STILL GOING STRONG

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Courtesy of Richard Rorvig, Rothsay, Minnesota 56579. This is a 35 Buffalo Pitts, taken in 1966.
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Courtesy of Richard Rorvig, Rothsay, Minnesota 56579. This is a 35 Buffalo Pitts and a 42 x 70 Avery Yellow Fellow, taken in 1966.

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.

Now there are some engines that were popular out east that were
tried such as Baker, Port Huron, Peerless and so on. I have a
friend and a very good thresher-man he is. He lives over in North
Dakota and he had both a 40 H.P. Peerless and a 32 H.P. Port Huron
and was unhappy with both of these. They could not burn straw at
all. He then got a 35 H.P. Advance and he says it burned straw to
perfection.

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