Courtesy of Mrs. Harry Zimmerlein, 10014th Ave., Mendota, Illinois 61342 This is a 20 hp. Minneapolis pulling hedge, in about 1945. On the picture are three generations of Zimmerleins, Harry, standing at the extreme left, and on the engine his father, Wm. F., and our son, Kenneth. Harry is the only survivor and now owner of the engine. His father, his grandfather and his uncle were steam engine men from way back, each having owned several steam engines. Among them were 3 Gaar-Scotts, 1 Case and 1 Advance. With them, the Zimmerleins threshed, shelled and shredded corn, drilled wells for many miles around and also ran much machinery in the shop on the farm near La Moille, Illinois.
This Minneapolis was bought new in 1919 and was used regularly until about 1932. Thereafter, it was fired up only occasionally.
Courtesy of William F. Barf knecht, 234 West 6th St., Superior, Nebraska 68978 I am going to write you a little note about my early threshing career. When I was a little boy, I went to see every threshing rig in our neighborhood and I stayed close to the men, sometimes too close.
It started in the year 1904. I was working out by the month. That fall I got a job at Mt. Care. A couple of men leased a machine from Mr. Brinkerhoff; in fact Brink had two machines, one was return flue Minnesota Chief with a chain drive and a hand feed machine with a weigher and wind stacker. The other was a new Huber 18 HP engine and complete separator. Anyway, I got a job with the big machine, and with Bill Zimmerman. He was a local man, and Dr. Griffith, he was a man who came up from Kansas City every year to run one of Mr. Brinker-hoff's machines. They were paying $3.00, $2.50 a day for machine men. I received the whole sum of $.50 a day for carrying the oil can around and help set the machine and that's $.50 a day, not $.50 an hour; and I hauled water and ran the separator till 1909 when I bought the rig. It's a Northwest engine, 16 H.P. and a 32-56 separator and I ran this rig 6 falls. The separator was shot. In 1915 I bought a new Case rig 36-58 and 50 H.P. engine. That was really a wet year to get a new machine.
I did a lot of threshing but didn't make much money. I traded the steamer off 1931. Coal went up to $14.00 a ton and that was lump coal. Then we got a 25-40 Allis Chalmers tractor to thresh with. It was in 1949 when we did the last oats threshing. That's when the combine took over. It was in 1918 when the first world war I cleaned up over $100.00 a day. The best day threshing I ever did was 1900 bushels of wheat a day. I am now 80 years old.