| January/February 1974

Kinzers with a horsepower

Threshing at Kinzers with a horsepower, four Belgian horses, a hand fed Ellis Keystone thresher, a yoke of oxen and cart belonging to William Handley. They take the straw to a horse baler. Courtesy of W. J. Eshleman, 722 East Avenue, Lancaster, Pennsylvan

W. J. Eshleman

722 East End Ave, Lancaster, Pa. 17602

During the last four days of the third week of August last, the Rough and Tumble Engineers Historical Association of Kinzers, Pa., celebrated their twenty-fifth anniversary by sponsoring their Annual Old Threshermen's Reunion.

It was a gala affair with the largest show to date, and a little history concerning this unique organization might be of interest to our readers, since it was the first organization of its kind east of the Alleghenys, and the second one east of the Mississippi River.

In the early 1920's or prior to the days of modern highways, the political slogan of the Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidates was 'Get the farmer out of the mud.'

Governor Gifford Pinchot was elected and was successful in his attempt to build 50,000 miles of rather narrow, inexpensive, two-lane macadam highways throughout the state. This, while helping the farmer out of the mud also contributed to the problem, keeping him on solid footing in the threshing of his crop of grain.

Many times the large steam and gasoline traction engines with their steel cleated iron drive wheels, would grind through these early macadam highways. This was especially true on hills where the power was applied to pull these large threshing rigs over the top, as they moved from farm to farm. Needless to say, this caused a confrontation between the threshermen and farmers on one side and the Commonwealth on the other.