Roy writes: 'I wish to explain something which appears in the caption under the picture about the engine being four cylinder. From the picture you will note there are two cylinders on each side, one is high pressure and the other low pressure. They are both connected to the same cross head by a very clever arrangement. The steam chests and valve arrangement is on the side of the cylinders next to the inside of the engine. Valve action is by link motion under the boiler.'
You will notice the machine has a web stacker. All western lima bean machines were equipped with such a stacker. The hardest job to keep a man for was on the stack. There is no grain grown that is as dusty as beans, for they are not cut in the truest sense of the word. They are cut by what is known as a bean sled. The blades on this sled are somewhat like a plow share, only five or six times longer. They have to be sharpened the same as a plow share, so the bean vines are actually pulled and not cut. This is why there is so much dirt connected with the vines.
To do away with the man on the stack, I built the endless apron stacker as you can see in two of the pictures. It was narrow and ran quite fast so it would shoot the straw as it cam off the racks, in stead of just jumping it close to the-irear of the machine. I built it so it could be raised or lowered and swung in a half circle, so this did away with a man on the stack.
Some of the old time grain thresherman may wonder why a blower was not employed on these machines. The straw is very viney and when a little tough, it has a tendency to wrap on shafting, so we always used the web stacker. Now, all of the bean threshing is done by the pick-up machines.
In two of the pictures, the person closest to the drive pulley on the machine is yours truly. Of course, I was much younger then than I am now.
When I built this machine, it was during the depression days and as money was scarce as hens teeth, I had to have some blacksmith work done on the machine. This amounted to about $150. The man who did the work, being a friend of mine suggested we go into partnership, which we did for the first year. We didn't fare so well financially, so he took the machine from me and changed it a little and ran it himself for about two weeks. Unfortunately, he got his left arm caught in the main drive belt and got it taken off above the elbow - poor fellow! I then paid him what I owed him and then ran it through '46.