| March/April 1981

  • Button steam fire engine

    Jack Norbeck
  • Steam roller mattress test
    Courtesy of William Frantz Herr, president, Serta Mattress Company (formerly Herr Manufacturing Company), 675 Fountain Avenue, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17601.
    William Frantz Herr
  • HP Twentieth Century steam engine
    Courtesy of M. J. Miller, R.D. 2, Box 238, Rockwood, Pennsylvania 15557.
    M. J. Miller
  • J. I. Case engine
    Courtesy of Ray Urbainzick, 2815 N. 57, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53220.
    Ray Urbainzick

  • Button steam fire engine
  • Steam roller mattress test
  • HP Twentieth Century steam engine
  • J. I. Case engine

Button steam fire engine built in 1889 by the Button Fire Engine Works, Waterford. N.Y., owned by the Union Fire Company of Belmar, N.J.

Ray May's attractive team of lightweight draft horses from Schaefferstown, Pa., is hitched to the engine, which has pump capacity of 250 gallons a minute (fifth size engine). In service until 1924.

Photo taken at Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pa., by Jack Norbeck. author of Encyclopedia of American Steam Traction Engines; shown in second revised edition.

STEAM ROLLER MATTRESS TEST A steam roller was used in a dramatic way to show the qualities of a mattress, in this demonstration shown above, which took place about 50 years ago. The Herr Manufacturing Company of Lancaster, Pennsylvania was proud of the quality of its Serta Perfect Sleeper mattresses, and wanted to show the public how resilient the product could be. So a sample mattress was placed on a Lancaster street, and the roller went over it. As can be seen, a crowd was attracted. After the demonstration, a drawing was held and the winner received the mattress.

Shown is a 1911 20 HP Twentieth Century steam engine owned by Michael Jay Miller, Rockwood, Pennsylvania. Picture taken at 1979 Farmers and Threshermens Jubilee in New Centerville, Pennsylvania.

Pictured is a J. I. Case engine, 40 x 150 HP. I do not know where it came from or the serial number. It was made into a show engine and is located on Highway 23, south of Spring Green, Wisconsin. It was the largest Case ever built.


Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

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