Farm Collector

O.S. Kelly Company

R. R. 13, Box 209, Brazil, Indiana 47834

Springfield traction engine with owner, Forest Pense of
Nebraska. Springfield Engine and Thresher Co. built stationary,
portable and traction engines in 6, 8, 10, 12 and 20 HP. Company
literature advertises the boiler was made of the best charcoal iron
for the shell and the best flange iron for the heads. Each engine
was equipped with a brake capable of stopping the engine with a
full head of steam.

A few issues ago in IMA, Dr. Robert T. Rhode of Cincinnati,
Ohio, was kind enough to have his printer make prints from his
woodcuts of an O. S. Kelly engine to share with us.

I thought the readers might enjoy seeing one of O. S.
Kelly’s steam engines ‘in the flesh’ and a little
history about the company.

In 1882, the threshing firm of Rhinehart, Ballard and Company
was acquired by O. S. Kelly of Springfield, Ohio, and reorganized
as Springfield Engine and Thresher Company, which later became the
O.S. Kelly Company. Mr. Kelly was also associated with the O. S.
Kelly Western Manufacturing Company of Iowa City, Iowa.

Front view, Springfield traction engine. Note wooden spoke
wheels in front, metal in back. This engine, in fine condition, is
ready to work.

The O.S. Kelly steam engines had many attractive features:
one-piece boiler barrels made out of one long sheet unlike many
manufacturers who riveted the barrel together in two sections, stay
bolts were 7/8 inch and placed every 4 inches
on the crown sheet. Another interesting feature was that each
engine had a crosshead pump and an independent pump. Both pumps
could be operated at the same time from the platform by the
engineer.

  • Published on Jan 1, 1996
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