Steam Traction Engine


| March/April 1979



Steam traction engine

Route 4, Box 160-A, Bolivar, Tennessee 38008.

This is a steam traction engine manufactured by the Harrison Machine Works of Belleville, Illinois in 1895. This tractor is the 14 horsepower 'Jumbo' model. The wheels are 6? feet in diameter and weigh one ton each. The tractor itself weighs 13,400 pounds. The tractor is powered by a steam boiler and has chain steering.

The tractor was originally purchased by Frank Robertson of Crockett Mills, Tennessee, from the Harrison Machine Works. It was shipped by steamboat from Belleville, Illinois down the Mississippi River to Memphis and then by rail to Bells, Tennessee. Then it was fired and taken to Crockett Mills, Tennessee, where it was used to run a sawmill, grist mill and threshing machine. These machines mentioned above were powered by attaching a belt to the flywheel on the left side of the tractor. It was later owned by Aylmer Perry of Crockett Mills, Tennessee, and was used primarily to run a sawmill until the mid 1930s.

Our research reveals that there are only two tractors of this year and model in running condition in the United States. The owners, Randel Richardson of Alamo, Tennessee, and Danny Jacobs of Bolivar, Tennessee, had the engine renovated by Joe Graziana of Wood River, Illinois, and hope to eventually place the tractor in a museum or public display of some type.