SOOT IN THE FLUES

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2 / 13
McLean picture #1
3 / 13
Atteberry picture #1
4 / 13
McLean picture #2
5 / 13
McLean picture #3
6 / 13
Manning picture
7 / 13
Atteberry picture #2
8 / 13
Atteberry picture #3
9 / 13
Atteberry picture #4
10 / 13
Atteberry picture #5
11 / 13
John Foley picture
12 / 13
Pierce picture #1
13 / 13
Pierce picture #2

Hello, friends! Hard to believe, as we sit here in mid-March
waiting for what should be the last, and what you could actually
call our first real storm of winter, that this issue will be in
your hands in the merry, merry month of May. Ah, May! Earth’s
warm breath blowing gently over fields wearing a veil of green. . .
the year’s bright flowers being planted to add color to our
home’s landscape. . . blah, blah, blah, right? You’re not
interested in those things, you’ve got SHOW SEASON on your
mind!

Things really get hopping this time of year. The 1999 Steam
& Gas Engine Show Directory (required reading for anyone
interested in this hobby), lists at least 260 events taking place
in May and June. Remember, while you’re out there having fun,
to do so safely. Also, take a few notes so that you can write up a
great show report to share with your collecting comrades through
the pages of IMA. And speaking of your fellow collectors, let’s
get on with those letters!

We start off this month with a nice long letter from our friend
CHADY ATTEBERRY, 931 Robin Road, Blackwell, Oklahoma 74631, who
says, ‘I always enjoy the letters in your column. After reading
the article Jim Russell had you reprint, ‘A Defense of Advance
Thresher Company’ by Marcus Leonard, I’ll enclose some
Advance pictures. I knew Marcus and always enjoyed his many fine
articles. The late Lyman Knapp and I visited Marcus at his home in
Salina, Kansas. Marcus also attended the early Wichita shows in the
1950s.

‘All of these pictures are of my good friends.’

Picture #1 is a 13 HP Nichols and Shepard, number 8838; you can
also see the back of a 15 HP Case number 13690. The young man
sitting on the barrel is Tommy Stebritz from Algona, Iowa, who has
written so many interesting articles. When Tommy writes, people
listen. Few people today have the background and knowledge he has
to write about steam engines. Picture taken March 1930.

Picture #2 is a 22 HP Advance engine owned by the late Harry
Trego threshing near Halstead, Kansas, October 1915. Harry is on
the engine. Harry was at the Threshers Convention in Wichita,
Kansas, when Mr. A. D. Baker made his famous Baker fan test.

Picture #3 is of an Advance 16 HP engine. Allen Trego of Newton,
Kansas, is shown on the engine. The picture was taken on the Claude
Yaughgar farm near Murdock, Kansas, April 8, 1953. Harry and Allen
Trego were brothers. Both were top engine men, who have passed on
to the Big Reunion. Allen was a locomotive engineer on the Santa Fe
out of Newton, Kansas.

‘When you had the likes of Allen Trego, Big Mac and other
real steam men on your board of directors, the meetings got
interesting. I served on the board with these men, along with Herb
and Harold Ottaway and the late Lyman Knapp. I well remember Mac
and Allen wanting to bar all tractors from the show. It wasn’t
gas engines, John Deeres or an old Waterloo Boy that wouldn’t
start that started our shows. It was threshing and steam
engines.’

Picture #4 is a 40 HP Advance cross compound. LeRoy Blaker is by
the front wheel, June 1941. The engine was junked in 1949. Marcus
Leonard had a lot to do with designing the 40 C.C. Advance.

‘Picture #5 is my dear friend Ivan Burns from Edmond,
Oklahoma, and his 25 HP double rear-mounted Gaar Scott threshing at
his home in the fall of 1997.’ Dale Wolff from Cushing,
Oklahoma, was the engineer. Ivan’s dad fired this engine
plowing at night, when the engine was new. They plowed around the
clock. This was Ivan’s first engine that he restored. Ivan is a
real steam man. He served as president of the Oklahoma Steam
Threshers for eighteen years.

Years ago Lyle Hoffmaster blasted Avery real good in the Iron
Men Album. Lyle’s last sentence was, ‘So as to not insult
my Avery friends, they did build a pretty good jack.’

‘Thanks to Harold Ottaway, I got a good Avery jack last
fall. It’s so handy around the shop, I don’t know how I
ever got along without one.’

‘The boys had a lot of fun kidding me about buying the
Alberta Sas katchewan Special under-mounted Avery number 4868. I
enjoyed their ribbing as much as they did writing the articles.
What they don’t understand is that I only collect the engines
that brought the gold back to the U.S’

The picture above was sent to us by JOHN FOLEY, 201 10th Avenue
NW, Waukon, Iowa 52172-1019. John says, ‘This is a picture of
my neighbors’ threshing machine and engine. The photo was taken
around 1916 and shows Jim Houlihan (1860-1925) standing by his
return flue Huber steam engine and threshing machine.

In addition to the threshing crew, the photo includes his wife,
Mary; daughters Mamie, Nellie and Stacia; sons Bernard, Johnny,
Emmit and Leonard; and granddaughter Josie.’

MELVIN PIERCE, Rt 2 Box 15A, Scranton, North Dakota 58653,
mpierce@ctctel.com, writes, ‘These are photos of a Reeves
engine. The first one shows my grandfather, Charles A. Pierce,
beside his 25 HP cc U.S. lap-seam Reeves. He owned it since 1917.
This picture was taken at the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers
Reunion at Rollag, Minnesota, about 1958. He had the engine
restored that year.

It sat outside away from the farm from 1928, when he quit using
it, until 1955, when he brought it up to the farm to start work on
it. During the years it had many items stolen off it to sell, so a
lot had to be replaced. At least he had the foresight to not scrap
the engine and boiler. He dearly loved Reeves engines, and would
not let it go.

‘I wonder if during the depression he and my grandmother had
any discussions about selling it for scrap to get some money for
the family to live on.’ I would think it would have been
thought about! We all lament the fact today that so many were
scrapped, but it is hard to find fault with anyone then for doing
it, as money was very tight in farming those days, and it must have
been a sacrifice to the ones who saved their engines.

He had been an engineer on other engines, and other Reeves, for
a number of years before he bought this one in 1917. The previous
owner bought a big gas tractor, and sold him the Reeves, but after
using the gas for a year the original owner wanted to buy the
Reeves back. Grandpa would not sell, though.

In 1961 he had the flues replaced and a jacket put on the
boiler. In the late 1980s we had to remove the jacket so the boiler
inspector could ultrasound the whole body of the boiler. He stated
it is one of the best in North Dakota. We have not put the jacket
back, as it will need to be ultra sounded again. We can tell on a
cool day it is harder to fire without the jacket. If one was to use
it a lot, a jacket would sure save fuel.

The photo shows a picture of it as it was brought up to the farm
in 1955. As you can tell, it was weathered a lot sitting out. He
had put it away tight in the boiler though, so it was in good
shape. The canopy and jacket were shot, and a lot of the piping and
brass were gone. The brass serial number plate had already been
stolen by 1917 when he bought it. They must have been great
souvenirs. It sure would be nice to have it! I see later ones went
to cast-in numbers on the smoke door. A lot harder to steal!

‘I am trying to locate Reeves equipment and water tanks and
wagons to have a more complete Reeves line at our local threshing
show here in southwest North Dakota. I would appreciate it if
anyone knew of such for sale and let me know.’

‘I’ll have more photos and information soon. Thanks for
a great column and magazine.’

GORDON McLEAN, Box 1404, Beaverlodge, Alberta, Canada TOH 0C0
offers these photos:

‘Picture #1 is of the outfit owned by Colin McLean and was
taken in 1903 at Indian Head, Saskatchewan, Canada. Colin is my
great-grandfather and is standing beside the back wheel. Can
someone identify the thresher for me?’

‘Picture #2 is also Colin’s rig, but taken in 1908 at
the farm of J. Kerr, also at Indian Head. Somewhere between 1903
and 1908 Colin upgraded to the traction engine and thresher with
the feeder and wind stacker.’

‘Picture #3 belongs to William (Bill) McLean, son of Colin.
It was taken in 1924 at Fillmore, Saskatchewan. Bill is standing in
the middle of the photo, my uncle is on the engine, and my dad is
on the bundle rack at the feeder.’

‘I hope the readers enjoy these photos. If any of you can
supply any information about them please do so. I intend to make a
collection of old photos showing engines in use and I’ll be
happy to pass them along to IMA. Seeing the older photographs
published is always interesting. Perhaps you could pass along some
tips as to the best way we can reproduce old photos so they will be
in a format suitable for publication.’

You’re absolutely right, Gordon, that seeing those old
photos is always interesting. Some of them are just breathtakingly
beautiful, as much works of art as they are documentary evidence of
engine styles and agricultural practices.

As for their reproduction in the magazine, we work primarily
from actual photographs. Thus, if you’ve got old negatives
you’d like to see in print, get prints made at your local
photography shop or processor, and send those prints to us, rather
than the negatives. If you’ve got old prints, you can send them
to us and, through the magic of our printer’s camera, we can
shoot right from the old print to film used in producing the
magazine. Sometimes those old prints are very fragile, however, and
you may hesitate (rightly so) to put such delicate materials
through the rigors of the postal system. If that’s the case,
see if your local photography shop can make prints from them, and
send the prints, rather than the original, to us. We’ve also
been getting fairly good results from printouts of images that
people have scanned into their computers, so if you are (or know) a
technology whiz, you can give that a try.

One method that won’t give a very good
reproduction is photo copying. Usually that method just provides a
dark silhouette, with no detail or shades of gray. We don’t
recommend sending us photocopies of photos-you’ll be
disappointed!

ADAM PARKS writes, ‘I’m writing this to say thank you
for printing the picture and the write-up I sent you. Actually,
it’s the second time I got my name in your magazine; one other
time was about four or five years ago. As for this latest time, my
granddad was shocked to find his picture and my write-up there,
because I don’t think he is really used to a computer, and a
scanner-ha ha! He now knows that this is a much FASTER way of
sending in questions and such, plus no postage.

