STILL GOING STRONG


| January/February 1968



35 Buffalo Pitts engine

Courtesy of Richard Rorvig, Rothsay, Minnesota 56579. This is a 35 Buffalo Pitts, taken in 1966.

Richard Rorvig

Rothsay, Minnesota 56579

Well, I did a little steam threshing again this fall with my 80 H.P. Case engine and 40 x 62 Case separator.

The shows up here had good weather this fall so they had a successful year.

I went out to see the Anderson's threshing rig at work this fall out here at Cristin, North Dakota. I believe most of you Album readers know about this rig. It is a 35 H.P. Buffalo Pitts engine and a 42 x 70 Avery Yellow Fellow separator. As far as I am concerned, this is the most original old-time threshing that can be seen anywhere in North America. These people have stacked their grain and threshed with this engine since the old days. This engine was new in 1905 and has threshed every fall since it was new except one year, which I believe should be a record by now. When you stand back and watch this big outfit at work in a big setting of stacks being fired with straw, the old Avery Yellow Fellow with the high weigher and all this in the wide open spaces of North Dakota, it is hard to believe that it is 1966 instead of maybe 1910. In my book it is a most interesting and exciting scene to watch.

While I was visiting with our old friend, George Melby, at Dalton, Minnesota, we were discussing absence of the much debated good or bad qualities of Advance engines. It was a lively topic when old Marcus Leonard was the defender and it was very interesting. Well, maybe I am in no position to take sides, but I cannot understand why anyone should criticize the Advance line of engines from other parts of the country when they were so well accepted here and as there are few if any areas that faster threshing and longer runs were demanded of an engine. From 40 to 60 day runs were common and some longer than that. When firing with straw they were considered the best by most thresher-men. One must not underestimate the importance of a good straw burning engine in the north west as straw is always plentiful and almost always coal or wood was hard to get, far away and expensive, except in a few places in North Dakota and Canada where there was lignite deposits maybe in the same field that they would be threshing or plowing, although lignite was frowned on by many firemen as it is a low grade coal and not very good.

Now, of course, where the jobs were smaller and the straw was saved and coal or wood was plentiful, other things would have to be considered but I would rather doubt that these areas were coveted as much by the big threshing companies as was the north west in its Bonanza days.