughout the entire campaign. On his return home he entered commercial life which he followed until 1872 as a traveling salesman. In 1885 he became interested in the injector business. On retiring from the road in 1897 Mr. Lee incorporated the original Lee-Penberthy Mfg. Co., and later merged into the Lee Injector Manufacturing Company, of which concern he was elected president and general manager. It was through his energy that the Lee Ball Valve Automatic Injector and Lee Ball Check Valve and other specialties manufactured by his company were developed. For 13 years Mr. Lee was continuously on the road in the interests of the injector business, covering the United States, British possessions, West Indies, and Mexico.
In politics he was always a staunch Republican, but never sought public office. For 33 years he was a Mason, being a member of Palestine Lodge, King Cyrus Chapter, Monroe Council, also a member of Fairbanks Post, G. A. R., No. 17, also a member of Star Lodge, No. 13 Independent Order United Workmen. A liberal thinker on religious matters, he held a pew in the Congregational Baptist Church. A man of domestic tasts, he was never so happy as when home with his family, and proud of the fact that he never drank, smoked, or chewed.
Mr. Lee has probably written more instructive articles on injectors than any other manufacturer in America, and as an expert, ranks without a peer. This company manufactures a complete line of goods which are shipped to all parts of the civilized world, and represented by an able corps of traveling men. Mr. Lee is also treasurer and director of the Wheel Truing Brake Shoe Company of Detroit.
A little story to ponder. It comes from Wellsprings of Wisdom by Ralph L. Woods and is called The Balancing of Memories. From ancient Greece comes the story of a woman who died and arrived at the River Styx to be ferried to the realm of departed spirits. Charon, the ferryman, told the woman that she was permitted to drink of the waters of Lethe if she wanted to forget the life she had just left. 'Of course,' added Charon, 'you would then forget past joys as well as past sorrows.'
'Then I would forget all I have suffered,' said the woman.
'And your many occasions of rejoicing,' reminded Charon.
'But my failuresI'd forget them, too,' continued the woman.
'And also your triumphs,' said Charon.
'And the times I have borne people's hatred,' added the woman.
'True,' said Charon, 'but you also would forget how you have been loved.'
The woman stopped to weigh the whole question, and finally decided not to sip of the waters of Lethe; it was not worth being rid of the memory of life's sorrows and failures, if one must at the same time lose the memory of life's happiness and love.
(Tis only a story folks, but it does require some considerationit also reminds me of the ring Elmer Ritz-man used to wear. On it was printed the wordsThis Too Shall Passmeaning of course no matter how happy, or how sad you may bethis too shall passwould do us good to remember thissomehow it helps.) And in closing a few quotes. Worry is like a rocking chair; it will give you something to do, but it won't get you anywhere.--The ones whom you should try and get even with are the ones who have helped you.--If you think you have no faults, that makes one more. Love 'ya!
Steamcerely, Anna Mae