Steam Engines & Threshing Machines

| September/October 2003


James R. Vouk, 703 County Road 2 S., St. Stephen, MN 56375, sends in some stunning period photos from steam's glory days. James writes:

I thought readers would enjoy these historic photos I acquired during the past year. The first three came from a friend who acquired them from my great aunt, Clara Vouk, before she died, and the fourth one my dad, Bill Vouk, had for many years. They all feature my grandfather Frank Vouk's first steamer, a 20 HP Case.

On the back of the original of Photo #1 is written, 'Frank Vouk's new steam engine.' I believe the year to be 1899, and I also believe that is my grandpa sitting on the tongue of the separator. Photo #2 shows this same rig in action, with grandpa standing by the front of the engine. The year and location are unknown. Photo #3 shows this engine running a sawmill, along with another engine of unknown make. Again, the year and location are unknown. Photo #4 shows the same engine in 1906 with a different, 36-inch Minneapolis separator, with grandpa again standing by the front wheel. Grandpa used this engine until 1917 when he bought an 80 HP Case. The Case was featured in Iron-Men Album in the November/ December 1997 issue in an article entitled '80 Years with an 80 Case,' by yours truly. In that article, however, I mistakenly referred to the engine in these photos as a 60 HP.


Gary G. Bahre, P.O. Box 40, Sparta, IL 62286 (, writes in with some information on a Harrison Jumbo. Gary writes:

The photo shows a 1913 20 HP Jumbo, serial no. 2150, built by Harrison Machine Works, Belleville, Ill. Harrison built a full line of steam engines, separators, balers and other equipment. The Jumbo belongs to Larry Gaertner and family of Walsh, Ill, and Larry shows the Jumbo every year at the American Thresherman Association Show in Pinckneyville, Ill. Larry is the association chaplain and quite involved with the ATA.

Jumbo engines came from the factory with a two-speed device. Slow speed gave about 2- miles per hour and fast speed gave 4 to 5 miles per hour. The engine has a bore and stroke of 8- inches by 11- inches, with rated power at 235 rpm. The rear wheels are 78 inches high.


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