By Staff
1 / 5
2 / 5
Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Trauger, Exeter, Nebr., owners of the Black Motor Surrey.Picture taken at York, Nebr., 1961.
3 / 5
4 / 5
5 / 5
16 hp double simple Reeves. Owned by Bob and Shirley Trauger, Exeter, Nebraska. Their son Charles is on the engine.

In the September-October copy of the Iron-Men Magazine you
showed a picture of the Avery 20 HP return flue engine up-side down
that I described in the article in that issue, ‘Threshing in
the Cornbelt’. Since then I have found pictures of two
threshing scenes which I am enclosing that gives further proof of
the size of the threshing outfits we used for ‘Threshing in the

The first scene was taken in July 1926 threshing on my own farm
one mile east of Earlham, Iowa. This outfit is a 20 HP Minneapolis
engine and a 32 x 60 Avery Yellow Fellow separator. I was the
engineer standing in the coal wagon back of the engine and almost
out of the picture. Standing on the feeder of the separator is my
brother who was separator-man. My son, a very small child at that
time, is shown in the picture near my mother at the right in the
picture. I am now retired and my son runs the farm but threshing
scenes like this disappeared and he now uses a combine to harvest
his crop.

The other threshing scene was taken in July 1925 on the S. J.
Trueblood farm one mile east of Indianola, Iowa. The outfit is a 50
HP Case engine run by my brother (tending the separator in the
other picture ) one year later, and a 36 x 58 Case All Steel
separator. The outfit was owned by Ralph Tipton and was thirteen
years old when this picture was taken. They were just finishing the
job when the picture was taken, hence only one bundle wagon at the

WAYNE THOMAS Earlham, Iowa


I am enclosing a picture of our Black Motor Surrey which you and
I were discussing during our recent visit at the Mt. Pleasant

My wife and I are seated in the car, and Mr. Fred Rhoda of York,
Nebr., son of the original owner of the car, is standing by the
left wheel. The picture was taken at a parade in York. The car is
equipped with a two cylinder directly opposed (bent rods) air
cooled engine with chain drive to differential and to each wheel.
It has steel tires with lugs on the rear wheels. After retiring the
car from the road the late Charles Rhoda had an extension forge
welded on the crank shaft with a pulley outside the body. The
engine was then used to saw wood and do other belt work on the
farm. The engine was completely rebuilt when we restored the car
several years ago. The car was stored in an open cattle shed for
more than thirty years.

We have the original invoice which lists the Surrey at $650.00,
lamps at $10.00, horn at $2.50 and fenders at $25.00 for a total of
$687.50. It was purchased March 12, 1908 from the Black Mfg. Co.,
Chicago, Ill. We also have their advertising booklet and parts
list. Also a Dealer’s Certificate and some advertising orders
which Mr. Rhoda had kept.

I am also enclosing a picture of our 16 Double Simple Reeves.
The picture was taken by Burton Farmer, Exeter, Nebraska. Myself
and my two and one half year old son, Charles, are on the engine.
He is a real steam enthusiast already, as is his mother, who can
handle an engine as well as most men. This engine was purchased
from Lad Kostonek of Wilber, Nebr. It was headed for the junk. The
pipes were all knocked or cut off. The babbitt was removed from
most of the bearings and eccentrics. The main bearing caps were
missing, roof gone, and the side tanks needed replacing etc. It was
quite a job to rebuild it, but it gives one a lot of satisfaction
to see and hear it run like new again.

ROBERT (BOB) TRAUGER Exeter, Nebraska


I was very much interested in the picture of the Henry Ford
collection of engines, Page 4 of the May-June issue of the ALBUM,

I have seen the C & 0 1601 in operation along with the 59
others of the same type, about 20 would pass my home every 24

One June day in 1950, an east bound coal train made an
unscheduled stop and I casually picked up my camera and took the 30
odd steps from my door and clicked the shutter getting a good shot
of the 1604.

There were many other fine types of steam power which included
the giant passenger, ”Greenbrier’ and other huge
two-cylinder types.

It is a sad story as all these fine locos are going the way of
the scrap heap.

In 1958, I suffered a serious eye impairment which stopped me in
my tracks. This did not keep me from attending the opening of the
museum at Kinzer in April, 1959 as you recall we were rained out. I
had a very pleasant chat with Mr. Vic Winter-mantle and Mr. Ralph
Green. The good wife thought it would be well for me to attend the
1960 reunion at Kinzer and she took over the task of driving and
explaining the interesting features since the improvement of my
eyesight is a time proposition.

Going down the lot she said, ‘Here is a fine
‘gee-ser’ engine.’ I reminded her if Peter Geyser could
have heard that remark he would have removed every one of his
engines. Seeing she missed out on that one, she said we would go up
and see the engine that was buried, (meaning the Corliss with the
fly-wheel pit). That was the last shovel full of coal and from that
point, I figured things out for myself.

J. C. COBB, Ronceverte, West Virginia


Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment