Steam Engines & Threshing Machines

| September/October 2004


In the March/April 2004 issue, Chady Atteberry took readers for a trip down memory lane, looking at the early days of the hobby and specifically the early shows hosted by Harold Ottaway at Joyland Park in Wichita, Kan. Reader Dan Donaldson, 354129 Clinton Ave., Dade City, FL 33525 (damdonaldson, read the article, and it reminded him of his family's connections to the early reunion days. Dan writes:

I thoroughly enjoyed the article 'The Joy of Steaming' in the March/April 2004 Steam Traction. My interest especially perked up when it was mentioned that Louis David had attended the 1953 show.

My grandfather Clare Donaldson lived in Plymouth, Mich., and knew Louis David. After reading the article, I sent a letter to Chady Atteberry and enclosed some photos that my grandfather had in his possession. I was told the Avery traction engine (Photo #1) belonged to Louis, and that one of the men pictured in front of the Port Huron (Photo #3), which belonged to Louis, is Louis David. Chaddy wrote back and said he didn't think Louis David was in the picture, but he thought the man with the hat and tie was LeRoy Blaker. I was hoping maybe you could show these pictures in the 'Past and Present' column to see if anyone can identify the engines or the men in these pictures.

Photo #2 shows my grandfather removing a wheel from a Port Huron engine. I was informed that the set of good wheels and bull gears from my grandfather's engine were traded to Louis David in exchange for his worn wheels and bull gears.

Photo #4 shows two engines that belonged to my grandfather. I believe they are both Port Huron engines, and he also owned a Reeves traction engine (Photo #5). All of these pictures and more can be seen online at


Writing in the July/August 2004 issue, Leo J. Fitzpatrick, 10845 E. Adams Road, Beaverton, MI 48612, treated readers to memories of threshing and steaming in rural Michigan. Some of our photo identifications were, it turns out, less than complete. Leo heard from a few readers, including Lee Whitmore in North Dakota, who wanted to help set the record straight. Our sincere thanks goes out to everyone who takes the time to help us ensure the material we present is as accurate as possible. Leo writes: