16hp. Advance engine

16hp. Advance engine new in 1900. Courtesy of George Brown, 403 Center Street. Lake Geneva.

George Brown

Content Tools

The engine pictured here is a 16hp. Advance bought new in 1900 along with an Advance 36x56 separator and independent stacker. The owner was John MacLean of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, who was a farmer all his life and threshed for over 30 years. He died in 1950.

This outfit gave wonderful satisfaction as it was always kept in good shape and I have known it to start on stack threshing at 7:30 A. M. and not make a stop until noon. If a belt should break they could continue 0:1 until it was repaired as the Advance was the only separator I know of that was nearly all double belted. When silo fillers came into use John pulled the neighbors fillers for $6.00 per day with this little engine. Then in 1912 he bought a new Advance outfit- a 20 hp. engine and a 36x56 separator. This rig also went over big although the engine was not as snappy and easy to handle as the little one but she had oceans of power and handled the largest International silo filler to perfection. When either of these Advance outfits pulled onto your farm you were sure of a job well done with no unnecessary delays or lay offs. Those were the days of well threshed grain and plenty of straw which is in contrast to the now so-called modern method of harvesting which they call combining with your bins part full of colored grain and weed seeds, and the chaff which is the best part of the straw left in the field instead of in the straw stack where it belongs.

GEORGE BROWN, 403 Center Street, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin


Referring to Mr. Campbell's questions in the March-April edition of the ALBUM, regarding the Kelly-Springfield Road Roller.

The following is some information that I obtained: The Kelly Springfield Road Roller was formerly owned and operated by the Kelly family, headed by O. S. Kelly. Sometime after 1916 it was cold to the Greiners, who came from Buffalo, New York, and the name was changed to The Buffalo-Springfield Roller Company, under which name it operates today. About the first of the year the Greiners sold their interest, but as far as 1 know it is still operated under the name Buffalo-Springfield.

More about the Kellys: In 1881 O. S. Kelly purchased the Rinehart and Bal-lard Company, which was formerly operated under the name Pitts Threshing Machine Company. For a while Mr. Kelly operated under the name The Springfield Engine and Thresher Company, which was later changed to The O. S. Kelly Company. The manufacture of engines and threshers was discontinued sometime after the turn of the century. The O. S. Kelly Company is now one of the largest manufacturers of piano plates in the United States.

I hope I have more information and data on the O. S. Kelly engines some-time soon. Trusting the above will be of interest to you and readers of the ALBUM.

CHAS. C. JOHNSON, Mounted Route 10, Springfield, Ohio


Have just received my Jan- issue of the ALBUM and of course have read it from cover to cover and noticed some very interesting articles. One of the articles by Mr. William L. Plowman, page 10, I suppose interested me as well as attracted my attention by his mentioning the Bell City Thresher. As it appears Mr. Plowman was or is not too familiar with some of the manufacturers machines (no harm meant), but would be glad to tell that the Bell City Thresher was not manufactured at Peoria, Illinois, but at Racine, Wisconsin. In a previous article by the writer, I have owned many makes of threshers and engines including a 28x48 Bell City thresher complete with rubber tires purchased in 1928. My oldest son went to bring the thresher home on a truck but finding the machine so much oversized, he was compelled to tow it home instead of hauling it. Being on rubber with roller bearings it was no handicap to do this. I believe it was one of the most complete and one of the easiest draft machines I ever used. I pulled it with a Model U Allis Chalmers, but at that it was a full load. Now combines have done away with what we called threshing.

HARRY W. HINSON, Grafton, Illinois