Farm Collector


Hey Folks, it’s Spring! Isn’t that great? Come on, roll
those engines out of the shed, get them steamed up betch a some of
you have done that already. I know you’re all excited and eager
for the upcoming show season. Don’t blame you a bitjust
don’t forget to contact me with the stories and going-onswe are
all interested in passing any new information and all those little
tidbits that make the reunions so pleasant and interesting.

I love the stories from the Well-springs of Wisdom by Ralph L.
Woods and I believe you like to share them with methis one is
called Positive Thinking… Some years ago two competing salesmen
for shoe manufacturers arrived simultaneously in Africa to develop
markets for their companies. Both men headed for the unexploited
interior. After a few weeks one of the salesmen cabled his company
that he was returning home on the next boat because of the lack of
sales opportunities since the natives did not wear shoes.

The other salesman at about the same time sent off this terse
cable to his company: ‘Send quick millions of pairs of shoes
all sizes, colors, styles because the natives here have no
shoes.’ (It’s all the way you look at it, isn’t

And now on to the better parts of the column as we peek into the
communications from the Iron Men Album Family…

HOMER D. RUFENER, Route 2, Box 157, Sardis, Ohio 43946 sends a
welcome comment in his short letter: ‘Your magazine is the most
prized magazine in the house; next is the Gas Engine Magazine, to
which I am a current subscriber. I’ve read the ones we have
through and through countless times. The stories are very
interesting, informative and sometimes, very funny. Most of all,
it’s entertaining! I am rather young, but can relate somehow to
the stories the writers tell. The writers are one of a kind, each
of them; because they are people, just like everyone else!
Here’s wishing you good luck, and hope the magazine will
continue indefinitely!’ (Thanks Homer, glad to hear those good

Some information on a retired locomotive that has been put to
work again comes from H. J. BERNY, 209 W. Sprague, Edinburg, Texas
78539: ‘I am sending some news about an old steam engine
returning to work. This took place in Huntington, West Virginia.
This locomotive was retired 28 years ago when diesels took over the
nation’s rails, but recently began hauling coal cars three days
a week on the 100-mile run between Huntington and Hinton. The test
runs are the final step in a locomotive-design project that
government and industry officials say could make the country more
energy-independent and help put unemployed miners back to work.

‘There will be a 30-day test program to give the engineers
the answers they need for the final designs of the ACE 3000
according to the officials of American Coal Enterprises’.

‘Rowland’s Lebanon, N. J. company is designing a
coal-fired locomotive that it claims will meet environmental
standards and be far more energy-efficient than coal-burning
engines of the past’.

‘Train buffs lined the tracks recently as old Engine 614,
puffing proudy and showing a new coat of paint, chugged across West
Virginia in its inaugural run’.

‘Rowland said he anticipates that his company’s new
steam locomotive will cost about $1.7 million, compared with
approximately $1 million for oil-burning diesels. He claimed they
will cost more but the railroads will save money in the long run
because they will be cheaper to operate, primarily because they
will be using a fuel that is six times cheaper.’

A letter requesting help comes from DAVID SCHERGER, Route 2, Box
66A1, Rogers, Arkansas 72756: ‘I am working with a Worldwide
Evangelistic Crusade missionary who is setting up a steam-powered
sawmill in Zaire, Africa for the purpose of building a Bible
school. We are looking for the following equipment: 40-50 HP engine
and boiler, 15-20 HP engine, planer, rip saw, swing type cut-off
saw, cradle type buzz saw, Donkey engine and shingle saw. If you
can furnish any information concerning these items I would very
much appreciate it. We are not looking for unusual or collectable
equipment, but just good, solid production equipment.’

ALEAS W. SIMONIS, 30 Maple Road, Rosholt, Wisconsin 54473 sends
this photo of his 28.80 Case steamer. ‘My brother, Davey
Simo-nis bought it new in 1920 and it is in nice running order yet.
I also have the separator 36′.’ (Nice picture, Aleas).
‘I would like to add to the column of ‘Asked and
Answered’ in Jan-Feb I.M.A.’ says ANDREW L. MICHELS, 302
Highland Avenue, Plenty wood, Montana 59254. ‘Take an acetylene
torch, cut the flue as close to the flue sheet as possible. Remove
the end any way that will not damage the flue wheel. Remove only
old flues, then replace them, then take the other and do the same.
The type of expander shown is good and a good mechanic can make
out. A roller type expander can be driven by a’ drill with an
easily constructed drive. To bead the flue take a 5/16′ bolt or
stock. Do not have more than 5/16′ protrude from tube sheet,
then go to your friendly service station and borrow or rent his
air-hammer, for cutting off mufflers. Make a tool that looks like
the diagram. This will make flues so tight they will never leak.
There is little chance of movement or distortion of the flue sheet
compared to pounding the flues with a hammer to bead them.’

