SOOT IN THE FLUES

1 / 8
2 / 8
3 / 8
4 / 8
5 / 8
6 / 8
7 / 8
1877 Gaar Scott sales contract.
8 / 8

Well, I know it is with happy hearts and high expectations that
you folks have been packing and yearning to hit the road and follow
the map on the Reunion Trail across this great nation of ours; my
thoughts and prayers are with you for a great Steam and Gas
vacation time. I know you’ll come back with a lot of other
types of information on various subjects, as well as with an
expanded knowledge of ways to further enjoy new, and not so new,
stories of this extremely interesting hobby. Just don’t forget
to drop me a line and share the news or bits of info found on your
excursions.

I recently ran across this story form of the many food words we
use in our home life vocabulary. I think you will enjoy it. It is
called ‘Lighter Vein,’ and is taken from Uncle
Ben’s Quote book.

‘When was the last time you said somebody didn’t know
beans about something, or described a fog as being thick
as pea soup, or called a political speech a lot of
applesauce?

‘It probably wasn’t very long ago, because we Americans
really take the cake when it comes to using foods in our everyday
figures of speech. For example, when things go right, they are in
apple pie order, and life is a bowl of cherries.
But when they go wrong, it’s a fine kettle of fish, or
a pretty pickle.

‘If a man is important, he’s top banana. If
he’s not, he may be just a meatball. If he’s
clumsy, he’s butter-fingered. If he’s cowardly,
he’s chick-en-livered. If he’s poised, he’s cool as a
cucumber. If he’s smart, he’s an egghead. And if he’s a
prize fighter, he very likely has cauliflower ears. If he talks too
much, he spills the beans. And if he doesn’t talk enough, he
clams up.

‘Moreover, he doesn’t earn money, he earns dough, or he
brings home the bacon. And if he’s working for peanuts, his
wife may egg him on to butter up the boss.

‘If something is good, it’s a peach. If it’s bad,
it’s a lemon. And that may lead to a rhubarb. But someone will
say it’s just sour grapes.

‘You may think you deserve an egg in your beer, but if
you’re not worth your salt, you may wind up eating humble pie,
and that would be getting your just desserts.

‘Finally, a pretty girl is a tomato, or quite a dish, and
the boys may want to spoon with her. But if one asks her to elope,
she may say she cantaloupe.

‘And now, just to ice the cake, I want to say that you may
take most claims with a grain of salt.’

And just for fun, here’s a light-hearted bit entitled,
‘Letter From (Wherever) County Mother To a (Wherever) County
Son’:

‘I am writing this slow ’cause I know you can’t read
fast. We don’t live where we did when you left. Your dad read
in the paper where most accidents happen within 20 miles of home so
we moved. I won’t be able to send you the address ’cause
the last family that lived here took the numbers with them for
their next house so they wouldn’t have to change their address.
This place has a washing machine. The first day I put four shirts
in and pulled the chain and I haven’t seen them since. It only
rained twice this week-three days the first time and four days the
second time, The coat you wanted me to send you, your Aunt Sue said
it would be too heavy to send you in the mail because of the heavy
buttons so we cut them off and put them in the pockets. We got a
bill from the funeral home. It said if we didn’t make the last
payment on Grandma’s funeral bill, up she comes! About your
sister, she had a baby this morning. I haven’t found out yet if
it’s a girl or a boy, so I don’t know if you’re an aunt
or uncle. About your father, he has a lovely new job. He has over
five hundred men under him. He is cutting grass in the cemetery.
Three of your friends went off the bridge yesterday in a pickup.
One was in the front driving, the other two were in the back. The
driver got out, he rolled down the window and swam to safety. The
other two drowned, they couldn’t get the tailgate down. Your
Uncle John fell in the whiskey vat. Some men tried to pull him out,
but he fought them off, so he drowned. We cremated him, he burned
for three days. Not much more news this time, nothing really
happened. Write more often. Love, Mother.’ And now, on to your
letters!

‘Needless to say, it was a very pleasant surprise when I
flipped open the March-April issue to page 17 and saw my Brooks,
Oregon display,’ writes JAMES G. TUMELSON of Seattle,
Washington. ‘That was a really good show, and exceptionally
enjoyable for me because I had the opportunity to get re-acquainted
with Joe and Dale Richardson from Orofino, Idaho – that’s about
15 miles from where I was born and raised.

‘Enclosed are some pictures from the past. The one of the
binder and the Model T Ford (above) was taken around Warren,
Kansas. The woman on the binder is my Aunt Bessie Witt. Her
husband, Jessie, is driving the Ford. It was taken on their farm.
The photo of me and my engine (below) was taken at Toppenish,
Washington 1990. The other threshing scenes (next page) were taken
in Idaho about 40 miles up the Clearwater River from Lewiston on my
uncle’s farm. The one of the 12-36 Case with the separator
belonged to my grandfather, Tom Springston. My dad is operating the
engine as he did for many years while I was growing up. My dad and
mom homesteaded in Idaho when it first opened up to
homesteaders.’

