Peerless Outfit

Content Tools

I have often heard the remark that it not only looks and acts like a Peerless but it sounds exactly like one.

My Father was in the threshing business for 33 years and owned 4 Peerless traction engines and one Peerless threshing machine, also one C. Aultman & Co. threshing machine 36' cylinder. I don't recall the width of the machine but it was about a foot wider in tread than the common standard road tread.

He also owned an 8 hp Taylor Dry steam engine (portable) and a 12 hp (rubicon) Wood Taber & Morse portable and an Ajax Farquhar 16 hp portable and several other makes which I do not recall the names of. Along with 5 saw mills such makes as American, Hench & Dromgold, Geiser, Frick, etc.

I have always been intrigued with the Taylor Dry Steam Engine as I have never seen another like it. The Cylinder formed the steam dome (hence the name Dry Steam Engine). It was never necessary to open the cylinder cocks, even when steaming it up from cold as the cylinder was always dry and very efficient.

I am at present working on a 1' scale model of a Cumberland & Pennsylvania R. R. (consolidation) engine.

My engine that I put together in 1954. It is a Nichols & Shepard boiler and has a double cylinder. I do not know the make of the engines. They are 6' stroke 8' bore and an old Chevie Truck chassis. It has 5 speeds ahead, 1 reverse and will travel 15 miles an hour easy in high gear - and it works just wonderful. I have sawed wood, planed lumber and even sawed lumber with it and have had it in a lot of parades and it takes first prize.

This picture was taken at Nasser, Michigan, at the Saginaw Valley Steam convention. I am sitting on the coal bunker and my brother's boy is standing behind. It has a full head of steam but does not show it. It went twice around the track which is mile in 3 minutes and 10 seconds. I think it will develop about 12 hp and most everyone thinks it is a nice outfit. Tanks hold 100 gal. of water, coal bunker 200 lbs. of coal.

This is my father's threshing rig. 16 hp Stevens Engine and a 26 x 56 N.& S. Thresher which he bought new in 1910. I was around 13 years old then. I started running it in the sawmill weekends. When threshing time came I started helping my oldest brother on the water wagon and before the season was over I was in charge of running the engine. For eleven years I ran it. We threshed around Greenville, Illinois, and Beaver Creek. My father's name was Agustus Cheatham, an old time Thresher and sawmill man. I never owned an engine but was always fond of them. When I came back from World War 1, I still stayed with him as long as he threshed. The last engine he owned was a double 20 hp Birdsall and a 40 x 60 N. & S. separator with a Garden City wing feeder. It took a good engine to pull this separator.

Steam Traction engine and thresher owned by Floyd Coats of Port Huron, Michigan. It's a Baker engine and a Port Huron separator with 'merry-go-round' bagger. I happened to see this instance last summer as the rig was on its way to thresh for a neighbor a mile away.

I bought one of your Steam Engine Guides several years ago and being an amateur at steam, it has enabled me to take care of my 'pet' even to changing all flues and cold test.

Threshing was a social occasion as well as hot and dusty work back in 1903 when this photograph was taken. The old steam engines were operating on the Isaac Condra farm in Wayne County a half-mile east of Seymour, and women of the condra family are in the buggy. Man on engine at right was the late F. M. Wooden. Driver of the water wagon team was Tom E. Wooden. Others in photograph include Elmer Butler, Jim, George, John and Sherman Handler and Luther Hibbs. (From album of Mrs. W. E. Wooden and sent in by J. C. Mattix, Oskaloosa, Iowa.)