6701 Tenth Avenue South Minneapolis 19, Minnesota
As one interested in reading about the good old steam traction
engines as used for threshing and plowing, you will be glad to hear
that Doctor Reynold M. Wik’s new book, entitled, ‘STEAM
POWER on the AMERICAN FARM,’ is now available. It can be had
from the IRON-MEN ALBUM, Port Royal, Pa. The price is five dollars
but is considered well worth it by those who have read it.
This book covers steam power from the beginning, as used on the
American farm and gives the story through all its developments and
growing pains till the end. The change from portables to tractions
is interestingly told. The period of the Steam Engine Boom and its
Heyday will thrill the old timers with fond memories and convey to
the younger enthusiasts many of the details never before known to
them. It is told with many human interest stories to bring out the
life and experiences of the farm steam engineer and thresherman.
The manufacturing and selling of steam threshing machinery is also
covered from a viewpoint interesting to all who like steam traction
engines as a hobby.
Of all the books to appear, it has the most interesting and
complete story about the steam traction engine. Although it is well
illustrated, it is not to be confused with the album type books,
and after reading it you’ll appreciate the grand old Steamer
all the more.
The author, Dr. Reynold M. Wik, writes the editor about the book
and we give you the part of the letter which would be of interest
to you here.. Ed.
‘The volume has 288 pages and 29 pictures. The price at
$5.00 seems rather high and many steam engine fans will hesitate to
pay this amount for a book. However, there may be a few men who
would enjoy reading a rather detailed account of the old steam
power days. It would seem unfortunate to deny them this
‘The book is the product of about four years of historical
research. I traveled through 24 states looking for material. The
book was awarded the Albert J. Beveridge Prize in American history,
the highest honor given by the American Historical Association.
‘However, the book does not tell the whole story. It
presents certain aspects of the application of steam power to
American agriculture. Then too, there are a few errors in the
volume. Yet it is difficult to eliminate all mistakes from any book
which deals with technical information.
‘I would be eager to get your reaction to the book. I do not
think you should be expected to advertise the wares of every person
or company which may have something to sell. I am willing to pay
the regular advertising rates to include an ad or notice about this
book. If you think the volume has merit, I would solicit your
cooperation in calling the book to the attention of the steam
engine crowd —-.’