Courtesy of Jerome W. Weldele, Buffalo, Minnesota 55313.
Hi to all our friends of Iron-Men Album Family and to all the newcomers we will be welcoming we always get some new members in our family after each show or reunion, so if you haven't tried it, let the Steam-bug bite youbetcha you'll be glad you did!
Did you ever watch these Steam Fiends trading stories and information on their engines and related machinery? They're happy as can be, and some of them, I believe, enjoy it more as the day goes on and the hands and the clothes get dirtier, and I think sometimes they're a mite amused if the SOOT does sprinkle out over the crowdHeck! You have to smell that smoke and steam and get the feel of the atmosphere that makes up a get-together of this kind or you won't fully enjoy this great hobby. So, if you haven't been to any of these affairstry and get there the hobby just might be (ketchin).
Now, here is a short story worth reading /many of you farm folk will probably relate to this taken from Wellsprings of Wisdom by Ralph L. Woods and R. Gibson.
A sturdy but diffident young man asked a farmer for a job as a farm hand.
'What can you do?' inquired the farmer.
'I can do whatever has to be done, and I can sleep when the wind blows,' replied the applicant.
Although mystified by the phrase 'sleep when the wind blows,' the farmer did not press the question, but hired the young man.
Some nights later a violent storm awoke the farmer. He got up and tried unsuccessfully to arouse the farm hand, then with considerable annoyance went out himself to see if all was well. He found the barn locked, the chicken coop properly closed up, a wagonload of hay covered with a tarpaulin which was securely battened down, and all else in a condition of safety from the elements. Then the farmer realized what his new farm hand meant when he said: 'I can sleep when the wind blows.' (It's a good lesson for any of us, don't you agree? How well do you sleep when the wind blows?)
W. W. (PETE) PETERKA, 601 Waycross Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45240 has a suggestion and I'd like to hear from our I.M.A. Family as to their comments on this idea. Says Pete: 'Many of we subscribers do not have room in our garages or on small city lots, to collect and restore full-sized engines. We must be satisfied looking at, and admiring the beautiful farm engines at various shows, or, if possible, making our own in the form of miniature models. I have been doing this for seven years during which time I have made six of them, both steam and gasoline.
May I ask a favor? We would like to see in your magazines, a section devoted to miniature engines. This model engineering column of the magazine would contain names of individuals who are in the same hobby, various tool suggestions and help in solving problems. Also people would like to know what different engines are being built, miniature engine shows and ideas on displaying and running models. I truly believe this would be a valuable addition to your magazine.' (Let's hear from you Hobby Chum show do you feel about it? Anna Mae).
Herman Marschel's threshing rig east of Buffalo in 1920. It is a 22 HP Advance engine bought new in 1911. Thresher is Aultman Taylor. My father, Joe Weldele (hatless) is steering the engine. Leonard Marschel is engineer. My dad is now 79 and both he and Leonard live nearby and enjoy good health.
ROSALIE R. MARSHALL, 186 S. Vine Valley Road, Middlesex, New York 14507 writes for assistance: 'Sometime just recently I cancelled my husband's subscription to your magazine because of his passing away April 3, 1980. Since then I received a letter from someone connected to your magazine wanting to buy the back copies of The Iron Men Album Magazine. I was so upset at the time that I have mislaid the letter. I have been looking for it but must have left it in Florida. Could you let me know who that person is or is he where you could relay my message to him. My husband, Robert L. Marshall, started to subscribe to your magazine in 1956. I have sorted them out to years and I am pretty sure he has them all since then right through until 1980.' (Usually we would not run a letter as this in the column as this type of thins must be entered in the classified ads, but we would like to see someone help Mrs. Marshall with this problem. So here's hoping the person that contacted her for the magazines will get in touch with her again.)
Another person seeking a picture needs help from Engine Land: DONALD L. LOOSLI, 196 South Lloyd Circle, Idaho Falls, Idaho 83401 writes: 'I grew up on a farm in Marysville, Idaho and my father had two steam threshers. One was a Case, 2 cylinder and a Reeves 2 cylinder. I have tried for years to find a picture of these two engines, but to no avail. Maybe someone could help me?
I saw your article in the Americana Magazine and it brought back many fond memories.' (Watch the mail, Donald, you'll probably get a letter and maybe a picture.)
