Well, once again, we have quite a few letters this issue, and a
lot of really great pictures, so we’ll go right to the first
‘I hope to see these pictures in the magazine,’ writes
LAWRENCE FULLINGTON JR, 323 9th Avenue West, Palmetto, Florida
‘I spent the 1950 season on the D & C Lines, City of
Cleveland III, a large side-wheeler making overnight trips between
Detroit and Buffalo. Leaving Detroit at 5.00 p.m. and arriving in
Buffalo at 7:00 a.m. Then, turning around departure at 5:00 p.m.
and arriving at Detroit at 7:00 a.m. The power plant was a 10,000
HP triple expansion. The wheels had articulated paddles. The area
of the crankshaft and connecting rods was glassed-in for viewing
either port or starboard. To give you some idea of the size of the
operation, we carried 250 maids and stewards to service all the
passengers. I haven’t mentioned that I was a musician in the
small band on board.
‘The lowest deck at gangway level was set up to ferry
automobiles sometimes three abreast in a big circle around the
center. One trip East we carried a large group of club members
going to a meet near Buffalo, among which was a Stanley Steamera
steamer carrying a Steamer! Using the boat was a favorite way to
break up a long auto trip going East or West a smooth ride,
pleasant meal, dancing, and an early start the next morning.
‘I now have my own Steamer, a 1923 Stanley. A Mr. Ellison
had acquired the car about 1958 in very poor condition. The four
door body was gone, also the fenders, running boards, headlights,
front bumper and hood. Through the Steam Car Club and other
sources, he was able to get those items. A friend in the club made
a new boiler and burner system a marine type water tube fired by an
oil burner-jet type using surplus 24 volt aircraft motors to turn
the oil pump feeding the jet. The household burner system was
designed to direct-couple to a 110 volt AC motor @ 1750 rpm. It
turned out that my aircraft motor only needed eight volts to
Courtesy of Lawrence Fullington Jr.
Port Huron Outfit. ‘Longfellow’ traction and
‘Rusher’ thresher. My maternal grandparents (right to left)
Eva Everett Smith and Willis D. Smith, and other relatives are in
the picture. The photo was taken at the farm, two miles east of
Kent City, Michigan, probably around 1904 or 1905.
The motor is mounted crosswise below the condenser. Driver’s
side shaft has the points and condenser mounted to control the
spark coil to ignite the flame. The other end has the squirrel cage
fan for the blast tube and just beyond is the oil pump/filter which
feeds the oil-jets three in a triangle instead of household single.
In 1958 old car tires were not as available as at present, so four
600×21 Dunlops were imported. Well, now Mr. Ellison had the makings
of a working car and no place to sit! Duplicating the original
four-door sedan was out of the question, so he decided on a
two-passenger runabout. After a cardboard template passed his
inspection, he built the hardwood frame and put the steel on it.
The original type hood gave him the correct cowl start. The
original gauge board was mounted inside and folding frame arms used
for the new safety glass windshield. The oil fuel tank was mounted
crosswise just behind the two seats, runabout style, and gravity
feed down front to the burner. A small trunk is at the extreme rear
leaving access to service the oil for the Stanley crankcase. The
individual seat bottoms lift out, exposing the original steam oil
tank and the original top pressure cut off diaphragm. Power is fed
to the burner motor through a starter solenoid. Power to the
solenoid is through a normally closed micro switch coupled to the
pressure diaphragm. At 600 lbs. the diaphragm pops, micro switch
opens, solenoid drops out and burner cuts off. For minimum loss,
fairly large power cables are used to reach the burner, perhaps arc
welding supply. As air pressure is not needed, as in the original
Stanley system, the dual air gauge on the high side is connect to
the burner oil pump and should read 100 lbs. plus for proper jet
‘I purchased the car from the estate in 1988. Perhaps some
of these ideas could be used in steam boats.’
‘Thanks for printing the article I wrote about the
Chickentown Gas & Steam Show in your January/February 1997
issue,’ writes DAVID E. WEIMER, 630 Chickentown Road, Somerset,
Pennsylvania 15501. ‘Also I am sending along for Iron Men Album
readers’ enjoyment these pictures.
‘Picture #1 is a 1917 Frick 18 HP, beautifully painted and
operated by Joe Thrash.
‘Picture #2, a 1918 Peerless 50 HP, with its engineer Roger
‘Both these engines are owned by Jay Fisher and Jay
Hemminger and can be seen each year at the Chickentown Gas &
Steam Show in May and the New Centerville Farmers &
Threshermens Jubilee in September.’
‘My name is ROY SWEITZER, c/o BJ Services Company, PO Box
3211, 5th Floor, AI-Mana Bldg., Doha, Qatar. I’m formerly of
Pontiac, Illinois. From the 1950s through the early 1970s, I was
‘that kid’ around the Central States Thresher-mans’
Reunion. I eventually restored a 20 HP Keck-Gonnerman double simple
engine, and became an officer of the Reunion in the early 1970s. I
sold my engine to the late, wonderful, Mr. Fred Schneider, after
accepting an overseas assignment with an oil field engineering
company, in 1974.
‘After twenty-three years overseas, I’m now Country
Manager for BJ Services Company in the Arabian Gulf country of
Qatar. Though I still have family and friends in the Pontiac area,
Payson, Arizona, is now our home when we return to the USA on our
annual thirty-day leaves. With a retirement coming in the
not-too-distant future, I have been renewing contacts with steam
friends, both in the Pontiac area and further a field. Sadly, many
of the good men I knew, who made time for a boy who really wanted
to learn about steam, are gone now. Time moves on. On the other
hand, I am greatly encouraged to see that the next generation of
steam men has kept the Pontiac Show vigorously alive, and that the
engine I restored so long ago is still owned by Fred’s nephew
and is being shown.
