SOOT IN THE FLUES

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Courtesy of Robert L. Johnson, The Steam Engine Museum, Route 1, Box 265A, Rossville, Georgia 30741
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Hi! to all the wonderful folks out in Engine Landare you really
ready for the Show Season to be over? Doesn’t seem possible
another year is almost out of sight Father Time is waiting to reap
the old year out and the brand new Baby of 1987 waits on the
threshold of our future. But then that gives you time to repair
those engines you just acquired this summer and ponder over the
enjoyment of the past reunions of the year of 1986. Don’t
forget to get that information and those interesting tales to me to
share with our IMA family.

And now onto some communications from our readers as R. M.
BANDY, Route 2, Alvaton, Kentucky 42122 writes: ‘As a long time
subscriber to IMA I would like to get in touch with present owners
of Port Huron, Serial #8602, 19-65 HP; Port Huron Serial #8606,
19-65 HP; Port Huron Serial #8206, 19-65 HP and Keck-Gonnerman,
Serial #1869, 19-65 HP. I have history on these and was at one time
an owner.’ (So Friends, if you can answer R. M. Bandy, please
do, you’ll probably gain another engine friend.).

WM. C. KUHL, 464 So. 5th Street, Sebewaing, Michigan 48759 sends
this picture of a 22 HP Advance Rumely, taken at Michigan Steam
Engine and Thresher Club Show at Mason, Michigan. Lange Sumerville
is the owner.

It’s good to hear from WALTER SPREEMAN, Box 7031, Hemet,
California 92343 again as it has been quite awhile since we had a
letter from him. ‘I believe I wrote you many years ago. I have
gotten the IMA since it began many years ago. Am a steam fan from
my earliest recollection as my dad had a Case outfit in Alberta,
Canada where I lived for many years. Would probably still be there
farming but 15 years ago while flying a crop dusting plane, I was
nearly killed when it caught a power line. I am an old ex-air force
pilot of Canadian Air Force during the war.

I am also a genuine Christian. Was brought up in a Christian
home and our annual vacation as a boy was at the Red Deer Camp
meeting in Alberta. This was a Nazarene campgrounds so you know we
heard the gospel every service. Was converted when 6 years old.

I was born in Eastern Alberta which is a dry area and 1928 was
the last good crop and the last year my dad used the 1908 Case
25-75 engine and 36-58 thresher. However in 1938 I used it again,
burning straw for a few days threshing. We moved to Olds, Alberta
that year which was a far better farming area located 50 miles
north of Calgary.

In 1945 after getting out of the Air Force I bought a 1922 model
65 Case engine for $175.00. They tell me it was the last new steam
engine sold in Alberta which was in 1925. It had threshed for years
and plowed some. Simon Megli bought it in the early 30s and in 1941
took it farther west in a sawmill, where I got it in 1945.

Well, in 1945, since I couldn’t get good steam coal we
threshed with the tractor but in 1946 threshed 24 days with the
steam outfit. I was still using the old 1908 36′ thresher.

Each year the threshing run got less and less as combines took
over. However, I used an Acme shock loader pulled by a tractor and
had these 10 x 20 racks also pulled by tractors so we were able to
thresh up to 300 bushels of wheat an hour with crew of 7 men. The
later years I ran the engine and thresher and fired myself. Case
engines and separators are so simple and trouble free, that can be
done. However, in 1958 while going down a steep hill at an angle
the thresher rolled over when a rear wheel dropped in a depression.
Well that finished our run for that year. Had only a few hours left
to do anyway and a neighbor did that for me. In 1960 I got a good
late model 40-62 Case separator. Also got an Acme self-propelled
shock loader which loads the shocks in a large rack, hauls them to
the feeder and unloads them on the ground without stopping, all
this done by one man. I had 28 feet of feeder, 14 feet on the
separator and 14 feet on two little rubber tired wheels. Could be
hooked up in two minutes. What an outfit that was! All pitchers
standing on the ground and flipping sheaves in the feeder which was
also on the grounds. Sometimes there were six men pitching into the
feeder when visitors came, but this didn’t slow up the engine
and separator a bit.

I certainly don’t agree with John Forney as he wrote in the
Album recently making fun of Case steam engines. They outsold all
other makes 3 to 1. Plowed more prairie sod than all others put
together in Canada. They won all the gold medals at the Winnipeg
Plowing Contests which were discontinued after 1913 because
competition couldn’t outperform the Case. I have all the
records. Case fireboxes are on the small size for a reason. Fires
must be hotter in a small firebox which raises the efficiency of
the boiler. Case boilers have 3′ of water over the crown sheet
when the glass is empty which is a good safety feature. Case
engines appear a bit sloppy being hung on springs but they sure
would take a beating on rough stony ground. The late model engines
built by Case had many improvements over the earlier ones and were
very close to perfect in my estimation, for the era they served
us.

