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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
‘FAREWELL TO STEAM’
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
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.