Well, here comes Spring again, I hope. We are still having pretty cold and snowy and rainy weather from time to time. But you see signs everywhere to sign up for baseball practice and all kind of ads for forthcoming spring events which lightens the heart a bit. So keep working at those Show items so you'll be ready to roll when the dates come due.
Now I've been working for this magazine for over thirty years and that means I have been in contact with thousands of wonderful folks over this time and now I want to call attention to those of you in Florida. The beginning of February our son, Donald, left to work at a new job in that state. Now Donnie lives in Winter Haven; it's been hard on him and all of us back here. He has always been around this area and we have seen him most every day as he used to stop almost every evening for supper (some say dinner, but we say supper). So it is really a great challenge for all of us trying to adjust without seeing his smiling face almost every day. And I know it is difficult for him too, to pull up roots after 33 years and move on to a new home so far away. So, if any of you good folks are near in that area, drop in and say hi or drop him a card, he would appreciate it. Thanks loads! I always thought of the Iron Men Family as family. He has only been gone a few weeks but it seems like months and I can hardly wait to visit. I've never been to Florida, but I bet you I'll be there one of these days.
And that will be enough of my tale and on to the many communications.
This communication comes from J. T. KUNE, 31 Wild Tiger Lane, Sugarloaf Star Route, Boulder, Colorado 80302: 'I am in need of help in completing the restoration of a Worthington stationary steam engine. The engine is, or should I say was, a tandem compound, 10 x 18 x 10, built by the Worthington Pump and Machinery Corporation, Blake & Knowles (last three letters a guess) Works. The governor is a 2' Erie with a patent date of 1896. It was formerly used by the Great Western Sugar Mill in Loveland, Colorado until that facility shut down.'
'My need is for information and parts. Is the Worthington Pump and Machinery Corporation still in business and if so where? Does anyone know where copies of construction drawings might be secured? Such a reason may seem farfetched, but with an entire world of live steam enthusiasts to draw on, who knows?' (That's right, many folks have been helped through our readers, so here's hoping you will hear from them).
Another letter desiring information comes from HALVOR CARLOCK, Route 2, P.O. Box 281, Everton, Missouri 65646.
'I am trying to find the address of the Gustav Wiedeke Company that manufactured boiler repair tools. I ordered some flue tools from them about 30 years ago. The address then was as follows: The Gustav Wiedeke Co., 1833 Richard Street, Dayton, Ohio. I wrote to this address but my letter was returned no delivery. I wonder if anyone could give me their correct address as of now or any company manufacturing boiler tools?'
'Enclosed are three pictures of my M. Rumely engine #6991, 20 HP single cylinder,' writes BLAKE MALKAMAKI, 10839 Girdled Road, Concord Twp., Painesville, Ohio 44077.
'I bought this engine in Monona, Iowa in June, 1986 and had Mr. Keith Mauzy haul it home for me. The engine was in good shape except for the four short l' flues that are in the sides of the firebox. One leaked badly (I think they were the original), so I replaced all four. Thanks to Morgan Hill for the flues and the 1' roller. I also replaced much of the plumbing, the soft plug, and the pop valve.'
'After some very frantic work, in two weeks I had the engine at our Pioneer Steam and Gas Engine Society show in Meadville, PA.'
'When it's 95 degrees, I don't like engines without roofs. So this spring (1987), I decided to make a new roof. I wanted it to be like the original, so I made a pattern from an old roof Mahlon Troyer in Sugarcreek, Ohio, had. It's made out of whitewood with galvanized sheet metal on top and masonite under the sheet metal to keep it from rattling. The brackets are homemade and the studs in the steam dome are from Mark Hissa.'
'I've had trouble keeping packing in the piston rod because the rod was so pitted, so this spring I also decided to have the rod chromed. When I pulled the piston out, I found it was cracked. These pistons were cast hollow for weight reduction and three iron plugs were put in the back at the piston where the sand was removed. One of these plugs had worked its way loose, and my theory is steam got into the piston, condensed, and froze, cracking the piston. One only wonders what would have happened if that plug had come completely out when the engine was under load. Anyway, the piston needed replating.'
'I'm not a machinist, but thanks to my friend Chan Bleil in Mentor, Ohio for the use of his machine shop and his expert advice and assistance, I made a new piston rod and a new piston. I made the piston out of steel. It was hollowed out for the same weight reduction, then a plate welded over the end, and the whole thing machined, so it's just like original. The rod was threaded into the piston very tightly, and the end was rivetted over. We also planed the valve and the valve seat. Both were very bad. This is quite a job on a Rumely because the cylinder, crosshead guides, and one main bearing are cast in one piece. The whole piece had to be removed and put in a milling machine. Dick Mackey did a real nice job of hard chroming the new piston rod and the old valve rod.'
'With new rings, the whole thing was put back together, just hours before going to the Ashtabula County Antique Engine Club show in Wayne, Ohio.'
'I would also like to thank Jim Malz for help, and my mom Gayle for painting the smoke box door.'
The engine performs very well and I think it has much more power than it did before. It fires easier and uses less water, although it never did fire hard.'
'This year, I also took the Rumely to Meadville and Portersville, PA shows. Two of the enclosed pictures were taken at the Ashtabula County Antique Engine Club Show and the third was taken at home using the Rumely to supply steam to a maple sap bucket washer that I made. My gramps, Howard van Driest, and my dad, Bob Malkamaki, are feeding the buckets through.'
'My next project is to make new water tanks for the Rumely.'
'I would like to know if anyone has any information on the past history of my engine, and if anyone has a Rumely serial number list including the late numbers like mine. Have fun at the shows and I wish everyone a good year.'
A comment comes from CLIFF B. SHIRLEY, 2009 West 71st Street, Prairie Village, Kansas 66208: 'I retired from the Kansas City Terminal Railway when I finished work at the Traffic Control Center the morning of Nov. 1, 1985. Part of my duties included the copying of train orders for the Amtrak trains. When I began work in 1937, my employer had steam locomotives, and so did the twelve railroads that used the Kansas City, Missouri, Union Station. Now an 'old timer' is one who remembers when all twelve of those railroads had passenger trains.'
'I still hope that the Iron-Men Album will have more about city steam cranes, shovels, and the likethe type of steam engine that the city boys saw back in the days of the traction engine and its belt driven separator.'
In answer to Mr. Ross Abendroth's question from the Jan./Feb. issue of the magazine, DAVID BRAZEAU, 1511 Western Avenue, Eau Claire, Wisconsin 54703, writes: 'The injector was invented by a French man named Henry Jacques Gifferd about 1857 and was manufactured in this country in 1860 by Wm. Sellers & Co. of Philadelphia.'
'Suppose we have a boiler with a 100 lbs. steam pressure and we open a steam valve, the steam, would escape at about 2,200 ft. per second. The rate of steam to water would be roughly between 15 and 18 times that of the water.'
'As the steam passes from the top jet or the injector (the steam jet) through the mixing chamber (the cavity between the steam jet and the suction jet) it creates a partial vacuum: the same as the exhaust steam going up the smokestack.'
'The steam entering the injector and the air in the water line are forced out the overflow because even though the steam has a much greater velocity it lacks the mass (density) to overcome the water in the boiler.'
'The steam and air continue out the overflow until the water reaches the suction jet. As the steam hits the water it condenses and imparts some of its velocity to the water raising it to nearly that of the steam and also heating the water.'
'If the injector is hot from being too close to the boiler or a leaky valve or the supply water is too hot, the steam won't condense fast enough and the injector won't work. The steam has to condense before leaving the suction jet. If the steam doesn't condense, pressure instead of a vacuum would be created and would pass out the overflow.'
'If all the steam is condensed in the suction jet a vacuum is formed between the suction jet and the delivery tube and lifts that washer on the top of the delivery tube up against its set; if it's not condensed, it escapes out the holes in the delivery tube or around the washer and out the overflow.'
'The way I understand it, if that washer doesn't seal tight, the vacuum created between the suction jet and delivery tube would suck the water back out the holes in the delivery tube and go nowhere except out the overflow. So, if your injector doesn't work, that's one place to look.'
