Saturday, January 31, 2009
I wish there was a date on this ad for the Pitts traction engine. This is copied from 'Old Time Agriculture in the Ads' by Robert F Karolevitz, 1970, North Plains Press, Aberdeen, SD. The Pitts company was started by John and Hiram Pitts, twins born in 1799. In 1837 they patented a thresher that set the pattern for all successive threshing machines. They moved to Buffalo, New York in 1840, and that is why the company became know as Buffalo-Pitts.
This particular engine is an early one, possibly one of the first traction engines produced by this company. It has a Stephenson reverse gear; the 1896 catalog has engines with a Woolf reverse gear, so we know this ad is before 1896.
More information about the Buffalo-Pitts engines can be found in the Encyclopedia of American Steam Traction Engines by Jack Norbeck, Crestline Publishing, Glen Ellyn, IL, where I found the information about this company.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The Midwest Central Railroad Blog has a great series of photos in their current post. Number Six engine at Mt. Pleasant had some leaky flues, and when the teardown began, one thing led to another, and now the boiler is off and will be receiving new stay bolts in addition to the new flues. It's well worth your time to click over there if you are curious about the inner workings of a boiler.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
and my SKS has the world's worst trigger, but I had a good time shooting out behind the barn Sunday afternoon. That is my prone target in the photo, which was my best one with the SKS. I ought to take the trigger group to a gunsmith and have it tuned up, but then I would have to come up with another excuse when I miss a shot. The old Winchester 74 makes me look a bit better. This was supposed to be slow fire, but I was cold, so I popped off my ten rounds in under a minute and went back to the house for a cup of coffee. Go to the sidebar and click on the Gun Blogger Rifle Match and do likewise. You have until March 21, so maybe you can pick a day with better weather.
UPDATE!! Results are in; click to go there!
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Fight cabin fever by getting out to your range and shoot your targets for the Gun Blogger Rifle Match. Click the link under 'Shoot More,' on the left side of the blog to learn the rules, and to download your target. You can enter in three classes: Kalashnakov/SKS rifles with iron sights at 50 yards; .22 rifles with iron sights at 25 yards; and .22 rifles with a scope at 25 yards. I hadn't fired my SKS in quite some time, so I took it out back today to check the sights. It is centering up 2 1/2 inches high at 25 yards, so with a minor adjustment I will be ready to shoot my 50 yard targets tomorrow.
UPDATE!! Results are in; click to go there!
Let's take a hop across the pond and have a look at an English plowing engine. This scale model is a joy to watch, and it highlights a method that was little used in the US. English plowing engines pulled the plow back and forth across a field with a winching drum, instead of being hooked to the plow with a drawbar. The plows used in this method were actually two plows in one, with a set of wheels between them, and made so that only one is in the ground at one time. Below is a photo from the "Encyclopedia of American Steam Traction Engines" by Jack Norbeck, of an Engilish plow at the Henry Ford Museum.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Take a ride on the narrow gauge Model T at Old Threshers! After your trip, be sure to click on each page below to enlarge, then right click and save for future reference when you are working on your Ford. If you are new to this site, click on the T's label to bring up all the posts with pages from Dyke's Ford supplement.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Deer hunting is all over until next fall, and this morning we had a dozen antlerless deer walking around in the yard. A couple of them walked right up to the fence to visit with Jack, our Mal-a-Mutt. Note the frost on the backs. One of the deer, totally unaware of global warming, was walking around on the pond.
Monday, January 19, 2009
I began attending steam shows at an early age, and one of my first memories is of a steam traction engine lumbering toward me. They look VERY big to a toddler. I 'discovered' old tractors and gas engines later on, and early machines like this Avery are as enjoyable to watch as a steamer. The technology is not too far removed from the steam traction engines these heavy duty monsters replaced. Note the tall steel wheels, the governor, the exhaust-induced draft, exposed gears, and of course, the heavy construction. They sound pretty neat, too.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
This video from YouTube starts out a bit slow, but the ride is worth it. I hope a passenger was doing the filming; and I wonder what he's burning in the old A Model.
This video was shot from the van ahead of the Model A in the top video. You will note that the Model A has only the driver inside. How does he stay in the road while filming out the window?
Friday, January 16, 2009
SilentBacchus posted this nice fox-trot recently, and it is a good one for practicing your steps. Since it is too cold to be out and about at night, just stay in and dance. Al Jolson made a hit out of this song, and the lyrics are very amusing. It starts out: 'Passing by the jail this morn', I heard a hard luck brother moan, I'm in here, right here, where I don't belong, I never done no wrong.'
I will do a search this weekend and see if I can find it posted so I can share it with you.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
One cold January night thirty five years ago I went for a walk under a full moon to try my hand at time exposures. I think it was only around zero that night, and the thing that I noticed at the time was how I could spot rabbits in the moonlight. They would have been easy pickings with a .22. After I had crossed this trestle I heard a train coming from the east and quickly set up my tripod. I think I set the aperture on f22 and clicked the shutter open. After the engine passed I clicked it shut. When I copied this slide I noticed a good looking old manure spreader that I had not noticed in my younger days. It is probably long gone, but I will take a look the next time I go to Iowa.
I stay in on cold nights now, and I sure do like cars with a good twelve volt starting system. Make sure your outdoor animals have water and a place to get out of the weather.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Model T's came from the factory with only rear wheel drive, but if you look through old literature you will see that aftermarket accessories could be added to improve the versatility of the Tin Lizzie. The first video shows a 1917 Model T with a four wheel drive attachment added on, and it does pretty well in the snow. Most T owners kept a set of chains available to deal with mud and snow, and since the car only weighed about 1200 pounds, and had lots of clearance around the tires, it was a great mudder with chains on the drive wheels.
The second video shows off snowmobile attachments made for Fords that operated in the frozen north. Below are three more pages from Dyke's Ford Supplement. I have peeked ahead, and by the time we get through these pages you will know how to turn you Model T into a hot rod. Click to enlarge, and save them to your hard drive for future reference. Click on the T's label at the end to see all the pages thus far.
Mrs. TBS and I got caught up in the Ford Fever and bought a new-to-us Flivver. We looked at rental cars, and were able to find obvious signs of abuse, and so we switched to looking at leased cars, and found a very nice 2008 with 20,000 miles on it.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
We are having fun with the new microphone. It does a great job of capturing our old records without the clicking and fuzzing out of the old mike. Here is a great jazz number from our stack of Edisons that will give you a good workout on the dance floor.