THE AGRICULTURAL MEMORIAL MUSEUM

Avery Undermounted

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A copy of your excellent magazine has been shown to me, and I am very pleased with the idea and also with the progress of your plan for a magazine for all interested in engines, machines, etc. I will enclose the sum of $2.00 which I think, is your subscription charge.

Your readers will be pleased and interested to know that the Province of Manitoba, Canada's Keystone Provice (look at your map), has been developing an agricultural Museum at a central site near an important junction of two highways, and right at the strategically centre of both the Province and also of Canada. In fact it is about as close to being the centre of the continent as it is possible to get.

Our main feature so far has been the annual Threshermen's Reunion which was attended by thousands last year, and bids fair to attracting many more, this season. The date is to be the second Wednesday in October and it will continue for four days. Last fall the winner of the Engine Setting Contest was Albert Birney of Angusville, Manitoba, who 'set' the big J. I. Case steamer in the time of one minute, eight seconds flat. It may be that some person will beat that record in the near future, and it is an open competition, but we doubt that anyone can do it in less time. We ran into difficulty in that while we had several steamers steamed up and ready for use, yet the boys all wanted to use one engine for it operated a little better than any of the others. This meant that we could only try out a limited number the first day and so on.

These two pictures were taken 5 miles east of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa in 1915. It is an 18 hp. Avery Undermounted, owned and operated by Cliff W. Banor of New London, Iowa. He was hauling sand and gravel for Henry County. The County was building some new concrete bridges to replace wooden bridges then in use. (This bridge was replaced by a concrete bridge that fall). At that time the County was responsible for any damage to an engine that broke through a bridge. The County paid $700.00 to have this engine rebuilt after the accident. Mr. Banor still has a steam engine. He has been operating the 20 double cylinder Nichols & Shepard owned by Milo W. Mathews at the Mt. Pleasant Reunion the last four years.

These two pictures were taken 5 miles east of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa in 1915. It is an 18 hp. Avery Undermounted, owned and operated by Cliff W. Banor of New London, Iowa. He was hauling sand and gravel for Henry County. The County was building some new concrete bridges to replace wooden bridges then in use.(This bridge was replaced by a concrete bridge that fall). At that time the County was responsible for any damage to an engine that broke through a bridge. The County paid $700.00 to have this engine rebuilt after the accident. Mr. Banor still has a steam engine. He has been operating the 20 double cylinder Nichols & Shepard owned by Milo W. Mathews at the Mt. Pleasant Reunion the last four years.

This fall when the work is about over, we invite any and all to come to the North American Threshermen's Reunion to be held at Austin, Manitoba, (Approximately north of Devil's Lake, North Dakota). Commencing October 10, 1956.

In 1955 quite a fine cup was presented to the winner of the Engine Setting Contest by M. S. J. McMurachy, of McConnell, Manitoba. This well-known Canadian pioneer was the originator of the now famous Selkirk wheat, and had some heads of the wheat portrayed on the cup. Now maybe some of the boys from across the line may be able to better the existing record, but they better practice up a bit. In 1955 the Agricultural Museum of Manitoba arranged this contest a good many months in advance, gave specific invitations, not closed, but open competition, and publicized it as widely as possible; then when Birney set up his engine in that record time the Museum proclaimed him the champion of Canada, North America, and the world. We admit this takes in quite a wide stretch, but so much the better.

The Agricultural Memorial Museum of Manitoba has only been in operation for some six years, but already we have over eighty articles, engines, cars, machines, etc. As yet we have no building, but have a fine park site for our exhibits. While we regret to have to leave the grand old engines outside, yet that is the best we can do. We do not claim to have as fine a collection, nor to be as well developed as the monster Western Development Museum at Saskatoon, Saskatchawan, because they were ahead of us, but we are giving them a close race. They had a remarkable success with their 'Pioneera' in 1955, and are planning for bigger and better this summer, in early July. We do not like to, see that some of their best articles have been contributed from our Province of Manitoba, but that is our own fault, and we have nobody to blame but ourselves.

When we informed the J. I. Case Company that we had one of the very first Case engines in our collection, they could scarcely believe it. But here it is, the model of 1869, and we are getting it fixed up, maybe to run, but I doubt that. Anyhow it is a rare thing to see, but a very interesting exhibit in our museum. And oddly enough, while museum exhibits of all kinds are valuable and intriguing, yet more people love to see the big old steamer than any other engine or exhibit.