‘As of right now, the Nichols and Shepard is under some
boiler work.’ During the Veterans’ Day parade, the bead
inside the boiler (where it had been patched) sounded like an
injector was on, but needless to say, it wasn’t.

‘Now, the old engine has been repainted, has new water
tanks, boiler repaired, and soon new flues will be put in. Some
could say that the old engine has been born again . . .’

‘I have some recent pictures of the Case sawing wood, and
I’ll have some pictures of the Nichols and Shepard in action
once we get it repaired.’

‘Also, my granddad says Hi!’

(Adam is referring to the picture on page 6 of March/April
1999 IMA. He is the grandson of well-known steam man BILLY M. BYRD
of 369 South Harrig Street, Madisonville, KY 42431.
)

We have another short item from MELVIN PIERCE, Rt. 2, Box 15A,
Scranton, North Dakota 58653 who asks, ‘Do you know what
happened to the Reeves Historical Society that C. Syd Matthews used
to head? Did someone take it over? Do you know where the
information went?’

(If anyone has the answer to Melvin’s query, we at
Stemgas would like to know the answer as well, so please send a
note to this column if you have the information.
)

We appreciate this interesting letter from BRIAN MANNING, 72
Castleglen Way NE, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T3J 1T3: ‘Thank you
for producing such a great magazine for us steam
enthusiasts.’

‘The picture is of Pioneer Acres of Alberta Third Annual
Model and Hobby Show.’ It was held on May 23 and 24, 1998, with
over 50 exhibits ranging from several gauges of locomotives to a
seven-foot-high working model of a prairie grain elevator, and
everything in between. It was a terrific two days. Pictured in the
lineup are, left to right, ? scale Advance Rumely 25 HP, owned by
Pioneer Acres and operated by Brian Manning; ? scale 65 HP Case,
owned and operated by Dave Fitchie of Camrose, Alberta; ? scale 80
HP Case, built, owned, operated by Henry Eichorn of Donalda,
Alberta; and a full-size 65 HP Case operated by Barry Hanna of
Colemen, Alberta.

‘This year’s show will be held on May 29 and 30. Pioneer
Acres is an agricultural museum only 30 minutes from Calgary,
Alberta, just outside the village of Irricana. On fifty acres, we
restore and operate one of western Canada’s largest collections
of antique machinery, including a blacksmith shop, stationary steam
engine building, school house, Women’s World building, and a
turn of the century farmhouse. Our annual show will be held August
6, 7, and 8.’

We received this e-mail from LAN-DON SKILES, 17950 66.50 Road,
Montrose, Colorado 81401: ‘I am looking for plans to build a
steam engine and boiler to adapt into my car in place of the
internal combustion engine. I have heard of plans for VW’s and
was looking for other plans. I have also heard that fitting the
boiler for a 350 cid engine in a standard car would be difficult
because of its size, so I was thinking along the lines of a Toyota
six-cylinder or a four-cylinder, of which I have more access to
parts. I have a Toyota 2wd pickup with a camper shell I would be
more than happy to modify to accomplish my goals. Any information
would be helpful.’

An encouraging letter from DENNIS M. EMERY, 4391 Stewart Road,
Metamora, Michigan 48455-9777, who writes: ‘Just received my
latest issue of IMA of March/April 1999, and lo and behold on page
10 there is a picture sent in by Mr. Harris Jorgenson of
Minnetonka, Minnesota, of a Huber engine, return flue. The engine
appears to be of a 25 HP size, or close to it anyway. It also looks
like the flywheel is on the operator’s right hand side, with
the cylinder and connecting rod being on the left. It does look
like a straw burner.

My family came to Minnesota territory about 1860 and settled in
the Little Prairie area of what is now Rice County, near
Northfield.

I do have a large collection of Huber literature and also am the
proud owner of my father’s 12 HP 1903 Huber engine.

‘My family threshed in that area of Minnesota (Little
Prairie-Stanton) for many years.’

Thank you, and keep the magazine pointed to the future. Oh, one
more thing, I also echo my good friend Randy Schwerin’s
comments about the young people being involved with the hobby. It
is very noticeable at the shows how the youngsters have jumped in
to help with whatever task needs doing. I think our steam hobby
future will be in good hands. May God Bless!’

Faithful contributor EDWIN H. BREDEMEIER, Route 1, Box 13,
Steinauer, Nebraska 68441 writes: ‘Have you heard yet about my
goof? Well, I guess at 90, it is time I made a few.

On page 8 of the March/April ’99 issue, column one,
paragraph one, I wrote ‘the engineer usually ran the engine
over. That means that facing the engine belt pulley it ran
clockwise.’ Clockwise was wrong. It should read
‘counterclockwise.’

‘I’ll bet we hear a lot about that goof!’

‘Some day I plan on writing about different designs and
shapes.’

‘I once heard a group of men discussing the pros and cons of
engines, and their preferences. One gent in the group did not have
much to say, and when the discussion tapered off they asked him
what he thought was his preference of maker of engines. He said all
engines were designed to work, and it was 10% the engine, and 90%
the engineer!’

Well said! Until next time, enjoy those shows!

Steamcerely, Linda & Gail

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment