Farm Collector


Hi Folks! Hope you have enjoyed the 1989 steam engine season and
all the fun that goes with it the shows, the folks, the wonderful
friendships and perhaps some new knowledge you have attained. Keep
steamin’ and in keeping with the Thanks giving and Christmas
seasons, I would like to tell the following story written by Loren
Young, taken from The Guideposts Christmas Treasury it is called
‘That Ageless Magic’ enjoy and perhaps it will make you
think of some of the little deeds you might have had part in, and
that wonderful feeling of reward:

One recent Christmas I was visiting my parents who live in a
mining community in West Virginia. Times were bad; many of the
mines had been shut down. As I walked down to the main part of the
town to pick up a few last-minute things, I noticed a lame man
seated on the cold sidewalk. He had a small tin cup which he held
up, hopefully, but few people noticed him, or if they did, they
didn’t let on.

I could see that one leg was missing. Not an unusual sight in a
mining community, but a heartbreaking sight especially on Christmas

I started toward him reaching into my pocket. In front of me, a
young couple stopped near the lame man. The husband, obviously a
miner, and his wife were talking in half whispers.

‘Please, please,’ she was saying. He grimaced,

‘We have our Christmas for us and the kids in these
bags,’ she pleaded. ‘Let’s do it, please.’ The
young husband looked down at his wife. Slowly, a smile came over
his face and he agreed.

‘But we’ll have to walk home ’cause I just saved
enough for bus fare.’

Reaching into her husband’s pocket, she pulled out an old
black change purse. Then she walked slowly to the lame man and
turned the purse upside down. Coins rattled noisily into the old
man’s cup, ‘I’m wishing you a Merry Christmas,’ she

Gratefully, the lame man reached out to shake her hand, then her
husband’s. There was an exchange of small talk before the
couple left.

I watched them walk down the street. As they passed the bus
station, the husband made a playful start in that direction.
Laughing, his wife pulled him back. They were broke and would have
to walk home. But I could tell by the bounce in their steps that it
would not be a long walk. When they lightened their purse, they had
also lightened their hearts, and the joy that comes from giving had
worked its ageless magic once again.

And now, on to the delightful, informative letters from Our
Iron-Men Family:

Here is someone who needs help from the IMA Family. KARL J.
HEILMAN, 43 Briarcliff, St. Louis, Missouri 63124 writes: ‘We
are writing a history of the Heilmans and the different
manufacturing companies they built. We are looking for anyone who
owns any of the following Heilman built equipment: Heilman
(Evansville, Indiana) steam traction engines, steam road roller,
sawmills, water wagons, portable steam engines; Heilman built

‘They also built Kratz & Heilman cast iron stoves and
plows. William Heilman and James Urie formed Heilman-Urie Plow
Company that became Heilman Plow Company and in 1898 changed the
name again to the well-known Vulcan Plow Company.

‘Any photos of any of the above and any history or stories
about it or its origins would be appreciated. Please contact me at
the above address. Thank you.’

DON POTTER, 13324 Balfour, Huntington Woods, Michigan 48070
sends us this communication: ‘Iron Men Album Magazine is one
publication I read cover to cover. You gals and Gerald do a nice

Don continues, ‘I’m the third generation of my family to
have threshed with steam power. We also used steam on our sawmill
and other tasks.

‘I remember and/or operated these steamers we had: 13 HP
Peerless it had spring mounts and wooden spoke wheels; 16 HP
Peerless I cut my teeth on and an 18 HP Gaar Scott.

‘I’ve written your publication previously about the Gaar
Scott and a Port Huron I helped to restore and operate occasionally
at Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan.

‘I’d like to put in my two cents on the physics of steam
injector water feed. The steam admitted to the injector and
condensed by the incoming water creates a low pressure column
through the boiler; this with the hydraulic principle of a larger
area concentrated on a smaller, generates the force (analogical to
pushing the head of a thumb tack) to flow water against the boiler
pressure. The reduced pressure to ‘pull’ water to the
injector occurs from the venture effect of the steam following past
the injector inlet.

1880 Merlin Portable Steam Engine: This brass jacketed 18 HP
portable steam engine made a trans-Atlantic crossing around 1930
from France to the United States. The engine was on display at the
Ford Museum for over 50 years. The engine is presently on loan to
the Owls Head Transportation Museum, Owls Head, Maine from a
private collection. Anyone with information on Merlin engines is
encouraged to contact the museum at P.O. Box 277, Owls Head, Maine

‘The port in the boiler for injector steam source is usually
near the top of the main section of the boiler, not from the steam
dome. This acts as an automatic disruption of the injector
operation to prevent over-filling, i.e. when water level reaches
the injector steam port, the injector principle cannot continue
with water substituted for steam. The injector breaks.

