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
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.