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Machine Showcase, Machinery's Handbook, and Stories

texasgeartrain

Active member
I was having a conversation with fellow PM member Kevin T. In it, we began discussing Machinery's Handbook. I told him I actually had a minor collection going of them. That I was slowly collecting them based on edition and the year of print for each machine I own.

Probably more accurate to say, for each machine that owns me :D.

My plan is to build wall mounted showcases, like a picture frame, with sliding plexiglass fronts. Maybe hinged plexiglass doors.

Inside the showcase, I wanted to put serial card or build sheet of those I can find. Plus all the related manuals and brochures for each machine's particular showcase. I was thinking I would also print off any major thread from the PM site here to add to it.

In this particular case, we both own South Bend Lathe 16's and were discussing those. His with a ship date of 12-2-41, a mere 5 days prior to the infamous December 7th. . . And by ridiculous coincidence it now resides in Hawaii ! His serial card shown here in his main thread:
https://www.practicalmachinist.com/...enture-begins-360455-post3308838/#post3308838

Mine also a 16" swing, but a turret lathe. Known as a 2H Turret Lathe. Shipped date of 9-8-42:

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Main thread for it here:
https://www.practicalmachinist.com/...no-2-h-turret-lathe-16-x6-restoration-317814/

Besides machine specific documents, I want to add the edition and year print of a Machinery's Handbook to the showcase. I told Kevin I had just recently received a 1956 printing of a 15th edition. That's for a 1956 Monarch Series 61 rebuild I'm in the midst of.

After our conversation, I went to check, and found that I did not yet own a 1942 printing of Machinery's Handbook to go with the 2H Turret Lathe. . .:eek:

To be continued. . .
 

texasgeartrain

Active member
Though I did not yet own a 1942 printing of an 11th edition of Machinery's Handbook, I did have some of the machine specific literature to go inside:

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texasgeartrain

Active member
Back tracking a bit to my convo with Kevin T. I mentioned that I'm also quite fond of vintage pin ups and the like. My intention being to install the centerfold of a Playboy magazine from the year and month of each machine's build or ship dates into the showcase as well.

1942 being the ship date for the 2H Turret Lathe, posed a problem for that though, as it predates the first Playboy by 11 years. The first Playboy being December 1953, launched to success with Marilyn Monroe inside.

The work of Alberto Vargas was around in the time period though. Becoming quite famous in the 1940's for his pin ups in Esquire Magazine. His bio on wikipedia:
Alberto Vargas - Wikipedia

So I mentioned to Kevin that my intent in this case, was to use the Vargas September 1942 calendar page:

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Without missing a beat, Kevin's most awesome reply: "I'm thinking 'shipped date' and 'order received date'". :D :D :D

Which I must admit, could make nice very bookends inside the showcase. My particular 'order received date" calendar page being May 1942:

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texasgeartrain

Active member
So I also began shopping for the 1942 printing of the 11th edition of Machinery's Handbook. Normally I would be looking for a book with as little wear, and best condition possible.

While looking I came across a listing that was the opposite of that though. Tons of stickers, business cards etc.

I began to think, its so highly personalized. Someone who obviously really used or counted on the book for something. That this might actually make a very interesting inclusion to the 2H Turret showcase, though not directly related to this particular machine.

There were roughly 10 pics with the listing. Here's the first 5:

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While I don't think the business cards date to the 1940's, take note there's not a single email address or website listed on any of them.
 

texasgeartrain

Active member
Due to being a 1942 book, and being highly personalized. Before I purchased, I thought I would research the name in the cover.

If I was a machinist, and a family member of the original owner, this would be highly prized to me.

Looking at the inside cover I see this was Edwin Buskirk's. More specifically Edwin A Buskirk.

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Searching around I found Edwin had passed in 2005. And found his obit in a few locations. Perhaps the best from a newspaper clipping:

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That I found from these two links:
Obituary for Edwin A. BUSKIRK, 1914-2005 (Aged 90) - Newspapers.com

And here:
16 Oct 2005, 23 - Springfield News-Sun at Newspapers.com

No pics, but from another site:

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The link from that:
Edwin Buskirk Obituary (2005) - Clark County, OH - Springfield News-Sun

Using the names in the obit, I thought I might try and find if any were machinists, or who may want the book. Mostly I wasted several hours. I did find what I believe is a surviving son's FB profile, and appears recently active. So I sent a few messages to explain. . . Never got a reply.

So I waited about half a day, and bought the book.

To be continued. . .
 

4GSR

Active member
Looks like the Edwin guy was a engineer, as being a member of a engineering society. Most all engineers back then had a copy of the Machinery's Handbook on their book shelf in reach when needed. Even remember a couple of engineers that had one sitting on their drawing board opened up referencing whatever it was they were working on. I had my copy handy all the years I worked on the board until the electronic editions came out.
 

Joe Michaels

Active member
It is interesting to learn about the late Mr. Buskirk. When I first saw the address in Springfield, OH, I wondered if he had ever worked at "The James Leffel and Company" (this is how Leffel used to give their company's name). As it turned out, Mr. Buskirk DID work at Leffel. Leffel was primarily a builder of hydro turbines, and also built some Scotch Marine boilers and smaller stationary steam engines. I've worked on a few Leffel turbines in my time with the NY Power Authority. Possibly, I handled castings for Leffel turbine parts made from patterns Mr. Buskirk had a hand in.

Leffel was nearly defunct by the 1970's, with the original Leffel shops still in existence, but no real work being done. Leffel had passed into the ownership of one man. He handled repair parts orders for the Leffel turbines by going to the files, pulling the prints and going to the pattern vault and pulling the patterns. These were then sent to local shops to have castings poured and machined. By 1981, Leffel had passed into the hands of a Finnish company called Tampella. Tampella continued to do business from Leffel's old Springfield location, but jobbed everything out and did most of the engineering in Finland (we bought two new Leffel-Tampella units in 1981, and drawings were bi-lingual in English and Finnish). By the 1990's, Leffel had passed into Norwegian ownership under Kvaerner Hydro, but still kept the Springfield, OH address. In the late 1990's, Leffel again passed into the ownership of a man named Anders Dynge. Anders moved Leffel from the old plant to a smaller and more modern building. Most of the work was jobbed out, but they did handle new turbine designs and building of them. Not sure who the current owner of Leffel is, but the name is still around.

Back in the day, Leffel had a large plant with their own foundry, pouring mostly gray iron and some bronze. They made mostly low head hydro turbines, most of the "Francis" design. They were a prolific builder of smaller hydro turbines. It's interesting to imagine Mr. Buskirk designing and working on patterns for hydro turbine parts. Other stickers in his "Machinery's Handbook" are from Dravo, a now-defunct heavy steel and heavy pipe fabricator who built barges, ships, cranes, and things like lock gates for canals.Mr. Buskirk was likely an interesting man to have known. We get a small glimpse into who he was from his "Machinery's Handbook" and his obituary.

I got my first "Machinery's Handbook" in 1964 as a gift from my parents. I was a student at Brooklyn Technical HS, and the "Machinery's Handbook" was a required item for boys in the Mechanical Course. We worked out of the Machinery's Handbook in advanced Machine Shop and Machine Design classes. I still use that "Machinery's Handbook" all these years later, still has 'crib notes' of formulas and page numbers pencilled in the covers from my time as a senior at 'Tech. Back then, anyone in a specialized course of study in a high school like Brooklyn Tech had to take a two day comprehensive exam in order to graduate. One day's exam was devoted to machine shop work and had problems figuring thread and gear dimensions, measuring threads over the wires, dovetails, cutting speeds, writing long answer about things like setups, inspection, and machine tool operations sequences. The second day was devoted to machine design, and also included strength of materials (including figuring some simple structural steel), and some metallurgy/heat treating. The only reference book allowed was "Machinery's Handbook". Our teachers told us to write the formulas we might need or might have a problem handling in the covers, in pencil. We were also told to write down any page numbers for things we were likely to be tested on, such as threads, spur gear design, and similar. My crib notes are still in the cover as is a plastic wallet card from 'Eugene Dietzgen' (an engineering supply company) with decimal equivalents on it, and a 1967 calendar.

