SOOT IN THE FLUES

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Yaeger #1.
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Yaeger #2.
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Yaeger #3.
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Yaeger #4.
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Yaeger #5.
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Yaeger #6.

Hello, all our friends in Engine and! Hope you’re all doing
well and that your engines are running in tip-top condition.

Everyone must be ever so busy at the shows and steam ps, for our
pile of letters has been dwindling. We know many of you miss dear
Anna Maewe miss her too! She sure had style and a way with words.
Probably the best way to keep her memory alive is to continue the
close, personal relationships you’ve been able to kindle with
other collectors through this column. Anna Mae’s heart was
always warmed by the friends who spoke to each other across Engine
land through their letters to her, and although we could never
match her spirit, we do want to continue as a place for folks to
keep in touch. We can only do that if you write a letter once in a
while. . . it needn’t be anything fancy, or a full blown story.
A brief hello and an update on what (or who) you’ve seen on
travels to shows, or perhaps a tough engine question that’s got
you puzzled, or a crazy idea that you’re wondering if it will
work, or just a ‘hi-howdy’ will do. Drop us a line!

Speaking of what and who we see at shows, I (Gail) hope that by
the time you read this I will have seen some of you myself, as my
husband Kelly and I are planning a trip to Colorado and Utah in
August, and will be stopping by a few shows while we’re out
there. The folks from here in the office usually try to get to a
close-by show whenever we’re traveling somewhere.

Just thinking about that upcoming vacation has got me
daydreaming visions of rocky peaks, scenic mountain vistas, narrow
gauge railroads, low humidity, pine-scented air, good chicken-fried
steak at every restaurant. . . . Whoa! I guess I’d better move
on to your letters before I lose myself in the American West!

We received this news release from Ontario Ministry of
Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ontario Agricultural Museum,
PO Box 38, Milton, Ontario, L9T 2Y3, regarding the planned
Massey-Harris-Ferguson 150th Anniversary Celebration.

‘A recent meeting of well-known collectors of Massey-Harris
tractors and memorabilia confirmed that the province’s
collecting community is optimistic about the future of the Ontario
Agricultural Museum in Milton.

‘The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
recently announced the closure of the well-known museum. It will
face a 50% budget reduction in its 1996-97 fiscal year, and
provincial funding will cease on March 31,1997. Since this
announcement was made, supporters of the museum have formed
Ontario’s Rural Heritage Preservation Committee, with the
stated purpose of ‘preserving the artifacts, archives,
buildings and site of the Ontario Agricultural Museum.’

‘Prior to the Province’s decision to close the museum,
staff had begun planning a major celebration in honour of the 150th
anniversary of Canada’s best-known farm machinery manufacturer,
Massey-Harris (more recently known as Massey-Ferguson) in 1997. The
Milton Museum had been selected by an international
Massey-Harris-Ferguson enthusiasts’ organization as one of two
North American sites to ‘officially’ recognize this
milestone in agricultural history. A planning committee of
collectors from across Ontario had been formed, but their inaugural
meeting was cancelled following the news of the impending closure
of the museum.

‘While the future of the Ontario Agricultural Museum remains
unclear, the hard work of Ontario’s Rural Heritage Preservation
Committee has impressed the members of the 150th Anniversary
Committee, and they met recently to consider the future of their
project. The result was their unanimous decision to be optimistic,
and to begin the planning process for what promises to be an
exciting four day event in July of 1997. ‘An important
milestone like this will happen only once in our lifetime,’
stated committee member Ken Reichert of Ilderton, Ontario.

‘The 150th Anniversary celebration is scheduled for July
17-20, 1997 as a part of the museum’s annual Great Canadian
Antique Tractor Field Days. It will feature scores of antique
tractors, engines, implements, literature and memorabilia made over
the years by Massey-Harris and related companies, including
Sawyer-Massey, Harry Ferguson Inc. and Massey-Ferguson. The
museum’s own extensive collection of related artifacts and
archives will also be showcased. The committee plans many
activities sure to appeal to collectors and families alike. For
further information, contact: Mr. Peter M. Ledwith, Ontario
Agricultural Museum, PO Box 38, Milton, Ontario, Canada L9T 2Y3.
Phone days: 905-878-8151 (voice)/ 905-876-4530 (fax). Evenings
519-856-4110 or at can.oam@immedia.ca’

From PETE LA BELLE, 802 Shady book, Holland, Michigan 49424:
‘I’ve recently passed one of the milestones in my life that
I set for myself about 25 years ago. By being very public about the
steam hobby that I’ve grown into, a lead came in one day and I
now am the owner of a 15 HP Buffalo-Pitts steam tractor. This one
was found in northern lower Michigan about 10 years ago and
recently became available. It’s been sitting outside since it
was last driven in 1961, so you can imagine the project ahead of
me. I was a year old back then.

