Looking for Leads on Mystery Combine

Reader Contribution by David Ruark
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This unit, originally located on the Paul McCaw farm (now owned by John and Audrey Osborn) west of Waitsburg, Washington, has been relocated to the Eastern Washington Agriculture Museum in Pomeroy. We are trying to find out who might have built or helped build it, probably in conjunction with William McCaw (1889-1924).

Because some rollers and bearing housings were built with brass, it is possible that it was built in the San Francisco/Oakland Bay area, where there was a large shipbuilding industry. “Alameda, Cal.” is painted on the inside of the galvanized skin. We know that the Best Co. was located at San Leandro, and Holt, Haines-Houser, Harris and possibly others were close by.

The front wheel is 48 inches in diameter and 10 inches wide, the width the same as the rear wheels. Overall length measures about 22 feet; overall width, about 8-1/2 feet; overall height, about 9 feet.

The unique leveling system with four racks on each side does not seem to match up with other production units that we have been able to read and/or inquire about. We’d appreciate any thoughts and/or suggestions of where to look next.

David Ruark, Pomeroy, Washington; dnruark@wildblue.net

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