1910 Nichols & Shepard

| November/December 1975

  • Nichols & Shepard steam engine
    Above is Dorance Heise, Ryder, North Dakota and the 1910 Nichols & Shepard steam engine. This engine was purchased from the Torske Bros., Conrad, Montana in 1968 by Elmer Wolff, Association President and Dorance Heise. It is a double cylinder simple engin
    Leroy Quandt

  • Nichols & Shepard steam engine

Ryder North Dakota, 58779

This same engine is pictured in the October 1964 Engineers and Engines Magazine. The picture shows the ventriloquist, Edgar Bergen on the engine with Henry Torske standing alongside. Mr. Bergen intended to buy this engine steamer to Edgar Bergen of Holly-Cutbank newspaper reporting on a threshing show at Four Corners, Montana it shows Henry Torske operating one of Ray German's engines. The article states, 'Torske, a real steam engine buff from Conrad is famous because he sold a steamer to Edgar Bergen of Hollywood fame, and we asked Torske if he did and he confirmed it, only he said 'Bergen never came to pick it up and he never paid for it either' . . . so he's still got it in Conrad.'

This very same engine is now in the Makoti Museum. Dorance and Elmer have cleaned off a few pounds of good old Montana soil from the governor and in the boiler among other places. Other cleaning and repair work has been done.

The first year the engine was used, the nut came off the governor so the engine went wild. It looked funny to see a steamer going about five miles an hour across the field. Taking the nut from the other Nichols and Shepard engine for a pattern, Leland Patten, Newtown blacksmith, made another one.

This engine was bought by the Torske Brothers out of a sawmill in Kallespell, Montana. It is worn real bad so it must have seen long hard usage. The cut-off valves are out of adjustment but O. R. Allakson, New Rockford, has written to Dorance explaining how to set them again to make the engine work like it should. Conrad Torske, Henry, 72, died at his farm home east of Conrad. Born at McIntosh Minnesota, he came to the Prospect community near Conrad in 1919. He married Anna E. Kanikeberg, June 2, 1920, at Great Falls. They lived in the Prospect community until 1934 when the family moved into Conrad. He was a steam engineer most of his life and took part in many old time threshing bees in the area.

The picture of equipment on display on page 24 of the March-April 1970 Gas Engine Magazine includes the following tractors in case anyone is wondering. 1917 Gray 18-36 #24935, 1918 Heider a12-20 C #35932, 1920 Titan 10-20 #TV47842, 1926 Minneapolis 17-30 B #8908, 1924 John Deere D 15-27 #32026, 1920 Twin City 20-35, 1922 Rumely H 16-30 #9012.


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