FULL STEAM AHEAD


| September/October 1994



Smith bolts tractor

Smith bolts tractor tire treads onto the engine's antique iron wheels.

Story by Jeff Merritt, photos by Peter Fellman, reprinted with permission from the Norwalk Reflector, Norwalk, Ohio

A tribute to the bygone days of farming is ready to be unveiled.

Ted Smith is putting the finishing touches on an 1899 steam engine tractor that has recently been fixed up and will make its debut at the Berlin Heights Basket Festival this weekend (August '93).

The engine, built by the Advance Thresher Company, of Battle Creek, Michigan, is also a fitting project for the Smith family, which has lived and worked with the machines for more than 100 years.

'I grew up around them ever since I was a little shaver,' said Smith's father, Lloyd Sr., as his son bolted tractor tire treads onto the engine's antique iron wheels Wednesday. The treads will make the grueling five-mile drive to Berlin Heights on Saturday a little smoother.

Lloyd Smith and his brother, Lyle, grew up using similar steam-driven tractors to thresh wheat on their farm in the 1930s. Years later, the pair used to take a giant 1923 engine which Lyle owned to fairs and other agricultural shows.