| January/February 1972

1511 Iglehart, St. Paul, Minn. 55104.

Recently I enjoyed an interesting chat with Mr. Ralph C. Truax of 2214 Marshall Avenue, St. Paul, 55104.

Mr. Truax who is a retired machinist, told me some of his experiences with steam engines and as a steam engineer.

When, as a young man, he came out of machinist training, he found jobs were hard to get. As he tells it, 'machinists were a dime a dozen.'

It was in 1914 when he began his steam career by taking a job running a stationary engine in a coal mine power plant at Noonan, North Dakota near the Montana, Canadian Borders. At that time, engineers did not need a license; however, he was licensed.

In his spare time, he did repair work on steam traction engines. He recalled an instance while he was running a steam traction engine, threshing. He was asked by the owner of a Case engine, to see if he could locate a pound or knock in it. He found the piston loose on the rod. He repaired it for the owner.