‘THE GENTLE PERSUASION’

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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.

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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