SOOT IN THE FLUES


| September/October 1997



16 HP Huber

Thomas Stebritz' photo of a 16 HP Huber #4260 and Huber thresher, taken sometime before 1910.

MENNO L. KLIEWER, 43138 Road 52, Reedley, California 93654 writes: 'I read with great interest my friend Scott Thompson's article in the May/June 1997 issue of IMA and wish to fully support his views and feelings.

'As we continue to host threshing shows let us do it as much as possible in the image of dress as was worn by threshermen in their heydays. I, for one, am still young enough to have participated with genuine threshing on the Nebraska and Kansas farms prior to World War II.

'Mr. Thompson referred to the ordinary dress of the thresherman who came to perform a hard day's work and dressed accordingly. These old threshermen did not come to work (as we so often see at shows) wearing shorts, sandals, T-shirts with fancy pictures, bare headed, or wearing a silk cap with a soft drink advertisement, carrying a can of soda while unloading bundles as we so often see today.

'A typical thresher man came dressed wearing a pair of bib overalls, a straw hat, a long sleeve blue denim shirt with sleeves rolled up, and a heavy pair of leather work shoes, all suitable to perform hard work. The steam engineer usually wore a blue denim jacket underneath his bib overalls in order to endure the extreme heat from the steam engine and had a red handkerchief around his neck to keep out the dust and chaff, and often the separator man did the same. This dress will provide a genuine threshing scene and add camaraderie to the show for the spectator to enjoy, for after all, he paid a hefty gate admission fee for himself and his family.

'As Scott also mentioned, it would be great if the bundles could be brought in with a team of horses pulling a steel wheel bundle rack, as was always the case, and not with a modern truck with an air conditioned cab, having the bundle man sit in comfort while waiting to unload his rack. Furthermore, it would also be ideal if the grain could be hauled away with a team of horses pulling a 50 bushel high wheel grain wagon. Let us not forget to place a couple of crock jugs filled with cool water on the shady side of the steam engine or tractor. If a three or five gallon jug is available, be sure to place a tin can along side, as these jugs were usually too heavy to lift up and drink out of.

'Now I fully realize that all such machinery and equipment will be impossible to obtain for a threshing show, but let us at least make an effort to make the show as original as possible. As he mentioned, it would also be nice if a binder could be demonstrated, plus shocking bundles and loading racks, if the threshing is featured near a grain field. Let us remember that the present generation has never seen these acts and they would certainly appreciate knowing how it was done during those heyday threshing days.