So Here Goes

| November/December 1969

McCormick Deering tractor

Route 1, Box 254 Cainsvitte, Georgia 30501

Hi Folks,

I thought I would try and tell some of my experiences in the operation of threshing machinery and the operation of steam engines, so here goes.

The threshers used in this part of Georgia just before the combines came were of the 22 x 36 size. Larger sizes were used in the coastal plains section of the state. In case you readers wonder why I refer to different! sections of the state, Georgia has elevations from sea level to 4784 feet. I am in the twelve to fourteen hundred feet level so we have some pretty steep hills, or did have twenty-five or thirty years ago before modern road machinery. If Mrs. Barber traveled south on 1-75 out of Chattanooga she can get an idea how they cut through the side of a large hill.

But to get back to threshing, I ran an outfit in 1940, 41, 42, and 43. We pulled with a 22-36 McCormick Deering tractor and used an Oliver Red River special 22 x 36 hand fed, hand measured and did all stack and barn threshing. During those years help was scarce so I had to drive the tractor, act as separator man, and feed part of the time. Even hand fed the thresher would thresh eight bushels of oats a minute. The measuring man had the hardest job because the feeder could work him down in a few minutes if he wanted to.

We threshed wheat, oats, barley, and rye. Have any of you thresher men ever had rye straw wind around the cylinder? I have. Rye straw in this part of the country grows six to seven feet tall and cut with a binder the straw was five to six feet long. Let the beater belt get a little slack and GROUMP we had rye straw wound around the cylinder so tight we would have to cut it out with out pocket knives. Had a piece of chain get in the cylinder one time, but it went in lengthwise so didn't do anything but bend a few spikes but fire flew in all directions, didn't set the machine on fire though. If you want to see a crew leave a thresher like it was red hot just let a dozen or so rotten eggs get into the cylinder with a bundle of grain, WHEEOU WEE.