M. A. TAYLOR, 75 Moon View Road, Woodseats Sheffield 8 England UK sends this letter and I hope I get it right, if not; sorry M.A. the writing is hard to decipher. 'As my copy comes by sea, I hadn't read the letter of mine regarding Buffalos you printed in March-April IMA. Quite how the letter became torn and patched together, I couldn't say. I grand my handwriting can fall short of copperplate like anyone elses. However, the way it reads would seem that I intimated Mr. McPherson of Ontario as saying Buffalos are crude, cast iron affairs of Henry Ford style, which opinion is expressed by many enthusiasts more familiar with the English engine. It's not however, the view of Niel McPherson who I would like it understood has been very helpful to me and I wouldn't like him to feel I'm not appreciative. On page 9, photo 5 stands what certainly appears to be a single cylinder Buffalo Pitts.' (Do hope Mr. McPherson reads this, Mr. Taylor, and my guess is, he probably will.)
A correction is noted from J. J. REIMER, 703-55 Nassau Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada as follows: 'Thank you for your issue of May-June, Vol. 5. It carried a notice under name of Lesiur? It should be J. J. Reimercan you correct? Our mailman asked whether we knew anybody like that? We told him we didn't and we have never received any letters.
(The letter as written in the May-June issue is as follows, so you folks will understand what all this is about and we're sorry the name was wrongnow the letter: 'We have a 1904 Reeves double compound steamer. Currently this is being restored for us by the Canadian National Railways. If you could put us in touch with some other Reeves owner, we will appreciate it.')
JOHN W. HORNSEY, 1060 Waterloo Road, Berwyn, Pennsylvania 19312 writes: 'I recently acquired a Fairmount railroad track section car. It has a two cycle gas engine and the identification tag reads Fairmount Class M19, Series E, Group 3. I know very little about Fairmounts or railroad section cars for that matter, and would like more information if anyone can help. Is there a group which restores section cars, and is Fairmount still in business?' (If you can answer John, he will be happy to hear from you.' (This short note will also go in GEM, but I thought maybe some of you Iron-men would know about this.)
GARY R. FISHER, 925 Rosewood Avenue, Camarillo, California 93010 has a question: 'A friend recently purchased an old steam whistle for me at a swap meet and I would like to know what it was used on. It was made by Gabriel Horn Mfg. Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Patent date Oct. 24, 1905. It is brass, 34' long, 3' diameter and has four different tones, serial number 18414. I will appreciate anyone out there that can help me get Gabriel's horn working again. I'm sure Gabriel would appreciate it too.' (Toot-toot hopefully on the way Gary.)
JACK BUCKLY sends this, and the letterhead reads: Established 1881, B. F. CLYDES CIDER MILL, Last of Steam-powered Cider Mills, Old Mystic, Connecticut. His home address is RFD No. 1, Mystic, Connecticut 06355. Letter as follows: 'I thought that some of you readers might be interested to know that we are open for business about mid-September and are open every day. We carry steam around the clock, so that anytime anyone would like to see the engine in operation, someone here can turn it on, even if we are not working the mill. Ours is a fulltime business and not just a showpiece. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are usually very busy, but I can always find time to talk Steam.
We are also operating our grist mill for the first time about September 1. This is a new venture for us and is housed in a separate building. The corn is a very old type known as Rhode Island White Flint. We have about 6-8 tons that was grown last year. It takes several months to dry. This year's projected crop is 20,000 lbs. White Flint and about 10-12 thousand pounds Longfellow Yellow Flint.
I enjoy the I.M.A. immensely and can't wait for it to arrive. Hope you can read this as I come from a family of doctors, so guess I inherited the scrawl used on prescriptions.' (Sounds interesting, and I'll bet there will be some folks stopping around when they get up that-a-way. Folks really appreciate knowing these things makes their excursions more interesting.)
I'm sure many of you readers will get some information from E. D. DEWHURST, 712, North Front, Crookston, Minnesota 56716: 'I am happy to see the questions asked in the July-August issue of the Iron Men Album about safety valves.
I will try to explain here of my authority to write this article on subject of safety setting. I am a licensed Minnesota chief engineer (retired) and past safety valve setter for the U.S. Navy at Bremerton, Washington Navy Yard during World War II. This is not the simple matter most people consider it to be, as it required three knowledgeable men to do these jobs right on a No. 600 boiler, express type; Setter, Fireman and Timer.
The spring was set down to approximate working pressure to start with, timer watches gauge at pop; fireman pulls fire, setter makes necessary changes to the three elements of a high lift valve which have the ring spoken of in your sketch. When you want a shorter blow down, raise the ring on movable valve member or lower one on stationary. However, it is not quite so simple when you must meet a mandate of Naval Bureau and I think many men are not strict enough about this sloppy valve action, but with experience and patience it can be tuned like a fine instrument and have no chatter or simmer.