My Machinery's handbook followed me around thru my career. I came by a more modern edition in about 1986, and kept the 1964 edition home after that. Now, with my parents long gone, I keep that 1964 edition at hand and still use it, but feel a tie to my parents when I do. I wish now that I had asked my parents to write something in the cover or flyleaf back then.

I remember our teacher of Advanced Machine Shop. His name was Mr. Ivar Almskog. Mr. Almskog was as upright and fine a man as ever I knew, as a teacher, master toolmaker and later on, as I came to realize, role model. Mr. Almskog had only a few things on his desk in our machine shop classroom. These were: equally an well-thumbed Machinery's Handbook and a Bible. A small steel toolbox with some form toolbits, oilstones, mikes, and one single dial indicator was the only other thing on that desk. Mr. Almskog was a great teacher, and he had graduated from Brooklyn Tech HS during the Depression. He went into a toolmaker's apprenticeship, and eventually, came back to his alma mater to teach. We were taught to make setups and 'buck work in' on faceplates or four jaw chucks to run within maybe 0.015" of true before asking Mr. Almskog for the use of the dial indicator. He was 'old school', and a kind, patient man who took a lot of pleasure in seeing us kids come along learning machine shop work. One thing Mr. Almskog would not tolerate was obscene language or talk about lewd subjects, as teenage boys are often bound to do. If Mr. Almskog heard such talk and could zero in the offenders, he had them come up to his desk. His hand would dart to the well-thumbed Bible, and he would have it open to a page with the passage: "May the words of my mouth today and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight Oh Lord, my strength and Redeemer". He'd hand the offenders paper and tell them to copy that passage a few times using 'graphic standards of the mechanical drawing department' for lettering and line work. Mostly, Mr. Almskog would pull his Machinery's Handbook to show us kids how to figure something like measuring threads 'over the wires', or depth of thread if we were going to cut a thread on the lathe. My "Machinery's Handbook" cover reads: "The Bible of the Mechanical Industries". Whenever I see that cover, I think of Mr. Alsmkog as well as my parents. Different times for me as an adolescent, living home with my parents and going to Brooklyn Technical HS, wondering what my future held. Now, I am somewhat on the other end of it. Last night, at the kitchen table, I was crunching numbers and paging thru the old Machinery's Handbook to figure what we could get away with in terms of a saw arbor and jackshaft for a 30" buzz saw a bro asked me to design and help build. It was classic, figuring shafting diameters, keys, and the like. The years fall away when I handle a little engineering exercise like that. I've owned my copy of Machinery's Handbook for 56 years. It may well be one of the longest-serving things in my life. Kind of timeless and homey.
 

texasgeartrain

Active member
Great stuff from Joe Michaels. And both he and 4GSR are right. According to the obit he was part of the engineering society in the mid 1960's, and its said he was a foreman at the pattern shop for the James Leffel & co.

I too had searched that up when I saw Springfield, OH as his residence. Joe Michaels' details are so excellent there, I couldn't know even half of that. They do have a website now. It looks like the do some large and interesting work. Near the top of their webpage is a "recent projects" tab. Quite a few pictures you can arrow through. Their website here:
The James Leffel and Co. - Manufacturer Of Hydraulic Turbines

Some pics from that site:

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Jim Christie

Active member
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texasgeartrain

Active member
Thanks for the interesting posts.
There is a mention here about Leffel turbines being installed in Dunnville Ontario
Electrical news and engineering : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
There may be more in some of the other volumes of this magazine
https://archive.org/search.php?query=Electrical News and Engineering
You will likely have to use the search for Leffel in the in the individual volumes .
Jim

Holy Cow, 1896 !

I was working when I saw your post, couldn't open the link at the time. What a surprise that was ! For those interested, that first link Jim Christie posted is an article from 1896 on the commissioning of a new power plant:

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On page two of the article it mentions the James Leffel & Co was awarded the contract for the "wheels", presumably turbine wheels, or a precursor. The mention highlighted by red:

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My favorite Sunday surprise, that website, seeing all those links in the search. Man, I could get lost down that rabbit hole. I must be out of touch, I didn't know this even existed. Thank you for that !

