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Steam tractor

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This 1884 Lansing 4-wheel drive steam tractor owned by Edd Sigmon is the oldest 4-wheel drive tractor in the U.S. and perhaps the world. The only one of its kind in existence, the Lansing was salvaged by Rev. Elmer Ritz-man, founder of IMA. Bought by Paul Russell of Apex, NC at Rev. Ritzman's estate auction, the Lansing was purchased by Sigmon in 1984. Built by Lansing Iron Works in Lansing, MI this unique tractor was completely disassembled when Sigmon bought it and scraped, sanded and filled before getting 23 coats of Emron paint. Restoration work was done by Robert Starnes of Newton. The Lansing is almost in mint condition today and is a real showpiece. See report on Sigmon's show where it is displayed each June on page 2.

The photo above shows three scale models built by two mode builders, one deceased and one very much alive. The engine a left is the work of Elmer Gray, P.O. Box 171, Belto, MT 59412 The other two are the work of the late Cliff Ryan of Great Falls MT, and its story was written by his widow, Gladys, of 3600 5ti Ave. South, Great Falls, MT 59405.

Elmer Gray's Model

I started to build my scale 65 Case They rolled the wrapper sheet and fire box sheet and cut 8 inch pipe to length for biomodel July 16, 1959.I bought the material for the boiler at Great Falls Iron Works. ler barrel.

I was actively engaged in farming then, and had to keep the model out of the shop, as there was no room because of tractors. I got most of the castings from Jack Kauer of Wichita, KS. Jack was an expert machinist and did much of the important machining for me.

I got some other castings from Alexander Enterprises of Kansas City. I also bought the water gauge, boiler test cocks and a couple of size hex head cap screws or bolts from Coles Power Models of Ventura, CA. The also sold me the U.S. pressure gauge.

There were no size blueprints then. Mr. Kauer suggested I get Cole 1-inch to a foot blueprints to keep my model in proper perspective, so I did, and multiplied dimensions by 3.

I did not steam the engine up for the first time until Dec. 5, 1965 and it ran perfect. I was still farming until 1975 so had to farm some of the machining out. Cliff Ryan was changing from wood working to metal working. He bought a Logan lathe in 1961 and bought books on lathe operation, sharpening lathe tools, etc.

He machined Coles inch boiler hand feed pump and Alexander Enterprises geared feed pump and a mechanical cylinder lubricator. This machining was perfect. He never charged me a cent. He wanted the machining experience.

I want to thank Carl Mehmke, Russell Bumgarner and Clark Bumgamer for their help. Also, Joe Krenzelok for welding on the boiler. Cliff Ryan, Clark Bumgarner, Joe Krenzelok, Jr. and C. E. Jack Kauer have passed on.

All material for the Case 65 quarter size can be supplied by Tom Terning, RR3, Box 184, Valley Center, KS 67147.

Cliff Ryan's Models

After many years of woodworking, during which he became a master craftsman in that medium, Cliff Ryan of Great Falls, Montana turned to metal working. He bought a Logan lathe in 1961, studied books on the operation of a metal lathe, and practiced for many months to perfect his skill. He then set out to build a model Case steam engine.

During a 23-month period he spent from 1600 to 1700 hours building the model 65 Case steam tractor at a scale of two inches to the foot. The tractor is roughly 40 inches long and 21 inches high and weighs more than 160 pounds. It can be run by an air hose or when fired with charcoal briquets, will do the same under its own steam, as it is a working model. It will pull several men in a wagon across a level lawn.

To build it, Ryan obtained scaled-down blueprints which were made form the original full-size prints, and the rough castings, from a man in Salem, Oregon. By no means, however, was it made from a kit. The rough castings had to be precisely finished by machining and sometimes, boring. But the castings were a small part of the tractor and the bulk of it, including the boiler, rear tanks and wheels, he built himself. The tractor is authentic in nearly every detail, including the original 'plow green' and 'Case red' paints.

In 1976 Mr. Ryan built another model of the same steam engine, this time at a scale of one inch to the foot. It is also an authentic working model.

Mr. Ryan passed away in June, 1985.

This picture belongs to Herbert H. Baker of R.R. #3, Box 59, Borden, IN 47106 who obtained it from The Banting Co. of Toledo, Ohio which built this Greyhound engine. Mr. Baker did not receive any information from the company with the photo and thought it would be interesting if someone out there could identify the two men on the platform and where the picture was taken. Does anyone know?