939 Eighth Street, Beloit, Wisconsin
I haven't been a subscriber for the ALBUM too long, but I get a lot of enjoyment reading it. When I get one issue, I read it from front to back the first evening and about three days later, I read it from back to front! I can appreciate the work that is involved in compiling the material for each issue. You are doing a good job. Now if you will allow me to blow off a little steam about myself and the photo of the 24 hp Minneapolis . . .
That is me with my long forehead standing by the engine. Being only 42 years old, I can't offer much experience as far as threshing is concerned, but I did get in some at the last of the 1930's. I ran a 24 hp Minneapolis quite a bit. The last that I pulled a throttle on a traction engine was 1939. I have been around steam power all of my life and I was chief engineer for a 10,000 K.W. steam turbine electric plant for eight years.
Last Labor Day week-end, the Pulton Congregational Church held their 3rd Rock River Thresheree at Edgerton, Wisconsin for three days. So, on Saturday afternoon, I drove up to Edgerton to see what went on. As I drove the car into the parking area, someone pulled a whistle cord and my enthusiasm began to rise as I could hear an engine working in a belt. When I got to the area where the engines were, about the first engine that took my eye was the 24 hp Minneapolis!
I wasn't around too long on Saturday, but I was back on Sunday by 8 a.m. and got acquainted with the owner of the Minneapolis engine -Mr. Walter Kienow of Randolph, Wis. He purchased this engine in the fall of 1959 and he did a wonderful job of restoring the engine. It ran fine. He had it all painted and trimmed up like a new one. He was very generous and let me run the engine quite a bit.
The first thing we did in the morning after steam was up, was to hook to a Red River Special Separator and spotted it alongside a stack of grain. As I was as 'rusty as a hinge on an old gate', that proved to be a chore and a sore arm resulted from cranking. Later in the day we belted up to the fan to work the engine.
Before lunch, there were four brothers drove up from down around Pontiac, Illinois, and they were the McCasky boys. Their father was the first owner of the same engine which was purchased in 1924. Mr. Keinow let the boys run the engine and you could tell by their talk and admiration for the engine that it brought back a lot of memories.
The way that I have been popping my safety you would think that this was all of the activity at the Thresheree, but I can assure you it wasn't.
I would say there were about twelve steamers, Cases, Jumbo, Advances, four or five large gas tractors, sawmill, fan, teeter-totter, and they had steam plowing and an old hand-feed separator that was in good operating condition. They had a number of scale model steamers. Those people involved in putting on the event deserve a lot of credit.
The fact that I live in a city of 35,000 prevents me from having a large engine to work on or store, so I would be satisfied with a working model 3' scale of ' scale. I am preparing a shop in my 2-car garage. I have already acquired an engine lathe 14' swing 5' between centers, a No.2 Milwaukee K & T milling machine, so by the time this gets in the ALBUM I will be started on a model engine. Some of you readers will say 'What will the little woman have to say when you spend too much time in the shop?' Well, Mrs. Beedy is a ceramist. She has ceramics all over the house and she has all the necessary equipment to pursue her hobby in the basement - so we'll both be busy!