An example, using Jim Christie's 2nd link:

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Opening a book, you arrow to flip pages. And the pages and visuals are just like an honest to God book. Nothing like pdf's:

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Jim Christie

Active member
Thanks Gunsmith .
The Internet Archive and the Hathi Trust Library are my go to places to find old stuff.
HathiTrust Digital Library | Millions of books online
Searching on the internet archive takes a bit of getting used to .
I tried a couple of other volumes in the search that the I had first posted the wrong link to but didn't turn up any more Leffel so far.
There may be similar American publications on there where you may have a better chance of finding More Leffel info.
If you are really lucky you may find an article about the Leffle plant somewhere but perhaps not in that publication
Other Engineering Magazines or Electrical Magazines may have something .
Some times if you search too hard nothing turns up but in time someone may spot something looking for something else and share the link.
Jim
P.S.
Illustrated hand book of James Leffel's improved double turbine ... - Full View | HathiTrust Digital Library

Full-text Search Results | HathiTrust Digital Library
Not the sort of things that will always turn up at the top of a page in a Google search
 
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texasgeartrain

Active member

Oh man, you guys are the gift that keeps on giving. That link is a 136 page book for 1885 & 1886, more or less detailing their operation, but so much more inside.

That book donated to the University of California in 1889. The original card on the book from that donation. Check out that handwriting:

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Some images, can you imagine seeing that operation in full swing. That must have been something:

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A ton of info in the book. Here's another image, plus a page:

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texasgeartrain

Active member
Their double wheel was also selected to go into the Smithsonian back then, as part of "modern Machinery of the day. More info on the page proceeding this, but also mentioned here:

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The price list from that period :D:

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Joe in NH

Active member
The original card on the book from that donation. Check out that handwriting:

Of course previous ages were educated to "cursive" writing - largely as a tool for an age where typewriters/computers/word processors were not commonly available.

There were at least three schools on this. The first seemingly "Spencer Method" which was in vogue most of the 19th Century. Beginning about 1890s the "Palmer Method." And this phasing out in the 1950s with Zaner-Bloser Method (which I was brought up under.) A 1978 last ditch variant on Zaner-Bloser was the D'Nealian Method which reverted somewhat to the Palmer Method. These above all mentioned and linked at Palmer Method - Wikipedia

Spencer Method and steel dip pens fought the Civil War
Palmer Method and fountain pens fought the two World Wars
Zaner-Bloser and ball points fought Korea and Vietnam
D'Nealian and felt-tips fought Desert Storm

Somewhere in my library is an 1870 book on "Standard Business Practice." In it are exercises in handwriting, outlines on "responsibility," and "standard forms" for all types of business communication WRITTEN BY HAND, including invoices, checks, bills of sale, loans - mortgage and others. Secretaries in 1870 were largely male, were almost to the level of "business partner" as they had the full confidence and security of the business principal, and held in high esteem as one's "second in command" of a business structure.

Edison's signature was considered "particularly fine." Done in the Spencerian, it was also considered "steelplate consistency" referring to the use of standardized steelplate signature generation by machine. A signature later immortalized in various Edison and General Electric Advertising of that era.

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The generation, by hand, of immediately recognizable handwriting WAS considered an asset in the business world - at least until the advent of computer printing.

It recently came upon me to write handwritten "thank-you notes" to those who worked on a project at our church. I confess I struggled a bit "re-defining" my cursive which through years of non-use, and substitution of "Mechanical Drawing Script" had been largely overwritten mentally. It took several "re-writes"/discards to get back in to form.

Joe in NH
 

texasgeartrain

Active member
I confess I struggled a bit "re-defining" my cursive which through years of non-use, and substitution of "Mechanical Drawing Script" had been largely overwritten mentally. It took several "re-writes"/discards to get back in to form.

Joe in NH

Thanks for that thoughtful post. Really great stuff. This thread is not that big, but you guys are slaying me with the great and thought provoking posts.

Joe in NH mentioning he struggled a bit with his cursive, I hadn't told anyone, but found I had as well. I've not previously thought of the art in it. But I think I first became aware maybe two years ago. When interest rates were dropping pretty hard, I refinanced. You sit down to sign about 10,000 copies.

At the time I was thinking "what's wrong with me ?". I felt incredibly slow, and I was holding up the continuous paper chain between me, my wife, and the lady from the title company. After that time, I noticed a little more with signing checks.

