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
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
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.
I also came across an old thresher with a 16′ cylinder with
a 24′ rear, equipped with a gearless wind stacker and
self-feeder, made by the International Thresher Company. I do not
believe that this company had any connection with the International
Harvester Company. I do not recall the town where it was made, as I
remember, it was in Illinois.
I believe this machine was made some time between 1900 and 1915.
I was told that this machine was junked about 15 years ago. This
machine, now, would be a prize possession.
Would you know anything about this machine?