O.S. Kelly Company


| January/February 1996



Springfield traction engine

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.