Got to thinking about it. With things like direct deposit, online bill pay, and the like, I just so seldom have to actually write even my own signature.
 

duckfarmer27

Active member
Joe/Texas -

I'm going to steal Joe's 'Mechanical Drawing Script' description - what my writing has been for close to 60 years. Although Miss Grace Kelsey, my teacher in the one room school I attended for grades 1 through 3 tried her best with the printing to Palmer Method my cursive was never that good. The samples around the top of the slate boards were much better, complete with arrows showing how the flow should go. I actually have some of my work from back then that somehow survived to end up with me. Grandkids get a hoot out of what school work books looked like in the 50s.

As to signature - mine is a totally illegible scrawl. Have had a couple doctors tell me I qualify as an MD based on that. I've always blamed it on my last year on active duty in the Army - I got stuck as a battalion adjutant and had to sign my name what seemed like a million times a day. I've caught flack over that ever since. Back in the late 80s I signed something one of my engineers had to take to procurement or accounting for something and she gave me a good natured comment that nobody could read that. This plant had probably 6,000 people at the time. A while latter Betty comes back and had to tell me - she handed it to whoever and the person takes one look and says 'Oh, that's OK, Dale signed it'. Never did figure out who it was that knew my scrawl! At least I never got chastised from her again.

I'm actually embarrassed with my writing so have printed ever since high school. Signature has become sort of a joke hallmark within the family. But as you said, in today's environment we don't have to write much if at all.

Dale
 

Joe Michaels

Active member
Like Joe in NH and Dale, I also use something of a 'mechanical drawing' style of 'semi itallic' lettering when I write anything other than my signature. I only use cursive writing when I am taking notes in a hurry. It is reasonably legible but nothing to show off. Like Dale, I remember the penmanship 'sample cursive letters' around the classroom over the blackboards and under the portrait of George Washington (who was set under the PA speaker, and that was under the American Flag). I also remember some penmanship book we got in third grade when we were supposed to be learning cursive writing. At that time, we were all using pencils. Ballpoint pens were a relatively new thing, and our old school desks still had brass 'trapdoors' with glass inkwells in place. We were not allowed to use ballpoint pens until our cursive writing passed muster with our teacher. Since I had fine and gross motor skill delays (something I did not find out until many years later), my cursive writing efforts were the worst in the class. As a result, I was the last in the class to be given clearance to use a ballpoint pen. Funny how that was a big deal in 1958.

At Brooklyn Technical HS, they were sticklers on everyone using the 'graphic standards of the mechanical drawing department'. Things like math homework had to be done using neat figures and linework as per those standards. English compositions and other papers and exams were a bit more relaxed and a student could use cursive writing if it were legible. Lab reports and similar were done using mechanical drawing lettering and linework.

As an undergraduate, one summer I worked at the old Rheingold Brewery in Brooklyn, NY. I was in the engineering department, so kind of floated and worked where needed. In the drafting room, I discovered the original drawings for the brewery's buildings, some dating to the mid 1800's. The architect or architectural office which seemed to do all the work for the brewery was named something like "Englehardt". Their drawings had a kind of semi-itallic script, possibly derived from Germanic style of writing. All of those old drawin gs had been traced in ink and we had the original tracings as well as prints. I adopted that style of lettering for my own drawings and day-to-day writing needs. I use it on anything and everything, including greeting cards, notes to friends and family, or on sketches of work whether engineering or machine shop jobs. I also adopted a kind of 'double line' lettering with a bit of flourishes, which I use in title blocks and when I make out checks and the like.
I had four years of mechanical drawing and machine design while a HS student, and having perfected my 'lettering and line work' to the point where I could get decent grades, I am not about to give up using it. Another course everyone had to take a 'Tech was two semesters of technical freehand drawing, in their freshman year. We learned to 'strike in' the borders on our 'plates' (drawings on paper were called 'plates') using pencil and freehand, no straightedges. We learned to sketch in perspective and to shade things in. It is a great skill to have if a person has to explain work to people who either do not speak the same language, may not be literate in any language, have no familiarity with the work, or can't read a 3 view mechanical drawing. I've used freehand sketching countless times to bridge all of these gaps.
I also letter any notes that go with the sketches so the people using those sketches can read the notes easily.

