Past and Present:

| November/December 2001

Traction Engines and Threshing Machines

Larry G. Creed, R.R. #13 Box 209, Brazil, IN 47834, writes:

'I would like to welcome Ogden Publications along with new Iron Men Album staff into the steam hobby. Our new editor, Richard Backus, is committed to keeping the Iron-Men Album a quality steam publication. I know Richard will welcome any ideas, questions or comments about the magazine. I believe this change will open new doors to us as both readers and contributors.

'I have picked out some of my old steam photographs for you to enjoy. Photograph #1 is of an older Reeves steam engine pulling parade wagons. The engine is a double cylinder simple, which would have built early last century. The early Reeves engines had a round water tank located under the right rear wheel. The tank was complete with a plumbed in funnel. The engine is jacketed and has a flare stack instead of the later stacks, which were straight except for the flared crown. I can easily picture Lyle Hoffmaster on the front wagon of this picture, and you would have no trouble counting all of his front teeth.

'Photograph #2 is a Kansas threshing crew enjoying some liquid refreshment. The engine is a 24 or 28 HP Minneapolis. The toolbox mounted on the right side of the engine located under the stack must be every bit of three feet long. I guess big equipment called for big tools. The wind feeders of the separator are folded back in the transport position. The inscription on the picture reads, 'Bergon & Ratzlaff crew.'

'Photograph #3 is also a Kansas threshing scene. Smoke and dust obscures part of the picture. The man on the bundle wagon is in the process of forking a bundle to throw into the feeder. Straw can be seen blown out of the blower stack. The engine is a Huber single-cylinder about 18 or 20 HP. The crossed braces at the front of the canopy are a Huber feature.

'Photograph #4 is an Ohio threshing scene. The size of the straw pile proves that some serious threshing was done in Ohio. The threshing machine is an Avery. The steam engine is hooked to the separator ready to move. The engine appears to be a Frick, judging from the position of the engine on the rear of the boiler and the flat spoke rear wheels.