Well, I'm sure about this time of year all you 'steam fiends' are in your glory as you make the trips to the many wonderful Reunions across the country. The winters are long and you dream many a day about the forthcoming events, and now they are here. And I'm sure, just as a child anticipates the ending of the school session, so does the steam enthusiast look for the end of winter and forward to the days when friends meet and run engines, and talk, and fire up the engines, and eat, and talk engines again; and compare notes on the engines and argue why one engine is more to one's liking than another. All these things in reality are lumps of coal to be thrown on the minds fire comes next winter when one sits burning up ideas for another time in the future when that fascinating hobby becomes more than pictures and letters written down on paper.
I have a letter from Clifford Thorns of 6670 Mackinaw Rd., Saginaw, Mich. who writes, 'I am employed at a factory as a fireman on two 150 HP Wickes boilers that are oil gun fired, these are used to dry lumber heat the building and operate Steam Presses but no engines. I have become interested in these old traction engines and would like to purchase one, but do not know the advantages and disadvantages of the various engines. It seems a Port Huron would be my first choice. Would some of the readers care to comment on the various makes?' ANYONE CARE TO WRITE TO CLIFFORD and give him some advice???
Also Wilbur A. Skaar of 1429 B e n t o n St., Alameda, Calif. would like some pros and cons on the idea that a steamer can be belted up when it is drained of water and the boiler pumped up to safety valve pressure by another steam engine or tractor. Then the belt can be removed and the pumped up air pressured boiler will operate its engine for a limited time so it can be moved or stored without the chore of filling the boiler, building a fire and then have it all to undo once the engine is stored or moved. I have really never performed this job, but I hear that it can, or cannot, be done. ANYONE CARE TO ANSWER WILBUR ON THIS SUBJECT? He'll be glad to hear from you.
And another short letter from Dale O. Miller of 4483 Orion Rd., Rochester, Michigan and he writes, 'On page 24 of Mar.-Apr. issue, Mr. Harry G. Yates states he never saw a hand fed machine in 1906 or after. Well, we had them in Putnam County, Ohio on a Morning Star Separator. Dad bought a Ruth self-feeder and attached it and later moved it to a new J. I. Case 32' x 54'. It was a lousy feeder with a cylinder up front and a governor which would shut off the feed if the separator slowed down too much. It eliminated two 'band cutters' and a 'feeder'', a man who spread the sheaves evenly entering the main cylinder. I WAS THERE, CHARLEY!
I think that about does it for this time, except for a few words of wisdom (not mine, I'm sorry to say)A timely compliment is usually more appreciated than an expensive present. Friendliness is becoming, both morning, noon and night, and in youth, maturity and old age. Good housekeeping is grand, but too much of it can drive a man to a saloon. Occasional idleness assures us we wouldn't want to retire even if we could afford it.