My late father used to tell me that anything you handed another person, such as a sketch, working drawing, specification or written notes, had better 'look right', and to hand someone a scrawl was a sign of disrespect, if not reflecting an 'I don't give a s-t attitude'. So, I continue to use that adaptation of the old Englehardt architectural drawing lettering, or the 'double line' lettering for headers, people's names on hand-written notes and envelope addresses, and enjoy lettering all these years later. I still do my engineering drawings, when not in the form of sketches, on a regular drawing table with a 'drafting machine'. The table dates to about 1900, the drafting machine probably to the 60's. I get asked by clients and governmental agencies (such as when I file plans for construction jobs or septic systems) if I can 'transmit a CAD file'. I tell everyone that I do not use CAD, refuse to learn to use it, and they can scan my drawings if they need to send them electronically. I show up for some construction or septic field jobs with my Brunson engineer transit, 200 ft tape, rod and a 'field book'. I get asked by younger inspectors and similar: "Where's your laser.... how are you going to get the grade line and elevations ?" No "total station", just a classic engineer transit (and yes, I can set the instrument up level and plumb it over a 'center tack' driven into a 'hub' or over a prick punch mark on a monument), and a field book and fine-point pens. I tell everyone I am a 'stubborn dinosaur' and proud of it. When we learn something the hard way and work hard to develop a skill set, at last I am reluctant to let go of it. At least for me, there is a certain satisfaction that comes from using a skill which requires my hands and mind to do what happens effortlessly when a printer or plotter is used.

Another skill we had to learn all those years ago was 'letter writing'. Starting in 'grammar school' (primary school), we learned to write two kinds of letters:
a social letter (known as a 'bread and butter letter' in the terminology of our teacher); and, business letters. Format of a letter was stressed heavily. To this day, I have a hard time with emails as there is often no 'salutation' (such as 'dear Mr. -----') and no proper ending such as: 'respectfully, -------- (signature and printed name below). Texting has reduced written (if you could call it that) communication to a new low standard with abbreviations and new idioms. I've never had a Facebook account, never been on Facebook and have never texted and do not plan on it. I have an old 'flip' type cell phone which is OK, considering we do not have cell service in our immediate area.


Dale's kidding about his signature reminds me of an old joke, immigrant humor. Seems a man came over from the 'old country' and was illiterate in any language. By dint of grit and hard work, he succeeded in some line of business. Any documents or correspondence had to be read to him and he would give his reply, which was duly typed up for his signature. He signed his papers with an 'X' until someone told him that in the USA, a person has to sign their first and last names. So, the man signed with two 'X's". One fine day, his secretary noted the boss was now signing with three "X's" and asked him about it. His reply was: "My wife said in the USA, successful men sign with a middle initial. You know how wives are, so I took a middle initial".

Another piece of immigrant humor concerning literacy: A poor man came over from the old country, illiterate in any language, no special trade of skill. Someone suggested he get a wood tray and an old leather belt and hang the tray around his neck, stocked with items people might need on their way to work, and stand near a subway entrance. The man stocked his tray with shoelaces, bowties, matches, loose cigarettes, aspirins, chewing gum, and other small odds and ends people in a hurry to get to work might need. No need to read, write or speak much English. The greenhorn stood out in the rain and snow with his tray of items and not surprisingly, was hoping something better would come along for his livelihood. Word reached him that a building needed a janitor and a free apartment came with the job. The man went to apply for the job, visions of a warm snug apartment and not having to sell shoelaces and whatnot in the rain, cold wind, and snow dancing in his head.

At the apartment building, the landlord explained the job. The man said he would have no problem doing any of it. Then, the landlord asked the man if he could read and write English and said he'd have to speak a better English. The man said he could not read nor write and learned only enough English to get by. The landlord explained there'd be coal deliveries to be signed for and other day-to-day business associated with the building requiring being literate and able to speak and understand English. The landlord told the man he could not hire him because he was illiterate and his English was insufficient. Sadly, the man returned to his location at the subway entrance with his tray of goods.

