Well, since this is the September-October issue, that means
school will be starting and the crisp autumn air will be a thing of
the present instead of the hot lovely summer reunion days that you
folks are now enjoying so as you pick up this book midst the hot
degrees of August, methinks perhaps you will welcome the next
season of the year what with the school bells ringing, the burning
of leaves that always brings a nostalgia of yesteryears the
jack-o-lanterns a brisk walk in the morning and a time to think
more seriously of the upcoming election and I could go on, but
I’d better get my items of interest onto you.
Cliff B. Shirley, of 2009 West 71st St., Prairie Village, Kansas
66208, wrote us and I quote ‘The Jan-Feb. ’68 issue of IMA,
page 37, describes an extremely small steam engine. There have been
a few others that compare favorably with this one and one is on
exhibition at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. It was built
long ago and it is said that this engine is still in running
condition. While the Canadian engine runs from compressed air, the
engine at the Franklin Institute is said to be an actual steam
engine. A few drops of alcohol on a bit of cotton burns long enough
to make steam from a few more drops of water. The engine is in a
glass case and is not operated for the public, but an employee said
that it will run.
A lot of the work of building a very small engine is of a nature
that can be done by people who are skilled at watch making.
However, one might wonder about the construction of extremely small
pipe and the joining of this pipe to the other parts of the engine.
Also, there would be the problem of condensation.
Anything that runs by steam is interesting and that includes the
smallest of miniatures as well as full-sized machines. I would like
to see descriptions of other contenders for the title of ‘The
Smallest Steam Engine on Earth. ‘any other contenders?
Let’s hear from you!
A suggestion from Frank L. McGuffin, 3531 Tea St. N. W.,
Washington, D. C. 20007Frank suggests that people sending in show
reports should not send the same write-up to different magazines
for the people getting all these magazines are reading the same
thing then. He thinks it would be well to have different people
write up separate reports for the similar magazines. He’s right
you know it would be a bit more interesting if the reports were
done by several folks. I guess this is sometimes hard to accomplish
though, for if it is like other jobs you’re lucky to get one
person to do it sometimes. Well, it’s a thought and perhaps
some of you can take advantage of it.
Rev. Norbert J. Lucht, Box 137, Athens, Illinois 62613, a
contributor of IMA, has some questions he would like answered, so
am herewith printing his letter and hoping he will get some answers
from fellow readers. He writes as follows:
‘I am primarily interested in the histories of the old
engine and thresher firms and enjoy articles that appear in the IMA
which pertain to the history of the steam traction engine. There
are a few questions which I have regarding the Rumely merger of
1912 which I would like answered. For example, after the M. Rumely
Company bought Advance Thresher Company, Battle Creek, Michigan and
Gaar-Scott and Co., Richmond, Indiana, I assume that engines were
made in those two plants as well as the La Porte, Indiana, plant.
In what year was the Gaar-Scott plant closed down? And another
question When the Allis-Chalmers Mfg. Co. purchased the Advance
Rumely Thresher Company in 1932 what happened to the Battle Creek
plant? If there are any former employees of the Russell & Co.,
of Massillion, Ohio, who are readers of the Album, I would like to
hear from them in regard to the last engines that were built there.
The same is true of the Port Huron Engine and Thresher Company in
Port Huron, Michigan.
I am also hoping that those readers who have pictures of steam
plowing will send them in for publication. I would like to see some
pictures of the large ‘Northwest’ plow engine.’
Harry Hutchins, Jr., Route 1, of Tekonsha, Michigan,
49092, gave us this bit of advice. ‘We attended the Barry
Resort the past two years and the way they had the mill set, it was
very dangerous. In case they would have gotten a slab or timber
caught in big saw while in operation, it would have gone into the
crowd or down through the concession stands. I have owned and
operated my own saw mill and also my father’s. I thought if you
would print this in the IMA it might do some good.
Vivian Shumway had a big timber get caught in his saw and it
threw it right through a cement wall. As luck would have it, no one
And in the IMA, Jan.-Feb., ’68 issue on page 3 the article
Stay Bolts by Howard Camp. It is on welding and I have welded for
the past 14 years steady maintenance and production and if a man
takes pride in his welding he can always do a good job. On page 4,
para. 3, it is stated that Bo was his welder now a welder is a
machine and a weldor is a man. I’m not complaining but it gives
all weldors a black eye for that to show up.’ Well, now Harry,
that error could be pointed in my direction too for I should have
caught that error and then everything would have been finejust goes
to show you, I don’t get all the mistakes corrected, do I,
Mr. W. E. McLean, Box 493, Beaverlodge, Alberta, Canada, writes
‘Last April, 1967, a group of friends and neighbors started a
museum. A large collection of antiques were gathered together. We
have a nice collection of vintage gas tractors and two steam
engines, one a 25-75 Case and the other is a Cock of the North
American Abel. Our household collection is growing steadily as
well. Right now the museum is collecting on a farm but in the near
future we hope to have facilities on the main highway. We held a
big day in July which was very successful with 2900 people
attending. We have plans for this year too. All our machines are in
good running condition.’ Well, we want to wish this new group a
lot of success with their new venture. It takes quite a while to
get things like this started and if they had 2900 at their first
big event, I think that was wonderful.
That about winds up the news for this time, but I’d like to
print this bit called ‘Life’s Lessons’ (after all,
school will soon be starting). We’ve all got to go to school, I
expect, and we don’t all get the same lesson to learn, but the
one we do get is our’n, ‘taint nobody else’s, and if
it’s real hard, why, it shows the teacher thinks we’re
capable. Rose Terry Cooke.
Think about the above paragraph the more you think of it the
more you get out of itapply it to your life. Bye Bye and have an