Farm Collector


Well school bells are just now beckoning the children back to
school as we prepare to get the Nov-Dec issue of IMA in the final
stages – and so it goes with the jet age – we must be away ahead
with our copy and writings to get the magazines to you folks on

And spekaing of school I must tell you August 23rd, our eldest
son, Eddie, now 25, got his Master’s Degree in Health and
Physical Education at Stroudsburg State College which we are all
quite proud of and I know no one is prouder than he and his family.
It’s a hard earned award, but I’m sure one well worth

Then here on the homefront, Donnie is entering 9th grade and
Keli is going into 7th both very important grades in anyone s eyes.
Of course Tommie has another year until he will be going to
Kindergarten – oh yes – how swiftly the time passes.

We had a nice summer here, spent a few days in Williamsburg,
Virginia with daughter Dana and hubby, Bob. While there, we were
able to tour Williamsburg and Jamestown – believe me it is well
worth any one’s time. And my spirit was replenished somewhat as
I saw the throngs of people touring these historical sites, for
says I to myself – ‘If there are these many folks here, surely
they must be touring all the other historical places in the United
Satest also, and after some of the news we’ve been hearing
lately, I thought nobody cared anymore about the history of our
country or our patriotic interest. By darn, everybody can’t be
uninterested in the nation’s past and future. Yes, siree – I
still have faith in the core of our society.’

We also took a day and went down Lancaster way and toured some
of the spots, one of them being the Strassburg Railroad – took the
ride on the old No. 90 which broke no speed records and that’s
for sure – we all enjoyed it’ A few days previously, we had
gone to Philadelphia Zoo on the modern electrical M.U. which moved
a mite faster I must say. So a few days here and there, a picnic
now and then with good friends, quite a few spashes in the pool,
two trips to Bangor to visit with Eddie and family and all these
little jaunts made for a worthwhile summer in my book.

From time to time now you will be seeing some real
‘oldies’ in pictures in in the magazine as two boxes of
pictures were found that were from many years way back before I
ever started with the magazine – some are from you folks that are
still sending in and some are from unfamiliar names – but I
didn’t want to throw them out and I’m sure you’ll all
appreciate them.

By the way, if you folks have pictures that you had sent in and
want back and haven’t received them, please write me and if I
can possibly find them I’ll send them back.

I know there have been some that are lost or that we never
received, but there maybe some lying here through a
misunderstanding – because unless you state on the back of the
picture or in your letter to return the pictures, I file them. Now,
any I’ve received and have been in the last few years, if you
haven’t gotten them back, I should have them as I have a pretty
good system worked out to keep them now. And I have pictures back a
few years before that I’d have to look through, but then before
I ever handled the pictures and stories -I know nothing about them
as I guess they were disposed of as used. Anyhow write if you want
to know something and we’ll see you get an answer – may be not
the right answer, but we’ll try hard.

Also in finding the older pictures I have a whole box of
pictures with no name or description on and I’m working up a
new page to use them as 1 think you’ll enjoy trying to figure
them out as to who the people are, what kind of engines and perhaps
to whom the picture belonged.

We had a nice letter from Merle W. Shipley of Box 307, 92230,
Cabazon, California that we thought was worth sending along – just
to show how after many years one finally learns of the Iron Men
Album and family. ”You may never receive this letter for
you may be out of business by this time. I never knew until
approximately three months ago thai there was such a magazine as
yours. I have five copies of this wonderful magazine, all of 1 915
issue, given to me by sister who lives in Oregon. She lost her
husband, my brother-in-law, less than a year ago. As she came down
to visit me, she brought with her these magazines that apparently
had been taken by my brother-in-law away back in ’55.

I am a man 72 years old and am retired. When I was a boy my
parents and I along with this sister, lived in North Dakota six
years, from 1902 until the spring of 1908. At that time there were
lots of steam traction engines where we lived in Cando, North
Dakota. In the spring of 1908, we moved to northeastern Montana.
This was prairie country, where in a few years there were thousands
of acres of mostly wheat grown. At that time there were a few steam
outfits in use, but in a short time the gas tractor took over and
these gas giants are more what I remember as a boy, but I have
always preferred good old steam.’ And so, we now have another
new subscriber in our family since, he, by chance, came across the
historical publication.

