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We failed to get a picture of Mr. Bredlow's Case engine in the ALBUM that he sent us in 1950. So now we are putting this picture of his 20 hp. Double-Simple Reeves No. 7361 in the ALBUM the day we got it. This engine was bought new in 1913. He says of the

Aurora, Nebraska

My earliest Recollection of steam engines dates back to 1901 and
a little return flue Avery that to me was the wonder of wonders as
it was the only machine in our locality in those days capable of
propelling itself. I was five years old and as the engineer was a
friend of boys I was allowed to sit on the big drive wheel and
enjoy the motion and the noise of the engine as it labored driving
the old wooden separator with its web straw stacker, how I wished
our threshing job could last longer, but in a couple of days the
grand old machine pulled away and that was the end until another
harvest came along.

Then in 1907 our thresher man bought a new 30hp. Case engine
that was about the most wonderful sight I ever saw, with its
gleaming paint and shiny brass, and the ease with which it did its
work was amazing. I can shut my eyes and see that engine as plain
as though it were only yesterday that I was mounted on the driver
plying my old engineer friend with a thousand and one questions
which he patiently answered and he also taught me to close the
throttle if he were not close by and anything went wrong, and a
little later he taught me how to start the engine. He also let me
guide the engine while traveling from one field to the next.

I recall one hot afternoon as I was perched on my accustomed
seat, I thought what a grand thing it would be if it were possible
to have a small engine just like this big one that could be steamed
up and run any time that I took the notion, but of course that was
only a dream and could never be.

Mr. Hafer says, ‘I am most interested in the Model Builders
section as I have built two Model steam engines. One a small Case,
36 inches long and 15 inches high. It runs fine but is too small to
suit me, so I built the one in the picture. Here are the
specifications Rear wheels 30 in. diameter 10 in. rim; front wheels
20 in. diameter 4 in. rim; flywheel fifteen in. diameter four and
one half rim; crank wheel 9 in. diameter 1 in. rim; cylinder bore 3
in. stroke 4 in. D valve coupled to Wolf reverse, tubes 22, 1 in.
diameter 32 in. long, 3/8 in. injector also
high pressure pump. Overall length 8 ft., height 4 feet. The engine
was steamed up and running when the picture was taken also I was
blowing the whistle. See Mr. Hafer’s letter, ‘A Boys Dream
Come True’

Well, harvests came and went until I was 13 when a neighbor
bought a Frick Eclipse center crank engine which he used to pull an
Ottawa Cylinder corn sheller. I straight way got the job of
engineer, and although I never cared much for this model of engine,
I gained a lot of know-how from the experience of handling it, not
to mention the financial advantages. I was paid one dollar per day
and the days were plenty long. I remember coming home more than
once after sundown and watching the sparks arc from the stack far
out in the fields. How we ever kept from burning up the whole
country I will never know. One afternoon we were merrily shelling
away and a slit blew in the boiler about three inches long behind
the cast rim that held the fire door to the boiler, that rim turned
the hot water down so I did not get scalded, but that was the end
of the old Eclipse. It was sold for junk.

When I was twenty-one I married one of the neighbor gals and
started farming, owned a couple of tractors and a Case separator
kept at it for over twenty years, then sold out and started a
machine shop in Aurora, Nebraska, which is the county seat of
Hamilton County, the place where I was born and have lived ever
since. In this shop I have 2 welders, three lathes, 3 drills, 1
milling machine and one shaper what better place could one ask for
than this to build a small steam engine? So I started hounding junk
yards and scrap piles for material that could be made over into
parts for my little steamer.

After one and one half years this picture shows the result, a
model 8 ft. long and 4 ft. high of the old engine I used to drool
over as a kid. It fires with coal and runs like a dream, and I am
going to enjoy it thoroughly for the number of years I still have
allotted to me.

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