R.R., Minnesota City, Minnesota 55959
Our old case separator was built in 1891 as a hand fed machine and with straw carrier. About 1900 a feeder and gear blower were added. The machine was increased for capacity after the feeder and blower were added by raising the deck of the machine 4 inches, also all belts and pulleys were widened for better efficiency. Heavier steel trucks were added to carry more weight which had been added.
In 1919 another new high sacker and weigher were added to allow loose grain to be loaded directly into the wagons as you see it in the picture today and it has not been changed any since 1919.
In 1926 my father estimated it had threshed over 2 million bushel. It has never missed a season threshing as we still thresh our own grain with it. It is a 36 inch separator.
My dad first owned a 16 HP Advance to run it and it did a good job of it. Being a simple, it could be heard quite a distance and being kept in good shape it always had plenty of steam on hand to run the old Case separator.
Then in 1919 he traded it for the present engine, a 26 HP Advance Compound, built, we believe, before 1908. It makes the old separator hum, seems to be idling most of the time.
I have never missed being around the threshing rig since I was old enough to be there. I first did the tanking, hauled bundles some times and helped my Dad run it before his death. Since then I ran it myself until a few years ago I had to take the separator over on account of Mr. Norbye's age. He had been separator man almost continuously for 50 years. Then Clarence Angst of Winona took the steamer over and is a fine hand at it. I myself am almost 63 year old. My father bought the old Port Huron Husker shredder in 1905 because it had a self feeder, about the only kind ever built with a feeder. It sometimes worked good but when the fodder got too dry, he had to poke it with a stick to help get it through the snapping rolls. He had patience and with good care, shredded as much or more corn than anyone here.
About 1940, I completely rebuilt the feeder to what it is now on the picture. It will take corn in almost any condition and the dryer it gets the better it works. It does a good clean job husking and has a good shredding cylinder. I believe it is the only one left in the U.S. as I have never heard of another in any magazine or in any list of Antiques. I have good Port Huron pictures of the original feeder in Port Huron Catalogues before 1912. My dad also purchased a No. 9 Birdsell clover huller in 1923 which is almost like new today and did its share of hulling before the combine and still does some.
A list of a few of our Antiques: A 1923 Dodge pickup, screen body, side curtains, easily restorable. A 1926 Dodge pickup, screen body, restored like new. A 1920 Overland Baby Four with 1924 two door sedan body, like new. A 1920 Model T Ford Coupe, can be restored. A 1915 Model T Ford Roadster, restorable. A 100 year old Bugle clock restored and many other old clocks. A $300.00 Edison Phonograph, cherry wood, cabinet, with many records restored like new. A 1918 Player piano, restored. A 1903, 6 foot, right hand McCormick grain binder to be restored.
Our hobbies have always been to take care and repair our own machinery, rebuild them and paint them like they were when they left the factory and many times improving their usefulness and strengthening weak places and increasing wear in many parts.
My son does piano tuning besides helping on the farm and I have done watch repairing evenings on the farm for almost every one around here for over 40 years.