THE IRON MEN in 1895

| July/August 1973

  • Nicholas and Shepard engine
    Nicholas and Shepard outfit at work. Courtesy of R. Benjamin Hayes, Route 3, Homes, Michigan 49245
    R. Benjamin Hayes

  • Nicholas and Shepard engine

R. 3, Homer, Michigan

This story is about some of my father's threshing machines. He had a 16 hp Advance Engine with the strait lugs on the drive wheels and a Rumely 34 x 54 Separator with web straw carrier and hand feed and weigher and bagger one of the first to have a weigher to weigh the grain around this part of the country.

As I was born May 10, 1891 I didn't get a chance to work much with that outfit.

My father's first outfit was a 10 hp Nichols and Shepard Traction Engine and a N & S Viberator Separator, hand feed and straw carrier and the Old Talley box, for measuring the grain.

I have most of my father's account books, as far back as 1890 where it referred to the threshing of grain at the price of 1-1/2 cents for oats and 2-1/2 cents for wheat and rye per bushel.

The prices for labor was from $1.00 to $1.50 per day and it wasn't just 8 hours - it was at least 10 hours and sometimes longer when they had to move at night to the next job, maybe 4 or 5 miles.