Robert Chonko needed help identifying a thresher's manufacturer (Farm Collector, June 2005, page 6). The thresher is a New Racine made by Belle City Manufacturing. They built some machines for Case, but a lot for International. International began building their own line of threshing machines. I overhauled an old Belle City from the frame up - it took 3-1/2 years. It's all original except the main frame. The feeder hose is made by Hart Langdon, as is the grain weigher.
The photo (lower left) is from a smaller Belle City, which was equipped with a Maytag (as in Maytag washing machines) feeder. The lady on the side depicts the woman named Ruth from the Book of Ruth in the Bible. She gleaned grain after harvesters were finished. It's amazing to see a big thresher accompanied by a portrayal of a true Bible hero like Ruth.
These old machines were equipped with the Happy Farmer/Farmers Friend oscillating stacker tubes. The tongue had a set up for an extension on the double tree so teams could pull them around. The Belle Citys feature sand castings, square nuts and no-weld construction.
The round decal in Chonko's picture is the emblem with the three horses (below photo). I guess the old Belle City machines aren't real valuable except to those who like them. I hope I've been of some help.
Also, my Belle City should be heading for permanent display in the La Junta, Colo., museum.
- Gary Bailey
La Veta, CO 81055