The Ladies Page

By Staff
article image
Mr. Harold Smith
Courtesy of Mr. Harold Smith, Ralston, Iowa 51459

Forest Grove Trailer Park Ontario, N. Y.14519

How good it is to have the days become longer, the sun higher in
the sky, and to be able to increase outdoor activity. After the
long winter months, especially this past winter when the weather
was so unpredictable, we look forward to seeing our
‘engine’ friends. Some of the lucky ones have spent the
winter in a warmer climate; some have been snowed in; some live so
far away that we see them only in good weather; some have passed on
to the land where the steam is just right, the gas engines are in
perfect condition, and the house work is always done. These last
ones we will think of with fond memories.

We will soon be getting ready for the local ‘gas-up’ and
‘steam-up’ held in our vicinity each spring. These are just
preludes to the big annual reunions held in the summer. It gives
the men a chance to compare notes on how this engine is running,
how would you fix that one, and what is the name of that one there.
The ladies get together and catch up on the gossip about this and

It is also the time of spring house-cleaning. With all the
modern cleaners and equipment, it isn’t near the job it was in
the early 1900’s. One of the jobs was to take up the strips of
carpet which was tacked down, hang them on the line, and then
recruit anyone handy to beat the dust out with the carpet beater.
Guess it was good exercise but lots of hard work. Another job was
to air the bedding and plump up the feather bed. I can remember how
cozy they were to crawl into on a cold winter night in an unheated

I have recently been reading about how soft soap was made. First
an ash hopper was made. It was a V shaped box 3 or 4 feet high.
Wood ashes were dumped into this box, and as water dripped through,
it became lye. The lye ran down a small trough underneath this V
shaped box into a container. Then the pioneer woman would combine
it with any grease she had saved, dump it into the iron kettle and
cook it until it became soap. This was used for washing the floor,
clothes, and the dishes. Quite a difference from going to the
nearest super market.

At our house, we have been busy with the advertising of our
annual reunion. As you will note in a separate article, the
location of the show has been changed this year. This will probably
cause some confusion, but we think it is in a good place and that
all will work out for the best. Paul has reached the conclusion
that as our space is limited, he will no longer attempt to make any
more model engines. Of course he will keep the six that he has. He
is real interested in printing the PIONEER ENGINE BUGLE and doing
the other printing for the club. It takes up most of his spare time
and he really needs the space for more printing equipment. So out
goes the lathe and in comes a folding machine. At least he had the
fun and experience of making a few engines, and he will still enjoy
showing them at the reunions.

If any of you are in the Western New York area the end of July,
come to our show. Would like to meet you.

This is Verne Shields, Waverly, Iowa with his Russian Crawler
Tractor in 1965. Backs ‘Self Help, Inc.’ Many South
American farmers help themselves with better economic working
conditions. Write Verne. Good man to know.

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines