R. D. 3, Muncy, Pennsylvania
Enclosed is a picture of my 1916 model Titan 10-20 tractor engine No. 504 threshing oats in 1958. It is belted to a 20x32 New Racine thresher with feeder and stacker both of which were purchased new in early 1917 and have run every year since, although the last few years it has not been off the farm on account of steel wheels being banned from the improved highways and for which I am just as well satisfied.
This was one of the first gas tractors to come to this section and one of the first to help put the good old steam engine in the background.
Many were the predictions when it came that it would be found stalled and balking along the roads while the steamer would go blithly on, but this just never happened.
This outfit's big days go back to the days when fields and hillsides were flecked with golden grain shocks in midsummer, and buckwheat bunches in autumn. When early October days found cornfields of neat straight rows of corn shocks throughout, and golden pumpkins scattered between and when native chestnut trees by the road side showered down chestnuts for the delighted wayfarer to gather up, when age old apple trees in meadows hung laden with apples in late autumn to munch on as we passed by. And late in the fall the pail of zippy cider outside the barn door would have an icy fringe around the edge of the pail between refreshers before the seasons runs were finished.
All those former day scenes have passed into history, yet this outfit is still in use on its home farm. At the turn of the heavy crankshaft it comes to life with a 'bang' as it ever did.
Hidden from view behind the load of oats is a model 600 Ford tractor owned by Chas. G. Walker (another ALBUM reader) that is taking the place of former Beauty's and Doll's. Maud's and Dick's, who enjoyed the breathing spells beside the humming separator while the loads were run off
Even as this engine helped put the good old steamer in the background, now rubber tires, combines, and other expensive labor-saving machines have given these engines the push-aside too, and what inventions 'to come' will obliterate these I do not care or even think about.
I do know that as much as I enjoy working with this outfit in past year I wouldn't want to go through it again In the Nov.-Dec. issue of the ALBUM where Gilmar Johnson speaks in hi?' praise of the Titan 10-20 at soil breaking I can agree with him in every word he says. They are real performers, given decent care they were ready to do anything you wished of them, belt or draw-bar.
I would like to hear through ALBUM readers how many of these tractors are still on the go, especially if any still in use has a serial number anywhere near this one. I'm keeping it with me as long as I can care for it and after that what?
I'm still very much in love with the good old steam traction engines, all of them, but my favorite was always the good old Geiser Peerless.
I even believed the steam gushing from the safety valve of a Peerless was much better steam than from all others, much as I loved them. (I hope C. E. Clapper reads this).
I could write a good bit more of amusing incidents during my threshing days, but I better wait and see if this gets through.