NORTHWEST THRESHER

Giant steam engines

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This is a photograph of a Kansas threshing crew and the 'New Giant' steam engine they are using. The engine was built by the Northwest Thresher Company of Stillwater, Minnesota. This particular engine was probably built in the late 1880s or early 1890s before bevel gearing had been perfected for traction engines. If you look between the second and third man from the left you can see the chain that drives the engine.

On this page and the next three, you will find material submitted by Larry G. Creed of R.R. #13, Box 209, Brazil, IN 47834, pertaining to the Northwest Thresher Company and their 'New Giant' engine. On the next two pages are excerpts from a company catalogue, followed by two additional historical photos.

All New Giant steam engines had 40 inch flywheels, and the boiler diameters were either 42 or 44 inch. All engines produced by the Northwest Thresher Company were fired and steamed up for four consecutive days at the factory during which time they were inspected by state boiler authorities. Apparently the 100 gallon water tank which was put on at the factory was more trouble than it was worth, as you notice it is gone from this engine

At the base of the smokestack is the round flywheel of the Clark Independent steam pump which was put on every Northwest Thresher Company steam engine built. These pumps could be operated by steam to fill the boiler or could be operated by hand to wash out or to test the boiler. The 'New Giant' simple 20 HP and 25 HP steam engines were exactly the same boiler, bore and stroke; the difference being the 25 HP engine carried 150 lbs. of steam rather than 120 lbs. which the 20 HP carried. This 30 lbs. of extra steam pressure gave an additional 5 HP