Reminiscing About the A.D. Baker


| January/February 1990



Baker engine

Sam Rapp and son William with the A.D. Baker engine Sam bought in June 1923.

505 Carter Drive Roswell, New Mexico 88201

My home was near the village of Pleasant Hill, Ohio. My father, Harley Coppock, operated a threshing outfit in this community for over thirty years. In 1929 my father bought a new 31 inch Baker grain separator.

I spent many hours on the Baker separator building straw piles for the farmers during the threshing season. I am familiar with the A.D. Baker Company.

I am retired and living in Roswell, New Mexico and I have a collection of the Iron Men Album magazines. Checking through my collection, I find many interesting articles or stories. In the 1979 May/June issue (Volume 33, No. 5), Mr. LeRoy W. Blaker, Alvordton, Ohio 43501 wrote an article on the A.D. Baker Company of Swanton, Ohio. In this article Mr. Blaker described the steam tractor the A.D. Baker Company had developed. Mr. Blaker also gave the specifications, etc., of the two models of the Baker, and he described the problems the steam tractor had due to tube failure.

'Abner Baker realized that they should have a high pressure steam tractor and came out in about 1923 with a water tube boiler (or steam generator) carrying 550 pounds water pressure. It was automatic stoker fired, radiator condenser, and low down plunger pump to pump the condensation back to the water tube boiler. It would have been a great success if the cylinder oil could have been separated from the condensation. After much use, the cylinder oil coated the inside of the water tubes and caused them to fail.

'Abner told me their first high pressure steam tractor had a double cylinder simple engine, but that was too wasteful.