| July/August 1954

90 Grand View Place Walnut Creek, California

Today I got my membership but-ton from Ted Middleton, Sec. Treas., of Western Steam Fiends Association with copy of program to be given at Colton, Wash., on Sept. 20 and 21, 1954. Middleton is really gathering up and tying together all the collectors, fans and steam threshermen of the west in his new organization. But have a look at this picture of a Pride of Washington, built at Walla 'Alla' back in the pre-combine days before and up to World War I. This photo was loaned me by C. R. Miller, Yacolt, Washington. Mr. Miller as a young thresherman, is shown standing arms akimbo leaning against the separator. We are scouring the whole northwest with the aid of such important men of standing as ex-state senator Gordon Klemgard, now Deere - Caterpillar dealer at Pullman, Wash., the editor of the North West Farm Quad, the heads of Ag. Engineering Departments of Washington State and Oregon State Colleges, University of Idaho, International, Allis Chalmers and Case dealers in all three northwestern states. It is planned to have one of these Pride of Washingtons' in action by next years' annual reunion held at Chris Busch's farm near Colton. So have a look at a real western-built thresher designed for the rugged wheat ranching conditions of Palouse country, where the hills are so steep the old time MULE SKINNERS used to speak of the later 32-33 mule combines as 'going around and around like the button on a back house door.'

BOTH NEW. The very latest in transportation and farm powers; C. L. Best in brand new auto-you guess the make- out in a grain field in southern California, to check on a new Best steam tractor pulling a Best combined harvester. Note engine is burning oil. About 1903. (Best in felt hat). Photo from collection of F. Hal Higgins.

In climbing the steeper hills in straight up climbs, they had a saying that the driver 'had to sit where the lead mules could drop hot mule biscuits down his collar if he didn't pull his hat rim down.' Rattlesnakes were plentiful and likely to start a run away. Bumble bees and hornets nests were only occasional distractions and the dog pecker gnats around the water keg merely added to the harvest of sound and color.