The 'Wind stacker Story' in November-December issue of the ALBUM, brought me memories of long ago. As concerns the wind stacker, or, as often referred to as the 'Blower', - I was a boy not quite ten in Henderson County, Illinois, spring of 1892, when our neighbor farmer and local thresher, Wyatt Stanley, shipped his 34'Birdsall Separator to Indianapolis, Indiana, where Indiana Manufacturing Co. built and attached a wind stacker. Some time later, I was in Strong Hurst with my father when the machine was returned with its attached blower and was being unloaded. To me, the 'Blower' looked as big as the Separator before the Blower was attached.
To describe this wind stacker, the straw as it left the machine cascaded into a hopper just ahead of a fan running a speed of 1800 r.p.m. to blow the straw through a square metal tube and required a man to operate it for a half circle stack. Blower pipe was hinged at half-way point, the outer half was pulled over on top of the Separator for transport. Some time later, that same year, they threshed a large stack yard for my father. I remember how it made the twelve (12) horse power Birdsell Engine 'blast the sky'. But it did its work well. J. R. Stanley, (then 21), was the Engineer. (Died two years ago at age 86.) He told me years later, the number of that Blower was No. 34.
About the close of World War I, I wrote Indiana Mfg. Co. and they confirmed this, but stated they started numbering from 100. The above mentioned blower did not carry the label as shown on cover of current ALBUM and this Trade Mark did not appear until 1893 as stated in Mr. St Clair's writing -- as when Indiana Mfg. Co. started to license thresher builders to manufacture and sell blowers.
When we bought our Advance outfit in 1904, the wind stacker was a separate contract costing $250.00. When Indiana Mfg. Co. bought Buchanan's patent rights, they made sure of no competition or infringement, their patent stipulating, '- any device to convey straw via Air Blast from a thresher' (or words similar). I believe Mr. Buchanan carried on his wind stacker venture at New London, Mo. However, I am not positive as to this.
Referring again to the Wyatt Stanley machine, I remember hearing that Blower roar at a distance of four miles of an early morning. It, being a new device, created considerable public interest in Western Illinois and throughout our section in particular.
It's probable I am the last man living to have seen a Blower built by 'Indiana Wind Stacker Co.' 1892, as stated above. They, in 1893, issued licenses to Thresher Companies to build Blowers.