A 1960s Story Finally in Print


| November/December 1993



Aultman Taylor steam engine

Sr. Submitted by his son, Ted Smith P.O. Box 680 Norwalk, Ohio 44857-0680

This story was written by my father before the day of Gas Engine Magazine, so that is why he talks about the tractors my grandfather owned. Dad is now 73 years old, and has no idea I found this story and had it typed up for submission to Iron Men Album. Ted Smith.

Dad writes:
'Dear Editor,
'I have been a reader of your excellent magazine for some time. I have a picture I am sending you if you care to put it in the Album. I am a steam fan and also an early gas fan. My father's side of the family has always been engaged in custom threshing, sawmilling, silo filling, building moving, corn husking, road grading and steam road rolling. My father is in his late sixties. He has threshed for 43 years without missing a season. We had to quit in 1947 as there wasn't enough to pay us to keep us going.

'My great-grandfather started with Case machinery. He started with a Case separator and portable Westinghouse engine. He ran this rig for a short time and bought a new Case separator and Case center crank engine. He ran the rig for some time, then his age and health forced him to give up, so his sons took over (two brothers). They traded the old rig off for a 16 HP Huber engine and a new Minneapolis separator. After a while my father bought them out and ran the rig for a while. The old 16 HP Huber was a little light for the big old wooden Minneapolis separator. They claim it was a good machine but pulled very hard. The old saying was it took a 90 horse engine to pull it. My father bought a 22 HP Russell compound which he cursed from the day he bought it. He kept the Russell for four or five years, sold it and bought a 20 HP Aultman and Taylor. The next year he bought a 32 x 54 Western Special Case separator, which he used until he quit threshing. We had the Minneapolis separator for a while and used a 23-90 Baker engine on it to help do the threshing. The 23-90 Baker engine belonged to a saw mill and lumber dealer. As time went on, steam was going out in our locality, so we had to give way to gas. Help was getting to be a problem, and also we had a drought in our section and water became a problem.

'The last couple of years he used steam and I was getting big enough to help him some. In the year 1927 Dad bought a new 25-50 Baker tractor but it was not delivered until May of 1928. From then on it was up to me to help him do the threshing, corn husking, sawmilling, road grading, and moving of buildings (of which we had a lot). We were busy year 'round. The only source of power we had was the old Baker tractor.

20 HP Aultman Taylor steam engine threshing wheat south of East Townsend, Ohio, circa 1925. My dad (Lloyd Smith) and Uncle Lyle are the twin boys sitting on the engine.