847 Main Street Williamsburg, Ohio 45176
This is an experience I had during my threshing career and would
like to share it with your readers.
It happened around July 12, 1920 I had started threshing that
week and we had taken the drive belt off on account of a shower. It
was a double Buffalo Pitts engine. There were steps to go up to the
engine on the left side. I was 25 years old then and I had put on
new clothing that week consisting of light weight underwear, bib
overalls and a new blue jacket.
The engine crank shaft, when standing on the top step, came
about in line with my hips. I was running the engine at top
threshing speed without a drive belt on, checking the engine and
oiling up. The water boy was on the platform of the engine. The
crank shaft had a key way in it about three eights deep. I had
stood at the same place hundreds of times before, but this time was
once too often.
I went to lift up the cap on the crank shaft bearing to see if
it needed oil, when I felt the crank shaft take hold of me. I knew
right away what was happening. I yelled for my water boy to shut it
off. I grabbed for the handhold on the top step and held myself
from turning as long as I could. My water boy shut the throttle off
and shoved the reverse up, but it all happened in less time that
you could think about it.
It tore my overalls apart first, then went up into my jacket and
shirt. It jerked me off my feet – I don’t know how many times.
It whirled me around about six times, according to the words of the
people that saw it happening When it started whirling me, it
started at an angle that my head was just missing the drive wheel.
It broke two ribs and skinned me up all over. I did not have any
clothes on but my shoes and socks when I came off of it.
A man by the name of Carl Burton, fainted when he saw me drop
off. They had more trouble with him than they did me. I was knocked
out of the whole season of threshing. It was over four months
before I could do anything.
I am now 74 years old and I can still feel the nervous effects
of that accident. When I see the end of a shaft running unguarded,
it makes cold chills run over me.