Faithful contributor Gary Yaeger, 146 Reimer Lane, Whitefish, MT 59937 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) sends us this picture of what he originally believed to be an elusive 6 HP Case traction engine. Yaeger says: 'I remember the second steam engine I ran, which was in the year 1954, and it was a 6 HP side crank Case portable. I remember asking the old timers around me that day, 'Did Case ever build a 6 HP traction engine, and the mutual response was, 'No!'' An old Case man and friend, Tommy Lee, sent me some 19th century Case literature copies and in the Case catalogue were horsepower ratings of the old Case center crank engines.
Included in the horsepower ratings was the '6 HP J.I. Case center crank traction engine.' Up until this past week, I had never seen a picture of one. Tommy's literature never showed one, but only talked about them. I stumbled into this picture of a 6 HP Case traction engine on an old postcard. It is supposed to be in Mont., but may be from elsewhere?
'After sending the picture of the '6' HP Case, I also emailed a picture to my friend Dr. Robert T. Rhode. He was more observant than I was. This engine has the tandem-compound cylinder. The traction engine would be the same size as a 6 HP Case, but this one is obviously their 8 HP model. Early Case tandem-compound engines were rated at a higher nominal horsepower than their simple cylinder engine counterparts. In their later compound engines, Case rated the nominal horsepower identical to the simple engines. I stand corrected and apologize.
'Here are some more pictures, however. One picture is of a 25 HP Advance and crew, preparing to head away from the straw stack with the separator. It is a copy of a picture from Carl Mehmke's collection. I am sending another picture of another tiny Case center crank engine taken in the winter. I believe this one is also an 8 HP tandem-compound model, as the one I first emailed you. It isn't the best picture, but it is from an old photo postcard in my collection. The third picture I am sending is from Dean Alling's post card collection. It shows a 25 HP Reeves simple-double pulling a Reeves steam lift plow, stopped to water up.'
Just as we were getting ready to send this issue off to the printer, Frick enthusiast Mike Rohrer, who collects original Frick literature and photos, sent in some pictures he came across of some early Frick engines. Additionally, Rohrer sent some photos of the 1885 Greencastle engine that appears on page 14. We don't usually receive photos of the same engine at once, but given the rarity of the Greencastle, we thought we'd go ahead and share these with our readers, as they show the Greencastle running and in a slightly different light. Enjoy.
As ever, keep those pictures coming. And if there's something in particular you'd like to see in this column, drop me a line and let me know. I'll see if I can hunt it down. In the meanwhile, let's everyone have a safe and nice Thanksgiving and let's look forward to the new year and a new round of shows.
If you have a photo for Soot In The Flues, please send it along to Iron-Men Album, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265, (785) 274-4379, or email: email@example.com