SOOT IN THE FLUES

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16 HP Russell shown by Jim Lashaway, Bowling Green, Ohio.
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Drawing #1: This shows measurements of the smoke box door Elliott Skeen is looking for (to buy or borrow to have one cast).
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Picture #1: Ajax-Farquhar 7'' x 10'' #8668 purchased in July 1998 by Elliott and Cheryl Skeen.
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60 HP J. 1. Case T.M. Co. Jim Haley of Odell, Illinois at NT A, 1998.
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NT A 1998 by Mark Corson.
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Over 50 full size and scale engines were packed into the NTA's show grounds at the '98 show in Wauseon. Photos by Mark Corson.
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Harold Stark of Indianapolis, Indiana, at NTA in 1998.
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Frank Miller, head sawyer, of Kewanna, Indiana.
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1906 16 HP Gaar Scott providing power to the thresher.
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12 HP Frick displayed by Ben and Bonnie Carpenter of Adrian, Michigan.
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Baker #1, built 1898.

It’s hard to believe that summer has about come and gone by
now, and soon it will be time to gather for Thanksgiving again. As
schools seem to start the year earlier and earlier, we are reminded
that there was a time when most of America’s children were
needed to help at harvest time and school could not begin until
late in September. Fortunately, we have the many engine shows to
remind us of how much hard work went into producing food in an
earlier time. As Americans have moved away from the farm and into
the TV room, an engine show becomes more and more necessary as an
educational tool for our children. We’re proud to be a part of
promoting the preservation of antique farm machinery and the
demonstration of life the way it was earlier in this century.

Don’t forget to send us your show reports, as it is great
publicity for your club, and helps bring new people out to your
show. If you are one of our’ show contacts,’ who take care
of giving us information for our annual directory, you’ll be
hearing from us soon. This will be our 25th edition, and we’re
hoping to make it a real keepsake. If you have photos of early
shows or special events from past years, please send them to us
now, and specify that they are for the 1999 Show Directory. Also,
if the show contact has changed, and you think we might not know
about it, please drop us a line as soon as possible we DON’T
want to miss you!

And now, on to the letters:

DOUGLAS M. SCHEETZ, president of The National Russell Collectors
Association, 561 29th Street, N.W., Massillon, Ohio 44647, writes,
‘A group of Massillon, Ohio, area owners of Russell &
Company-built equipment have organized The National Russell
Collectors Association.

‘Until it was sold at auction in 1927, The Russell &
Company was one of the largest producers of industrial and
agricultural equipment in the nation. This company helped put
Massillon, Ohio, on the map.’

‘The association’s goal is to locate and document, by
serial number, owner and past history, as many pieces of Russell
equipment and related items as possible. By doing this we hope to
prevent some of these items from being lost forever. In addition,
the association will become a network for all who are interested in
The Russell & Company and the preservation of its history and
equipment.’

‘For an annual membership fee of ten dollars, members will
receive a certificate, signifying charter membership in The
National Russell Collectors Association. This certificate will be
embossed with an original Russell & Company seal. Additionally,
members receive a membership card, a complete membership list and a
quarterly newsletter. This newsletter will create a forum for
Russell owners and enthusiasts to share stories, photos,
blueprints, original documents, services and experience.’

And a related testimonial from GLENN CHRISTOFFERSEN of 15
Winston Way, Redwood, California 94061, comes with this invitation:
‘I hope that all of you fanciers of The Russell and Company
noticed and responded to the ad in the September-October issue of
IMA, which invited your participation in the newly formed
National Russell Collectors Association. I played a tiny part in
the establishment of this new organization, and I really enjoyed a
recent trip to the Tuscarawas Valley Pioneer Power Show in Dover,
Ohio, where I had the opportunity to meet and get acquainted with
the young fellows who are responsible for getting this thing
started. The guys in the enclosed photos are vice president Todd
Young of Strasburg, Ohio, on the left, president Doug Scheetz of
Massillon, Ohio, in the center, and charter member Joe Harrison of
Scio, Ohio, on the right. (Todd is a grandson of the late Francis
Young, who in my mind has always been ‘Mr. Russell.’) Yes,
those are real tattoos. Yes, they are the Russell Bull, ‘The
Boss.’ Yes, folks, the future of our Russell family is in good
hands!’

EDWARD HUTSEL, 25944 Aud Road 812, Mexico, Missouri 65265
writes: ‘After reading Mr. Andy Rob-son’s article (pages
13-14, July/August 1998 Soot), I recall in the winter of 1930-31
there was a 21 Advance compound sawing ties about a mile north of
Mineola. I do not know how much pressure they were carrying, but
they bypassed the small cylinder. That engine really barked
loud.

‘One year this engine pulled a 36×56 Red River Special and
they used spike pitchers.’

‘About a mile from this saw set was another mill using a
Keck Gonnerman 19 double No. 1694. After listening to the above
Advance, it sounded as if the Keck was having it easy.’

