Steam Engines & Threshing Machines

| July/August 2004


Regular contributor Kevin Small, P.O. Box 92, 1279 Perry Highway, Portersville, PA 16051, writes in again this issue, wondering about a Watertown engine and sending in some fine engine photos. Kevin writes:

I'd like to comment on the Watertown steam traction engine featured in Spalding's Corner in the March/April 2004 issue. On page 23 of the July/August 1956 Iron-Men Album, there is a photo of an 1889 Watertown engine owned by Edward Rabas of Oconto Falls, Wis.

I do not know if Rabas still owns this engine or not, but I'm sure this engine still exists. If any readers have a current photo of this engine, please send it to Steam Traction.

Here are several more steam traction engine photos. I'd like to dedicate Photo #1 to my good friend Randy Schwerin of Sumner, Iowa, who owns a fine little 1893 10 HP Nichols & Shepard. This engine is either a 13 HP or a 16 HP Nichols & Shepard built around 1900 'pulling' the 20-bottom John Deere plow at Belgrade, Mont., in 1996. Dave Vanek of Lewistown, Mont., is the engineer. Lance Barnes of Belgrade owns the 'Mighty Little Nichols.' What do you think Randy? Now that's horsepower!

Photo #2 is a 1913 20 HP Avery Alberta-Saskatchewan Special owned by Chady Atteberry of Blackwell, Okla. This engine spent its working life in the Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, area. In the early 1950s, it was purchased from a Mr. Ross by the late Louis David of Northville, Mich., and moved to Leroy Blaker's farm in Ohio. The engine came to Oklahoma in the 1970s, and at that time it belonged to the late Ivan Burns. This engine is in excellent condition Chady is very proud of it, and rightly so.

Photo #3 shows a 1905 35 HP Buffalo-Pitts owned by Daniel Anderson of Christine, N.D. This is a big 8-l/2-by-12-inch double-cylinder engine. The late Jacob Johnson of Christine, N.D., originally bought it new in 1905, using the engine for custom threshing for some 28 years with a 41-by-66-inch Buffalo-Pitts threshing machine. Carl and Joseph Anderson bought the engine in 1938 it is still in the family today, owned by Carl's son, Daniel. This photo was taken in 1996 at the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion at Rollag, Minn.