Smoke & Gas Fumes


| July/August 1962

  • W. F. Steuck Pulling
    'READY TO GO'. W. F. Steuck pulling out in the Season of 1938. The men in the picture are L to R W. F. Steuck, Dixon, E. Larson, J. Geerdes, Arnold Steuck.
  • 18 - 36 Rumely Oil Pull
    18 - 36 Rumely, Oil Pull in 1916 and No. 3394. Picture taken: in 1934.

  • W. F. Steuck Pulling
  • 18 - 36 Rumely Oil Pull


Primghar, Iowa

Separator men Because of my peculiar threshing methods. I hired only inexperienced, reliable young men to work with me at top wages. I instructed them well (although I made or supervised all separator adjustments personally), then I promoted them to my second outfit. My son Fred, started at 15 in 1930, was with me 3 years, then operated the second Oil Pull until he graduated from Iowa State as electrical engineer in 1936. He is now a professor, instructing seniors at California State Polytechnic College.

1927Although a little late in the game, on Sept. 13, 1927, I bought another Oil Pull, this time a Model F-18-35 H.P., one cylinder No. 6818 from the Pedelty Thresher Co. (Tony Rubus, mgr.) of Spencer, Iowa for $50. And, on Oct. 12, 1927, I bought and Avery separator 36' by 60', No. 3394 (no date stamp), from Bill Maurer Co. of Spencer, Iowa for $200 minus blower spout and grain elevator. Then, I bought a blower spout from Harvey Hadden for $5 and a grain elevator from Sachse Bunn Co. of Cherokee, Iowa for $15 and lengthened the Garden City feeder to 10 ft. Otherwise the separator was overhauled and repainted. The tractor was completely overhauled and repainted in my shop, gears were built up, piston was regrooved and ringed with McQuay Norris step cut rings. I was familiar with it's Winnepeg performance. Yet, this tractor soon developed uncanny compression and power. Under load, it's exhaust with the small radiator muffler could be heard for miles on a quiet evening. It had two gears. One of my engineers said it moved 10 ft. with every shot in high gear. It was economical in fuel and upkeep. Although operated with hired labor, this rig did quite well. My records for it's 14 seasons (1928-1942) show it threshed 264,520 bu. of oats, barley and rye from 8,041 acres in 1,338 hours, averaging 18,894 bu. per year from 574 acres at 198 bu. and 6 acres per hour.

The separator, No. 3394, had no date stamp age unknown to me. It's now going to ruin in the grove. I sold tractor for $80 in 1945. This I have regretted. Combines retired this outfit in 1942. The days of record runs were gone forever. Now I was back to my one old faithful rig again, averaging only 410 acres per year until it's final run of 320 acres in 1949. It was the last big rig shut down hereabouts. The combine era was here. What will be next?

My Avery separators were remarkably long-lived, clean threshing, big capacity machines. I had only one grievance, namely, the short-lived grain pan and straw rack boxes and the demountable crank shaft pit mans. I remedied both. As to feeders, I had Heineke crank type and Garden City rotary type side by side on my 2 Avery 36' by 60' separators. I serviced and studied both. I preferred the Heineke. It fed grain higher and more evenly by and over it's revolving tooth comb allowing good cylinder teeth to thresh grain before straw hit concaves, (I used one row only for oats) creating a peculiar cylinder whine all it's own. The crank type band cutters definitely required more servicing (oiling, for instance,) however, I preferred them for they were a bit faster gathering in fluffy, overhanging bundles and they loosened and spread the straw a little better.

My barley, flax and timothy threshing had it's reputation. For barley, I used 2 rows of concaves with a speed combination low enough to prevent hulling and tipping. Then return the remaining bearded grain until properly cleaned, which, under damp conditions, was heavy.


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


click me