Traction engine

Lloyd Lehman's model traction engine with Spillman boiler. Stanley steamer on ground pulling fan. Courtesy of F. H. Warnock, 422 Euclid Ave., Peoria Heights, Illinois 61614.

F. H. Warnock

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Campbellsburg, Indiana 47108.

I came up during the transition from horse and buggy and steam threshing to automobiles, gas tractors and later combines.

My Daddy had a 16 HP New Huber steam engine and pulled a sawmill with it. He later bought a No. 2 Geiser cable feed mill making a complete sawmill he owned for some time.

The first gasoline tractor we ever owned was a 5-10 HP Avery built at Peoria, Illinois. It was one of the first with 4-cylinder automobile type motor. The wide seat was set ahead of the drive wheels. It had a friction drive located under the seat with a fiber pulley which contacted a smooth disc pulley. The fiber pulley was on a square shaft and was moved in or out from the center of the disc pulley to give it some 20 speeds forward and several speeds in reverse.

For belt work, you simply removed a cog which drove counter shaft (from the square shaft) and you also had your choice of the many speeds for the belt pulley.

I was 14 when we got this tractor back in the early twenties. My smaller brother and I drove this little Avery home the day we got it and we operated and cared for it. I wonder if anyone around knows about this kind of a tractor. Several large Averys were around here at the time.

We also had a 1917 model 2 cylinder Moline Universal, the kind you sat on the plow and drove.

Later I've had 4 Allis-Chalmers tractors. With all the steam reunions, I well remember how nice our neighbors double Nichols and Shepard ran while threshing, as did a double Gaar-Scott and even my daddy's single cylinder Huber and other makes.

No one could like their engine better than I like my Allis-Chalmers W. D. 45 with power steering, live power and a good hydraulic system. I do my limited amount of threshing with my A-C pull type combine and accomplish in one afternoon what it took weeks to do in the good old days. No wonder I love my machinery as much as one could love a very obedient servant with no soul.