Threshing Days:

| September/October 1987

Reprinted by permission of author William P. Schramm, Rt #2, Box 1H, Barnum, MN 55707. Also, permission is granted by The Farmer Magazine, 1999 Shepard Road, Saint Paul, MN, 55116 in which the article first appeared.

I was born at the right time. When I reached my boyhood, threshing by steam had attained its prime. The horse-powered separator era had ended, when a 12, 16 or even 18 man crew was needed to do a farmer's threshing.

In those earlier days a 'bagger' was needed to sack grain as it came from the separator. Six to eight strong-backed men carried the filled sacks into the granary, where they emptied them into a bin.

The farmer who first backed a wagon to a separator with a team of horses was probably something of a hero. Even then, grain was still sacked. But the filled sacks were hauled to the granary by wagon. Soon after, grain was run directly into the wagon box.

Straw-burning steam engines were still going in my younger days. The rig's owner would have a fireman, who would be kept busy pushing straw into the engine to keep up steam. Unthreshed bundles made a hotter fire, and the grain kept it hot longer.

I remember one time when Dad was in the granary scooping back grain. One of his grain haulers drove up with a load to tell Dad: 'It's a shame the way your oats bundles are being carried to the engine and fired with!'


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