| March/April 1963

3775 Herman Ave., San Diego 4, Calif.

Dear friend Elmer:

I have written many letters to the Album during the five years I have been a reader, all of which have appeared at various times, I thank you for donating space to them. I am writing this more as a personal letter or chat as one old time thresher to another. I think it was in the Jan.-Feb. Issue a picture of a modern thresher with a wing feeder attachment and you mentioned having pitched into it the first time ever having seen one in operation. Now, you are not so terribly much older than I am and I don't remember any thresher that did not have a self feeder attached. I do remember the old straight slat straw stacker before the advent of the wind stacker or blower but never saw a hand fed machine.

0n page l9 Mar.-April is a picture of a New Champion thresher and you state that that is the type of machine you knew in your threshing days. To what degree did the machines in the east advance to the modern ones of the mid-west? I don't remember seeing any pictures of machines from the east having wing feeders but had other modern features such as weigher, blower, etc. Long before I was old enough to take part in the threshing game the blower was added to all machines and about the time I began to fire we had the wing feeder also. I also notice the engines were of much smaller H. P. than the ones we used. Also the threshers were of smaller type mostly being from 28 to 32 in cylinder. In the mid-west our machines were from 36 to 40 inch until the coming of the gas tractor for power. For such machines we had to have much larger engines such as 20 or 25 H. P.

I do not correspond with many threshers from that part of the country so do not know the true story of the machines as of today, but as I say have not seen pictures of the big ones from there.

I began in 1906 by firing a 12 H.P. Return flue Huber that Father bought to fill silos with. I was 12 years old and soon learned to drive, fire and to start under a full load without throwing the belt and by the end of two such short seasons I was able to do most of the duties of engineer, leaving Father free to do other duties around the rig. However that old engine was left hand belted and I was unable to manuever it into belt position so had to have help for that but once in the belt I was soon doing all of the duties of engineer.


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