Custom Threshers Got the Job Done

Learn about the custom threshers of years past, found all across the great plains and Midwest, always ready to get the job done.

| May 2020


I see them every spring. They lumber along, making their way south, each moving at their own pace. They all look a bit different as they make the journey. Some favor green, some red; yellow and silver make up the rest.

They hail from all over the Midwest and Great Plains; places like Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, the Dakotas and Colorado. As they arrive on the north side of town, make their way through town and then out again, they bring with them an air of anticipation and excitement …

That is me in the 1975 John Deere 6600. This would have been getting close to the last years that I operated her. I know most of you eagle-eyed guys already noticed I am going the wrong direction, but if you look closely at the bin, I am almost full. I had cut down and back waiting on a grain truck to get back. This combine sold to some people over by Medford, Okla., and last I knew was still in operation. 

Back down the line

This being the May issue and with wheat harvest nearly underway here on the Great Plains, I thought we might visit over a picture of a harvest crew. Before we talk about the actual crew, let’s look at the equipment. You can make out Minneapolis on both the steam engine and the thresher. I assume both were built by Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co., Hopkins, Minnesota. The threshing machine looks like it is constructed mainly of wood. The steam engine is putting out a bit of smoke, so the boiler must be warmed up.

What I found really interesting is the barrel mounted in front of the smoke stack; it looks like it has a hose of some type attached to it. I assume that barrel holds water, but I wonder: Was it used for the engine or maybe mounted up there in case of a fire? I suspect one of you readers will be able to help me out.


Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

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