LETTER


| March/April 1963



The Case straw burner

The Case straw burner mentioned in Mr. Lund's article

Oscar J. Lund

Twin Valley, Minn.

I became quite interested after seeing the two photos on page 36 of the Iron-Men Album of the Nov.-Dec. issue. I take for granted that these photos were taken by you at a threshing union at Montgomery, Minnesota on October 1961. The same being owned by Mr. Fred C. Schmidt of St. Paul 13, Minnesota. This engine, I firmly believe, is like the one my father, Gunder O. Lund, had in the year 1890 or 1892.

I am enclosing a threshing scene photo of this rig which was in use until 1900 doing custom threshing in Flom Township, Morman Co., Minn. Sitting on the left tool box, is my oldest brother, Olaf. On the other one is the fireman, Theo Orvold. Standing on the side is Gunder O. Lund, the engineer. The rest of the Lund family pictured is an 8 year old brother in front of the water tank, two sisters (still living) standing with my mother.

This Case Return Flue engine was considered 'delux' as this new model was self propelled. There was no fly wheel clutch. However, a loose idler gear had to be pushed in for traction purposes, meshing up with the large gear. It was quite a strain on the gear as the engine had to start on direct load. At times a cog would break. To repair that, was to drive with horses some 8 miles to an inland blacksmith shop. The operator of same was A. 0. Stein, a very good blacksmith who made most of his own tools and rigs. His son related to me that a new cog was dovetailed into the large gear and made fast. This engine had a steam water pump which I thought then was limping but in later years came to understand that the jumpy action was caused by a load and no load while pumping water into the boiler under pressure.

My mother related to me that it generally rained when it was time to thresh on our farm. This meant that practically the whole crew, some 20 men, had to stay until time to thresh again. That made a lot of extra work, Mother said most of the crew wouldn't help with the chores etc. They just ate, slept, or played cards, or tried to see who was the best man in wrestling. They were all young men then so life was merry and promising whether it rained or not.

This threshing rig made its regular runs until about 1900 when the engine was pulled and placed near a repair shop at Twin Valley, Minn. This, I believe, was a Center Crank engine. I still have two worn bronze half bearings from this engine. The number 183 E is stamped on each half.