SOOT IN THE FLUES

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This nice picture of a Frick was taken at Kinzers, Pennsylvania in August 1973 the finest show of steam engines in the U.S.A. Courtesy of Denis McCormack, Cannon Ball House, St. Michaels, Maryland 21663.
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The above picture is of a 150 HP Case steam engine, taken in about 1904 in Western Kansas. The 150 HP engine is the largest ever built by J.E. Case. [We realize the print is not a real clear one, but it is an enormous engine note how small the men look p
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The above picture is of a 150 HP Case steam engine, taken in about 1904 in Western Kansas. The 150 HP engine is the largest ever built by J.E. Case. [We realize the print is not a real clear one, but it is an enormous engine note how small the men look p
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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

Carlton Johnson

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

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