BT2 SW LYNNE THORESON, Eng. Dept, B-Div., USS Durham LKA 114,
FPO San Francisco 96663 1701, tells us: ‘Thanks for the great
magazine. I am in the Persian Gulf part of the Operation Desert
Storm. Your magazine means a lot to me since we have been away from
home for eight months. You have done a great job. I look forward to
every magazine I get. Thank you for keeping my spirits up in this
very difficult time.’ (Of course this was received quite awhile
ago and we hope by now that Lynne is back home God bless all these
wonderful folks.)

PAUL RENO, 3254 Kansas Street, Oakland, California 94602 writes:
‘When I received the May-June issue of Iron Men I was glad to
see it was 56 pages instead of 32.’ (So were we welcome all
material, so send those ideas and comments and stories to me and
I’ll get them in the magazine.)

‘As to the boiler and wheels on page 10, January/February
1991, by Ted Strain, I figured you would have gotten plenty of
answers from the steam men. I believe it is a Russell of about 12
HP, but I am like C. R. Sindelar (May/June issue); I think the
answer to those kinds of questions should be published.

‘Mr. Edwin Bredemier wrote you in January/February 1991, on
the separators running too fast at the shows. We have the same
problems out here, especially with steam engines governed too fast.
If they run too slow, they just clog up and then have to shut down,
which is better than tearing up the separator anyway.

‘Now to the May/June issue, ‘Cross Country Steaming’
on page 29. It is mentioned, in hilly country, the engines could
break away going downhill if the governor belt broke. So the group
removed the belt before going downhill to keep the governor from
cutting steam off. The Daniel Best steam tractor with its vertical,
which was built for going up and down hill, had a lever for
overriding the governor without having to fool with the belt, but
there aren’t many who know how to use it.

‘Over on Grand River, two miles east of Ketchum, Oklahoma
where I was raised, we heard old engines going by in the middle of
the night crossing the country. I never saw an engine or a mule
team in a trailer until after World War II.

‘The old steamers and tractors could go down into the Grand
River bottom, down sawmill hill, but it took my Pappy’s big
mules to bring them back up. The 15-30 McCormick was the first
tractor that could drag a separator up the hill, so when Grand
River Lake was flooded in 1930, there were supposed to be about 40
old engines covered between the dam and Miami, and one steam well
drill. Dad’s same mule team pulled the Delaware County grader
over the roads until replaced by a Cat 60 in the 30’s. I would
like to hear if there are any of the patented self-propelled
separators surviving in this world, especially the Sagend Threshing
Machine Company 1908 to 1912.

‘My friend, M. H. Hellwinckel, sent me a picture of the
model back in Minnesota. It sure looks dusty for the crew, and
impractical as all get out. Sometimes the machinery that didn’t
make it is as interesting to a mechanic as the ones that did. Take
the Hoveland Harvester, at Saskatoon, Alberta, Canada, 75 years
before its time. Also, the steamers always pulled the fires to ford
Grand River at Nowlins riffle at the foot of Sawmill Hollow.
Nowlins Ferry was two miles east and Ketchum Ferry was two miles
west. There were no bridges for miles then. Now it is all tourist
country around the lake.’

‘Can anyone of your readers produce a farm equipment sales
contract made prior to 1877?’ asks LESLIE G. MATHERLY, 6012
Chenoweth Run Road, Jefferson-town, Kentucky 40299. ‘I
inherited the enclosed contract, with other family records, about
20 years ago when my parents died.

‘In 1983 I joined the Kentuckiana (KY-IND) Pioneer Power
Club and the Gaar-Scott contract took on new meaning. The third
name on the contract was my great-grandfather, E. G. Matherly.

Also included with the contract were two pictures of three men
operating a sawmill on the Central Kentucky hill farm. The pictures
are old and just fair quality, so I can’t identify the men or
the type of steam engine used for power.

‘Can any of you readers identify the type of power described
in the contract as ‘Eight Horse Power?’

KYLE CARLIN SCHOEFF, 10520E 100 S., Marion, Indiana 46953 sends
the picture at right, taken at Portland Indiana Show 1990 at the
Tri-State Gas Engine and Tractor Show: RUSSELLS: 25 HP Russell
steam engine #16977,1920, owned by Kyle Schoeff, Marion, Indiana
46953; 10 HP Russell steam engine #123966, 1906, owned by Bill
Nash, Winchester, Indiana 47394; and a 20-40 Russell gas tractor
Big Boss #2190, 1921, owned by Al New family, Pendleton, Indiana
46064.

‘I enjoy the Iron Men Album very much and enjoy steam engine
shows. I am a paraplegic, so I attend only one a year at New
Centerville, Pennsylvania,’ writes D. CARL THOMAS, R.D. #1, Box
404, Hollsopple, Pennsylvania 15935.