One day, the man noted a small storefront near the subway entrance was vacant and made inquiry. He arranged to rent it and opened a small store selling the same line of goods he'd sold off his tray. Business took off. The man soon opened a second store, and business continued to prosper and grow. The man needed a loan to open a much larger store and went to a bank to apply for the loan. The banker handed the man the paperwork for the loan, telling him they knew his business and he was approved for the loan. The banker noticed the man was holding the paperwork upside down and apparently not reading any of it. The banker asked the man about that, and the man turned red and finally said: "I am ashamed to say I can't read and write in any language and know only a little English..." The banker then said: "You have made quite a success of yourself in spite of it... Imagine where you'd be if you spoke better English and could read and write ?" The man replied: "I'd be unclogging tenant's toilets, hauling out garbage and ashes, scrubbing hallway floors, shoveling coal and snow and living in a basement apartment..."
 

duckfarmer27

Active member
Joe -

Can't believe the one room Ellistown District 18 school house had one on Brooklyn. As you wrote, we had the flag and a picture of George Washington - but we also had a picture of Abraham Lincoln. The township now has their offices and justice of the peace court there, in a new addition. The old school room is used for public meetings and the times have been there for such I always kind of laugh to myself that it is where I spent 3 years of my school life. I have taken my grandson and granddaughter in there and showed them, describing how it was furnished in the mid 50s. For some reason they shake their heads.

Must have been the NY syllabus - we learned to write the same letters the same way. You are high tech having a transit - I still make do with the Craftsman dumpy level that I was taught to use while I was in high school, using my grandson for a rod man these days when we need to shoot a grade. Like you I still have a drawing board in the shop and when I do up anything in that detail it is what I use.

I always think of my Mom's parents when immigrants when that topic comes up as they both come here as young adults. My maternal grandfather lived with us while I was in high school - he was in his mid 80s at that time. He was Slovene by birth and always spoke with a thick accent - probably because of that I have never had much trouble with accents as far as understanding someone. Spent his life as a coal miner - but at least none of his 7 sons did that, although the oldest did go underground for a short time before he 'dumped his bucket' one morning. In SW Ohio immigrants were not treated too well by some - my mother told of how she hid behind one of her older brothers as a little girl when the KKK showed up to burn a cross in front of their farm house. My grandfather told my oldest uncle to 'get me the Winchester'. He locked and loaded on the small front porch and they left - one tough hombre. Our ancestors paid a price to get us to where we are today for sure.

Dale
 

texasgeartrain

Active member
I've worked on a few Leffel turbines in my time with the NY Power Authority. Possibly, I handled castings for Leffel turbine parts made from patterns Mr. Buskirk had a hand in.

By 1981, Leffel had passed into the hands of a Finnish company called Tampella. Tampella continued to do business from Leffel's old Springfield location, but jobbed everything out and did most of the engineering in Finland (we bought two new Leffel-Tampella units in 1981, and drawings were bi-lingual in English and Finnish).

By the 1990's, Leffel had passed into Norwegian ownership under Kvaerner Hydro, but still kept the Springfield, OH address. In the late 1990's, Leffel again passed into the ownership of a man named Anders Dynge. Anders moved Leffel from the old plant to a smaller and more modern building. Most of the work was jobbed out, but they did handle new turbine designs and building of them. Not sure who the current owner of Leffel is, but the name is still around.

Earlier in the thread I posted pics that the seller had shown in the listing for the 1942 11th edition of Machinery's Handbook.

After receiving the book, I discovered some pages with personal effects that had not been shown in those pics:

27.jpg 28.jpg

So it would seem Mr Buskirk was there during the change and acquisition by Tampella, and a fair chance he was there in 1981.

Assuming a retirement age between 65 and 75, I would think he might have retired somewhere between 1979-1989.

And having worked for the company 38 years, I would surmise he started between 1941-1951.

I thought it pretty great he made it to 90 years old. In researching his family, I found his wife had made it 99 years old, and had passed in 2019. She was also the last surviving sibling of 12 kids:
Juanita BUSKIRK Obituary (1919 - 2019) - Springfield, OH - Dayton Daily News

In searching for other decedents, it seems to me there was a large family growth under the surname Miller, presumably through a daughter's marriage, but I'm a bit unsure on that.
 








 
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