Past and Present:

| May/June 2002

Traction Engines and Threshing Machines

American Abell and Port Huron

John. F. Spalding,112 Carriage Place, Hendersonville, TM 37035, sends along two photos, including one of an American Abell taken in Winnepeg in 1912, possibly by a Joe Ritchie (his name is written in pencil on the back). John writes:

'The photo shows American Abell steam tractor s/n 2117 freshly unloaded at the Winnepeg, Manitoba, Canada CP Railway yard. The engine is there for the plowing contest at the 1912 Royal Agricultural Fair in Winnepeg. The American Abell & Thresher Co. was purchased in 1912 (that same year) and became part of the Advance Thresher Co. (later Advance-Rumley). 'Cock of the North Line' was their motto and can be seen on the tractor. Winnepeg is hand-written on the bottom of the photo.

'This tractor is thought to have inspired several of the design changes later made by Advance-Rumley. This may be the first American Abell & Advance Thresher Co. engine built, but there is no data to support that theory. The 11 gentlemen probably represent the driving team, mechanic, operator and factory 'big wigs.' I thought it was kind of neat.

Spalding Photo # 1: American Abell traction engine, serial number 2117, freshly unloaded at the Winnepeg, Manitoba, Canada CP Railway yard, 1912.

'I have also included a humorous old photo of a Port Huron tractor, threshing outfit and crew. The one unusual aspect of it is the fact that while no one ever seems to smile in 100-year-old photos, this group is cutting up - note the tray with drinks and the man in the back 'chugging' a bottle of something - very unusual and comical.'

Steam Birthday

Worth F. Pickard, 4820 Carbonton Road, Sanford, NC 27330, sends in some photos of his good friend Jay Wilbur Moore on the occasion of Jay's 80th birthday. Worth tells us Jay has been active in the steam community for some years now, especially in the Ole Gilliam Mill Crank-Up, and he was the driving force behind starting the Central Carolina Antique Power and Equipment Club, or C-CAPE as it's also called.