| May/June 1955

  • Henry Vander Heida of Algona
    Henry Vander Heida of Algona, Wis., by his Gaar-Scott before it was cleaned and painted. Pride seems to be written on his face before it is cleaned.
    Lorin E. Bixler

  • Henry Vander Heida of Algona

Published in 1881, Courtesy of LORIN E. BIXLER

'The opening of this historical sketch takes us back to the year 1848, when in the little rural borough of Greentown, a village of some 300 souls, situated about nine miles north of Canton, Mr. Cornelius Aultman, who had learned the machinist trade, made the patterns and built on his own account five of the old Hussey reapers the first machines of the kind ever made in Ohio, with the exception of a few made at Martin's Ferry, opposite Wheeling in the year previous. Mr. Michael Dillman, a progressive farmer with amp1e means, living near Greensburg, Summit County, had purchased and used one of these machines during the season, and was so well pleased with its work that he proposed joining Mr. Aultman in his new undertaking, and accordingly they both moved to Plainfield, Will County, Illinois, where they constructed these machines for two seasons-some thirty-seven in all -and the neighboring farmers came to their shop and bought them readily. The hussey was a one-wheeled machine, adapted only for reaping purposes. In the spring of 1850, Mr. Hussey, of Baltimore, Md., the inventor of the machine, but who had done very little toward manufacturing and introducing it, learning that it was being successfully produced in the west, concluded that it was worth looking after, journeyed to Illinois and informed the makers that he held patents on the machine and claimed royalty on all that had been turned out. They finally settled the matter by paying him $15 on each machine.' pp. 321-322.

'The needs of a thresherman for a better engine than had ever been built had long been pressed upon the attention of, the manufacturers of the Buckeye machines. Forced by these requirements upon them, in the centennial year they commenced the construction of the 'Monitor' engine. The best skilled advice; and the ripest experience of the most practical threshers and mechanics were brought into requisition to aid them in making the portable engine which would be pronounced nearest perfect. After fully consulting every plan presented, they made the choice of the vertical engine and boiler of the model upon which the Monitor is built. It was exactly adapted to a special field of operations, and the satisfactions rendered by it has been so perfect that it cannot be overstated, and its decided advantages over other engines are attested by the emphatic and unsolicited approbation of all who have used it. Every year, so far, the number required of them is in excess of the manufacturing capacity of the works, and this has compelled them to make a large addition to their shops, which will double their facilities for turning out these universally approved engines.

'Parties who have experimentally tested the Canton Monitor-Traction Engine, and those who have had it in use during the last two years, speak in unqualified terms of its extraordinary working qualities, pronouncing it a perfect success in all respects. For propelling threshing and machinery operating purposes it stands without rival. A farmer who has thoroughly tested it says, 'It has so far answered every call upon its resources, and is always ready for use. I have a Taylor & Chandler muley side-cut saw-mill and your 10-horse engine drives it and the thing works like a charm. I am now running a full line of flax machinery, consisting of a roller gang break, beater, picker, etc., and have abundant power. The boiler being perpendicular, the action of the fires comes directly upon the heating surface. It requires less fuel and a shorter time to raise steam. The cylinder, placed between the steam chest and the heater is protected from the cold atmosphere therefore there is less condensing in the cylinder and bilging; and being perpendicular it is not liable to become untrue through wear of the weight of the machinery, as is the case in a horizontal engine. As a traction or locomotive engine I consider it superior.' The compound or 'jack-in-the box' gear is a very ingenious device, whereby one wheel may be made to revolve independent of the other, so that in turning, the wheel going the fastest receives the greater power, thus enabling the engine to be headed in any desired direction with great facility. No other portable engine has this admirable feature. The independent steam pump for supplying and emptying the boiler, which can run with or without the main engine, is also a most advantageous adjunct. A massive sprocket chain running over sprocket wheels communicates the power from the flywheel to the counter-shaft, which is much stronger, more direct and more reliable than the bevel ordinarily used. Among the latest improvements is the link motion, similar to that of the locomotive whereby the engine can be propelled forward or backward without stopping. The speed on the road is regulated by a governor, while the starting and stopping, reversing and steering are under perfect control of the engineer without leaving his seat. It is fitted up with all necessary steam engine connections and the gear is encased in order to exclude all dust and dirt. The whole engine rests on rubber springs, preventing concussion, and all in all it is the most complete traction engine ever invented.' pp. 327-328.


Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

Save Even More Money with our SQUARE-DEAL Plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our SQUARE-DEAL automatic renewal savings plan. You'll get 12 issues of Farm Collector for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of Farm Collector for just $29.95.

Facebook Pinterest YouTube