Wagner-Langemo Hooverizer Threshing Machine

Minnesota man restores rare Minnesota-made Wagner-Langemo Hooverizer threshing machine

| August 2011

  • The finished restoration
    The finished restoration, completed by Roger and Alaine Haugen and family in 1995. 
    Photo courtesy of Roger Haugen
  • Roger Haugen’s favorite piece of old iron is a 1919 Case 20-40 tractor
    Roger Haugen’s favorite piece of old iron is a 1919 Case 20-40 tractor, shown in the background.
    Photo courtesy Roger Haugen
  • The Wagner-Langemo thresher
    The Wagner-Langemo thresher is an imposing-looking machine.
    Photo by Nikki Rajala
  • Remnants from the last workout of the Wagner-Langemo thresher
    Remnants from the last workout of the Wagner-Langemo thresher at the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion.
    Photo by Nikki Rajala
  • The Grain SacKing attachment with Bemis bags
    The Grain SacKing attachment with Bemis bags collects grain at the annual Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion in Rollag.
    Photo courtesy of Roger Haugen
  • Though the decal and painted name say Roger’s Wagner-Langemo thresher has a Hart feeder, the feeder was actually manufactured by Langdon
    Though the decal and painted name say Roger’s Wagner-Langemo thresher has a Hart feeder, the feeder was actually manufactured by Langdon.
    Photo by Nikki Rajala
  • The Hooverizer
    The Hooverizer name endures on Roger’s Wagner-Langemo. 
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • bv-hooverizer-06
    A rear view of Roger’s Wagner-Langemo thresher shows the thresher’s size, 24-41. 
    Photo by Bill Vossler
  • The Hooverizer sometimes presented problems in operation
    The Hooverizer sometimes presented problems in operation. “Every time I run it at Rollag, I have three guys help me,” Roger says, “or I’d never get it done.” Here Roger, Tom Bjorndal and Monte Bachman work on the Hooverizer’s return elevator chain.
    Photo courtesy of Roger Haugen
  • Roger preparing to load the pair of Wagner-Langemo threshers at Alfred Chapman’s farm
    Roger preparing to load the pair of Wagner-Langemo threshers at Alfred Chapman’s farm. Roger knows of just five other wood Hooverizers.
    Photo courtesy of Roger Haugen
  • Let the loading begin!
    Let the loading begin! Putting one of the Wagner-Langemo Hooverizers onto a flatbed at Dead Lake, near Dent, Minn.
    Photo courtesy of Roger Haugen

  • The finished restoration
  • Roger Haugen’s favorite piece of old iron is a 1919 Case 20-40 tractor
  • The Wagner-Langemo thresher
  • Remnants from the last workout of the Wagner-Langemo thresher
  • The Grain SacKing attachment with Bemis bags
  • Though the decal and painted name say Roger’s Wagner-Langemo thresher has a Hart feeder, the feeder was actually manufactured by Langdon
  • The Hooverizer
  • bv-hooverizer-06
  • The Hooverizer sometimes presented problems in operation
  • Roger preparing to load the pair of Wagner-Langemo threshers at Alfred Chapman’s farm
  • Let the loading begin!

Roger Haugen remembers seeing threshing machines operate in fields, but only worked with them one time. “As a little kid, I can remember running out and jumping on the truck and riding out into the field,” he says. “I only threshed once, and I think that was when everybody was already done with the old threshers, and a guy decided to thresh to get a straw pile in his yard.” 

But that one experience must have left a lasting impression, as he now has five antique threshing machines in his collection of old farm relics. Roger’s interest in old iron goes back to 1955 when his father took him to see tractors at the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion in Rollag. “I thought, ‘Good grief, why do we have to go down there? We have enough old tractors around here.’”

But it must not have been all bad. “After seeing movies that Dad took, I made the trip to Rollag in 1956,” he recalls. “A friend of mine had bought a 1919 20-40 Case and restored it. I’d seen that tractor parked in the trees for years. In 1959, he sold it to me.“

That was the starting point for Roger’s collections, which today number 15 tractors, five threshing machines, phonographs, radios, cream separators (“Anything dairy,” he says) and more. “Maybe if you came up here you could figure out why I collect all this stuff,” he says with a chuckle.



Stumbling onto a prize

One of Roger’s prize acquisitions is a 1922 Wagner-Langemo 24-41 “Hooverizer” thresher (learn more about the Hooverizer in related article on page 21). “A fellow by name of Alfred Chapman down by Dent, Minn., was rumored to have more than 300 threshing machines in his collection at one time,” Roger says. “When I first went down there, he had more than a hundred, all lined up in a monster parking lot at the edge of Dead Lake. In 1994, I heard he was having them crushed and sent up to Canada, so in the fall I figured I’d better go down there and save some of them.”

On that trip Roger bought a 40-64 Minneapolis threshing machine. His friend, Norman Bjerndahl, was looking for parts for another Minneapolis when they stumbled onto a building with a few more threshing machines inside. “Norman said, ‘I think there are a couple of Wagner-Langemos in there.’ We went in and looked them over,” Roger says. “I didn’t think much about them until I started doing some research and discovered they were kind of rare. I knew once they were gone they’d be gone.”



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