‘When Qatar was finally connected to the internet, in
November 1996, I immediately started searching for you, but was not
successful until 1 got out old copies of the Iron Men Album, and
put Stemgas on search. What a long ways we’ve come from Rev.
Ritzman’s little booth and trailer that used to make all the
shows when I was a boy!
‘I really haven’t had much luck with steam traction
engines overseas. There are many English and (I think) a few
American engines in Australia (keep in mind that eighteen of my
years as an expatriate were spent in Southeast Asia). Most of the
time I spent in Australia was in the wrong type of locale for
steam, i.e., Stuart’s Stony Desert or offshore drilling
‘The most interesting steam experiences I’ve had outside
the USA were: touring rail yards and shops in Indonesia, during the
last year steam was in regular use on the rails; tiny steam railway
engines used to pull cut sugar cane out of plantation fields in
Java; and a thirty-three hour train ride through wintertime in
China, in 1983, behind a sparkling new steam locomotive.’
(We appreciated hearing from Roy, who is certainly far from home
at present. His communication came in a fairly new way, via the
Internet. Our ‘e-mail’ address, for those of you who send
and receive such messages, is firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a fairly
reliable way to get a message to IMA, and usually you’ll get a
quick response, though if the volume picks up, we may slow
PETE DOWNS, 16940 Lutz Road, Stewartstown, Pennsylvania 17363
writes: ‘I am 38 years old and am an avid steam enthusiast. I
enjoy every issue that comes out and can’t wait until the next
issue comes out. I am enclosing some pictures of long ago. The two
Peerless engines #1 and #2, the Huber #3 were taken somewhere in
southern York County, Pennsylvania. According to my late
grandmother, Edna Amber-man, they were taken when she was a little
girl. She was born in 1912. If anyone could give me any information
as to who or where the locations might be, please contact me.
‘I do not own an engine yet, but all good things take time.
My grandparents would always take me to engine shows when I was
five or six. I was always scared of the big engines with their
whistles and pop off valves. But that soon changed and I
couldn’t get enough of the engine shows. Now I go whenever I
can, near or far. 1 have been to many different shows and plan to
attend many more. It’s such a great thing to meet and make new
friends at shows near and far. It’s so great to meet the Old
Timers and sit down and listen to their thrashing stories of the
past. I recall the show in New Haven, Indiana, where I met a
gentleman and we exchanged stories for many hours that day. I think
that is one of the best things of going to shows.
‘There are many good shows around and I encourage folks to
go to new shows that they have never been to before, for one can
benefit many ways by meeting new people, exchanging stories and
information, and seeing rare pieces of equipment one has never seen
‘Also I must give credit to Mr. Robert C. Montgomery of
Clarion County, Pennsylvania. As I grew up we would visit Robert
periodically. He saw that I had a real interest and liking for
steam engines and old equipment. He taught me a lot about engines
as I was growing up. Picture #4 was his Peerless Q model 10 HP,
with me and Robert sitting on the water tanks.
‘I must also mention Mr. Dan Gehman of Lancaster County,
Pennsylvania. He is a member of Rough and Rumble Engineers of
Kinzers, Pennsylvania. I thank Dan for his time and effort to
explain and teach anyone who will listen about steam engines, and
also for his time spent at R & T.
‘Picture #5 is a 50 HP Peerless engine that belonged to the
late Ray J. Urey of Stewartstown, Pennsylvania. I believe that Mr.
Troy Pawson of Michigan now owns it. I also want to thank the folks
at IMA for such a good job of publishing this magazine. I hope
everyone enjoys another safe and rewarding show season!’
MIKE CURTIS, Box 42, Brooklyn Street, Eaton, New York 13334
writes: ‘After reading Gary Yaeger’s article in the
September/October 1996 issue of IMA, for probably the second or
third time, I felt it was time for me to write again and send along
some pictures for all you steam enthusiasts to enjoy.
‘Just think that in January of 1995 I didn’t know a
thing about this company Wood, Taber & Morse, formerly the A.N.
Wood & Company here in Eaton, Madison County, New York.
‘I spent many hours researching libraries around central New
York looking for pictures and contacting ancestors and friends
about this unknown [to me] company. I do have to give a special
thanks to Ken Morse for letting me borrow and reprint some of his
pictures, as well as Steve Davis for a picture of an engine that A.
N. Wood & Company made in 1856. Three years after Allen
Nell-son Wood started his business adventure.
‘By the way, I will be bringing Steve’s S. W. Wood
traction engine, a portable S. W. Wood, and Tom Curtis’s 50 HP
Case traction engine, as well as Joe Perry’s collection of gas
tractors to Eaton this coming July. Look for our ad in the 1997
Steam and Gas Show Directory.
This will probably be the first time in 50-100 years that a
steam engine has been back in Eaton. It will be an exciting day for
all, so, please stop in if you can make it. Now, for my pictures
and a poster that I put together. I gave this poster to every
teacher in my high school and elementary school. I hope that you
enjoy them as much as I did collecting them:
‘Picture # 1 is of an ad that was given to me by Steve
Davis. I assume that this is a smaller engine made in 1856 by A. N.
Wood & Co., after you look at picture ad #2 of an engine also
made in 1856.
‘Picture # 3 is of an A. N. Wood engine made in 1858. It won
the first premium at the New York State Fair that year.