| November/December 1956

  • Minneapolis Steam Traction Engine
    The Minneapolis steam traction engine and Advance-Rumely Thresher belonging to Jim Sullivan, Oceanside, California. Mr. Sullivan is at the left with Bill Ogle, his engineer.

  • Minneapolis Steam Traction Engine

Oceanside, California

The picture for which Joe needed the engine was a William Wyler production, starring Gary Cooper and Dorothy McGuire, and is to be billed 'The Friendly Persuasion'. It was expected to be released during the summer of 1956. Some $3,000,000 was being spent on the film, and we had great fun in taking part in it.

The scene for which an engine was needed was a county fair scene back in the long ago. There it was to be put on display just as we put new automobiles on display today. It was something new and challenging and in the script attracted great curiosity. (I don't think we want to go into the matter of dates too carefully ... so long as the studio was satisfied it served their needs. Actually they modified it to make it look older. It would be interesting to know whether such an engine actually existed as far back as the period in which the story is set but let's not worry.)

There was considerable excitement around here when the studio sent n large flat-top truck down from Hollywood. The Oceanside daily paper, The Blade-Tribune, took a picture of the engine being mounted on the truck, and the San Diego Union also published a story and picture. From its Los Angeles bureau, United Press sent out a 'red letter' story across the country, and over the Los Angeles CBS station, radio KNX, Ralph Story made an announcement of the event over his early morning show. And, oh yes, the famous Hollywood columnist, Erskine Johnson, put a note in his nationally syndicated column. Even over in Riverside, the Daily Enterprise published a picture. The Pictorial Living magazine of the great Los Angeles Examiner, Sunday, December 25, had a special feature with photos of the engine and its owner.

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