A Trip To The Baker Factory

| July/August 1985

624 West Monroe Street Jackson, Michigan 49202

Here are the pictures of my dad's old steam threshing outfit, and of the Baker threshing machine factory at Swanton, Ohio back in the teens. I took them myself with my brother's camera.

About 1912 (I was about 8 years old), Dad bought an 18 HP Baker engine. The salesman, Mr. Burt Clutts, is in the picture with 1912 model T roadster. A close look at the Ohio license plate on the dash board reads 1912.

Bert Clutts, salesman for A. D. Baker Co. with 1912 model T Ford roadster. The long shed in center background is where the engine and separator were stored in winter.

That engine was run about two or three yearsone year on Case separator and one on a new Baker that had a Garden City wing feeder, which was too much for the 18 HP. We were threshing on the Blake farm north of Jackson when the cross head on the engine broke and let the piston came out through the cylinder head with a loud bang and everything stopped. The team of horses on the water wagon were standing right beside it and took off! Everybody started running and yelling water was flying and the team took a big circle and headed for that barn. I was standing on top of the separator tending blower when it happened and had a good view of the circus.

Dad traded the 18 HP in on a new 23 HP Baker that handled the separator okay. It came in on a flatcar about the last of June and school was out. I went along and helped unload the new engine and load the old one on the flatcar. It was quite exciting for me as I was only about twelve at the time. We had to pump water into the new engine from the water wagon, pull the fire out of the old engine and put it in the new one, and get up steam before we could move it. Kids followed it all the way home.