‘THE GENTLE PERSUASION’

Oceanside, California

As a consequence I am still receiving mail and visits from
people who have read about it, and I didn’t really know that
one engine could cause so much excitement.

The fair scene was filmed on an immense sound stage out at
Republic Studios. With its high wooden false smokestack, it was far
the most dominating thing in the scene, even with hundreds of
actors milling around. Of the thousands of publicity photos made
during the shooting of the picture, a great many of them were taken
in the vicinity of the engine, showing it from every conceivable
angle.

It seemed to me that Gary Cooper, with his western background
must have felt right at home with such an engine, and one of these
days I hope to discuss it with him.

It happens that I am a country guy from the neighborhood of
Rochester, Minnesota. I have had a furniture business here in
Oceanside for the past ten years. I always wanted an engine,
because as a youth I had been a water boy for such an engine out in
the fields. I finally got this engine from John Hale, a railroad
engineer in Rochester, who had owned it for three years. Hale got
it from Wausau, Wisconsin, where it had been in use in a lumber
camp.

None of us know exactly how old it is, but we are still trying
to find out. One thing we do know … it runs. Here at Oceanside, I
found Bill Ogle, a retired engineer who had considerable experience
operating such engines. Bill comes from the lumber mills at Wausau,
where this engine had been used. I also found Jim Childs, a Master
Sergeant in the Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton, a younger fellow,
who comes from a farm in Nebraska, where he had also been around
such engines. These two men usually help me whenever we run an
engine. Then there happened into my store, Mr. William Francis, a
corrosion engineer from the How E. Baker Co., Los Angeles, and Mr.
Francis gave it a thorough inspection. We found that although the
engine was built to carry 175 lbs. of steam, it would be wise, for
reasons of safety, to keep it set at 125 lbs. This would give us 16
hp. The question of getting enough coal was a serious one, and

we only know one place in San Diego County to get it.

I also found an Advance-Rumely threshing-machine (separator)
which is the only one of its kind, so far as I know, in this part
of the state. We have used the engine and the threshing machine in
several parades locally and in San Diego. The state American Legion
and the Forty and Eight had us in parades in San Diego and we won
first prize both times. We may be in the national Legion parade in
Los Angeles next summer.

In a recent issue of the ALBUM I saw a photo of an engine owned
by Elwood Allnutt, Chillicothe, Missouri, and noticed that it had
exactly the same serial numbers as mine, 2277 M and 2281 M. I have
corresponded with the owner and now have written to the president
of the Minneapolis-Moline Co., Mr. W. C. MacFarlane, to see if he
can establish the age of this series for us. It would be a great
satisfaction.

I keep the engine and threshing machine on a lot I own on the
east side of town, but just outside my store I have a number of
smaller if less interesting treasures-six ancient automobiles and
some old bicycles. My 1912 Pierce-Arrow was recently driven in the
March of Dimes cavalcade organized by Mr. Henry Austin Clark, Jr.,
who has the famed automobile museum at Southampton, Long Island. It
takes time and investment to keep all these treasures in condition
but the rewards are gratifying, as you can see. Someday I hope to
have

a small museum so naturally I am interested in acquiring as many
items as I can.

To date, and probably for always, the steam traction engine is
the King of the Road.

(Latest information is to the effect that this movie was to be
released in October, 1956. Watch your movie listing for dates.)

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