‘Russ Gelder & ‘Company’ and I gave it a final
review last Saturday, and concluded it was a ‘must have.’
Now I’m in the process of clearing out my stock of extra steam
stuff to help in the restoration.

‘I used to laugh, but now I’m in a situation many others
have written to this magazine for. I’m seeking all kinds of
information on this beast: color schemes, history, others who own
this type of engine, rarity, and so forth. All information will be
appreciated.

‘The engine is a single cylinder. From what I can gather,
it’s around a 1905-07 model. The builder’s tag appears to
have been removed from the side of the smoke box. Was the serial
number stamped elsewhere? Any pertinent boiler data stamped
anywhere?

‘I’ll be keeping you abreast on the restoration.
It’ll be a year or so before this one’s ready to breathe
again. Thanks in advance for your help!!

‘P.S. My wife wormed a new couch into the bargaining talks
at home. . .’

Thanks to LARRY CREED, R.R. 13, Box 209, Brazil, Indiana 47834
for the following: ‘I wholeheartedly agree with Randy
Schwerin’s article, ‘Boiler Inspections Another
Viewpoint,’ especially as Mr. Bouley’s article left a bad
taste in my mouth I feel like he was trying to scare up some boiler
business.

‘Using a boiler shop that has an ‘R’ stamp is well
and good if they know how to replace threaded stay-bolts and can do
hot riveting. If the shop cannot do both of these repairs, I would
not let them touch any of my boilers. Pad-welding may be acceptable
on commercial boilers and locomotives but is not on antique riveted
farm boilers.

‘I am aware of an engine that had a leaky stay bolt in the
side of the firebox; a commercial boiler repair shop came in and
pad-welded over the stay bolt. They thought it was a rivet. The
shop charged a goodly sum to do this shoddy repair and most of us
know what will happen to the patch when exposed to the heat in the
firebox. This shop of course had an ‘R’ stamp.

‘I use a shop which does not have an ‘R’ stamp but
one of the owners is a certified welder (who by the way does an
excellent job of replacing smoke boxes) and holds a boiler
repairman’s license from the state of Kentucky. My state,
Indiana, does not have a state inspection for boilers so there is
not any kind of state certification to be had.

‘I have no doubt this shop would meet the standards to hold
an ‘R’ stamp but the cost to obtain the stamp and extra
insurance cost would run $2000 per year. As this shop works
strictly on riveted boilers, they do not want to raise their prices
just to hold the ‘R’ stamp. Repairing boilers is not like
making money on a printing pressthey are not trying to get
rich.

‘Mr. Bouley’s article talks about the boiler inspector
using the hammer testdo they not use an ultrasonic tester in the
East? A hammer test is fine, but a hammer test along with
ultrasonic testing is much more conclusive. Many states, such as
Tennessee, require an ultrasonic test to be performed before they
will issue a boiler inspection certificate.

‘As far as a boiler explosion causing all boilers over 20
years old to be condemned, most of us realize that operator
inexperience or incompetence causes explosions. A bad boiler will
show signs that it needs repairs such as seeping around stay bolts
and dripping. A boiler is not like an atomic bomb waiting to
explode, unless you inject water on a hot crown sheet. The fusible
plug and safety (or pop off) valve will keep the boiler from
exploding under most circumstances.

‘We all need to be diligent in inspecting our boilers,
especially under steam, and make proper repairs using the correct
methods and materials. I plan to enjoy my riveted boilers for many
years to come.’

While we’re on the subject of boilers, I’ll mention that
we got an interesting message over the phone via AT&T’s
message service, from an unidentified reader commenting on the
letter from Eleanor and Monte May in the last issue of IMA. The
caller stated that he fully agreed with the Mays that articles
about boiler explosions, like that which occurred at the Gettysburg
Railroad, should be published in every steam publication, most of
all ours, as he has seen an appalling degree of unsafe boiler
conditions, and a general ignorance of the dangers of inattention
to boiler maintenance, among members of the steam traction
fraternity. Any more comments on this particular issue? Send them
in, let’s get a real dialogue going!

