| May/June 1960

  • Cape thresher

  • Cape thresher

Noel, Missouri

Many years ago, possibly around 1920, while selling steam traction engines, tractors and threshers, I came across a CAPE thresher. It was an old thresher at that time and I believe it had a 32' cylinder and 50' rear and was equipped with a gearless type wind stacker and Ruth feeder. It was made in Cape Girardeau.

This machine had a very unusual design straw-rack. It was a multiple rotating type and is the only thresher of that kind that I have ever seen. It performed nicely in long straw. But, in short brittle straw the grain-pan loaded up beyond capacity. I have been hoping that a picture of this machine would be shown in your magazine or in Mr. Climers Album of Steam traction engines and threshing equipment.

It has been 40 years since seeing this machine. Therefore, the enclosed drawing or sketch was made from my mental picture as I remember the machine, and my drawing may have only a resemblance to the Cape thresher. However, this sketch will give you a picture of the multiple rotating straw-rack and its relation to the frame.

The tines or fingers in the rotating racks or drums were made of round bent wood, possibly second growth Hickory. These tines or fingers ran between a slatted deck or rack. The straw-rack drive belt wheel was on the third rack or drum. The second and fourth drums were driven from the third drum with sprocket chains, and the first and fifth were driven from the second and fourth drums with sprocket chains and the sixth drum was driven from the fifth drum with a sprocket chain. The sprocket wheels and chains were covered with a wood box for protection.

In case there is any person alive who knows about the Cape thresher or has seen one, please write to me, and tell me how close my drawing resembles the Cape thresher. Also tell something about the factory, how many machines were made and many other interesting details concerning the CAPE thresher.