Farm Collector

SCOUTEN’S HOT HOBBY

Take some pieces of oil well casing, Model T parts, truck gears,
assorted odds and ends of scrap metal, collect some cast off
wheels, apply a lifetime of mechanical and tinkering experience and
you come up with a couple of steam engines, complete with
whistles.

That’s what J. E. ‘Jetty’ Scouten of Medford did
when he retired from the machine shop business but found he
wasn’t ready to quit building things.

In business in Medford 44 years, Scouten describes himself as
‘a natural born mechanic.’ He got his start repairing
steam-powered threshers and tractors before World War I. He’s
been a steam engine buff ever since.

‘I just wanted to build these to show I could do it,’ he
says. ‘I just planned ’em as I went and bought very little
of the parts. They’re practically made out of the junk
pile.’

Scouten’s engines have little practical purpose, he admits,
though Medford youngsters get a kick out of riding them and
he’s fired them up for a number of parades. However, the scrap
pile and Scouten’s mechanical genius have yielded a three-blade
mower and garden plow, gasoline powered, that he’s putting to
good use.

  • Published on Sep 1, 1962
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