Hi! I know you're having a good time out there in Steam Land going to the Reunions - it's hard to believe we are in the process of putting out the November-December issue, because as I write this the Reunions are still in full swing.
My Hubby and I and Tommy made it down to Kinzers for the Saturday of their festivities - boy, they had a crowd - I believe their show is growing every year. They had a lot of activities going on - it was their 25th Anniversary. They had a quilt, handmade by many ladies, and they chanced it off - I think it went for about $245. They had a beautiful cake, decorated with engines. Some lady with artistic ability had done that job and I'm sorry I don't know her name. W.J. Eshleman of Lancaster, Pennsylvania was 'the man at the microphone' that day - did a fine job too.
We enjoyed our visit to Kinzers, but Tommy and I had an added treat as they were giving helicopter rides. We had never been up in any kind of plane before and we debated as to whether we should go or not -took about two minutes to make up our mind. It was a beautiful experience and worth every penny. I must tell you though when we emerged from the plane - (it was one of the bubble type or windows all around) Tommy informed me he had seen the pilot on F.B.I, show -he was very positive it was the same man - and who am I to talk down that issue to a 9 year old.
We also visited the Williams Grove Steam Engine Reunion. They had a nice show but it was so extremely hot that it probably kept some of the folks away. We talked with George Fawber of New Cumberland, who is an active member of the organization and was buzzing all over the grounds. Then too, Tommy had a ride with P.K. Swartz on the Swartz Valley Express - an engine that is mounted on rubber tires and takes folks for rides. They have a railroad locomotive at the Grove they usually run, but due to the flood damage last year, it is not back in operation.
I also found out that Tommy is a Flea Market bug - I could hardly get him away from the stands. He became quite fascinated with all the various items, but especially locks -he is really enthused about the different locks and particularly small ones. And then he likes keys and the old cast iron guns and etc. He ended up purchasing two locks, one lock had two keys - the other lock didn't have any key, but it was red and silver and so 'cute' (he said) he just couldn't pass it up.
And now onto some of our informative letters. The first one is from TOM DOWNING, R.D. 1, Box 181, Ellwood City, Pennsylvania 16117 who tells us:
I thought I'd best update my article on the Twentieth Century engine which was in a recent issue, Sept.-Oct. The material for most of that was dug up from various sources, mostly the owners over the years. By the way, Charles McMurray has one of the company catalogs original and in real good shape and that is where the picture came from. Also the catalog reprinted a testimonial letter from his father John McMurray on how satisfied he was with the first engine of their make which was a 1906 model later reboilered with a 1922 vintage boiler supplied by the same company. Since that material was written, I have discovered a 25 hp engine of the same make at the New Centerville show in Somerset County, which of course is close to the company home at Boynton. It is an older model as McMurray's first was having only one road speed. I believe they figured it at about 1913 vintage and it has changed hands at least once since I first saw it, but it is still in that area so that makes at least two of them. It was nicely painted up and in pretty good original shape, although the cylinders and valves could maybe stand a dressing as the exhaust was sort of squooshy and continuous rather than nicely cutoff. Glenn's engine here in Lawrence County has a nice sharp exhaust which I have rarely heard in double cylinder engines and I presume that is thanks to the rebuilding job and skill in mechanics of Harry Moomaw. He was the former owner and told me himself that he had fitted new rings, honed the cylinders and dressed the valves and seats and being in preservation as the English say, it hasn't run a lot since then. Glenns have it all repainted and repiped and looking good except for finishing touches such as rear treads and a new boiler jacket. It was at the Zelienople show this year and as I write, it is in the antique display area of the Lawrence County Fair at New Castle, Pa. I am still very interested in corresponding with any one who knows about Twentieth Century Engines, past or present in any state of repair.
FRANK HAMATA, 1021 'F' Street, Schuyler, Nebraska 68661 recently wrote us an in his letter he added: 'I understand that Doctor Ward O'Donnel is located at 710 Orchard Lane, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17603. We in Hdq. Battery 386th Field Artillery, 104th Division, World War 2 had him as our Doc.' (Now, how about that I hope Doc sees this - and I wonder if there are any others in that group that are now in our 'Family').
I have an oscillating cylinder steam engine that came off a fishing tug. This engine was used to pull in the nets and was a double cylinder, double acting engine, about 3' bore. This engine is odd in that it took steam from the top, being a vertical engine. The steam ports were in the head and had a channel running to bottom end of cylinder to admit steam and exhaust so as to be double acting. When I found this engine, there were some parts missing from both cylinders or engines but enough to make one complete one cylinder engine, which I did. Each engine was separate but connected to the same crankshaft. A few years ago I used this engine to pump water at our sawmill as we were using a 19 HP Port Huron engine for power on the mill. I still own the Port Huron and also a 16 HP Buffalo Pitts traction and a 6 HP Russell portable.
I saw a double cylinder oscillating engine one time that the cylinders were on a forty-five degree angle with the cylinders at bottom and crank on top. This was a small engine, about 2-1/2 or 3 inch bore and used at a peppermint still for a hoisting engine.
The following information I took from the old issue of The Engineer, published in England in Sept. 4, 1885 concerning oscillating engines. The name of the ship being Ireland and used to carry mail between Ireland and England. This was the fifth ship built for this service. They also carried passengers and all had oscillating cyl. The Steamer Ireland was the larger of the five so I will give her dimensions. Cyl. dia. 8 ft. 6 in., stroke 8ft. 6 in., two piston rods in each cyl. connected to a crosshead in which is lodged the crank pin brasses. The crank pin is 24-1/2 in. in dia. The two piston rods weigh 4 tons, and each piston weighs 8 tons. The engine runs 27 rpm and they carried only 30 lbs. of steam but had vacuum pumps and pumped 13 lbs. vacuum, making a pressure on the cyl. around 43 lbs. making a thrust of 351,353 lbs. or 156 tons on the piston.
Each cyl. had two slide valves weighing 1-1/4 tons each. Each paddle wheel weighs 55 tons with the crankshaft at 47 tons.
The ship was 380 ft. long, built entirely of Siemens steel, and had electric lights.
She was the fastest ship afloat at that time making 20.25 knots or 23.34 miles per hour which was very good for rough water steaming, her run being 65 miles and consumed around 20 tons of coal per trip.
That engine would make quite a toy, wouldn't it? Hoping you find this letter of some interest, Yours truly
G.E. SHELMAN, Union Star, Kentucky 40170 is seeking information about the Reeves engine that was built at Columbus, Indiana. Some of the QBUM readers may be in position to furnish what year the last engine was built and the serial number and the year the factory at Columbus was destroyed by fire. He also would like the address of Mr. Clay, who designed the high wheel Reeves Canadian type engine. (O.K. Fellows, I'm sure you won't let G.E. down - he's waiting for your letters).
I want to thank Mr. Shelman also for sending me the printed emblem and correct spelling of Emerson Brantingham Company. I had mentioned it in the Sept.-Oct. column and he cut out the above mentioned from the Geiser catalog.
From J.REX HAVE, 643 Bellefonte Avenue, Lock Haven, Pennsylvania 17745 we received this note -'The enclosed letter is a result of my letter in the Iron-Men Album (see Soot in the Flues column, March-April 73 issue, page 34). Dear Mr. Haver, I was reading about you in the I.M.A. and thought I would drop you a line. I also have a collection of toy steam engines. Some of these are oscillating, others are of the stationary cylinder doubling acting type and reversing.
We get pictures now and then from Fischbach's Museum of Kettlersville, Ohio 45336. I received the following letter recently - seems to me Harry was doing some reminiscing and I thought you just might be interested in this information - and maybe some of you other folks were at the event he is talking about - 'On June 5, 1928 I attended the dinner and entertainment provided by Huber Mfg. Co. of Marion, Ohio - for its friends and patrons. Marion is some 60 miles from where I live. I drove there in a Chevie Roadster which I had just bought for $5.00. There were more than 1200 men and women attending it.
