Farm Collector


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

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.

  • Published on Sep 1, 1958
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