| January/February 1981

111 South Wilmott Street, Otsego, Michigan 49078

As an introduction, I have long wanted to relate (for the benefit of old iron hobbiests who are particularly interested in steam and internal combustion engines and tractors of former times) some personal memories of my own experiences.

Dating back to about 1910, I remember the steam threshing, corn shredding and silo filling rigs that came to our farm to complete our harvests of small grains and corn. There was, for instance, the Huber and Nichols & Shepherd steamers, both single and double cylinder types. They never had extension rims which they should have had for the nature of our locality in southwestern Michigan. It was near the southeastern corner of Allegan County of both flat and hill lands with occasional small bridges which in olden times were sometimes the nemesis of heavy steamers and separators, being sometimes of insufficient strength of wood girders to bear such loads of heavy machinery.

Moving up a bit I remember the first tractors purchased in our neighborhood. The first that I  remember was an International single cylinder, double flywheel, screen cooled model of about 20 horsepower which was used for local silo fillings, corn shreddings and occasional wood buzzing jobs. For a mechanical-minded boy, it was a great sight and sound to me. Yes I remember it well and its loud bark of exhaust as it labored in the belt; it probably was hit and miss ignition mode. I do not remember its model name.

The next two tractors were a 10-20 Mogul and 10-20 Titan of International Harvester build, being vastly improved over the previous Moguls and Titans mentioned previously. Both the Mogul and Titan 10-20s came to our farm to plow and thresh--the Mogul with P&O 2-14s plow and the Titan with Huber 22-40 handfed separator. Later there was a Nichols & Shepherd 22-36 with Hart feeder.

As a small boy I remember the gang debating upon the merits and demerits of the single/double cylinder steam traction engines such as were used hereabouts.