Rare Advance Steam Engine Stays in the Family

One Family's Steam Engine 'Advances' as a Work Engine to Show Engine


| January 2006


At a thresher's reunion a few years ago, Frank Selly of St. Peter, Minn., was negotiating a right turn with his 1915 22-60 HP Advance steam traction engine and its chain-drive steering towards the sawmill when someone in the crowd yelled, "Hey, you're smoking pretty good!"

Frank said the steamer, burning wood, had been producing a lot of smoke at that time, so he just smiled and said back, "That's what it's supposed to do!"

He drove a little bit further, and began to realize that his head was starting to feel hotter than normal. That was when he realized his cap was on fire. "That's what they had been talking about," he said. "I ended up with a couple three holes in my hat that day."

SERIOUS HISTORY

On June 2, 1936, Frank's Advance steamer was bought with absolutely no humor in mind. "Six brothers near Nicollet, Minn., called the 'Big Six,' had owned it, and on that day my dad paid them $125 for it. My grandfather, hadn't wanted to buy it. That was a lot of money at the time. But dad bought it because he wanted to save the family farm." Like thousands of farmers, the Great Depression had taken a toll on the Selly family farm.



For the next few years, Frank's father custom-combined. "My father told me they would thresh all day at a farm, and move to a different one at night. He had to have two gentlemen go in front of him with red lanterns to show him where the ditches were." They pulled a separator with them. Eventually Frank's father brought in enough money to pay off the farm's debts, and save the land for future generations.

In 1950, the Advance went to Mankato, Minn., to help build St. Joseph's Hospital, used inside as a boiler to provide heat.














SUBSCRIBE TO FARM COLLECTOR TODAY!

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!

Save Even More Money with our SQUARE-DEAL Plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our SQUARE-DEAL automatic renewal savings plan. You'll get 12 issues of Farm Collector for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of Farm Collector for just $29.95.




Facebook Pinterest YouTube

Classifieds


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265