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Hope you enjoy them too. (See postcard, above.)
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Photo from which the painting on page 9 was based.

Our mail for the column is very light this month, which we are
hoping is an indicator that our correspondents are all so busy
attending engine shows, that they haven’t taken the time to
write to us this issue. We need to remind you again, that we really
want your letters, whether they are stories from the shows
you’ve attended, or other collectors you’ve met, or engines
you’re working on or searching for. If you’re looking for
advice on any aspect of the steam traction engine collecting hobby,
give the Soot in the Flues column a chance to lend a hand by
connecting you with other readers who might be able to help you.
And now, on to our letters:

We received this from MIKE CURTIS, P. O. Box 53, Brooklyn St.,
Eaton, New York 13334: ‘Here in Historic Eaton, we’re very
interested in our local heritage, and have put together history
books on the Wood,

Taber & Morse works, and on the hamlet of Eaton, for our
bicentennial. I live across from Allen Wood’s first house!

‘We, the people and children of Eaton, would like to locate
as many of the Wood, Taber & Morse engines that were made in
Eaton as we can. No one has ever seen one operate or seen one close
up. We also would like to put one in a museum in the near future.
Please, if you could, come and visit us.’

MELVIN COLLINS writes: ‘I have been a regular reader of IMA
for three years. It is the one publication that ranks as a
‘must read immediately’ when it arrives in the mail. After
your encouragement in the July/August issue, I decided to share my
story, and pictures, of my steam collection with you and your

‘My wife, Barbara, called it serendipity when I told her I
had found three steam engines as I searched for a parking place on
a downtown San Francisco back street. On the West Coast for a trade
show, the last thing I expected was to find three peak condition
engines looking for a new owner. The engines, one full size and two
half-scale models, were remnants of an estate sale, and had been
wheeled out into a parking lot while the auction house reorganized

‘My good luck continued when I found that one of my San
Francisco contacts knew the owner personally. He negotiated the
deal and arranged shipping back to Georgia. And as a bonus, he
threw in a circa 1890 ‘dog power’ treadmill. It was a very
good trip!

‘The photo enclosed shows my three San Francisco engines
next to the one-third scale single cylinder Case style engine
I’ve had since 1990. The postcard was made from a 24′ x
36′ painting Barbara had commissioned as a surprise gift last
Christmas. No visit to our home is complete without a trip to the
shop (with a 700 square foot addition to accommodate the new
arrivals from California), to see my steamers. I hope you enjoy
them too. (See postcard, above.)’

As you begin to enjoy the chill of winter, please drop us a line
so we can bring you more letters next month!

It’s at this time of year, as the holidays approach, that we
fondly remember the late Anna Mae Branyan, former columnist for
Soot in the Flues. Her family at home, and her friends in Engine
land whom she came to regard as family, meant the world to her.

Here at IMA we all go out for a luncheon together before we
leave for the Christmas holiday; a highlight of that annual event
was having Anna Mae as our guest. We’ll miss her lively
presence there.

She loved her work on this column, looking forward each time to
hearing from the readers. We hope to continue her work with Soot in
the Flues, but will need your help. Please send us your questions,
anecdotes, and letters in order that we might carry on where our
dear Anna Mae left off. We look forward to hearing from all of

Here’s our wish for you: as you sit down at the table at
Thanksgiving, may you be surrounded by family and those that you
love and love you, and may you have much to be thankful for in
1995. We also give you our best wishes for a blessed Christmas and
a bountiful New Year!!

Linda and Gail

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