MEMORIES OF THE STEAM DAYS


| November/December 1960



20 hp Double Peerless

20 hp Double Peerless owned by Bun Boner of Butler, Ohio, and son John of Mansfield, Ohio. Getting up steam to run off low boy the day we brought it home from near Tiffins, Ohio.

127 South Douglas Street, Bronson, Michigan

Not all the old time threshing and allied experiences were galloping, rollicking days of pleasure to be long remembered with a desire to re-live as many are wont to believe, especially the younger generation, as evidenced by this experience from my storehouse of memories of my boyhood days. Looking back at it now, however, there was a thread of humor running through the whole thing.

Some time around about, or immediately following the turn of the century, there lived in our community, in the extreme northern part of Indiana, a big (for that era) farmer by the name of Ezra Keasey, who had recently had erected one of the community's first silos.

Ezra, now long deceased, was large boned and angular of build. He was, as I remember, around 65, about 6 ft. 2 inches in height, wore a goatee and somewhat reminded one of our emblematic 'Uncle Sam'. He, with a couple of other early silo farmers, had purchased a large size Cyclone ensilage cutter, which fed in from both sides. They had anticipated that my father, who was the local thresherman, would power the silo cutter when needed with his 16 H.P. Rumely engine.

When, however, the season arrived that the corn was ripe for silo filling, my father still had several jobs of threshing to do for customers, who were patiently waiting. Besides, clover hulling was near at hand, and my father had but the one engine. Due to this, after Ezra had contacted my father, it was decided that it would be necessary for him to look up another engine for the job.

Shortly before this, another man had moved into the near-by village of Lima (now Howe), who, Ezra thought had just the equipment he needed. He thereupon drove into the village to confer with one Mr. Al Storms, proud owner of a chain driven 10 H.P. traction engine of ancient vintage. I was too young to remember the make, but I do remember that when I saw it in operation it thumped, groaned and rattled, and leaked in every joint.