JAMES C. ELLIOTT, 19475 County Road 146, New Paris, Indiana
46553-9656 writes, ‘This letter does not concern steam engines
or belts or threshing machines, but the people who ran them. It was
told to me by my mother-in-law, who was one of the ‘neighbor
ladies’ who helped prepare the noon meal. This incident
happened a half mile north of the farm home where Margaret was
born.

‘The neighbor and his wife had no clear cut understanding
about the job of filling the wood box for the kitchen stove. On
threshing day it was empty!’

‘At noon whistle the men washed in laundry tubs on bushel
crates in the back yard and dried on one of many clean towels hung
on the clothesline, then went in to eat. The stove was cold, the
food was raw, the pies not baked.

‘She said, ‘Men, I’m sorry about this meal but
I’ve done my part. The food is here. I had nothing to burn in
the cook stove.’

‘Her husband was the last person to get a look at the table.
He turned without a word and headed for the wood pile.’

‘Everyone went back to work hungry. After threshing two more
hours the ‘noon’ whistle sounded again. By then everyone
was really hungry!’

‘The men washed again and went in again. This time the meal
could only be described as a feast!’

CHRIS GREAVES, P. O. Box 583, Guilford, Connecticut 06437 sent a
request for any or all information on restoring the Monarch steam
road roller made by the American Road Machinery Company of Groton,
New York.

Thanks to Jack Norbeck, author of Encyclopedia of American
Steam Traction Engines,
we have this to offer on the Groton
Manufacturing Company:

Two brothers, Lyman and Charles Perrigo, started in business in
Groton, New York, in 1849. They manufactured agricultural
machinery, under the firm name of C. & L. Perrigo. Lyman was an
inventor of a spoke planer, and a first-class machinist. He was an
organizer of the bank and a stockholder in the Southern Central
Railroad.

Later, William Perrigo also moved to Groton, and eventually a
threshing machine business he had purchased combined with Charles
Perrigo & Company to form Groton Manufacturing Co., which made
the Groton steam traction engines and the Monarch steam road
rollers.

This picture from GEORGE LUEBBE, 651 Manor Drive, Apt.+ 204,
Seward, Nebraska 68434, shows, ‘a 40 HP Case and a 60 HP Case
moving a barn for Mr. John Lindner. My uncle Fred is on the lead
engine. Martin Willers on the 40 HP was the Case dealer in this
part of the country.

‘The trucks under the barn were steel wheels, so it pulled
pretty hard. When they got in the wheat stubble, they had to use a
block and tackle to winch it along.’

‘This picture was taken in the summer of 1922. I was 13
years old at that time.’

Thanks to MARK CORSON, 9374 Roosevelt Street, Crown Point,
Indiana 46307-1840, we have these great shots of the National
Threshers Association 1998 Show.

32 HP Reeves owned by the Marvin Brodbeck family of Ottawa Lake,
Michigan, as seen by Mark Corson at the NTA 1998 show.

GERALD R. DARR, 2220 Bishopsgate Drive, Toledo, Ohio 43614-2006
sends some compliments: ‘There were a lot of very nice pictures
in the last IMA (September/October 1998). People are to be
commended who saved all those fine pictures. They bring back a lot
of good memories to those people.

‘I noted two pictures of plowing in North Dakota. Perhaps
that was turning the ground for the first time. It resembled gumbo
to me. I bet some very fine wheat was grown on that prairie
ground.’

‘So many steam shows yet to come these coming months. A lot
of good ones over Labor Day weekend. I regret I cannot attend any
of them My back could not stand that much walking and things at
home would not permit me to be gone away for several days. Lucky
are the people who can attend several shows in different states and
make a nice trip of it.’

‘There is quite a variation in the price of admission to
shows. Some small shows there is no admission charge. The price of
$7.00 for the large shows is well worth it. To assemble all that
machinery in one place is no small task. Hats off to those people
who work diligently to make up these fine shows. What do other
readers think?’

‘Hats off to the young brother and sister on the cover of
the September/October issue. Go for it. Also, hello to Amos Rixmann
and your fine story and eulogy for Lyman Knapp.’

This letter comes from ELLIOTT SKEEN, 1084 Old Camp Road,
Denton, North Carolina 27239, ‘I am writing to y’all for
the first time (I should be ashamed). I’ve been a subscriber
since 1978 when I was in 5th or 6th grade, and I am just now
writing. I was one of those folks who always meant to write and
send in pictures but, I just never took the time. I am going to try
to do better, and become a regular.

‘I am needing some HELP! Enclosed with my letter is a
drawing of a smoke box door I need, or I need to borrow, to have a
new one cast. I am also looking for the proper wheels and for any
information on this engine, (in particular or in general). The
engine is an Ajax/Farquhar 7′ x 10′, engine number 8668. I
hope to restore the engine to tip-top shape, for it is my first
non-stationary engine.’