A letter from Chas. M Eyer of Route 1, Box 214, Brookport,
Illinois 62910 -he writes us: ‘I was a railroad fireman in the
mid twenties in the Paducah district of the Kentucky division and I
am pretty sure that I made a trip or two on the old 2953 that you
have pictured in your Jan-Feb. issue. That engine was in the coal
run between Paducah, Kentucky and Central City, Kentucky. The 2900
and 3000 class engines were the largest in that run. The 3000 class
had standard stokers and the 2900 had duplex stokers.

I have been a diesel engineer on the river for the past 26 years
and at the present time I am chief engineer on a diesel towboat
running from Lockport, Illinois to St. Paul, Minnesota. That is our
summer run but when the upper Mississippi is frozen over we run
just about everywhere, on the Ohio, Cumberland, Tenn., Lower
Mississippi and the Intracoastal waterways into Florida and Texas.
It is a very interesting job.

I have color movies of all of the rivers that we have run on and
have been on some unusual runs. We make a round trip from Lockport,
Illinois to St. Paul, Minn, about every 20 days and take about
76.000 bbls. of gasoline or fuel oil each trip. Also move a lot of
jet fuel. Right now we are about 20 miles above

St. Louis, Mo., and we will have 8 barges of oil products
carrying about 150,000 bbls. as we will our regular tow, plus
another boats tow. ‘ Sounds like Charles does have an
interesting job. I tried to look up the engine No. 2953 he was
talking about but couldn’t find it, but perhaps you fellows
will know what he means.

Elmer had a birthday on September 5 and is now the young age of
eighty and I’m sure you all, with me, wish him some more happy
years some more happy steam reunions and lots of good times with
the friends he loves. In going through the picture boxes I told you
about I came across a few of Elmer and I’m going to put them in
from time to time.

As you must realize this picture was taken a few years ago but
you can tell it’s a Pennsylvania Dutchman at the throttle as no
one else could look quite so pleased on a Frick. If his picture
were taken today on there, it wouldn’t look too differently –
he’s older, naturally and a little thinner from the wounds of
the battle of life, but personally think I he still looks a good
bit the same.

Just think if we each could do as much for the world and for
others as he has done! I’m sure in his work as a minister he
has eased many hearts, helped to solve problems and lead many in
the right direction. As a steam enthusiast and one interested in
many old types of machinery, think of what he has done through the
magazines – yes, they have been fun and interesting to those who
desire these same things as hobbies, but think also because of his
endeavors, of the educational values and historical aspects these
publications have made possible for many. As a boss, he’s tops,
very easy to get along with and a as person, he has always been
very jovial and understanding of all ages and a friend of all that
know him. My family and I. who have known him quite a few years now
as a minister, employer and good friend say, ‘Happy Belated
Birthday Elmer and many more’ – (He wouldn’t let me put all
this in if he knew about it, but since I handle what goes into the
magazine he won’t know until it’s too late – anyhow when
it’s all said and done, I think folks like to hear about
themselves – especially if it’s nice things and more so if
they’re true).

Now, to all those off to the halls of education remember this
quotation made by a great man – ‘I will study and get ready,
and perhaps my chance will come ‘ – Lincoln

And to those about to go to the polls to cast their votes – I
have no advice -just go and vote (I know the conventions were about
as organized as a toddler’s birthday party) but it is still our
privilege to go vote; so let’s look at the good side of things
and hope all candidates are worthy and hope that through divine
guidance a dedicated man will be elected – dedicated, that is, to
God and country and serving the people in the country and serving
the people in the country and serving the people in the best way
possible for the rights of all concerned.

Oh yes, and have a nice Thanksgiving and most wonderous
Christmas and let’s all look forward to making it a better New

  • Published on Nov 1, 1968
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