Ever since Bascom Clark, better known to us old timers as
‘Unile Silas,’ departed this life, which ultimately
terminated the publishing of the American Thresherman, I have hoped
that someone would again publish something for the old time
threshermen. The IRON-MEN ALBUM fills the bill nicely. In fact it
is just what we have been waiting for!
I had no knowledge, until about a year ago, that there was such
a publication. I would very likely have remained in ignorance of
this great little paper, had not my cousin, Ernest Hill, told me
about it. If I should say that I am delighted with every copy I
have received it would be putting it mildly. Some of the pictures
and articles surely do bring back memories.
One photograph in particular, interested me very much: it was of
an old Stillwater engine and a Minnesota Chief threshing machine.
Just like my grand father owned at a time when this rig was the
last word in modern threshing machinery.
I have followed threshing and saw milling ever since I was big
enough to reach up to a fire door, and to this day there is no
sweeter music to my ears than the whine of a saw, the hum of a
thresher or the exhaust of a good engine.
The young fellows of today think they know how to have, fun:
they don’t! No one ever knew what real first class fun was who
has never been bogged down in a. mud hole with a. traction engine
or a hot day, preferably, when there was a storm coming up. I
remember one time in particular, my father, brother and I started
to move a Peerless we had to a saw set. We had about three miles to
go. It was a. cold, clear morning in December and the ground was
frozen solidly enough to carry us nicely when we left home, but by
the time we got steam up and got underway it had warmed up enough
to be good and slippery. Well, we spent the day sliding from one
side of the road to the other, arriving at our destination about
Those were the days! It was a rough life, in a way, but very
enjoyable. There was always a joker or two in every crew that kept
things lively. I wonder how many of the ‘Boys’ remember the
old gag we used to pull in horsing some green-horn, by offering the
fireman a match if he should happen to let the steam go down? I am
enclosing a sketch of this one.
The old steam rigs are all gone from our part of the country. A
few threshers are still in the game but they are all powered by gas
and are doing less every year as the combines are becoming more
I hope your wonderful little paper continues to prosper and I
hope never to miss one copy. Best of luck!
Members of the board of directors of the newly formed Antique
Engine and Thresher Association inspect the Case 65 steam traction
engine at the Joyland Hillside Park in Wichita, Kansas. Shown, left
to right are, K. E. Roynolds, Lyman Knapp, Herb Ottaway, Chady
Atteberry, E. C. McMillan and Harold I. Ottaway.