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Letting Off Some Steam Results

Does priority count? New Year’s Day event beginning of show season

Thursday, January 15, 2015

We are starting out the new year with some material on show schedules, not necessarily steam, but engines none the less.

Fowler’s Chapter Three: Story of the Steam Plough Works

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I finally got the time needed to review the latter chapters of Michael Lane’s Story of the Steam Plough Works, which is a history of the Fowler Works of Leeds England.

Fowlers of Leeds to World War I

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Today I want to tell you a bit more of the great British Steam Engine and Cultivating Machine Company based on Michael Lane’s book The Story of The Steam Plough Works that was published in 1980.

John Fowler and his legendary steam company

Thursday, September 4, 2014

I have written a couple other recent articles on the steam engine companies of England and since I am a dedicated Anglopile, that is not too unusual.

The tractor and engine show season is starting

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Well I got a few good comments on the two articles I did featuring two British companies, namely Garretts and Wallis and Steevens and I hope you all enjoyed them. Attend a show Now our own season is starting and we hope you are all making plans to visit your favorite shows or perhaps to […]

Some practice with the English steam engines

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Hello again steam enthusiasts. I have been taking advantage of the cold snowy weather to sort out some of the papers and magazines in my back room and came across my copy of the fifth edition Traction Engine Register, from 1987. It was compiled by John B. True, edited by Brian Johnson and published by […]

What’s that worth? Value is in the eye of beholder

Thursday, January 23, 2014

This material is the result of some of that inspiration that we all get on occasion. As usual, I’m not sure just what happened to start this train of thought, but the topic is one that comes up in the Old Iron business quite often, as well as many other pursuits. Original price or value […]

The history and success of Keystone Steam Drillers

Thursday, January 9, 2014

(Editor’s note: Additional information about the Keystone Driller Company was published in a column in the Dec. 12, 2013, issue.) Hello again steam enthusiasts. I often talk about inspiration and the various ways it comes to me. In this case it came as a direct question. Have you written anything on the Keystone Driller ? […]

The task of identifying vintage photos

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hello again steam enthusiasts. Its been too long again since I have done an article, and I guess my excuse is that I have been too busy lately to conjure up much inspiration. So I am just sitting down to push the flush button on my brain and see what comes out. The search for […]

How many engines is enough at a show?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

This topic has come to mind in discussions at our show and perhaps several others. More is usually better, but there are other considerations too. Our parade ground is quite small, and more that five or six full size traction engines would make a tight fit. Larger fairground’s shows have room for upwards of 30 […]

We often wonder: Who threshed for your grandad?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

In my last article I discussed some aspects of history as they relate to our hobby and its various activities. But we often wonder: Who was the thresherman who worked the local area. In my case, it was very easy because he was a well-known character and still quite active when I started going to […]

What are the reasons for having a steam show?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hello again, all you steam engineers and old iron enthusiasts. Have you been to a show yet this year ? Sam Moore told us a few weeks ago that he had been to a show a bit further west. One that I think featured a particular make, which happens quite often these days. Come to […]

Some background on homemade steam engines

Thursday, April 18, 2013

We spent the past several articles reviewing many of the engine makes from various places in the U.S. and Canada. At shows you will often see an engine put together by a mechanic or engineer following his own ideas or saving some money over the current collectible prices. The Blumentritt engine, built in 1878 in […]

Steam engines from just about everywhere

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I have done a couple articles recently on where traction engines were built. Most of that information came from Jack Norbeck’s Encyclopedia of American Steam Traction Engines and this material on portables comes from the same source. He also included in the book material on horses, pioneers of the industry, sawmills, threshers and shingle mills. […]

The history of steam engines: Who made them?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

When I started this series of articles many years ago, I featured the specific properties of various makes of engines in several articles. Since then several good books have been published listing the different engines and showing mostly pictures and brief descriptions of what they built. In many cases a company built several different models. […]

Road trip in the good old days was a little bumpy

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Recently, I was looking at a picture of a sod house in Colorado where a local family stopped for overnight on their move West. I surmised that the roads there in 1917 were probably somewhere between crude and nonexistent. With all our maps and atlases and road numbers and signs — not to mention GPS […]

Old photos are record of harvesting and life

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I have mentioned a few times doing a bit of research for this series of articles. This time the whole process began with the donation of some photos and printed material from a rather recent friend I met at church. I have attended the local Methodist Church since about 1943 and my maternal grandmother was […]


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