SOOT IN THE FLUES

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Joe Blumentritt, builder of the first traction engine west of the Mississippi.
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Courtesy of Arlo Jurney, 44-2106-50 S.T.E., Calgary, Alta., Can. T2B 1M7.

Perhaps some of you may be able to help S. M. WOODBINE, Bracken
Lea, 76 Sutton Spring Wood, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S55 5XFTel
Chesterfield 850480. ‘We are an engineering firm specializing
in the repair and renovation of steam engines. We have in our yard
at the moment a Rumely Tandem Compound engine, serial no. 14291
which has come to us to be re-boxed. Unfortunately we do not have
the original firebox and have no idea how the crown was shaped. As
we like to restore engines as near to the original as possible this
is causing us quite a problem.

‘We would be very grateful, if through your magazine, you
could find someone who knows anything about this make of engine
which would be useful to us, or, maybe you could put us in touch
with someone who has a drawing we could purchase. Failing that,
maybe you have contacts in England who could help us…

‘We have an old copy of your magazine dated July/August 1985
in which there is an article entitled Where Are The Engines? We are
enclosing photographs which we hope will be of interest to
you.’

‘I enjoy your column very much and read it every issue of
IMA,’ says JOE B. DILL, Route 1 Box 26, Lascassas, TN 37085;
‘I was born in 1882 and saw some old steam equipment pulling
road graders and heavy tools at road work in 1930s.

‘I enjoyed the article on the water to boiler injector,
however I still haven’t figured it out for certain. I attended
the Tennessee-Kentucky Threshermen’s Show at Adams, TN July 17
and noted the engineers operating the valves on injectors to fill
the boiler with water and all worked to perfection.

I have a question I would like to get answered from someone
acquainted with push binders or headers where the horses are behind
the binder. I have never seen anything but a picture of a push
binder and all pictures are of the rear of binder.

‘Is there a support wheel at the front of binder to keep it
from tipping over as the main bull wheel and grain wheel are behind
placing main binder weight in front of support wheels? I would like
to know more from western wheat farmers who remember push binders
and headers. I am familiar with old Deering 7 ft. and 8 ft. pull
type binder as I operated one and finally in 1939 we bought a John
Deere 10 ft. PTO/binder and added some custom cutting to our home
cutting. We cut some drought-shortened corn in 1939 with the 10 ft.
John Deere power binder; cutting short corn worked out fine!

‘I would also like to know if the Frick steam engine and
Geiser steam engine from Waynesboro, PA are the same company or
maybe related in old engine building days. Frick and Geiser engines
appear a lot alike. I remember some people speaking of Peerless
(Geiser) engine being used here in our community for threshing and
sawmilling in old days of steam power.

‘I’ll look forward to some answers to these questions in
IMA. I do enjoy the magazine!’

Awhile back HASTON L. ST. CLAIR, R.R. 1, Box 140-A, Holden, M)
64040 sent us a lot of pictures. Some were in former issues here
are a few more of the group: ‘#19 The Blumentritt Picture This
was the first engine built west of Mississippi. Joe Blumentritt of
New Hartford in Winona County, MN built his first engine in the
year of 1870. This was a portable engine about 6 HP. The engine was
such a success that he decided to make it traction. He designed one
that was successful. It was double cylinders in horsepower sizes
through 6, 12 and 24 sizes. They were return flue, operated from
the side and fired from the front end.

‘One of the engines is still in existence and was at one of
the early Mt. Pleasant shows. My friend, John Offutt was at the
show. He said he saw it. This story and pictures were taken from an
early IMA from John’s collection.’

We believe there are still two of these engines in existence
today. The engine with the horses hitched to it is in the Smith
soinian Institute. This engine was used in building the Washington
Monument, completed in 1880. It was used as a hoist engine.

The other engine was used by the Virginia & Trucks Railroad
at Carson City in wood burning days of that railroad. The engine
was used to saw the wood by the line when it was hauling a lot of
traffic on the old Nevada Pike.

‘Pictures 20 & 21: The picture of the
two J. C. Hoadley engines built in Lawrence, Maine after the Civil
War, was one of the first portable engines. Up to this time they
were stationary. Work to be done by these engines had to be brought
to the engine.

‘Picture 7: The engine is a Reeves #3820
which belongs to Gen. Groner, deceased), 1570 S. Sherman Street,
Denver, CO. Mr. Gomer used two water wagons. He devised a hitch
which made it possible to hitch the wagon to engine and fill tanks
while plowing. In the meantime, the other wagon was being refilled.
They also used two crews. Each crew worked nine hours. Between
change of crews, they ate, checked the plows, oiled the engine and
did anything necessary to keep running.

‘They used disc plows and received 25 per acre for sod and
$1.50 per acre for plowing and seeding. Names of men in picture:
Bill Covet, Hostle; Dave Graham, Plowman; S. D. Gromer, Waterman;
G. N. Gromer, Engineer and John Stephens, Sterman.

‘Picture 4: Is a size engine built by Larry
Bohlmeyer and his grandson, Larry. I did all the machine work for
Larry. He lacked the machines to do it. Larry and I met at Mt.
Pleasant the summer of 1964. I was running Lyle Hoffmaster’s
Reeves engine. Larry had been owner of a threshing outfit so was no
green hand. He had no peer around on engine of separator.’

The picture at above was taken in 1966, when Saskatoon,
Saskatchewan put on one of the best summer shows. This is a 1912
American Abel 28 x 80 HP. This engine has one of the best boilers
made; also a good plowing engine. Operator: Allen Doherty,
everybody in the Club knows ‘POP’.

I’m not going to give the thoughts to ponder and words of
wisdom the column is full as you may have noticed thanks to your
wonderful people who do keep writing. I just wanted to send along
THE MIRACLE OF CHRISTMAS

The wonderment in a small child’s eyes,
The ageless awe in the Christmas skies…
The nameless joy that fills the air,
The throngs that kneel in praise and prayer…
These are the things that make us know
That men may come and men may go,
But none will ever find a way
To banish Christ from Christmas Day…
For with each child there’s born again
A Mystery that baffles men.
Helen Steiner Rice

Have a beautiful holiday season and look forward to the New Year
with hope. Love you all

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