9111 Louis Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
I am sure that many Iron-Men Album readers will remember my article entitled, 'Unique Engine-Unidentified Help!!' which appeared in the Nov.-Dec. 1974 IMA. I had purchased the ? scale steam traction engine at the 1973 Eastern Shore Threshermens and Collectors Association show in Maryland from Mr. Andrew Burr of Baldwin, N.Y. I had been trying to find out who made the engine and when it was built ever since. Since it resembled both a Frick and a Case, I called it a 'Fricase'.
Three things puzzled me about the engine: (1) Why was there a piece of small exhaust pipe still welded in the smokebox unless the original engine had been replaced with a larger one? (2) What was the extra V-pulley doing on the crankshaft when it didn't run anything? and (3) Why was there a flange around the boiler near the smokebox and why was a piece of square stock wrapped around the base of the steam dome and welded in place? It wasn't needed for strength. There was evidence that the engine had a canopy at one time also. I hoped to find the answer to these and other questions about my engine and I certainly did!
I received a number of interesting and informative letters in response to my article and as a result I have made several new friends in Steamland. I thought the IMA readers might like to see how the story unfolded, letter by letter.
Before my copy of the Nov.-Dec. IMA arrived I received a letter from Mr. Edward N. Stauffer, RD2, New Holland, Pa. 17557 telling me that he believed my engine was built several years ago by Mr. Aaron H. Martin, RD2, New Holland, Pa. 17557, who had a blacksmith shop at that time, and Mr. Aaron W. Horning, RD1, Leola, Pa., a machinist. He went on to say that the late Mr. Menno Stoltzfus had the engine at one of the Rough and Tumble shows at Kinzers, Pa. and that it was subsequently sold to a man from Ohio who had it for 2 or 3 years. Mr. Stauffer said he heard that the engine had come back from Ohio and that the original 3-1/2X5 engine had been replaced with a larger one. He said the engine originally had a rotary oil pump driven by a pulley on the crankshaft. Here was a clue to my 'useless' pulley and a possible explanation of my extra piece of exhaust pipe used with the original engine. Mr. Stauffer then added a few details concerning the construction of the engine which convinced me that he had my engine in mind.
The following day I received a card from Mr. Elias S. Beiler, RD1, Leola, Pa. 17540, who stated that my engine had been built by Mr. Aaron H. Martin. He mentioned that Mr. Menno Stoltzfus had the engine and that it was sold to Mr. Dan Stutzman of Middlefield, Ohio and that he in turn sold it to a man from New York. It looked like the puzzle was beginning to fall into place.
The 'clincher' came a few days later when a letter arrived from Mr. Dan Stutzman, 16350 Nauvoo Road, Rt. 1, Middlefield, Ohio 44062. He stated that he had bought my engine at Rough and Tumble at Kinzers, Pa. He told of having a 5 x 6 engine made and installed in 1969 by Mr. S.D. Brady and a Mr. Halterman of Warren, Ohio. He then told of trading the traction engine to Andrew Burr of New York. Mr. Stutzman's letter made the story complete and the IMA had scarcely been out a week!
Needless to say, I dispatched letters and pictures of the engine to both Mr. Aaron Martin of New Holland and Mr. Aaron Horning of Leola. I later telephoned both men and we had long discussions about the building of the engine, about the various parts they used and when it was built. From the stories they told, I don't believe anyone fully realizes what an undertaking it is to build an engine by hand until they have done it.
It is my understanding that the little traction engine was under construction from about 1960 to 1962. It was built by Mr. Martin in Mr. Horning's machine shop in Leola. Mr. Horning had built a small traction engine earlier and he advised and assisted Mr. Martin in building this larger one. The original cylinder, steam chest, slide valve, governor, etc. was machined from castings. The boiler shell was a piece of 16 inch diameter water main. Mr. Martin said he obtained the grates from a local hardware store. They were of the rocker type; the lever is still on the engine, but it is no longer connected to the grates. The steering wheel was the hand wheel from a large water main valve. Mr. Martin said he obtained the gearing from old stone quarry equipment and he indicated he had quite a time finding matching gears to give him the proper ratio in the gear sets. He also said the engine had been equipped with a jacket on the boiler and that that was the reason for the flange around the boiler and the pieces around the base of the steam dome. It is obvious that lots of hard work went into the Building of the engine.