This is the food that was consumed - 566 lbs. of roast ham, 150 lbs. weiners, 3600 buns, 70 lbs, cheese, 141 doz. sweet pickles, 1300 ice cream dips, 23 gallons potato salad, 220 quarts baked beans, 75 gallons of coffee, eight gallons of coffee cream, 1000 cigars, 500 pieces of candy and 3600 bottles of pop.
They had a guessing contest of a can of soy beans with prizes being given. First prize was a 100 foot drive belt to D.W. Hoon of Belle Center, Ohio. There were other prizes. The booby prize went to Glen Sproul of Uniapolis, Ohio.'
(Makes you hungry just reading it, doesn't it? I'll bet you sneak out and get a treat from the refrigerator).
Before I close must tell you a funny thing happened to me the other day - I was washing dishes and looked out the window and our huge Norwegian Maple tree was gone - that's right - it had very gracefully and noiselessly fallen over and was lying down across the lawn out into the road. That was the oddest feeling - to look out and see our tree that stood so many years - gone! The lights had flickered just a little a few minutes before and I think the tree must have just brushed the electric wires as it made its exit.
We knew something was wrong with it as the leaves were dying on the one side of the tree, but you would never dream of it just falling over like that - so many times when one has a tree cut down, the problem remains of removing the stump - not this one as the stump came right out leaving about a two foot hole - all the roots but one had rotted off and the bottom of the tree was smooth. It had rained all day the day before this happened so I guess that really loosened the ground about it.
I feel like we've lost a good friend for I'm sure the tree knows many secrets as we all have stood beneath it to discuss problems, or have had many chats with friends and neighbors. It also has been a haven from the hot sun to all and a special friend of the children. All five children have played about that tree and been cooled by its lofty branches and warmed by its immensity that provided the setting for their fantasies. Many an imaginary Indian or Cowboy has been shot at from behind the protection of the trunk and the immediate area at the base of it has been a play house, a garage, a picnic area and a million other things that are fashioned from a child's mind. The tree has been a victim of messy mud balls, has been scratched by sneakers and boots trying to discover the excitement higher up, has been a home for the birds and squirrels and yes, it has been loved, if only by supporting a tired body leaning against it or having a pair of tiny arms try to embrace it - we indeed have lost a good friend - Thank you God for all the joys we've had from your beautiful tree and thank You again that no one was hurt as the tree went to its demise. (This is a busy street and there is some one going by about every two minutes). Incidentally, if you're wondering how we disposed of the tree - we called the police, and they in turn got in touch with the Township authorities who came out with a truck and a front loader and within two hours had the tree cut up and hauled away - they did a fantastic job. Our son, Don, used to work with the Township and he and three other fellows cleaned it up in no time.
This picture is of a very old horse powered cider press which once worked in Plain Grove Township, Lawrence County, Pa. probably on what is now called the old Anderson Place. The press bed is visible under the shelter at the right and the large lever timber coming across to the left end. Several horses are apparent in all parts of the scene including those on the sweep power. One gear is showing in the lower left corner. The man standing in the center of the sweep with the whip is Andrew Glenn who was owner or part owner and the young man on the right is his son Fred T. Glenn. They are father and grandfather of the owner of the original picture Mr. C. Archie Glenn, owner of the Twentieth Century Traction Engine. The only others we can identify are Orrie Miles who is the young boy sort of sitting on the barrel third from the right and his brother Eula Miles on the left end. By the age of the Glenn's in the photo we are dating the picture at about 1897. The remnants of the equipment were stored under a shed on the Glenn Farm till the 1920's. A belt seems to be running along the length of the shelter to a box near the right near corner. We have surmised this was the grinder. If anyone knows anything more of the details of this or a similar press setup we would like to hear from them. Courtesy of Thomas G. Downing, Route 1, Box 181, Ellwood City, Pennsylvania 16117