Remembering Steam Engines

Reader Contribution by Lawrence Torske
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Henry Torske, Conrad, Mont., breaking sod on the Oscar Torske farm east of Ledger, Mont., with his 110 Case converted to burn oil. The farm is now owned by Lawrence (Torske) Lippf.

I have enclosed a photo of a gear similar to others shown in Farm Collector. During World War II, my dad junked out the steam engine this gear came from and sold it for scrap iron. He used this gear for a base for a mailbox stand. That’s how it was preserved.

Before they scrapped the engine, they used it to smoke meat. When they butchered, they hung the bacon and hams in front, and burned wood to smoke the meat. They would hang the country hams on a chain upstairs and my brother would use his jack knife to cut a chunk off the ham when he wanted a chew of ham.

As boys, my brother and I took the engine’s brass pieces to school and donated them to the war effort. I still have the engine’s original state inspector’s certificate; it was dated 1918. It was a 1901 Gaar-Scott steam engine.

Lawrence Torske, McIntosh, Minnesota

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