Post Card

Threshing throughout the Highland area and Northern Illinois

| March/April 1953

  • Mr. Bill Bircher

  • John Froelich's first tractor
    Replica of John Froelich's first tractor as it was displayed at the Mt. Pleasant Reunion.
  • Diagram
    Diagram showing the manner of con veying power from the engines main shaft to the four drivers on the Wood, Tabor and Morse four wheel drive traction engine.
  • Four Wheel Drive Traction Engine
    A good view of the Lansing 1898 Four Wheel Drive Traction Engine as displayed at the Rough and Tumble Engineers Reunion, 1952. The proud owner, Elmer L. Ritzman of Enola, Pa., at the controls. Mrs. Webster Mooney, Nortonville Kan., was the good photograph
    Mrs. Webster Mooney
  • Mr. B. J. Fehr
    Mr. B. J. Fehr, Box 385, Roanoke, III., sitting on the coal box of the nice engine he built. It took 2,000 man hours in building of which 50 hours were for welding. It was about a year in building. We like this size of an engine. You can have a lot of fu
  • Dan S. Zehr's
    Dan S. Zehr's Nichols and Shepard of 1881 vintage running strong at the 1952 reunion. Best of mechanical condition. Ernest Cox of 1200 Cincinnati, Lafayette, Indiana, is the happy operator. Mr. Cox is a locomotive engineer on the C.I.L. Railroad
  • Four wheel drive traction engine
    Front end view of the Rubicon four wheel drive traction engine shows how the power is continuously transmitted by means of the counter shaft over the forward axle. One end of said counter shaft is maintained parallel with the engine's main shaft, while a
  • Lansing Engine
    Lansing Engine in 1888. Note the peculiar boiler. Don't ask us what it looked like inside. We don't know. Neither does the catalog explain. This is the year the engine was patented so this was likely the first engine. Later they made a return flue boiler

  • Mr. Bill Bircher
  • John Froelich's first tractor
  • Diagram
  • Four Wheel Drive Traction Engine
  • Mr. B. J. Fehr
  • Dan S. Zehr's
  • Four wheel drive traction engine
  • Lansing Engine

Mr. Bill Bircher, 500 Ninth Street, Highland, III., seated on his 18 hp. Gaar Scott engine which he has kept in perfect condition for 40 years. Mr. Bircher is 82 years old and the picture was taken on the Highland Fairgrounds in 1952. He gave several threshing demonstrations there during the Fair. One spectator said, 'runs smooth as a clock.' 

Mr. Bircher started out with threshing gangs and their rigs at the age of 15, and for 55 years ran his own outfit. Threshing throughout the Highland area and Northern Illinois. He remained active with his steam engine until four years ago when the combine took over. At the rear of his home is a barn housing his prized engine and a wooden separator that is about 70 years old. Mr. Bert Leutwiler, a machinist, of Highland, helps Bill keep the engine in perfect shape. Bill and Bert fired the engine last Fall for the editor to play with it a while. And that was another perfect day.