‘The picture in a former issue of IMA of the Twentieth
Century traction engine brought back many memories. My dad had a
Twentieth Century. It was built by Miller Machine Shop in Boynton,
Pennsylvania by Gideon Miller, a Mennonite minister.

‘My dad took the train to Boynton to buy the engine. Then he
ran this engine on its own power to our home, a distance of 40-odd
miles. Steam power took him to the machine shop and steam power
brought him home.

‘The engine was a double cylinder and had good belt power.
It was Number One built in early 1900. My dad used it to thresh and
cut lumber at his sawmill. He had a Peerless threshing machine and
a Geiser sawmill.

‘Dad told me several men came to see this engine. They
chuckled at his small engine until he started to cut lumber. Then
they bought one for themselves.

‘We lived near a coal mining town called Jerome. They had a
breakdown and needed a timber, 12×12 x 40, which my dad furnished.
My brothers hauled it up a steep hill with four horses. It was in
the spring of the year and the snow was melting. The snow stuck to
the horse’s hooves, making it difficult for them to walk. After
getting to the top of a steep hill my brother, who was quite young,
took one team home. The horses he was riding stumbled. He was
really scared and crying and glad to get home.

‘After the running gears wore out on the engine, my dad took
the boiler off and used it in sugar camp to boil maple syrup. He
used copper coils, like they used to boil apple butter, which
worked real well. When the syrup was done, all you had to do was
close the valve and the boiling would stop. He used this for a
number of years until the flues wore out.

‘In the fall of 1939 I got a job in the steel mill in
Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and then I moved to the Johnstown and
Stonycreek Railroad, a subsidiary of U.S. Steel. I would work extra
until there was a steady job opening. One morning they came for me
to be the fireman. I had never fired a steam engine of any kind. I
shoveled too much coal in the firebox and banked the fire. The
steam gauge started to go the wrong way, but the engineer showed me
how to fire an engine and I was a fireman for awhile. I also
learned how to run the locomotive and would take over while the
engineer ate his lunch. Later I was brakeman for several years, and
then conductor. I worked on the railroad for 29 years. We later got
diesel, but a diesel engine just couldn’t take the place of
steam.’

MICKEY E. POTTER, Executive Director of R. E. Olds
Transportation Museum, 240 Museum Drive, Lansing, Michigan
48933-1905; (517)372-0422, has a request: ‘We are looking for
anyone who has a working Olds gasoline-fired steam engine. The ones
we have are not complete. The engines are missing minor things,
like burners, water tanks, and gauges.

‘We are supposed to be the people who know about these
things, and it’s embarrassing not to know anything. Any help or
knowledge that you can send our way would be greatly
appreciated.’ (There’s a chance to help someone who really
needs your assistance-don’t let Mickey down, Fellas!)

That is the extent of communications, and by the time this issue
is well read and history, it will be back to school for our
children of all ages. I thought the following, entitled ‘A
Mother’s Prayer,’ is appropriate now and at any time in the
lives of our children as they grow older- ‘Make me a wise
Mother, O Lord. Keep me calm and give me patience to bear the
small, irritating things in the daily routine of life. Give me
tolerance and understanding to bridge the gulf between my
generation and that of my children.

‘Let me not be too ready to guide my children’s
stumbling feet, but allow me to be ever near to bind their bruises.
Give me a sense of humor that I may laugh with them but never at
them. Let me refrain from preaching with words.

‘Keep me from forcing their confidences, but give me a
sympathetic ear when my children come to me. Make me humble. Keep
my children close to me, O Lord, though miles may separate us. And
let Thy light so shine upon me that they too will perceive Thy
glory. Amen.’ (I have this taped on my cupboard and try to
adhere to this petition).

And while you are pasting up your Mother’s Prayer,
here’s one for many of we ‘older’ folks-just seems to
be a companion to the other prayer. It is called:

‘A Prayer For Older People’

‘Father, Thou knowest I am growing older. Keep me from
becoming talkative and possessed with the idea that I must express
myself on every subject. Release me from the craving to straighten
out everyone’s affairs. Keep my mind free from the recital of
endless detail. Seal my lips when I am inclined to tell of my aches
and pains. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be
wrong. Make me thoughtful but not moody, helpful but not bossy.
With my vast store of wisdom and experience, it seems a pity not to
use it all, but Thou knowest, Lord, that I want to keep my friends
until the end. Amen.’

That wraps it up for this time, my dear Iron-Men Album family,
and again thank you so much for caring and for your prayers and
letters or cards. It really warms my heart to know many of you
understand this particular time of my life since the death of my
dear husband his body is now gone, but his spirit and love stays
with us. And, within the last five days we have had five birthdays
to celebrate, and the beautiful wedding of our grandson, Ryan
Fortenbaugh, and his bride, Dawn Hutecheson they are a beautiful
pair, walking with the Lord, as they begin their marital journey. I
have so much for which to be thankful.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment