| July/August 1978

  • Model of Minneapolis
    Pictured is model of Minneapolis taking on water. The hose is automobile electric wire.
  • Model of Red River Special thresher
    Model of Red River Special thresher.

  • Model of Minneapolis
  • Model of Red River Special thresher

One day in 1975 Loren Butterfield, of Kearney, Nebraska was messing around with his soldering iron and soldered toy pop cans together, end to end.

He looked at this production and thought how easy it would be to add a few pieces and have a model of a boiler.

Thus a hobby was born.

By the time he was finished he had his first steam traction engine which he named 'Butterfield No. 1.' In building this he didn't have a picture of an engine to follow except for one in a book of his brother's that once belonged to their father. He more or less just 'winged it.'

He remedied this during 1976 when he bought copies of old catalogs at steam shows. He also obtained catalogs by answering Iron-Men Album ads.

Loren says that many people at steam shows think he should go into business making and selling his models. If he did, he says, then it wouldn't be a hobby anymore. He lives in an apartment and is not 'geared' for mass production. Also, during threshing season he travels from western Kansas through Nebraska to eastern Iowa and doesn't have a lot of time for extra work.