Farm Collector


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

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.

  • Published on Jul 1, 1954
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