Well, if one could go soaring into the air and take an aerial picture of North America - just imagine as you would look down - all the steam reunions you would view - and with a zoom lens you could even pick out your friends or certain engines -wouldn't that be great? Or - isn't it a shame as fast as the world is traveling - we still can't get from place to place instantly - like instant replay on T-V- Hey, now there would be really something -you could visit all the Shows! -Well, one thing we can still do is Dream and of course we have the capacity to remember all the good times we have over the months -and that coupled with dreaming can bring some pretty enjoyable moments.
Right now I'm not in too good of standing with the family - one of these radio programs that give away money IF you know the right answer called me today and I didn't know the 'garbled tune' of the 50s. (And it was really garbled and sounded worse than some of the modern representation of music -now don't get me wrong, I like some of the modern lyrics - it's just the ones I don't understand too well that I don't get all excited about.) Anyhow that was worth $100. Then they have a certain word you are supposed to know from listening constantly. We have had this word on our bulletin board, written on notes everywhere (by Father who was sure they would call). I never thought we'd stand a chance, but sure enough today when they called - no notes anywhere, except from a couple days ago - so we lost another $20. You know, I think all those programs make you do is feel lousy UNLESS YOU WIN. Then they always say, 'Well, too bad but maybe we'll be calling you again soon - fat chance!).
But that's my luck - they just opened a new drive-in at our bank recently and its been open several weeks now and I go driving down and very sedately put my business papers into the cylinder that goes whooshing underground to the smiling tellers - only mine didn't - it got STUCK - the smiling teller came out and borrowed my pen to pry open the door to chamber, when that didn't work, borrowed a screw driver from nearby customer -finally got it working but where it didn't count I WAS FIRST - it didn't happen before to any other customer - see, that's me - really Distinctive.
I'm not bitter about any of the aforementioned - just thought you'd like to know even thought you might get a chuckle out of it. Now, I must get on with more important things as the letters from our Iron-Men Family.
W. MONCUR, Administrator of Manitoba Agricultural Museum, Inc. Box 10, Austin, Manitoba, Canada asks: 'Could you give us any information on when the U. S. Standard 13 thread bolt came into being - we are trying to fix an approximate age on one of the implements in our museum and knowing the date when the Standard changed from 12 to 13 would help considerably.' - (Surely, someone must know the answer to this - but it's not for me to answer).
C. E. CODE, Dundas, Minnesota 55019 pens this note: 'I've taken the Iron-Men Album for years and like it very much, but there is one thing I've missed. Where is the separator with Wing Feeder? I never saw a picture of one in the magazine.
Here in Southern Minnesota, back in the '20s, all the big ones had them (Garden City). Some places, they just stare at you when you mention them. Maybe if you mention it, someone will come up with a picture.' (O.K. I'll mention it - seems to me we have had a picture of it before, but I could be wrong. Any of you fellows who know your magazines real well - let me know if we have one in any of the issues and if anyone has a picture, send it along as its time to put one in again.)
SHAWN WOODWARD, 723 Sunset Drive, Bloomfield, Indiana 47424 would like information on how a Keck Gonnerman engine was painted when new. He wants the color of wheels, levers, tender, etc. If you have this information, please write Shawn or call him at 812-483-8104.
Shawn is overhauling a Keck Gonnerman 22 HP, No. 1865. He is now repainting it and when it is all done he is going to send us a picture of it. (I know some of you owners of Keck-Gonnerman engines can answer Shawn).
HUGH HOPKINS, R.R. 2, Box 402, Chesterton, Indiana 46304 posts this message to us: 'I have just acquitted a 32 HP Port Huron traction steam engine, built around 1912. I am entering into this venture of restoring this steam engine with virtually no knowledge or experience with steam equipment. I have just my love of antique machinery and a determination to learn. Any advice your readers could give regarding this particular engine and the workings and restoration of steam engines in general, would be greatly appreciated.' (Please, knowledgeable readers, lend a hand to Hugh).
WALTER R. ARNDT, Noel, Missouri 64854, one of our avid readers and contributors to the magazine has sent me a picture of he and his wife in celebration of their 60th Wedding Anniversary -yes I said 60! They were married in Howard, Kansas by Rev. Nichols, pastor of the Howard Methodist Church, April 2, 1913. He had entitled the information '60 Years of Wedded Bliss' - isn't that wonderful?
He goes on to say in his announcement 'Our love for each other and our companionship grows sweeter as the days and years come and go. We are now looking forward to the 61st anniversary.
We have made numerous trips to Florida, California and other states and have attended and emceed many engine shows. Also wrote many articles for the Iron-Men Album and Engineers and Engines Magazines. These magazines are a basic requirement in our home and we have donated the major portion of the back numbers to the Noel School Library for the younger generation to see and read.'
Wasn't that a lovely letter? And it was Walter that sent it and signed it - many a man wouldn't have the courage to do that, even if he thought about it. So to you both - Best of luck as you go forward each day together - may your love continue and let's hope a lot of we younger ones take note and head in the same direction - so many head for the divorce courts right away today.