We always enjoy hearing from GARY YAEGER, 146 Reimer Lane,
Whitefish, Montana 59937. Gary says, ‘I received my July/August
IMA. I noticed how nice and thick my favorite magazine was and was
thinking I am so busy I won’t be able to send a story until
this winter when things slow down for me. Then I thought, if
everyone is that busy we might have some skinny issues. I needed to
write some letters for another project, as well as our local old
iron club. While the computer is cranked up, I thought, I just
might as well keeps clicking along and send something to IMA.

‘I noticed my friend Larry Creed has been good and faithful
to send a multitude of pictures. He has influenced me to send
pictures in the same manner. I have to think and plan stories, but
pictures would be simple for many of us to send you, if we’re
not apt to be the type to write stories about our hobby. Many of us
take pictures at shows or find pictures here and there with engines
on them.

‘Picture number one is one of my favorite engines in the
whole world: a 32 HP Reeves Cross-Compound, Canadian Special #7181.
It was owned by Herman Otten of Glengarry, Montana, and was
plowing, in 1920, on what is now the Lewistown Airport. I believe
the two businessmen on the plows had just sold them to Mr. Otten.
The Central Montana Old Iron Club is now located on this airport.
Number 7181 is now owned by the Tylers at Moore, Montana.

‘Picture number two is a 32 HP Reeves Cross-Compound US with
a Reeves steam lift plow over in eastern Montana. Notice how they
adapted another drive wheel to the rear drivers, in effect giving
them a double extension, or 48’ drivers.

‘Picture number three is of two steam engines moving a
Bucyrus steam shovel to the site for construction of the Soo Line,
also in eastern Montana. The right engine could be the same
Minneapolis as the one in the number four picture. They are
certainly burning some coal getting this job accomplished. The left
engine appears to be a Case but it’s not plain enough to
tell.

‘Picture number four is of another eastern Montana engine.
It is a Minneapolis under steam crossing the ice on the Yellowstone
River near Glendive in 1910.

‘Picture number five is of me at the throttle and my cousin
Fred Yaeger at the steering wheel of Dad’s old 1914 Nichols
& Shepard 20-70 side mount. We were at the Montana Agricultural
Experiment Station at Moccasin, Montana, in 1956, the year of their
50th anniversary celebration. I was almost 13 years old. To give
you steam people an idea of how old that is, Randy Schwerin was
born that year and may not even have been born when this picture
was taken. I picked up the picture in Lewistown last Saturday.
I’d asked George Brenner of the Culver Studio collection of
pictures, if he had any pictures of old steam engines. He said yes,
and you can imagine how excited I was to see myself 40 years later.
Still in love with steam though!

‘Picture number six is probably my favorite engine. The
reverse side of the postcard I copied to get this picture stated:
’40-140 Reeves Cross Compound. The only one left in the world.
Owned by Edward and Ray Smolik at Osage, Iowa. Picture taken at
Blackhawk Steam Show-Cedar Falls, Iowa, September 1963.’

‘Randy Schwerin ran this engine for many of its later years
at the Antique Acres Show. I got to run it in 1992. I took videos
of it plowing its last round that year, which was the last it
plowed before the Smoliks removed it to their museum at Osage. I
remember what I was doing when John F. Kennedy was assassinated,
and I’ll never forget August 27 & 28, 1992 either.

‘Maybe this would be a good place to push the booklet I plan
to put together, on the 40 HP Reeves engines, in the near future.
Many of you fine people sent me pictures and articles for that
project and I thank you all. If any of you out there in steam-land
have anything regarding this type engine, I’d be elated to
receive it from you!

‘Well, I must go. Please keep up the good work at Iron Men
Album. The only bad part of receiving an IMA is that I know
it’s going to be another two months until I receive another
one! In the meantime, I read it very thoroughly. By the way, Linda
and Gail, you are doing a very fitting job of putting out ‘Soot
in the Flues’. Anna Mae would also be proud of you
two.’

Well now, by gosh, that’s a letter! Thanks, Gary, for your
correspondence, and your kind words, and the pat on the back. This
is just the sort of letter I was talking about as I started out
this month. Not overdone or scholarly, just a nice note to keep in
touch and share with your fellow Iron Men. How about it? Will we
hear from you next time? Until we do, enjoy yourselves and be safe
at all the autumn harvest events.

Steamcerely,Gail and Linda

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