Picture #3: Just a few of the Steam Team at Southeast Old
Threshers. Left to right, Elliott Skeen, Trenton Lowe, Tim Tuck and
Barker Edwards.

‘I have been wheel barrowing wood and dragging water hoses
to engines at shows around here since I was five years old. I have
operated and worked on many different kinds (Frick, Reeves,
Westinghouse, Peerless, Kitten, Case, Advance Rumely). I don’t
really have a single favorite, but yes, I like some better than
others. There are a lot of other brands out there that I have not
operated yet, but I hope to.’

‘I have enclosed a picture of my Ajax engine and also some
pictures from the show here in Denton’s Southeast Old
Threshers. Hope y’all enjoy the pictures and any help anyone
can give me on my Ajax will be greatly appreciated.’

Awhile back, we received a copy of a poem from a subscriber
whose name was very difficult to read, but we think it is J. T.
Macialek. In any case, he enclosed a poem, which had been delivered
at an annual meeting of the Central States Thresher men, but no
author’s name was given. We wrote to Jim Haley to see whether
he could help us to identify the author, since we didn’t want
to publish the poem without giving proper credit.

Picture #2: Left to right: 20 or 22 HP Advance Rumely #15740,
owner Jack Johnson; Frick portable 7Vi x 9′, owner Southeast
Old Threshers; Frick 6′ x 9′ double cyl. #17999, owner Rick
Hogan.

This took place back in 1996, and we are pleased to say that
this summer, we heard from the author, himself, so we can now print
the poem and give him his proper credit. Thank you to all who were
involved here!

The letter comes from HERB BECKEMEYER of 1123 County Rd., 900 E,
Champaign, IL 61822:

‘I guess you can say I put this poem together with a lot of
help from other old steam engine men many years ago, so I suppose
one can call me the author.’

‘Attended the Wauseon, Ohio, show June of this year. All
those engine fellows, young and old, sure got on me to write
articles like the one you published in your last IMA,
July/August 1998. Yes, I have a lot of memories, but it is hard for
me to put them on paper. I think you can tell by my
handwriting.’

‘I poured a concrete pad out here beside my driveway and
have a drive wheel off a 22-45 Aultman-Taylor tractor painted and
ready to be set and bolted down. When the traffic goes by they can
say, ‘There’s where the wheel setsI mean
‘lives.’ha!

‘Keep up the good work! Sure enjoy the IMA, and
I’ll try to help by putting my memories on paper and sending
them on to you.’

And now, here’s that poem as it was delivered to the Central
States Thresher men:

‘Memories of an old steam engine man. Words that have been
put together and I said I would never put them to print. I have
recited them before a few people, at a few get-togethers and at our
last annual meeting of Central States Thresher men. Everyone begged
me for a copy so I’m finally breaking down, and here it is the
title. . .’

‘Might I, May I, Lord’

Might I have my wishes as memories come back,
May I once again hear steam exhaust up the stack,
May I once again smell the smoke and hot oil,
And hear little things like water a-boil?

Might I again have the pleasure, satisfaction, and fun,
May I work to get up steam in the old son-of-a-gun,
May I fill the grease cups, squirt oil here and there,
As I work around here with soot in my hair?

Might I crack that old throttle when at last she is ready,
May I warm her up slowly, slowly, but steady,
May I blow the sweet whistle and let them all know,
That finally at last we are ready to go?

Might I once again thresh some grain so bright and yellow,
May I once again hear that exhaust at a bellow,
May I once again watch as the smoke goes so high,
Drifting up there, curling up in the sky?

Might the flues be all clean, and the fire so bright,
May the steam be so dry, and the water just right,
May the bearings stay cool, and the belts run true,
Not a cloud in the sky, black smoke in the blue?

Might I always take time and get a small boy,
May I take him up here and tell of my joy,
May I take enough time to explain all to him,
And fill up his day clear up to the brim?

Might I keep my memories so bright and so clear,
May I always remember that life is so dear,
May I run the good race, and after it’s ran,
Then remember me Lord the old Steam Engine Man.

Thanks, Herb for a fine poem! As it’s time to wrap up
another issue, and again, we encourage you to write to us and send
us your pictures. Old or new, our readers are always happy to see
steam traction engines, past and present! If you’ve been
telling yourself you are going to get around to writing us a letter
or sending us some pictures, please do it now!

This summer our local show, the famous Rough and Tumble
Engineers in Kinzers, celebrated its fiftieth year, which is a real
tribute to the sustainability of engine collector groups. Surely
the originators of that fine show, and so many others, would be
pleased to see the way shows have continued to thrive and grow
through the years.

So, let us know about what’s new at YOUR show, and with YOUR
collection! Remember, that YOU (the reader and the author) are the
critical ingredient in this magazine! Let’s hear from you!

Steamcerely, Linda and Gail

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