Farm Collector

THRESHING STORY OF THE OLD TIME

R. D. 2, Milan, Illinois

I am 56 years old and in my day have operated different makes of
engines and threshers. At the age of 14 I became a tank wagon man
for my father, and my brother Frank, age 17, had been promoted to
separator man. At the age of 17 I too took over the job of
separator man and brother Harry went on the water wagon. My
father’s brother, Harry and I operated this rig for 5
years.

In 1922, after threshing for 48 years, my father retired and
sold his rig, consisting of 16 hp. Advance engine, 33×54 Port Huron
rusher, to Harry and myself. We continued with this same rig until
1928 then the ‘Coffee Grinders’ started coming in and the
run was reduced from 50 to 52 days to 14 jobs. It could be plainly
seen that they would be short of help and other work was not even
worth pulling the rig out of the shed, so we sold out the
company.

My father had started to thresh when he came to this country
using 12 horses Dingee Power and an Aultman Taylor hand fed
separator. Later he purchased an 8 hp. steam J. i. Case, and later
the self-steering came along. In 1904 he purchased a 10 hp. Advance
and a new 32×56 Advance separator. In 1915 he traded for a new rig
with 16hp. Advance and a new 32×54 Port Huron Rusher. Father was a
big operator, farmed 400 acres at one time and had a Port Huron
sawmill, Gaar Scott clover huller, Port Huron shredder and a corn
sheller, buzz saw with 8hp. Waterloo Boy gas engine for custom
work, Rumley 12 bottom plows which he pulled with his 16hp. Advance
steamer. When we sold the rig, I realized steam was fast
disappearing so in 1930 I started building a miniature which is a
duplicate of Advance Rumley engine and separator. A couple of
pictures of it are enclosed. Here is the size of the engine: boiler
is 6×28 with twelve ‘ flues, cylinder is 2′ stroke, 1′
bore. The front wheels 1 face, six inches high with three-sixteenth
inch spokes. Rear drive wheels 12′ high with 4’ face,
five-sixteenth inch spokes. The length overall is 34 inches.

Have pulled load of 1800 pounds on a dirt road on an iron
wheeled trailer. I am standing near the engine in my overalls. All
parts of the engine were made from scrap, some parts I had to make
wood patterns, cast them and then machine to scale using my own
prints. Only parts I had to purchase were lubricator, injector and
steam gauge. All the rest was made up from scrap. The boiler tests
to 125 pounds pressure and the separator has all the working parts
of the larger thresher. I have devoted practically all my spare
time to building this outfit, starting in 1930 and completing it in
1937.

I am hoping to correct Mr. Nelson of Hawley, Minnesota. He had
three small steamers in the Jan-Feb. issue of IRON-MEN ALBUM. He
states he has a 65 Case, 20 Huber and Advance 22 hp. Now Mr.
Nelson, Advance never did build a 22hp. Advance side mounted, but
they did build 22hp. Advance Rumley universal rear mounted engine.
By the looks of the picture, model, he has a 14 or 16hp. straw
burner Advance.

Looking forward to the next issue.

  • Published on Jan 1, 1956
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