I've been meaning to take time and thank HERMAN MORITZ, 3421 Geary Street, Albany, Oregon for taking the time to draw me a picture if the Emerson-Branningham emblem, but to make it clearer -here's the letter that came with it: 'On page 14 of the Iron-Men Album, January-February issue you have a picture of three engines. The first is a Frick, the second is a late model Peerless with the big E.B. of Emerson Branningham Company, Rockford, Illinois who built the Peerless and also the Reeves for a short while, as I have seen the E. B. emblem on a few Reeves engines. Emerson Branningham sold out to J.I. Case Company in about 1937 as Case wanted the E.B. factory at Rockford. Case closed it down a couple of years ago and gave this entire factory to the city of Rockford.
My brothers and brother-in-laws heard the whistles and thought that they sounded strange. If I had not had the picture, they would not have believed that it was a steam train. Courtesy of Walt Townsend, Crescent Courts, Henry, Illinois 61537.
I have made you a copy of the E. B. Emblem as it appears on the Peerless engine. I am not an artist, but thought you might like it. I guess we will have to get you out and get some steam engine grease on your hands so you will know your engines. (I'd like that - the only time I ever ran one was at Ohio in 1960 and Percy Sherman let me steer his Peerless for a few minutes.)
(And thanks Herman, I appreciate your drawing - and are you sure it's Emerson-Branningham or Emerson-Brantingham? - See, there I go starting the wheels in your head turning again. Now, maybe I'll get a letter of proof on the spelling? I really would like to know!)
LEWIS H. CLINE, 603 Fremont Street, Middleville, Michigan 49333 drops us bits of conversation from time to time. This issue he sends along these thoughts:
'This might not be a proper question to ask in the I.M.A. but perhaps some railroad man can give the answer.
Allowance used to be made for the expansion of Rail-road rails when laying them by leaving a gap between the ends of them to prevent buckling in hot weather. Rails laid at a temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit were said to expand about one fifth of an inch when temperature reached 100 Fahrenheit. This would amount to considerable in a mile of length. I understand the modern method is to weld them together eliminating the clickety-clack that we have become used to when cars pass over the splices. Just how is the expansion compensated for at present?
When I was a boy, I was considered something of a pest with all the questions I asked. I was all too frequently told when I asked the purpose of some accessory (That's just to make little boys ask questions) - I came to believe that the person didn't know the answer, but didn't want to admit it. After all if one has no curiosity he will never learn anything.
NANCY L. HOPPER OF AITCH, PENNSYLVANIA 16610 writes a folksy SHOW REPORT for Morrison Cove Pioneer Power Reunion Steam and Antique Show -a bit different and interesting:' Dear Friends:
Although it tried, neither rain, nor hail, nor wind, nor storm dampened the enthusiasm of the 1972 Morrison Cove Pioneer Reunion Antique and Steam Show. As a young show, we are very grateful for all the helpful suggestions from you seasoned show people who visited our show. We are certain next show will be even greater -because when you are only second best you try harder - as the ad goes!
My wife, Janice, and son Jon, are standing beside the engine. They seem to be dwarfed by the drivers and they are only a fraction of the total height.
Although, I do not remember the number, I am sure I saw this engine many times on the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks going through Effingham - and they had some big engines. Courtesy of Walt Townsend, Crescent Courts, Henry, Illinois 61537.
Along with the usual steam engines and machines and the flea market, we added an exciting feature, brought about by a young woman's insistence that we needed something of more interest to women and children. Our country kitchen is just that and more - the men really enjoy the homemade goodies which result. We really intended the country kitchen to be a demonstration of the tasks of the old time kitchen - churning, baking, sewing, quilting, weaving, spinning, candle making, etc. But, by public demand, we are selling the products of our demonstrations.
The amazement in a little girls eyes as the butter particles cling together in the last stage of churning as she rocked the paddles back and forth was priceless. The scurrying crowd, when the loaves of bread were being taken from the bake oven was a sight to see. All were trying to be first in line for a slice or loaf of bread hot from the oven, along with apple butter fresh from the kettle. And I never knew how many doughnuts a young lad could eat in return for services rendered - carrying wood for the cook stove fire.
I guess my mother had the greatest thrill of all. People kept asking her how or why the country kitchen was completely operated by her six daughters between the ages of 18 and 31. And every one of them could perform any of the tasks involved.
We have the reconstructed saw mill running and have purchased a cider press which we hope to have running for our 1973 show. So, as you can see, we are really trying to at least be second best - to someone. We try harder?
Inclosing, I'd like to use this poem sent in by LLOYD LEHMAN, 2201 Bloomington Road, East Peoria, Illinois 61611 entitled
Farewell to steam, Goodbye, my friend
At last it's come - the sad, sad end.
No longer will your drivers pound
Along the rail with mighty sound.
You hauled that freight - you moved those trains
Through dust and snow and heavy rains.
No longer will your blazing light
Point out the way through blackest night.
No longer will the varnish bright Click off the miles night after night.
But diesels came - usurpers bright,
Their sleek, plain hoods disgusting sight!
So farewell steam - you did your best
The day is done it's time to rest.
Lloyd says anyone who loyes steam and locomotives will think this poem is beautiful. Might be, but isn't it nice they have the reunions and get-togethers to meet and relive the old days.