913 Berry Street, Toledo 5, Ohio
I attended my first old time threshers meeting this past summer at Montpelier, Ohio. The smoke, the steam mixed with hot oil brought back a sight of memories. I sat in the grandstand and talked to a man whom I believe was from near Meadville, Pa. Anyway, we discussed an old horse powered machine which was probably the first deviation away from the flail towards power at that early date. He thought just possibly C. L. Cramer from Rockwood, Pa., might be interested to hear about it. Any news of old equipment might interest the Album so I am sending snapshot I took of the machine many years ago. This three horse powered platform and tumbling shaft is gone as far as I know, but the old separator was still in good shape as of last summer when I saw it last. But the old barn blew down and the machine is setting outside now, and of course will soon rot away. It is located on the Cecil Irwin farm, Marienville, Star Route, Pa., which is actually Redclyffe, Pa., between Kane and Brookville, Pa. He is not interested in it and I am too far away to move it out here.
That is Cecil on the driver's platform and I well remember how the cylinder would slowly come up to speed as the horses tugged and pulled around and around in a circle, stepping over the tumbling shaft each time they went around. The man feeding could tell by the high pitched sound of the teeth on the cylinder going through the concaves when to start feeding. There were five of us taking away. The separator was just a simple thing, knocking the grain loose from the straw only, as it spewed out onto the barn floor it came a-kiting I can tell you! Each man or boy would take a fork full and shake it, then toss it to the next man who would do the same. By this time all the grain was out of the grain onto the floor, then the straw was tossed out of the barn onto a pile. Great guns, but that was a dirty job! Little do the folks of today know what the pioneers and early settlers went through to make this the greatest country in the world! The grain and chaff was shoveled back out of the way till the field was threshed out, then the fanning mill was hooked to the tumbling shaft and the grain was cleaned nicely.
I have six albums full of memories - shucking out a barn floor full of corn fodder, then bringing out the fiddle and organ, cider and donuts and the man who found the first red ear of corn then got to kiss the prettiest gal on the barn floor - and many more.