Mr. Martin sent me a clipping from the August 18, 1967 issue of the Daily Intelligencer Journal of Lancaster, Pa. which included a picture of Mr. Stoltzfus operating the engine at the 19th annual Rough and Tumble show. The jacket on the boiler and the rotary oil pump are clearly visible. There is no doubt but that this engine and my engine are the same.
My next step was to write Mr. S.D. Brady of the Brady Machine Company, 1195 Adalaide Ave., S.E., Warren, Ohio 44484 where the replacement engine had been made for Mr. Stutzman. I also wanted to ask Mr. Brady if he would make a new identification plate for the engine to replace the one that had apparently been on the crosshead guide. Mr. Brady replied promptly and said he had designed and fabricated the new engine and had completed it on July 11, 1969. The original flywheel and crankshaft were retained. Mr. Brady's friend, Mr. Halterman, then installed the new engine on the boiler. Mr. Brady said that this was the third 1/2 size steam engine that he had made.
Mr. Stutzman later wrote to the effect that the rebuilt traction engine was shown at the Buron, Ohio show where he ran the standard Baker fan for 1/2 hour with 125 pounds steam pressure to test the engine for Mr. Brady and Mr. Halterman. Mr. Stutzman was well pleased with the performance of the engine. Said it sounded like a Keck-Gonnerman. He also said he was the one who had put a canopy on the engine. Mr. Burr had told me that the engine had a canopy on it when he got it, but it had become damaged and it was removed.
I received additional letters from both Mr. Stauffer and Mr. Beiler. I find that both Mr. Stauffer and Mr. Horning have had considerable experience in building boilers. Mr. Beiler owns a 9X10 Frick traction engine and has enough antique tractors and gas engines to hold a show of his own. Mr. Stutzman also owns a traction engine, a very nice 23-90 Baker which he has rebuilt. He sent me a color picture of it and it looks like a new one.
I received several other letters in response to the IMA article. I received an interesting letter from a fellow Iowan, Mr. Gary Gesink, 715 So. Main Avenue, Sioux Center, Iowa 51250, who commented on various features of the engine and suggested that it was probably built in Pennsylvania, in Frick country. Gary is interested in Hart-Parr tractors. I was pleased to receive a letter from a steam show acquaintance of many years, Mr. Leroy Ebersol, of Leola, Pa. Leroy is one of our best steam engine men, well liked and dependable. He was the first person I got to know when the late Frank McGuffin took me to my first steam show at Steamorama at Stewartstown, Pa. Leroy confirmed what the other men had told me about the origin of my steam engine and said he had seen it under construction in Mr. Horning's shop, but failed to recognize it when he had seen it at the Maryland shows. Mr. Ove A Larson, R 2, Dutton, Montana 59433 wrote and commented on my engine and on the fact that we have many more steam shows here in the East than they do out West. Mr. Larson is restoring a 1910 60 HP Case traction engine. I also received a letter from Mr. Charles Nixon, Box 25, Waveland, Indiana 47989, who feels that my engine strongly resembles his Emerson-Brantingham traction engine which was manufactured at Rockford, Illinois.
Mr. Stauffer and Mr. Beiler were the first to identify my little traction engine and who built it. Their current IMA subscriptions have been extended for a year. Since the engine had been partially rebuilt and Mr. Stutzman completed the history of the engine, he also has been awarded a year extension to his current IMA subscription. I am very grateful to these men for their time, effort and interest in helping me solve the mystery of my little 'Fricase' engine and satisfy my curiosity. I. wish to thank all the others for writing to me and for the information they gave me.
In recognition of the work of Mr. Martin and Mr. Horning in building my traction engine I have attached a brass plate to the smokebox on which is inscribed where the engine was built, Mr. Martin's and Mr. Horning's names and the year it was completed. Mr. Brady sent me a new identification plate to replace the one that was lost and I have installed that on the crosshead guide.
I have made a few relatively minor changes to the engine which changed the appearance slightly. I hope to replace the canopy eventually.