'The delivery tube tapers to the middle forcing the water to travel faster reaching its maximum velocity at the narrowest part, the same as the Venturi on a carburetor. If the check valve on the injector isn't tight and leaks, air will be sucked back into the stream of water in the delivery tube and lower the density of the water and won't be able to overcome the water in the boiler. To put it simply, all the injector does is to accelerate the feed water enough to overcome the boiler pressure, density being about equal. Like if you had a box of baseballs and picked one up and threw it very hard back in the box. If thrown hard enough it would push the others aside. That's a poor example, but I couldn't think of another.'
'If the injector is too hot from being too close to the boiler, pour cool water over it and try it again. If a steam valve is leaking, pouring water on the engine probably won't cool it faster than the leaking steam is heating it, so you'll probably have to shut a valve further back first. If the check valve on the delivery line is leaking, shut the valve by the boiler, cool the injector, start the injector and open the valve. This won't cure it, but at least you'll get water into the boiler.'
'An injector should take only dry steam from the boiler as water going through the steam jet would quickly wear it out. If your injector should become limed up, a good way to clean it would be to soak the parts in a solution of one part muriatic acid and ten parts water. The parts should be removed as soon as the bubbles stop, so the acid doesn't eat into the brass.'
'Well, I hope I was clear enough in my explanation and that it will be of some help; and in closing, a riddle: When a boiler is stationary and is hot, is the water glass 100% accurate? And if not, which is higher, the water in the glass or in the boiler?'
'Well, have fun and don't burn your fingers!'
We have an informative letter on Steam Engineer's Whistle Code which may be interesting to many of our folks who enjoy the IMA. It comes from LARRY D. VAN DeMARK, 209 N. Grimes, Carl Junction, Missouri 64834:
'I have seen in reading your magazine that some people would like to know more about the Whistle Code for Steam Engineers. Well, after going through some 50-plus old steam books I found only two whistle codes. One deals with railroad and the other deals with traction and stationary engineers. The following are the signal codes and related materials I have gathered.'
'From Young's Engineer's guide Revised and Enlarged Thirty seventh Edition, by J.V. Rohan, Racine, Wisconsin Copyright 1894, Copyright 1899: Code of Signals for Stationary Engineers. A regular code of signals should be adopted and used by every engineer no matter what kind of an engine or for what purpose used; then everyone in connection with the business will soon become familiar with them and understand what they mean.'
'It should be the engineer's duty to sound the whistle and no one else should touch it unless authorized to do so by the engineer. The less the whistle is sounded the better, as the sounding of the regular code of signals will attract the attention of all within hearing.'
'(1) One long sound at morning, noon and night to indicate the time to begin and stop work. '(2) One short sound should be given about five minutes before the starting time to warn all hands that the machinery is about to start. (3) One long continuous sound or a long succession of sounds will indicate fire and is a call for help. (4) One long sound in the morning or at noon will indicate the working place. (5) Two short sounds means that the engine is about to start and work to begin. (6) One short sound means to stop. (7) Two long sounds means that the job or the day's work is completed. (8) Three medium short sounds means that the grain haulers should hurry as the machine is not about to wait for them. (9) One moderately long sound followed by three short ones means that the water supply is getting low and water hauler must hurry with a fresh supply. (10) A rapid succession of short sounds means fire or distress, and should be promptly responded to by all within hearing.'
'Don't jerk the whistle valve open suddenly. It should be opened and closed gradually and the time of each sound and the pauses between them should be well timed and of equal length.'
'Screwing the bell of the whistle up or down will change the tone or pitch of the sound. By screwing the bell down, a sharper and more piercing sound will be produced; by screwing the bell up the sound will be of a lower pitch and can be heard at a greater distance. When the bell of a whistle is set to a certain pitch, secure it by a check nut on top, then the sound will become familiar and can be distinguished from others.'
ED MAYNARD, 15788 Mannell Road, Grafton, Ohio 44044, sends this: 'I enclose a photo of my 1917, 16 HP Minneapolis, engine number 8125. Photo was taken at the 1987 Burton, Ohio show. I purchased this engine from the Johnson brothers of McClure, Ohio, two years ago and it is in very good condition.'
'It is my understanding that there are only two or three other 16 HP Minneapolis engines remaining. I would be interested in hearing from anyone having knowledge of their present owners and or location.'
