Threshing with An Indiana Special

| May/June 1993

  • Separator

  • Traction engine

  • Cylinder
    Checking cylinder speed with a Starrett speed indicator. Steve Dunn.

  • Separator
  • Traction engine
  • Cylinder

Rt. 1, Box 1501 Jennings, Oklahoma 74038

This article is a follow up to one I sent in a few months ago. In that article I told about my 20 HP double Keck steam engine, #1636. This article is about my 36' x 60' Keck- Gonnerman Indiana Special wooden separator #2359.

Thanks to the fact that the engine and separator records of the Keck-Gonnerman Company were saved, I was able to find out the following about my thresher: It was sold new on September 9th, 1924 and shipped from Mt. Vernon, Indiana, on September 27th. It was purchased by Joe Asmus, Frank L. Heisser and Vick Brucker at Perkins, Missouri. It was equipped with a gearless wind stacker #2249, a K. G. 'C' feeder #1613 with 14' carrier and a Kay-Gee belt and bucket elevator/weigher #650. This machine was fitted with S. K. F. bearings on the cylinder and blower shafts. It also differed from the standard 36' x 60' in that it is a double belted and double crank separator.

The story goes that this machine was last used in the late 50s or early 60s. I got the thresher from John Hall in 1990. At that time the machine had been sitting in a barn for several years. John had partially disassembled it, which made it easier to load when John Fry and I went to get it in the fall of 1990.I can say that we got more than a few interesting looks on the road back to Oklahoma. We also got a lot of questions whenever we stopped to refuel.

Threshing at Pawnee, Oklahoma, July 19, 1992. Keck-Gonnerman Indiana Special separator owned by Steve Dunn.

From the Fall/Winter of 1990 to the Spring of 1992 I did a lot of work on the thresher. The frame timbers and most of the wood was in very good condition, but there was some water damage to the top of the machine. I ended up replacing the wood on the top.


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