The history of American makes of engines and threshers

| September/October 1953

6701 Tenth Avenue South Minneapolis, Minnesota

We are happy to present here the first article on the history of American makes of engines and threshers. Mr. Hans J. Andersen of 6701 10th Ave., So., Minneapolis, Minn., is the author.

Many of you have requested such articles and we know you will greatly enjoy them. Mr. Andersen says that most of the pictures that appear with the article are from the collection of E. R. Potter of Canada.

Walking west from Detroit in search of a new location to practice his trade as blacksmith and millwright, John Nichols found Battle Creek to his liking. Setting up shop, he sent back for his family and settled down to what he thought would be a comfortable future.

This was not to be, for the following year, 1849, the gold rush fever struck the country and the westward dash was begun. The wagon trains which undertook the hazardous journey required the presence of skilled blacksmiths and wheelwrights to keep their rolling stock in condition for the trip. For this purpose Nichols was persuaded to accompany a local party. The lust for gold was not for him so he fulfilled his agreement and returned to his shop at Battle Creek.

The earnings from his trip enabled him to increase his shop facilities, which brought his customers from far around. Many of them were farmers come to have their crude implements repaired or new ones made to replace those worn out.