The Lambton Heritage Museum of Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada, has just released limited edition one-sixteenth scale models of the 1915 John Goodison grain separator, and their 1913 style 22 horsepower steam traction engine with matching water wagon, in tribute to the commercial success the John Goodison Thresher Company enjoyed in the history of agriculture manufacturing in North America. The family-operated firm operated in Sarnia, Ontario, (across from Port Huron, Michigan) from 1889 until the 1950s.
The Lambton Heritage Museum collection of Goodison sale literature and machines on which the models are based comprise the most extensive research collection of archival memorabilia and artifacts available anywhere for researchers.
'The Goodison firm earned a respected place in the history of the North American threshing machine industry, as they shipped their popular threshers by the trainload to the Canadian West throughout the first half of this century,' said Bob Tremain, museum Curator. The firm also earned the distinction of being the only Canadian manufacturer of steam engines and threshers to successfully penetrate the American market. They did so through a series of sales agents and parts depots from within the USA, enabling them to fill orders all across the Midwest. Efficient Goodison threshers were also shipped at that time to 'The Argentine' of South America, and others found their way to eastern Europe.'
The steam engine model is a 1913 style, 22 HP traction unit with a high dome. The model also features the internal steam pressure line utilized by Goodison at that time. It is cast entirely in spun metal, and then hand painted to match original detailing specifications and colors.
The scale model 36-50 separator is a quality crafted, hand-built and hand-assembled collectible. True to the original, this model of a custom thresherman's separator has a wooden body. Each machine bears nine belts driving 16 miniature, rotating, brass pulleys. Highlighting this machine is detailed pin striping, and 'circus-wagon' choices of red, green and yellow body colors. To complete the custom thresherman's set, a water wagon is also available, in red.
Museum reference texts indicate the Goodison firm built no engines in the early days of the firm, but supplied customers for complete outfits with the Waterous 17 HP 'Ontario Standard'' single cylinder engines for the East, and the heavier double cylinder models for the West. In 1902 they began to build a few portable engines in their own factory and two years later entered the traction field. By this time the experimental stage was over and the firm settled on the open bottom locomotive type boiler with high dome. Solid stub axles and heavy counter shaft bracket engine was mounted with the cylinder toward the smokebox. The Woolf single eccentric reverse gear was adopted and a lever controlled brake acted on a large drum cast on the inside of the intermediate gear. The clutch was internal expanding with two large metal shoes.
Only single cylinder, side mounted engines were built and the original design was never changed. In 1916 the Watson horizontal governor was adopted and late models had patented adjustable exhaust nozzles. Two injectors were standard equipment. Early engines were rated at 18 HP. A few 25 HP engines were supplied to customers who did sawmill work in addition to threshing but the 9 inch x 10 inch cylinder engine, rated at 22 HP with high pressure boiler, was the standard engine built for many years. The last new engine was built in 1927.
The firm had a novel way of numbering their engines: the last pair of numbers indicated the number of engines built in the year indicated by the first numbers; thus Engine No. 1823 was the 23rd engine built in 1918.
In 1920 Goodison began selling Hart-Parr gas tractors and after a merger in 1918 became Canadian distributors of Oliver tractors and equipment. The firm ceased manufacturing about 1950, when expanding petrochemical industry in Sarnia's 'Chemical Valley' acquired the Goodison property.
The production run was produced especially to museum specifications by Teeswater Custom Tractor, specialists in quality miniatures.
The models come packed with a letter confirming a limited production run. An identification plaque denotes the serial number within the limited edition of 600 pieces, and a corporate history accompanies each unit. The models are available from the Lambton Heritage Museum gift shop see ad in this issue for detailed ordering information.