| January/February 1978

  • A True Model
    Courtesy of N. A. Krogh, R. R. 1, Brayton, Iowa 50042.
    N. A. Krogh

  • A True Model

3173 Page Green Road, Cortland, New York 13045

I started my threshing career in 1908 as a band cutter on an Advance outfit owned by Ezra Dutton about four miles north of Janesville, Wisconsin. I was eight years old. I have always been a steam buff, although I never owned one except a couple of toy ones. I worked around them a lot and my one ambition was to be a railroad engineer. I applied for a job as fireman on our local railroad and was told by the road foreman to get a job in the roundhouse to acquaint myself with the engines. I was given a job as engine watch, keeping the fires going and water in the boilers on the engines that were waiting to go out and build new fires in those which had been serviced. I had a little trouble learning how to operate the Hancock Inspirators they were tricky things, but they sure could put water in the boilers in a hurry. I also fired the stationary boilers on the regular fireman's days off.

After a few months, I went on the road firing a big 4-6-0 camel back. These engines had an enormous fire box built to burn rice coal, which is nothing more than hard coal screenings. The fire box was so big that there was no room for the cab in the rear, so they put it in front of the fire box. The rice coal idea was a complete failure, but as they steamed very easily on soft coal, they were run until they were worn out.

After I was on the road about three years, business began to diminish, the passenger trains were taken off, and most of the firemen were laid off and a lot of the engineers went back to firing. By that time, I had saved up enough money to make a down payment on a run down farm with good potential and with my wife and son and daughter, I went back to farming. I had to work at other jobs for eleven years and farm nights and week-ends before I got the farm stocked and equipped and on a paying basis.

I have owned two threshing outfits, an Avery Separator and a Samson tractor and an Advance-Rumley Separator and an Int. 10-20 tractor. About ten years ago, I sold the thresher and bought a combine. I have done a lot of custom work for my neighbors with both outfits.

Pictured is a model I made from bits and pieces found in my junk. It is not a true model of any engine, but I call it a Case. It runs off of flashlight batteries and a small electric motor hidden in the boiler. It was a lot of work, but worth it.


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