By Staff

Somewhere in the memory of every American there lies the vivid
image of a steam locomotive. Nearly the same can be said for the
Steam Traction Engine when talking to people in agriculture. No
machine built by man has, or may never, receive the devotion and
universal affection that the Steam Engine has achieved. What is
there about this machine that is so different?

Never developed to the fullest extent, it could well have been
the sole or nearly sole power used today! The gasoline engine has
given us great power in a small package as is evidenced at our
show. Yet the potential of the reciprocating steam engine design
has never been developed beyond its infancy. For example, there is
a current three cylinder steam engine under test with only 267
cubic inches displacement, yet it develops 300 horsepower at only
1000RPM. This is, as you know, almost the exact size engine that
was made so famous in the International Harvester Farmall
‘M’ tractor. This amazing fact is only the beginning. Even
at this horsepower output, the highest temperature in the engine
does not approach the temperatures inside the internal combustion
engine whether it be in a car, truck, or tractor. Also this engine
has developed the same number of horsepower per gallon of fuel, as
the best diesels of today. The future of newer and smaller atomic
power plants yet may see our forgotten age of steam return in a new

The versatility and performance of steam has not yet been
duplicated in industry or transportation. So it may well be that
this monster which can stand silent, but ready to put forth full
power in an instant in either direction, may return to serve us far
better than we have yet been served. We of the American Thresherman
Association thank you for your interest and effort in sharing this
inspiring hobby with us.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment