Dairyland Driftings


| January/February 1963



Custom built 4 wheel drive

Bill Briden, Crookston, Minn., and his custom built 4 wheel drive.

In writing this episode, I'm sort a paralleled to Peggy and Jill Steinmetz, (daughters of the DURWARD STEINMETZ'S, LaFarge, Wis.). They were among the fortunate few who were excused from school to attend The Old Threshers' Reunion, but they were booked to give a report on the event when they got back. Now, there is a broad-minded version of education - a field trip of events depicting past history in reality, before their very eyes.

Got GEORGE CHRISTIAN with his tent and cot, ALICE, with her luggage and took off for our annual Labor Day week of steam rally. First stop BUDENSKI'S Thresh Meet on Sept. 2 netted no take, their valley under water, definitely rained out. George, came up with, if we want to take in PAUL HEMP'S MUSEUM, west of Rochester, he'd buy the tickets. This indeed a very worthwhile stop and we are very grateful for Paul's hospitality and certainly his museum deserves every consideration for those antiquely inclined - Aren't we all? Here too, we met a group who had stopped at Budenski's and were destined for Mt. Pleasant.

The weather, very favorable on Labor Day for the Cedar Falls show. We met several acquaintances including PRANK STEBRITZ and his son, Tom who has just completed a Gaar-Scott model engine and is now building a half scale 110 Case- won't that be some in? An outstanding attraction at this show is SMOLICK BROS. of Osage, Iowa, 110 Case No. 29-237 pulling a 14 bottom plow and doing right nice work.

By nightfall, we pulled into REUBEN BOHMAN'S yard at Alpha, III. Their long standing invite now became a reality. The following day, we toured that locality, visiting historic spots at Andover and Bishop Hill, also two shaft coal mines. We met DONALD OLSON at Galva, who owns a 75 Case No. 35445, which his father bought new in 1922. George Christian often spoke of hedge row fences 'back in Illinois.' Now, here for the first time Alice and I really saw such early day fence line, and did pick some Osage oranges from said hedge trees. Donald was telling as how a single cylinder engine is superior to a double in pulling hedge, said you need that rocking pull you don't get from a two cylinder steamer. In addition to Reuben's farming, he operates a 50 Case and Crabb saw mill. Upon leaving, we were given pears and concord grapes, as well as a 1910 Minneapolis Catalog. Thanks to Bohman's for their generosity and a good time.

By noon on the opening day of Old Settlers, we were driving stakes for George's tent and renewing old acquaintances put us in stride with the many activities. A rather frustrated lady, in an orange colored dress, came rushedly by, 'Do you know which engine the Governor is on?' Momentarily, I was speechless, my thinking was every engine had a governor on it. Somehow, I had to get her off the hook. 'I take it you mean some dignitary? He would likely be on one of the leading engines in the parade, likely up on the track by now.'

Meandering over to the Stillwater New Giant, sure enough there was GLENN McNAMAR, Granger, Mo. as in years past. He was a typical boy, spry and happy. To my surprise, he had some old machinery catalogs in the tool box. He called my attention to one on the Robinson engine. The only steamer with a LaGrippe friction clutch invented by F. W. Robinson, himself. It was in reverse of the customary, in that the inner side of flywheel had a wood band fitted in to accommodate the expending clutch shoes. Says Glenn, he remembered when Ed and Jim SMITH from Arbeela had one of those engines and encountered no trouble at all. Another catalog of older vintage showed the Eureka center-draft hay mower. The 5 or 6 foot cutting bar operated directly behind the horses, using a long double-tree, one horse would alternately walk in the standing hay as the swath was cut forth and back, similar to a two way plow. These machines were built in Utica, N. Y. and Glenn says he'd like to locate such a mower.