Other engines had some good qualities but one has to take the
all around picture. The small rear wheels I’ve seen on some
Rumelys are a joke when it comes to plowing. The Reeves ran the
separator backwards when tightening the belt, also the flywheel was
stuck behind the rear wheel. You can tighten the belt while
threshing with a Case and have the belt off and rolled up, while
getting it off a Reeves. Double cylinder engines always take more
water. Many crankshafts broke on Averys when on sawmills and the
engine was down in the dust while plowing.

I’m enclosing four pictures as follows: (1) 1922 Model 65
Case and 1908 Case separator and 36-58 threshing at Olds, Alberta,
Canada. (2) Case 65 pulling a 2-furrow brush breaker plow. Engine
is equipped with hydraulic pump. (3) 1922 model 65 Case pulling
8-bottom J.D. plow in tough alfalfa sod. 175 lbs. of steam and no
problem keeping it there with good coal and a Case engine under
load and no exhaust nozzle. (4) Pulling a large 2-furrow brush
breaker plow with my 65 Case.

RAYMOND L. YOUNG, 118 Penn sylvania Avenue, Westminster,
Maryland 21157 is 85 years young and send us a comment on an
observation referring to the threshing photo on page 2, May/June
1986 IMA.

‘Has anyone commented that something is ‘wrong’ with
the picture? You will note the back wheels on the wagon have 12
spokes while the front wheels have 14 spokes. This would indicate
that the back wheels were cut down and placed on the front of the
wagon, and the front wheels put on the back.

On a typical farm wagon the back wheels contain 14 spokes and
the front wheels 12.’ (No one commented until now, Raymond, but
then I guess everyone is not quite as observant as yourself.
I’m wondering would that make a great deal of difference? Would
that give more power up front?)

‘I would like to correspond with other Rumely owners,’
writes BLAKE MALKAMAKI, 10839 Girdled Road, Concord, Ohio 44077,
phone 352-4847.

‘I just bought an M. Rumely engine #6991, 20 HP. I would
like to know what year it was built and what was the working
pressure when new. It has a Canadian Special boiler.’

Enclosed are two pictures: (1) 14 HP Huber engine No. 3981 owned
by Jim Malz, Andover, Ohio exhibited at the Ashtabula County
Antique Engine Club Show, Wayne Town ship, Ohio. This same engine
is pictured in Jan/Feb 1968 IMA page 28. (2) 20 HP Buffalo-Pitts
engine owned by Howard Van Priest, Painesville, Ohio operated by
Blake Malkamaki, Painesville. Shown at the Pioneer Steam and Gas
Engines Society show in Meadville, Pennsylvania.

EDWIN H. BREDEMEIER, Route 1, Box 13, Steinauer, Nebraska 88441
sends a picture many of you folks will be interested in seeing.

‘This Advance Rumely husker shredder was bought in 1923 at
Whitewater, Kansas and about 20 years ago I bought it. It has
always been shedded. This picture was taken just after it saw
action and the belt rolled up. This machine saw a lot of use in the
Whitewater, Kansas area in the 1920s. I thought the picture would
be interesting since not many husker shredders exist
today.’

In the last issue, Sept/Oct, we rejoiced at hearing from FROG
SMITH, 99 East Mariaba Avenue, N. Fort Myers, Florida 33903. Well,
I told you I hadn’t used all of the material he sent me. This
time we are going to refer to some data on the Smith and Porter
engine. As you will notice, most of the photos are from Robert L.
Johnson, Route 1, Box 265A, Rossville, Georgia 30741. Mr. Johnson
used to send us a lot of pictures and captions. And these pictures
were in the IMA many years ago. I’m sure a lot of the
subscribers of the last 18 years would appreciate them now.

No. 1 shows the view over the fire box door showing the Smith
and Porter nameplate. Notice the early, hand-wrought appearance of
the engine’s various parts, indicating that it was probably
mainly hand-forged.

Then FROG writes this in reference to above picture: ‘Mr.
John son, whom I never met, wrote to ask who built this old Smith
and Porter. When I photographed it in Maddox’s yard in Archer,
Florida, it carried the date 1854, and Charleston as its
birthplace. And best I remember, it was on a smaller plate above
the fire door, but I could be wrong about that.

‘My father and Mr. H. Maddox of Archer were good friends
before I was born in 1896. Mr. Hitup Maddox started off as a
blacksmith before he married Miss Pearl Grove of Grove’s
Tasteless chill tonic.

‘His first job in his new shop was making a fancy whistle
for a sawmill man. Not long after that my father and a friend drove
twenty miles in a buggy one Sunday and swiped the whistle off the
closed down sawmill and put it on the phosphate mine boilers where
they worked. When the stolen whistle blew loud and clear next
morning, the owner heard it from 20 miles away and came for it that
day.

