The 25-50 Avery tractor owned by Bill Dittemore, Box G, Plains, Texas. See Bill's letter
P. O. Box 6 Plains, Texas
I am a subscriber to the IRON-MEN ALBUM. I have been for just one year, I wish that I had known about the ALBUM long before. I enjoy every copy and look forward to the next issue long before it is due. I wish that the ALBUM came out once a month.
Through the ALBUM and as a result of it I have made some new friends, one of which is Bill Bant of Liberty, Missouri, and another Mr. M. H. Sylvester of Friona, Texas, who has a 16-50 Nichols & Shepard engine that looks like it is in perfect condition. He sent me some color shots of his engine. As soon as possible I want to visit with Mr. Sylvester. I am 30 years old and am originally from Missouri, St. Joseph to be exact. I can just barely remember steam. However, my Dad and Granddad threshed with a 25-50 Avery tractor and a 32 inch New Russell threshing machine.
Steam is interesting to me and is something I want to learn a lot more about.
I can remember very well leaving home before sun up and coming back after dark during harvest. Also getting up in the middle of the night to the field to cover the separator with a sheet to keep it from getting rained on.
I bought a 25-50 Avery tractor in 1951 at Mesquite, Texas and drove it home to Dallas, a distance of 28 miles on Labor Day, 1951. I also exhibited this engine at the Lions Club Fair at Lancaster, Texas in 1951. The engine was constantly being cranked and ran during the 3-day fair by farmers who liked to remember way back when. My project is to get an engine. I like the Case and Nichols & Shepard best.
Enclosed you will find pictures of my engine. This engine of mine as near as I can find out was built in Peoria, Illinois about 1918. The engine has many inch copper tubes that served as a radiator, it has a thermo-syphon cooling system. Some Avery tractors had square radiators. I wonder if any of your readers know more about the Avery tractor. If they do know about the history of the company I would appreciate them writing me what they know, for instance, when did they build their first gasoline tractor, and when did they quit?
The crankcase on my tractor held about 8 gallons of SAE 70 oil. It would use about 125 gallons of gasoline a day and boil away as much water. The man in the picture in the straw hat is a good friend of mine, Eather Gleason of Lancaster, Texas, where I kept the engine. Hot, dusty, team run-a-ways, those enormous dinners, moves at night, and many other things connected with harvest. The last year we threshed was 1951. If any of your readers know of any of these engines in the country I would certainly appreciate a letter giving me the location of them.
I am a very staunch supporter of the ALBUM and I hope that it gets better all the time.