R. D. 3, Kittanning, Pennsylvania
I have been a subscriber to your magazine ever since you started with it. I am always watching the mail for it - go through looking at the pictures, and then I go back and read it through.
I come from a long line of threshermen. My grandfather and father were both threshermen. Father's first threshing was with horse power and chaff-piler. He told me they would pull into the barnyard in the evening and it would take them till 10 or 11 that night to get it staked down so it would be ready to run the next morning. They used a bumbling-shaft to jack belted to the thresher (that was around 1875 or 1885). Then they bought a 6 hp Parquhar portable and 20 inch low down Massillon built by Russell. It was a good machine. It threshed clean and you did not have any green straw stack later in the fall like you did later on when the big machine came in with wind-stackers.
About 1910 we bought a 13 hp Peerless with a 27 x 43 New Russell.
I'll tell you a story on myself. I was a boy about 16 years old when we got the Peerless down at Isle Station. I convinced Dad I could run it home (with my brother Dell, age 16), we started with it and got along fine until we got home and stopped below the barn at the pump to fill up the side tanks. I started around the barn between barn and corn crib - didn't turn short enough and hit the side of the crib and upset the corn and all! Dad arrived home shortly afterward and he was pretty angry at first but it wasn't long till he was laughing about the whole affair. We put lines on the crib and it came right back in place.
Around 1916 we bought a 6 hp and a 24 inch cylinder Buffalo-Pitt second hand for $100.00 from James Wilson, a thresher just north of us. He had just bought a new 16 hp 20 Century outfit.
Around that time there was more Buckwheat raised in Butler County than in any other County in Penna. We used the little portable with the other outfit to thresh buckwheat.
The Buffalo-Pitt was a very easy steamer we used it a lot in the winter to shred corn fodder. It didn't take much coal, and you could carry water from the pump.
When the war came along we sold the farm and all the machinery and that was the finish to threshing. Dad was 67 years old at the time and ready to quit.
I am sending you a picture of a 12 hp Huber (see this page), belonging to Sol Stoughton, a neighbor. I helped him for a few weeks in the fall of 1915.
After the war I went railroading and in 1925 went into the flour and feed business where Mr. Elmer Ritzman and Arthur Young visited with me, discussing steam engines. At that time I had a 50 hp Case contractor engine, and a 20-70 hp Nichols & Shepard. I have since sold both of them.
I would like to have a good engine now but they are getting scarce and awful high in price - I'm now retired and have nothing to do.
I might add with the Peerless Engine we ran a saw mill and shingle mill in the winter time.