'The March/April IMA has a photo of a 16 HP Minneapolis engine, Number 8124, that was submitted by W. Mercer of Kansas City, Missouri. Does this gentleman still own this engine?' (I don't know, Ed, but maybe when he reads this he will write you. A lot of good friends are made this way).
'The debate could go on and on as to which engine is the best. Having so many different engines at the shows makes for a lot of good talk and observations.'
'I am glad men with knowledge of steam engines have saved engines from the cutting torch. From all the letters I have read a lot of engines ended up in the war effort of World War II for scrap.'
'I am enclosing a picture of an engine and separator that crashed through a wooden bridge in Sandusky County, Ohio in 1909. Perhaps your readers would enjoy the picture. It came from a weekly paper called The Bridge.'
JIM MILLER, Mississinewa IAO-144, FPO Miami, Florida 34092 would like to know if anyone has any idea when the 30B Bucyrus steam shovel went out of general use. If you can help him, please let him know or also you could write us.
'I have been getting the IMA for a few years now and really enjoy it,' says MARK HISS A, 13140 Madison Road, Middlefield, Ohio 44062. 'It's nice to read about the old days and past experiences people have had, good times and bad.'
'We, my wife Janice and I, have a 152 acre dairy farm in Middlefield, Ohio. We milk 50-60 cows and run a sugar bush in the spring. We gather sap with horses, two and sometimes three teams, and tap 4,000 pails. It takes a lot of help and some years you lose your shirt and sometimes you can even make a dollar! In our area (northeast Ohio) most sugar makers use horses to gather sap. Our country has a lot of Amish and 'Yankee' farmers. Both still use horses; the Amish fellows farm with them also.'
'I was raised in the country and grew up with a lot of antique farm machinery still being used. A gang in Burton, 11 farmers, still use a 16-30 Oil Pull to thresh and fill silo. There are many gangs operating in the Amish farming area.'
'In July and August you can drive ten miles down the road and see four or five outfits going. They don't often use steam, because there aren't that many steamers left out here.'
'I have always been around threshing machines and sawmills as often as possible. We use our steam engine to fill our two 20 x 60 silos in the spring and fall.'
'We have three Nichols and Shepard engines, 16 single Ser. No. 13647, a 16 double side mount 13322, and 13 HP single about 1913 or so. My good friend Morgan Hill is helping me restore it. We totally rebuilt the engines from front to back. They're in real good shape and we enjoy going to the shows with them.'
'I can't help but chuckle inside when I read a story about a runaway team and wagon. It has happened to me plenty of times, so I know the feeling. Luckily, I haven't been hurt.'
'I am sending in a picture of our neighbor's farm that we threshed at for several years. At noon we sure have a nice dinner too. The women go all out that time of year. Believe me, everything you hear about all the different kinds of good food is true. My hat is off to the good cooks! I feel lucky to be able to enjoy the good old days every day!'
'I just turned 31 years old recently and we have three children, two boys and a girl. We count our blessings every day because we have our health and farm. I sure hope the farm economy turns for the better soon..'
'I was reading an article from an old IMA magazine. It is June 1970 and starts on page 7young people's page. What a nice article!'
'I could run a steam engine when I was 7 years old and haven't been able to leave them alone since. I had no idea there was such a magazine until a few years ago (1980), and I hope it gets bigger and better in years to come.'
In closing I would like to leave you with a few items to ponder. The first one is called:
Nichols & Shepard 25-85 HP engine and Minneapolis separator. 1954 photograph submitted by Brian Krog, RR #1, Box 124, Lake Benton, MN 56149.
Slow to suspectquick to trust
Slow to condemnquick to justify
Slow to offendquick to defend
Slow to exposequick to shield
Slow to reprimandquick to forebear
Slow to belittlequick to appreciate
Slow to demandquick to give Slow to provoke quick to conciliate
Slow to hinderquick to help Slow to resentquick to forgive
Now that's quite a pattern to try and live by, isn't it? I think we should all take heed.
An optimist sees an opportunity in every calamity; a pessimist sees a calamity in every opportunity. Lost time is never found. Many people use religion like a busthey ride it only when it goes their way. Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration. The emptier the pot, the quicker it boilsWATCH YOUR TEMPER. And that's it for this time, my dear friends. Love you all and feel a great bonding between you all through the magazine.