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I was overjoyed when, at the age of 15 years, my Dad gave me
permission to fire the 25 HP Northwest Steamer for the late Nels
Barner, near Benson, Minnesota. That Northwest was an unusually
easy steamer. The only objection I had to it was cleaning those 60
odd flues every morning before firing up.
My third year of firing was for Erik Hall at Erickson, Manitoba.
The first morning I steamed up his Case the thermometer showed
below zero. I began to wonder if I had not got into the wrong pew.
The Manitoba threshing started out bad but ended in fine shape.
When I reached my 18th birthday I got my first engineers
license. Then I got the job as engineer for Charley Rose at Benson.
His engine was a Huber return flue. This was an excellent year for
threshing and our machine put in a total of 52 days.
During my four years of threshing with steam my blood became so
thoroughly soaked up with steam and cylinder oil I doubt it will
leave me even If I live to be a 150.
The past 27 years I have operated a blacksmith and welding shop.
Some time ago the happy idea of making some sort of an engine hit
me. A replica was the easy way of doing it. The result was a very
novel trash burner. I have it standing on my front lawn, less than
25 ft. from a highway, so I often sit in the house watching the car
drivers and their passengers gaze at the steamer.
O. W. Strand, Clarissa, Minnesota
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