THEODORE E. VOIGT, Box 1251, Kings Road, Crete, Illinois 60417,
phone 748-7038, would appreciate information on a Sturdevant 15 HP
vertical engine he acquired in connection with an alternative
energy project. It has a 6′ cylinder and 5′ stroke, 400 RPM
and 125 PSI steam. It is in running condition except for missing
fly ball Gardner1′ parts.

‘Sturdevant is now a division of Westinghouse, but they tell
us that this piece is too old and they have nothing in their
records. Would appreciate any of the readers helping us

A second letter and a picture comes from ANDREW L. MICHELS, 302
Highland Avenue, Plentywood, Montana 59254: ‘The picture and
story of sawmill in Nov-Dec 1984 issue prompted me to send in this
photo of the first ‘saw bench’ used in England. It was just
that. The log laid on the ‘bench’. Men held the log in
place and wedges were used to stop the round log on the first cut,
then two men held and adjusted the log. The carriage was a rope on
a roller winch cranked by an experienced hand. I think the only
iron was the blade and shafts.

‘Another ‘saw bench’ can be seen in the background.
The drive belts in Europe are narrow, 4′ and’

‘Could someone please tell me why sawmills are run with
straight belts?’

A welcome letter comes from BILL KENNEDY, Box 695, Elizabeth,
West Virginia 26143: ‘A big Hello from West Virginia. I sure
enjoy the Iron-Men Album and I think it is time I tell you so. I
have been getting your album since 1967 and enjoy it more each
issue. I also shopped around at some auctions and came up with all
the back issues since the Farm Magazine. I have been an avid steam
collector for some time now and have met some good friends in the
hobby and am looking forward to new ones in there unions to come
up. I am sure looking forward to spring so that I can fire up an
engine again.

‘I have been blessed with two fine sons and a wife who also
enjoys the hobby and traveling to the shows. My oldest son, who is
two years old, already says ‘Daddy Toot! Hot!’ He also
enjoys putting paper in the fire box for his dad. I think this is
all a very fine hobby for families.’

‘Over the years I have made friends all over the U. S. and
want to thank all the old steam men who took an interest in me and
time to explain and show me the do’s and don’ts of

‘Keep up the good work and the good information that comes
from your magazine. I am enclosing a couple of pictures of some of
my engines and family and friends who have brought me great
pleasure. God Bless All!’

‘Picture #1 is a 50 HP Case engine at the Dover show in
Ohio, 1984. On the engine is a friend, Frank Simmons, left, and
Alan Kennedy; boiler man Earl Gibson on the right. Adam Kennedy and
myself, Bill, in the center. This Case performed excellently on
John McDowell’s power eater.’

‘Picture #2 is my 21-75 Heavy Duty Baker #17555 undergoing a
major face lift in 1984. This engine has always had a boiler
jacket. It was removed for inspection. It was surprisingly

‘Picture #3 is my 19 HP Port Huron at the North Central W. V
Antique Power Show 1984. She had just come off a good work-out on
the club’s mill. On left is Dan Ruffner, on right is Adam and
Bill Kennedy. Adam is ready to take control.’

A short letter comes from EDWIN H. BREDEMEIER, Route 1, Box 13,
Steinauer, Nebraska 88441: ‘In Jan-Feb ’85 issue, on page
13, column 3, you ask if I ever finished the job of painting the
Advance Rumely shredder. No, I never did paint the shredder. I did
brush off the decals and varnished them and it brightened them up.
I would like to find both Advance and Rumely decals for it and that
would prod me into painting it like new.

‘Recently, I completed the painting of a 2-hole all wood
sandwich sheller to original colors and lettering. It takes me a
long time to paint things as the original. Can anyone tell me what
year Sandwich changed from Wood frame rails to steel frame? All
mine have wood frame rails.’

Comments and questions come in a letter from DONALD POTTER,
13324 Balfour, Huntington Woods, Michigan 48070: ‘I would
appreciate any information your readers can provide regarding the
enclosed photo of my father, Herbert T. Potter, known as Bert to
his many friends in Central Ohio, mainly Delaware County where he
was involved with threshing over 60 years. During this period he
was also a U. S. Mail carrier on a short rural route for 33 years.
He also operated a sawmill in the winter time.

‘My grandfather, Bert’s father, started threshing in the
area with portable steam power, progressing to the first steam
traction engine depicted in the picture. I believe recalling my
father’s comments that it was a Gaar-Scott. My father, Bert, is
the slender, baggy knees operator at the rear of the

‘Incidentally, the separator is a hand-fed one; the web
stacker is probably a Peerless.’

‘The next engine was a 13 HP Model R Peerless, followed by a
16 HP peerless sold to and operated for a farmer Co-op, The
Leonardsburg Threshing Co. An 18 HP Gaar-Scott was the last steamer
Bert used for threshing, eventually progressing to a gasoline
powered Huber tractor with cross mounted Super Four Engine, 40-62

‘The two Peerless engines were scrapped; unfortunately, the
Model R, in excellent shape with a replacement firebox was, during
World War II, patriotically sold for scrap.’

‘After growing up from toddler age around steam power, I
started at age 14 to operate the 18 HP Gaar-Scott. It was sold in
1953 to collector Walter E. Knapp, Monroe, Michigan. It was resold
and I’ve lost track of it.’

‘Today, to satisfy the addiction to steam power, I do
volunteer work at Greenfield Village Museum, Dearborn, Michigan
restoring and eventually operating a 1918 Port Huron (Longfellow)
steam traction engine, (see photo) during the annual Pageant of
Power and Fall Harvest Days Festivities.’

‘The Pageant of Power held early summer is an excellent
opportunity for buffs and restorers to exhibit, or just view
literally hundreds of many different types of expertly restored,
operable early engines.’

‘I am seeking information about the equipment in the old
photo and any other data that can be provided regarding my
father’s threshing rigs, including pictures or other incidents
involving him.’

‘My father married late and he was 44 years old when I was
born, therefore his earlier years activity as a thresherman are not
well known. I joined the Army Air Force shortly after Pearl Harbor
and was in the Service over four years, losing track of additional
time. I know he threshed with steam throughout the war and the
Postal Service gave him time off during the summer to run his
threshing rig. After the war, I flew an A-26 Aircraft back to the
area, located where he was threshing, by the smoke column from the
steamer, and ‘buzzed’ them. Quite a thrill!’

‘I’m trying to piece together some of the family history
and record it. This ambition unfortunately came later in life when
forefathers are no longer available for reference. Any data will be

‘The 3rd picture is of my whistle collection.’

‘I am sending you two pictures taken at the Smithsburg Steam
& Craft Show in Smithsburg, Maryland,’ says J. HAROLD
ECKSTINE, 111-H Hunter Hill Apts., Hagerstown, Maryland

‘The engine is a 50 HP Frick Eclipse owned by James Hessong
of Smithsburg. The thresher is a 28 x 47 Frick owned by Nelson
Eckstine of Route 8, Hagerstown, Maryland. Also visible is a 28 x
47 Case thresher owned by Russell Wolfinger of Route 8,

‘I think that we are both old enough to be permitted a bit
of reminiscence,’ states CARL M. LATHROP, 108, Garfield Avenue,
Madison, New Jersey 07940, in a letter to me: ‘In the Jan/Feb
1982 issue of IMA, there was an article that I had written called
‘The Wind on Grandpa’s Knob.’ It was an up-date on the
status of wind power in the U. S. Ye Editor had noted in a box on
page 22from material I had supplied that Atlantic Electric was
offering to pay $500 to the first 100 residential customers that
would install windmill generators to help supply their homes with
electricity. Remember, the Arabs had not long before cut off our
supply of Middle East oil and anyone that had an idea, old or new,
came out of the woodwork with a proposition to be supported by,
naturally, tax money.’

‘I see by the paperElectric World II/’84that Atlantic
Electric got only 17 customers to grabthe brass ring and only four
of those made enough power to sell some back to the electric
company. To Atlantic’s credit though, they’re keeping the
program open. Looks like the far out ideas are headed back into the
woodwork again. My father had an epigram that fits the occasion,
‘It’s the silent pig that eats the swill.’ We should
just keep right on digging coal and firing it under
boilersthat’ll keep the lights burning.’

‘Now that I have that off my chest, may the good Lord keep
you in the palm of his hand, the road fall away in front of you,
and the wind always be at your back.My Grandfather Jamison will
flip in his grave at my misquoting that old Irish wish.’

Before I sign off, I must give you a new recipe that I tasted at
out last Church affairit’s delicious, try it! It’s called
Strawberry Pretzel Saladit is a dessert. 2 cups pretzels
crushed,cup oleo melted, 3 tablespoons sugar. Press into 9 x 13 pan
and bake 7-10 minutes, cool. Mix well: 8oz. cream cheese, 1 cup
sugar, 1 large container Kool Whip. Spread over cooled crust and
let set for awhile. Then mix together and pour over cream cheese
layer:1-6oz. pkg. strawberry Jello, 2-10 oz. pkgs. frozen
strawberries, 2 cups boiling water, 1 small can crushed pineapple,
drained. Keep in the refrigerator.

And in closing, I must leave you with some thoughts to ponderHe
who has the most trouble usually has been busy making it….
Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the dumb can
understand-…. Patience is the best remedy for most trouble…
.Bye bye and please send me some letters…

  • Published on May 1, 1985
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