ONTARIO'S THRESHING MACHINE INDUSTRY


| January/February 1982

  • 12 HP single cylinder engine
    John Abell Cross Compound Portable 1880

  • 12 HP single cylinder engine

Any collector interested in machines made for farm use in Canada should obtain a copy of a history titled 'Ontario's Threshing Machine Industry.'

The paperback publication has 30 pages and many pictures, along with a very authoritative account of machines made in Ontario. It was written by Harold S. Turner, of Golderich, and Ross W. Irwin, of the School of Engineering, Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph.

We found a copy when we visited the Ontario Agricultural Museum at Milton. It sells at $1.50 each; add 75 cents to cover handling and mailing.

At least 27 makers are listed, with information on each. The manufacturers include many colorful figures, inventive and energetic, who started or organized companies to ease the job of farmers.



One of the most outstanding was John Abell, born in England in 1822 and living in Woodbridge, Ont., by 1845. Abell built for his own use the first steam engine in the district. He developed a threshing machine, the Paragon; did very well, and proceeded undaunted when fire burned his factory totally in 1874.

He built portable steam engines, of the locomotive boiler type, with an extra long smokestack with a screen on top. The book relates: