Letters: Steam Threshing Memories

A reader sends an archival picture of his father's threshing crew and the steam threshing rig they used in the early years of the 20th century.

steam threshing rig on threshing day

A steam threshing rig and five man crew, circa 1910.

Photo: Merle Huston

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I am enclosing a reprint copy of a steam threshing rig and field crew, which involved my granddad, D.M. Huston, my father, J.J. Huston, and my uncle, Willis Reed. This rig was before my time, as I was born in 1916. This was the beginning of a huge threshing run. In later years, I remember dad bought a 75 hp steamer, and later, a 40-inch-cylinder Case thresher. He traded the steamer for a 40-72 Case gas tractor, also bought a Cat 60 for dirt work and used it with a rear belt pulley on a 36-inch thresher. These two rigs ran a total of about 60 to 65 days a year, then combines showed up.

Merle Huston
Ainsworth, NE