There is another thing you should know if you did not happen to have a safety valve tailor-made for your job. The spring will not be dependable if you intend to use 18% above or below what it was made for, and I expect this may be part of your trouble. Changing spring-reclassifying a valve is not a cheap practical thing to do by law etc.
I hope these instructions and words of advice are helpful to you who are working with high lift valves.
P.S.: If old style valves are removed from a boiler you may not be allowed by law to put it back on!
A different plea for help comes from JUANITA BIRD, P.O. Box 157, Liberia, Guanacaste, Costa Rica: 'Help! Because you were thoughtful enough to publish my letter, extolling the advantages of living in Costa Rica and Columbia, we have been deluged with mail from your readers.
So may I, through your column, assure them that we are delighted with their responses and will eventually answer each and every letter. Muchas gracias!! (That's a happy kind of problem to have, isn't it? Be patient writers and you'll hear from Juanita.)
The following letter will be one for you 'fellers' to talk over. It comes from JAMES B. CAIN, 220 East 140th Place, Dolton, Illinois 60419: 'Photo No. 6, page 9 of March-April I.M.A. identified as the Lang & Button engine of New York Steam Engine Associations Pageant of Steam must have undergone extensive changes since last seen by me in 1977 at Levanna-on-Cayuga and Canandaigua, New York.
The Lang & Button I remember from these shows was chalked as having been built in 1909 (figure chalked on front of smoke box). Mounted on brackets above and forward from the smoke box was a medium-size water tank. Mounted crosswise and on the full width of the front axle was a narrow, and not too deep, but long tool box. I have seen this machine at Canandaigua in 1966, and at Levanna-on-Cayuga and Canandaigua in 1977. I have seen this engine hot and running around the grounds at Canandaigue and at Levanna-on-Cayuga, and steaming the corn boil at Canandaigua; but I have never seen it doing any belt work (the engine was/is diminutive); have never seen it doing any heavy pulling.
According to information supplied by the Ithaca Journal, the firm was established as Reynolds & Lang in 1865 as builders of machinery; became Lang & Button about the turn of the century. Three steam traction engines were built; a fourth was not completed. Mr. Norris was quite right in his claim that his engine was 'the only one still around.'
The builders remained for about 50 years during and after World War I as automobile dealers (Wintons) and service as the J. B. Lang Engine and Garage Company, on Ithaca's Green Street, and contributed heavily to World War II effort. The J. B. Lang Engine and Garage Company went out of business in 1960.I rented a bike in Ithaca in 1970 from a Shepard Bike Company on West State Street. I asked the owner if he were any kin to Shepard of Shepard-Niles of Montour Falls, New York. He told me his name was Button; another question drew from him the answer that the Button of Lang & Button was his grandfather.
If the No. 6 photo on page 9 of I.M.A. of March-April is the Lang & Button engine of the Canandaigue steam shows of the 1960s and early 1970s, it has been drastically altered (removal of the front end tank). I would like to know the present whereabouts of the Lang & Button engine and whether it has been permanently cooled or is it fired up and working at some steam show, and if so, where may it be seen?'
EARL S. STOUT SR., 24910 Ada Mae Drive, San Antonio, Texas 78257 sends an interesting article on The Banting Manufacturing Company the the Greyhound Thresher. His letter as follows: 'When returning home from a month's stay in Texas on May 9, 1980, in the mail was my Iron Men Album, May-June issue. Also, five cards and letters in response to the letter you printed in your column, concerning the letter I sent you in January about the Banting Manufacturing Company. Since you stated at the end of the letter (If someone is interested and would pass the data on to us, we would appreciate it for the magazine). I have decided to try to be fair to all. I will have copies made for all that have written and then send original to you to do with as you desire.
The name and address written by pen above the letterhead, I think, is the one that found this material when tearing out a wall where it had fallen from the attic when the house was owned by someone else. This man's nephew, if I remember right, of Marion, Ohio, gave this material to me at the Miami Valley Steam Threshers Show at London, Ohio some years ago. I assured him that I would get it into the hands of people that would appreciate it.' (Earl S. Stout as yet lives in Broadway, Ohio 43007 at 18897 Broad Street. But he is moving to Texas in August thought I would print this to clear up the above address and some of you might know him as living in Ohio.) Enclosed with his letter is the data on Banting: 1) a letter dated January 18, 1922 from The Banting Manufacturing Company. 2) an order blank for ordering machinery. 3) the Greyhound pamphlet. 4) The Banting Manufacturing Company machinery list.
In closing, I'd like to remind you Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck outJames Bryant Conant. And here's a pepper-upper for you: Make peace with what has happened, don't foolishly regret it. A blunder has no power, as soon as you forget it.