| November/December 1958

Twin Valley, Minnesota

I SEE OTHERS ARE writing to our Magazine so I thought I would try it too. We here are right in the Red River Valley, and we did use to thresh and no monkey work about it. Here are a few of the engines and machines I have run. I will start with the first one a Case return flue straw burner, about 14 hp. In the year 1888 I saw this outfit moving across a field not far from the house. I stood just outside looking in amazement at the monster. I had never seen anything like it before. When the engineer saw the kid (me) he let out a couple of toots on the whistle. Little Johnny made double quick time into the house and he never saw any more threshing machine that year.

My parents next moved into town. In 1890 I saw a new Minnesota Giant engine and a Minnesota Chief thresher, a Buffalo-Pitts engine (about 14 hp.) and a California Pitts thresher in operation. Also a Case outfit, return flue center crank engine.

In 1891 I saw the first Minneapolis return flue engine and Minneapolis Victory thresher. These engines were all straw burners.

The biggest engines in 1891-92 were 18 hp. Buffalo Pitts return flue center crank engine. These were all sold in our town (Ade) at that time.

In 1895 I had my first experience cutting bands and bucking straw, and some straw stacking too. I also saw a couple Ames engines, return flue and center crank straw burners. In 1896 I saw the first Buffalo Pitts 25 hp. return flue center crank straw burner and Buffalo Pitts Niagara thresher, Parsons feeder and blower with a Dakota elevator. There was a Gaar Scott outfit in the neighborhood and another one came later. Then the Advance came in. Several of these rigs were sold out of Ada. A few were 22 hp. simple engines but most of them were the 26 hp. compound and all were straw burners. These Advance engines were wonderful good straw burners, easy steamers and were easy to handle and keep up. I know by experience.