In a book of Florida folk songs in the city library, there is a
song titled ‘Herlong’s Train.’ In 1895 my father was
running a logging train for Her-long at River Mills, at the
junction of Santa Fe and Suwanee Rivers. One Saturday night Dad
wanted to go cat fishing in Suwanee River but found every place
where he could get down to the water occupied by either white,
colored or Indians. He went back to Herlong’s mill and cut a
Devil’s face jack-o-lantern from a five gallon can. He built a
wooden float, covered the lantern with red cloth, set a small oil
lamp inside, fired it up and set it afloat on Suwanee River. The
floating devil scared every night fisherman out of the river swamp
for five miles downstream. But Dad said nothing. He would have been
mobbed. Next morning after the story appeared in the Tampa, Florida
Tribune, a neighbor called to tell me that her father was one of
the men who ran. Dad picked up more fish than he could use from the
lines folks ran off and left.

‘No. 2 is 0-4-2 tank engine built by Porter. This photo was
made in Wachula, Florida, March 4, 1967. Engine has since been sold
to a collector in the northeast.

‘No. 3 is a Robert L. Johnson photo and is of a very early
Smith and Porter engine, built in Charleston, South Carolina,
probably around 1860-1870. Found in a swamp in Mississippi or
Louisiana in 1909 and brought to the Maddox Foundry in Archer,
Florida, where it has been sitting outdoors to the present day. It
was purchased in early 1967 for restoration at the Steam Engine
Museum and to date the engine has been unfrozen and operated (under
steam from another boiler) while the Smith & Porter’s
boiler is presently getting a set of flues. We believe this to be
the only one of this make in existence, but would be very
interested in having any information on it as all we know about its
history is the name and city of manufacture given on the name-plate
over the fire box door. (This caption was under the picture in
Jan/Feb 1968 MA.)

No. 4 is the Smith and Porter portable engine, photographed at
the Maddox Foundry in Archer, Florida, before moving to the Steam
Engine Museum, Rossville, Georgia, picture of Robert L. Johnson.
Notice the hand-worked appearance of the various parts of the
engine. The lack of a crank disc, the long stroke, the case steam
dome and fittings, the short travel flat slide valve and other
features of this engine seem to indicate that it was built between
1860 and 1870. There is no definite information available on it at
present; though the owners of the engine at Florida felt that it
was made before the Civil War.

No. 5 This is a Workman’s engine, Wauchula, Florida. The
building to right is Revel’s Crate Mill. The engine to the left
in this picture is the old Smith and Porter. The engine in the
center with its eccentrics crossed on its breast is English. One
eccentric went to the slide valve and the other went to the fly
ball governor as it was running the Planning Mill at Otter Creek
Lumber Company in Florida in 1912. Originally it was in a steamer,
and took out in Tampa somewhere about 1900.

NOW this No. 6 photo is sent by Frog with this paragraph no
relation to the above pictures and descriptions: ‘Shortly
before my father died in 1905, he used this old mate to the famous
‘General’ to take a car load of mule feed six miles out
from Pelham, Georgia to where a new mill was being built. I was
eight at the time and naturally I went along for the ride. Dad had
taught me a lot about engines and I never forgot it. When the car
was ‘spotted’ and the switch closed, Dad put me on his seat
box with, ‘All right Bud, let’s go home.’ With that he
picked up my BB gun and went back up the tender where he stayed to
pepper cows along the way with my BB gun. That left me to run the
ancient scrap-pile six miles back to town all by my lonesome. I had
no trouble. I worked a little steam on the hills and let ‘Old
Hulda’ roll down. That trip gave me a swelled head and I was
the envy of all my school mates. ‘(Next time one of Frog’s
columns from Cracker Crumbs.)

A letter from another good iron man comes from FRANK J. BURRIS,
1102 Box Canyon Road, Fall-brook, California 92028: ‘How time
doth flitter by!! I am compelled to sandwich this letter to our
good readers amidst breaks in water lines, auto inspections,
overdue orchard watering and kindred attentions, so that this has
almost slipped up on me. And I just finished another night course
in extended university schooling always the schoolboy. (Isn’t
that wonderful and Frank is in his eighties so busy and so
knowledge able always young at heart.)

‘However, the subject of this little yarn is timely, for I
shall dwell on the principle of the ‘Inertia Governor.’
This was alluded to in a recent edition of GEM, and maybe this
information can get across the sister aisle as our fellowman, Mr.
C. H. Wendel indicated that he was not too familiar with this
mechanical contrivance. Actually, it is not to be found on gas
engines anyway; but it is rather a further refinement for certain
types of stationary steam engines as employed those many years ago.
Sometimes the speed governing device of this type is referred to as
‘pendulum’ governor; however, this is rather inaccurate
since a pendulum governor for use on steam engines is described as
simply one in which the centrifugal weights are suspended only from
the top and therefore are subject to a pendulum action as they
swing out and in according to the speed at which they are rotated.
For portable and traction engines, while this type was utilized on
early engines, it was not so stable as the suspension from both top
and bottom as practiced in the Pickering design; for this latter
feature counteracted any vertical up and down ‘jogging’
while in movement, since the ‘swing-out’ of the upper arm
was counteracted by the ‘swinging’ of the lower suspending
arm. Pendulum is exemplified in Jud-son and Corliss.

‘But back to the inertial governor, which again was not
suited to portable or traction use, since it was intended to
correct for the first minute variation in speed while mounted on a
solid foundation, as you will perceive, as we go further into it.
But it should be pointed out here that the inertial portion of the
governing action is actually supplemented by a centrifugal action.
The former is quicker to sense the slightest change in a steady
rotation (and this is a very limited recovery action) while the
centrifugal portion comes in to give an over-all pickup to initial
speed.

There are therefore two separate actions combined in this
ingenious type of speed control. Its most desirable use would be in
preserving synchronization between two or more stationary steam
engines when separately connected to alternating current
generators, etc.

‘Accompanying is a sketch of one design of a so-called
inertial governor. From it you may see that the counterbalanced or
spring-loaded governing weight is so suspended that it can react to
a concentric rotative force about the flywheel shaft, as well as
change its radius of action with speed as does a centrifugal
governor. The inertial portion of control arises since a mass which
is being rotated (or even driven in a straight line) at its own
constant speed tends to resist any change in that speed.

‘Another thing to keep in mind when considering this type of
governor is that it is designed for a variable cut-off (variable
valve-travel) type of engine; and therefore would be unsuitable for
a gas engine, especially those of the single cylinder design,
wherein the rotational speed is continually variable, especially
with hit-and-miss control. The inertia portion of the governor is
very quick acting; while the centrifugal portion may comparatively
‘take its time.’ According to available encyclopedic
material, it appears that such governors have never been applied to
throttle-governed steam engines.

Description of Inertial Governor components, and actions:

a) stationary steam engine crankshaft.
b) valve drive eccentric pivoted to governor disk support at
‘1’.
c) governor supported disk keyed to crankshaft.
d) eccentric advance/retard control arm.
e) governor lever swiveled to control link ‘d’ and
oscillating link ‘f.
f) oscillating link pivoted to ‘c’ at lower end. (Note:
there are only two pivot bearings on ‘c’ shown in double
circles.)
g) governor weight shown in retarded position due to both the
shifted-ahead position of ‘c’ and centripetal force due to
momentary slow down of flywheel under increased load.
h) inertial centering leaf springs anchored at heavy ends to
‘c’
i) centrifugal loading spring anchored at heavy end to
‘c’.
j) direction of engine rotation of flywheel with ‘g’
tending to override the momentary slowdown from position
‘g-l’ to ‘g’. Note: this slowdown also causes
‘g’ to recede from its high-speed position of ‘g-2’
to lesser radius ‘g’
k) swing motion of eccentric about pivot point ‘1’. Note:
due to the combined governor weight from both ‘g-1’ and
‘g-2’ the combination lever ‘d’ has caused
‘b’ to assume a position of MAXIMUM THROW thus increasing
the amount of steam to be admitted directly to the cylinder from
the fully-charged steam chest. In a throttle-governed engine, a
simple centrifugal type governor would simply be more sluggish in
action, taking several revolutions of the fly wheel to allow steam
pressure buildup in the chest before admittance to the cylinder.
Since a simple throttle governor causes reduction (and thus
cooling) of the steam coming into the chest, this results in a loss
of power availability from the steam itself and is therefore
uneconomical to that extent. This is disadvantageous for traction
and other engines which utilize fixed eccentric action and depend
wholly upon changing steam supply pressure for control of speed. It
is much better to ‘hook her up’ and keep higher steam
pressure in the chest. This is more fully evident in the study of
indicator diagrams, where efficiency becomes measured as a function
of the difference between steam pressures at admittance and
release.

‘The contribution of inertial action in conjunction with
centrifugal action (and the former cannot be utilized alone since
at ‘steady-state’ no governing action would accrue at any
of a terrific range of rotational speeds) is that the inertial
effect comes into play the exact instant that the flywheel is
slowed down even by a degree or so in even less than one
revolution. A centrifugal governor would not be so sensitive and
would require several revolutions of the flywheel to come into full
effect and then there would be more take-up in build-up of steam in
the chest.’

And in closing, you know what a few words of worth… Learn as
if you were to live forever; live as if you were to die
tomorrow…..Truth seeks no corners…Employment is Nature’s
physician… .He that would jest must take a jest, else to let it
alone were best….Be slow of giving advice, ready to do a service.
…and until next year, keep happy, keep hoping, keep loving! Love
you all!

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