A HISTORY of the BAKER COMPANY

Part II


| September/October 1954



Baker Separator

The Baker Separator, left side

The years of World War I with their lessons on fuel economies turned Abner D. Baker's thoughts to improving the fuel and water consumption of his traction engines. In searching the field of stationary steam engines, where economy had always been the watchword, he was impressed by the savings in fuel and water made with a new type of cylinder construction known as the uni-flow. He then set about to introduce this type of cylinder construction in the traction engine field.

By 1916 he was able to offer his customers their choice of either the new 'Uni-flow' or the old 'Counter-flow' types. These new 'Uni-flow' engines carried a higher steam pressure (190 pounds) and were painted blue to distinguish them from the 'Counter-flow' type (140 pounds) which were painted green on the engine and machinery portions while the gearing and wheels were red.

Shortly after, another fuel and water saving device was placed on the market by the company to be used exclusively with their traction engines. This was a super-heating device which was placed on the smoke box end of the boiler. It made use of the heat still left in the combustion gases (as they passed up through the smoke stack) to increase the temperature and dryness of the steam passing from the boiler to the cylinder. These 'Super-heaters' were placed in a number of Baker engines. The natural tendency of most machine men to prefer more simple things, caused it to be used less than the savings it could affect would have warranted.

For some time the company had been working on a small size threshing machine for use by small rings and individual farmers. They now introduced their 'Baker Jr.,' threshing machine. It was a 24x40 size. It followed the pattern of the larger machines in many details varying almost only in size.

Louis R. Baker, son of Abner D., who since a boy had played and worked at the shop was now taking an active part in the design of new machines and the factory management.

In the year 1920 the company suffered severe property damage to their plant as the result of a tornado. The loss estimated to be over sixty thousand dollars. Repairs were soon made and work went on as usual.