Steam Traction Engines on the Block in Kansas
Old equipment auctions are nothing new: Just take a look through the advertisements in any given issue of Steam Traction or its sister publications Gas Engine Magazine and Farm Collector. You'll see auctions of various size and scope listed in just about every issue.
Unfortunately, as much as we like attending auctions, most of them end up being too far away for us to take in. Every now and then, however, a good auction takes place in our neck of the woods, and such was the case Oct. 25, 2003. That was the day that Michael Wurm of the M.R. Wurm Historical Farming Foundation, Meriden, Kan., auctioned off some 75 pieces of vintage farm equipment, including the three steam traction engines shown here. According to Michael Wurm, the sale was 'an inventory reduction' of the foundation's large collection of vintage machinery.
From top to bottom, the three engines were: New Huber 18-50, serial no. 10141, Kansas certified at 140 psi; 1923 Keck-Gonnerman 19 HP, serial no. 1694, Kansas certified at 135 psi; and a Case 65 HP, serial no. 34858.
The Keck-Gonnerman sold for $17,000, and the New Huber went for $9,000. At press time, we weren't able to confirm the price for the Case.
Regardless, these were three very nice engines, and their selling prices seemed very much in line with current trends. The highest price paid at the auction was for a very rare Tillsoil 18-30 (above 4th picture), which sold for $77,500.