| January/February 1997

  • # Picture 01

  • # Picture 01

PO Box 10264 Burbank, California 91510

I have been running traction engines for other people long enough! I bought my own. A 20 horse Minneapolis 1920 (serial #8376). A fine engine in its day. However, it is not so fine an engine just now. This is without a doubt, what one would call a project engine. I offer for proof the boxes of parts that came with it! It's all in pieces and it has been in pieces like this for at least 20 years. Before buying the engine I was careful to see that there were enough parts to make a tractor that would run but, there are still a number of parts missing.

As far back as I can discover, this traction engine was used in a saw mill in Wausau, Wisconsin. That would have been in the 1940s. It made its way to Oceanside, California, in 1955. That's the southern end of California near San Diego. It ran in local parades and such, and was used for a movie, starring Gary Cooper and Dorothy McGuire. The movie was called 'Friendly Persuasion'.

About 20 years ago this steamer was dismantled for restoration but the work did not get far before it was sold again. It was moved around some, still in pieces, until 1996. That is, of course, the day when I bought it and brought it back to the Museum in Vista. It had made its way into the northern part of California. This is where I got it. All this moving around while being apart contributed some to my list of parts that have been lost!

A tremendous amount of work goes into a project like this. Let there be no doubt about it! I am happy to report that my project is well underway and a good deal of credit must go out to those people across the country I have talked with or have gotten parts from. I want to thank all of them here and now! My parts search has not yet ended however, so, if anyone has extra parts or will be casting parts for this traction engine in the foreseeable future, please let me know about it.

My goal for this engine is to put it back in steam as a working engine in the belt or in the field! It has an ASME boiler that was one of the reasons I chose this engine over some others despite the amount of work it needed. That boiler will make getting certified a lot easier. A non-code boiler here in California must meet a Factor of Safety of 8 for a lap seam boiler and 7 for a butt strap boiler. This is the highest of any state I know of!


Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

Save Even More Money with our SQUARE-DEAL Plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our SQUARE-DEAL automatic renewal savings plan. You'll get 12 issues of Farm Collector for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of Farm Collector for just $29.95.

Facebook Pinterest YouTube


click me