Mike just nailed it. The bottom was like a second water bowl with a grate for the charcoal and air flow with no control all around the side. Picked it up for $25 and it did me well until I got my WSM 14.
I had one by meco. It ran for maybe 6 hours before the temperatures collapsed. Had to put a cardboard box around it to keep the temperature up. Wasn't that different from the brinkman my dad used when I was a kid.
WSM was a night to day difference .....it just plain worked
I agree, learned a lot on this site. A lot that translates to barbecue in any smoker.