Farm Collector


R. D. 1, Oconto Falls, Wisconsin

Please find check enclosed for my renewal also snapshot of a
rare steam engine that I own. It is a Watertown and approximately
12hp. I found this engine back in the woods 15 miles west of the
Wisconsin-Michigan line. I have been wanting to know more about
this engine and perhaps if you could publish an article in the
ALBUM, I could find out more about it. The picture shows my son
Douglass, who likes the engine as well as I do, and myself. I
received the following information from Vic Winter-mantel,
Bellevue, Pennsylvania, on this engine.

It was built by Watertown Engine Co., in Watertown, New York. In
1879 Watertown Engine Co., succeeded Hood & Bradford, who were
established in 1848. They won a medal from the New York State
Agricultural Society in 1850 for a portable farm engine. They
appeared a few years later at the State Fair at Rochester, New
York, with the first traction engine ever built in this country.
The above is quoted from an 1879 Watertown Advertisement and may
not be entirely true.

I know they were building traction engines in 1888 with a cast
iron steam dome. While Watertown were among the first to build farm
engines they went out of the picture before the turn of the
century. They built engines for a number of firms, one of which was
John S. Davis & Sons of Davenport, Iowa, as Davis built and in
1894 sold, the Watertown traction engine. This engine does not have
any serial number and that is about all I know about it. I hope I
can contact some person who knows more about it and could give me
more information.

  • Published on Jul 1, 1956
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