‘Your magazine is perfect to ‘lobby’ for a
commemorative postage stamp to the contribution of steam power to
agriculture and industry. Let’s promote a steam traction engine

One of our English subscribers sent us a copy of the Rushmoor
Steam and Vintage Show catalog, another English show. We were
amused by the cover, which is reproduced here for our readers’

GEORGE L. SCHULTZ, 216 West Rio Street, Rio, Wisconsin 53960
reminds us of ‘way back when’ as he writes: ‘I want to
renew my subscription as I have been a continuous subscriber ever
since the magazine was called The Farm Album Magazine.

‘I have an envelope with government postage stamp for one
cent with a postmark, Enola, Pa. October 7, 11:30 a.m. 1950. Across
the bottom of the envelope there is a picture of a steam engine,
separator, team and water wagon.

‘In the September/October 1950 issue, page 2, there is a
notation that with this issue, the name is changing and the
subscription price for this issue is advertised as $1.50 per year.
Edited and Published by Elmer Ritz-man; Associate, Catherine
Ritzman; printed by The Juniata Globe, Thompson town, Pa. I have
enjoyed your magazine through the years and still do enjoy it.’
(Well, I guess that is like the expression ‘Back in the good
old days’. Thank you for sharing that, George, and I’ll bet
there are still quite a few who were subscribers to the first
magazine Anna Mae.)

‘I have an A. B. Farquhar steam traction engine, Model K, 50
HP. I have overhauled this engine and would like to paint and
stripe it, like it came from the factory. Could you help me in any
way? I would appreciate it.’

This letter came from ARTHUR F. HARKER, 300 Bella Street,
Holidaysburg, Pennsylvania 16648. If you can help him with any of
the information he is seeking, please write him.

An informative letter came from DOUG AND RUTH SELLERS, 1102
Peach, Abilene, Texas 79602. Doug states: ‘In answer to R. J.
Dand’s request for Case 22′ thresher information here are
some specifications for Case 22’x 36’ steel threshers:

1.  Trucks wheels 30′ diameter x 5′ face axle
2.  Cylinder22′ long x 22′ diameter 57 hardened steel
teeth with annealed shanks. Cylinder speed = 1075 rpm.
3.  Concaves = same as cylinder teeth. Three two-row concaves
and two open hearth annealed blanks. Adjustable front and back.
Adjustable spring steel finger grate back of concaves.
4.  Straw rackwood with five risers. Separating surface =
44.67 sq. ft. Width = 36′. Throw = 3′. Speed = 230
vibrations per minute. Throw of main crank = 7′.
5.  Counterbalance grain pan. Throw = 2
3/8‘. Speed – 230 vibrations per
6. Cleaning shoe. Under-blast fan – 24
5/8‘ diameter. 6 blades. Speed = 468 rpm.
Adjustable chaffer with adjustable extension.
7.  Wheelbase = 120′.
8. Length. Thresher only = 12′ 8′. With feeder and
windstacker = 23′ 5′.
9. Extreme width = 74′.
10.  Width between rear posts = 36′.
11.  Height to top of deck = 77 7/8′. Height to top of
tailings elevator = 98%’.

So long from dry West Texas.’

Two pictures taken by Jack D.Hilton,26045 Rotunda Drive, Carmel,
CA 93923,at the 1988 Cumbria Steam Gathering held in Flookburgh,

‘I just received IMA and am enjoying reading it, as every
issue,’ comments JOE B. DILL, Lascassas, Tennessee 37085.
‘I have been writing notes on my note pad to get more answers
from IMA readers on subjects that I know little about. As mentioned
in previous letters to your column, I grew up in the later
1930’s and we young fellows in those days were looking at the
latest tractors from IHC, John Deere, Allis Chalmers and Ford. We
thought the steamers we saw were ‘old stuff’ and didn’t
bother to take a close look at them.

‘In referring to Steam Talk, as in engine mountingwhat is
side mount or center mount and rear mounting of an engine?

‘I noticed scale weight in May-June issue 1987, referring to
HP testsWhat is scale weight?

‘Now to boiler construction How is a lap seam boiler made
compared to a butt strap boiler? What is the difference? I assume
that the butt strap is best and used on later models of

‘Now, I may answer a question mentioned in September/October
IMA issue, 1985, about a linkage from outside end of rear axle to a
bar across rear of the steamer. I am assuming that the linkage was
attached so as to brace the rear axle and keep it from bending
under heavy loads, such as pulling all those wagons loaded with
river gravel. I notice in the picture lam referring to, on page 12,
that the Port Huron engine is pulling four wagons.

‘I have seen (in a magazine or steam book) a sketch
illustrating a draw bar that had linkages to outside ends of the
rear axle, evidently for added support for rear wheels having stub
axles. Steam Men, am I right?

‘I noticed in Soot in the Flues column, a letter by Jim
Byrd, Breeze, Florida that our Tennessee-Kentucky Thresherman’s
Reunion Show at Adams, Tennessee may not allow any engine under
steam. Some Tennessee official has decided that the engines are too
old to be safe in a crowd. It is for certain that no operator would
run an engine that was not safe, inspected and in good condition,
and the required lowered pressure makes old engines as safe or
safer than the cars or tractors we operate. Steam engine operators
drive them, or operate them from a position near the boiler,
proving their confidence in their engines, regardless of engine
age. I am repeating and confirming Mr. Byrd’s statement.

‘I’m going to add a bit. I am for safety of steam
engines in crowds and we have laws for boiler inspection etc. that
have provided that safety. Now, we need laws that would require a
complainer to prove his theory before engine steam is eliminated
and nobody would have the old steam show fun any more.

Officials who are complaining or whoever is complaining should
pay all costs of proving their complaint is fact before steam in
shows is stopped, and the epidemic goes all over the country.

‘The Team Walking Horse industry was all but stopped in 1988
because of a complainer. He said hoof pads were hurting horses, and
finally proved not too much. The tax loss from shows until
September 1988 were large as stated in local papers, as well as
loss of jobs and entertainment. This complaint about steam engines
under steam in crowds seems to be similar.

1920 George White steamer owned by Dan LePine of Lennoxville,
Quebec. This was the star of the 1988 Americana Auto Steam &
Gas Engine Expo held annually in Fleurimont, Quebec in August.

‘I think that it’s time we contact our legislators in
Washington about passing laws that require complain-ers to prove
their complaint to be fact with their own money before they can
dictate any regulations on how experienced steam men operate their
engines; or how Walking Horse trainers and owners care for their

‘I contacted our U.S. Senators and Representatives on the
horse thing and I suppose it did some good. At least, they know how
I feel on that subject; also horse owners and trainers appreciated
my concern for their horse industry.

‘Now, I want to refer to Mr. Ed. Strack’s, Phoenix,
Arizona, letter about tobacco. First thing I heard about tobacco
was that it took 13 months plus three or four years to grow a crop
of it. I am like Mr. Strack; how do they make it mild? Upper leaves
are strong!! As a kid I rolled a cigar, after instructions from my
old friend, Wallace Walker, about 1938.

‘I was 13 and hauling hay to the best of my memory, and
after a shower I lit up my cigar away from the hay field. I started
to get sick (as might be expected) and became sicker. I put my
cigar on top of a fence post and then I lay down. I felt better in
a few minutes and got up in sitting position felt o.k. I looked at
the cigar on top of the fence post and I got sick again! I lay down
again I felt better every time I lay down. Then I would just look
at the cigar on the fence post and get sick again. I quit looking
at that cigar and felt o.k. I have never figured out that cigar on
the fence post it had power over me that day.

‘As Mr. Strack, I don’t know how tobacco people take the
excess strength out of tobacco. One time I had a cigar that was too
strong and I couldn’t smoke it. I put it on a table outside of
the shop and forgot it for several days. Meanwhile it rained on it.
When it was dried out, I noticed it and lit it and it was mild.
Moisture may take excess strength out of tobacco.

‘I enjoy IMA and Soot in the Flues.’

And those Dear Folks, are the communications for this issue and
in parting, I will leave some thoughts to ponder The truest end of
life is to know that life never ends. How much we admire the wisdom
of those who come to us for advice. Fear and faith cannot keep
house together. When one enters, the other departs. God has given
us two ears, two eyes, and one tongue, to the end that we should
hear and see more than we speak. One with God is a majority. The
greatest ABILITY is DEPENDABILITY. -And that IMA friends, brings
the end of this year as we look forward into the new 1990.What
challenges are ahead? What obligations will be fulfilled? What will
be our mission? To think and care only for ourselves, or try and
spread the word and love of God.I can just say I hope you will
enjoy the wonderful seasons coming up and by the way it surely is
nice to know such a greet group of people as the IMA gang

  • Published on Nov 1, 1989
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