OLD TIME THRESHER CENTER OF INTEREST AT FOOD FAIR


| January/February 1962



Peerless steam engine

BILL HEY AND 1910 PEERLESS . . . a wheat-threshing team of early-day Kansas

BILL HEY

Once the work master of 28 men, a 1910 Peerless steam engine has become a lesson in history for children visiting the World Food Fair.

The 50-year-old engine, owned by Bill Hey of Baldwin, is attached to a 'not-so-old' thresher and is a center of interest to fair visitors.

It has the old-fashioned charm of a pot-bellied stove, the voice of a wildcat and the speed of a tortoise.

It took at least 28 men to keep the steam engine, thresher and a binder operating in early days of mechanized farming. Hey explained.

'We'd cut the wheat with the binder, shock it up in the field and haul it to the thresher in wagons. We had to have about eight bundle wagons with drivers, four drivers to haul the grain away after it was threshed, two men on the stack, two to measure, an engineer for the steam engine, and a water boy.

'Now one man does it all on a combine.'