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----JACK HOBBECK............
flMERI<Sflll 8 TEflM
TRfl<STIC9ll Ell&IllES
By Jack Norbeck
Editing and D esign
By George H. Dammann

Third Revised Edition


(320 Pages - 1,400 Illustrations)
(416 Pages - 2,000 Illustrations)
(320 Pages - 1,650 Illustrations)
(352 Pages - 1,800 Illustrations)
(416 Pages - 2,000 Illustrations)
(320 Pages - 1,600 Illustrations)
(384 Pages - 1,950 Illustrations)
Copyright © By Crestline Publishing, Inc. 197 6 ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN CARS,
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 76-5764 (384 Pages - 1.800 Illustrations)


(416 Pages - 1,900 Illustrations)
Typesetti ng by Colonial Cold Type, Glendale Heigh ts, 111.
Graphic Arts Services, Lombard , Ill. GREAT AMERICAN WOODIES & WAGONS
0-Way Press, Lombard, Ill. (320 Pages - 1,700 Illustrations)
Printed in U.S.A. by Wallace Press, Hillside, Ill. SINCE 1900
(352 Pages - 1,900 Illustrations)
Binding by The Engdahl Co., Elmhurst, Ill.
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Published By: Crestline Publishing Co., Inc. TRACTION ENGI NES
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may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the
express written permission of the publisher. F'or further
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FORWARD. .. ........ ... ...... ... .............. .. ........ ... ............ ........ .... ... 4
DEDICATION .. ..... .... ..... ..... . ........ .... . . ... ..... ..... ... ... .. . .... .. ..... ... .. 5
INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
THE DRAFT HORSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
BELGI AN . ... ....... ....... . ..... ..... ... . . . ..................................... .. . .. . 6
CLYDESDALE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
PERCHERON. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
SHIRE .......... . ...................... ........ ...................... .. . . ...... .... .... 13
SUFFOLK .... ....... .. .......................... .. ........ . ............... . . ...... . .... 14
MULES ................................... ..... ......................................... 15
OXEN ............................. . ....... .. ......... .. ........................ . ....... 16
WORKING WITH HORSES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
PORTABLE STEAM ENG INES ... .. .................................. ..... ..... . .. . .... 30
THRESH ING ....... ...... . ................. .... ... ....... .... . .......... . ......... . .... 274
BALERS ....................... . ............ . .. . ................ . ............... . ....... 281
SAW MILLS ..... . .......................... .. ............... . ......................... . 285
W A'fER WAGONS .... . ... ......... ..... .. ...... .... ... . . .... ...... .. .... ...... ... .. .... 290
PLOWING .... . . .. . ................. . ... .... ... .' .. ... . .. ... . .. ... ....... .. .............. 291
STEAM CONSTRUCTION E QUIPMENT .. . ........ .. ................. .. ........ .. .. . ... 294
MISCELLANEOUS ..................................................................... 296
TES'f EQUIPMENT ..... . .. . ...... ... ....... .. ........................ . .......... . ...... 298
STEAM F IRE ENGINES ............................ . ................................... 301
ADDENDUM, PORTABLE STEAM ENGINES ...... .. . .. ...... ... ..... .. ............... 308
ACKNOWLEDGEME NTS ... ...... ...... .. ....... .. ...... . ......... ... ..... ...... .. .... . 315
INDEX .. . ....... . .......................... .. ........ .. ...... ..... ... .... ....... .... ... 316
ABOUT THE AUTHOR .............. . ...... .. ...... . ..... ... .. .. . . .............. .. ..... 320


Many kinds of power h ave been invented since

steam came into use. But to many, steam engines
will never be forgotten. And the younger generation
gets a thrill out of watching the operato rs reversing
the engine, blowing the whistle, turning o n the
injector, and belting up to the gra in thresher.
Most of the o lde r folks who are still living today,
who spent their li fet ime with stea m e ngines, arc
fam il iar with all the d ifferent makes of engines that
were manufactured in the United States and Canada.
111e steam traction engine reached the heights of its
glory around 1910. They were all built along the
same line, but no two looked alike . Many of the
early ones had the flywh eel o n left and s teering o n
right; others had the flywh ee l on right and steering
on left. Some had return flue bo ile rs; some had
upright boile rs. A small number had fou r wheel
drive. The early ones had one row of rivets in the
barrel of the boiler and carried from 80 to 100 lbs.
Around 19 1 5 whe n mos t manufacturers tlive rtecl
to d ouble butt strap boile rs, the pressure was in-
creased to 150 lbs. Some ca rried 180. This in creased
the power tremendously. Those la tte r clay engines
were well built and were in use up into the ea rly
Twenties, when the kerosene tractors sta rted for a
takeover. But many folks kept on with steam as it
had been the ir life work, and t·hey had neve r been
associated wit h any kind of power that was any more
The first traction e ngine I fe ll in love with was a
12 H.P. Scheidler built by the Scheid ler Machine
Works of Newark, Ohio. 1t was built in the early
1890s, and had a brake on the fl ywheel and n steam
chest facing t he left front wheel. A wate r glass was
near the front o f the boi le r, ancl no soft plug was in
the crown sheet . I was so enthused by it, 1 c;in s till
re member every rivet in it. So my mind was co m-
p letely concentrated on traction engines until I go t
old enough to run one. Today, if I just saw nothing
but the rear wheel of one, I could very easily tell
wha t company manufactured it.

Raymond Laizure
Fou nder
The Stumptown Steamer Magazine

Dedication This album presents a collection of North American
steam traction engines that are operational today
This album is a tribute to the me n and wo me n,
young and o ld, who are expanding their sustained plus information about the makes with no examples
interest, skills and e nthusiasm in preserving an in existence today.
important part of North America n agricultural The steam traction engine created a present-clay
history, namely , the ste am tra ction e ngine and draft army of steam buffs who enjoy the excitement of
horse. We salute the early junk ya rd explore rs ! They firing a boiler with straw, wood or coal; who con-
should be recorded as fa rm aristocrats in agricultural centrate on gauges and gear shifts, and above all,
history books. To the m the hiss and purr o f a stea m listen to the throbbing rhythmic sound of a steam
traction engine is mo re than a machine . lt is a thing engine . The army includes a sizeable group of
of beaHty and lo ts o f fun , pampe red with ten der armchair steam traction engine enthusiasts. The
masculine loving care ! smo ke, smell an d sound of a steam engine show has
conve rted a growing group of unsuspecting first-time
spectators into avid lifetime steam power addicts.
Hundreds o f U. S. and foreign steam traction encine
o wners have rescued junked en.gin es and rest~red
them to perfect condition. They proudly display and
operate the m at cross-country club events and farm
shows. Professional and amateur mechanics have
perfec ted unbelievable restorations from the smallest
6 H.P. to the largest 140 H.P. engine. This album is
en cyclopedic in scope with authenticated classifi-
cation for each engine. It is the only work of its kind
tha t features steam traction engines that are opera-
tionai today.
Like antique auto price tags, the dollar value of
restored steam traction engines is creating a constantly
soaring market value.
It is our hope that this album will meet the need
for a concise, c\e penc\able record of the important
aspects of the steam trac tion engine.

Jack C. Norbeck
Coplay, Penn.

A Directory listing over 300 steam and gas shows,
reunions, thresherees, museums featuring steam and
gas machinery and special events, can be purchased
by writing to the Stemgas Publishing Company, Box
328 - JCN - Lancaster Pa., 17604, U.S.A.

The Draft Horse

No single date or decade can be fixed as the start of the agricultural revolution through technology.
But it is clear that the revolution in agricultural work methods and productivity per man got under way
about the middle of the 19th century with the development of severa.l new types of machines for use
with horses.
Many experimen ters during the first half of the 19th century sought better horse-drawn tillage imple-
ments and horse-powered machines to replace hand labor in planting and harvesting crops.
Shortage of labor and high grain prices during the Civil War speeded up the adoption of machine methods,
especially for harvesting small grains. The numbers of horses and mules rose rapidly during the next half
Agriculture , as it advanced in waves of settlement across the American continent, surged up to an un-
precedented level of productivity, derived from new technologies based on the use of horses and mules and
the fertility of new soils.
That development did not end suddenly, but the virtual e nd of that era may be identified as the First
World War or the years immediately after.
Horse and mule 11umbers at that time were the highest in U. S. history-more than 25 million were
being used in this country.

The Belgian draft horse, as the name indicates,
originated and was developed in Belgium. It is still
the only breed of horse which is bred to any extent
in that country; the light horses used in Belgium
being purchased largely in other countries. Jn 1886,
the Belgian Draft Horse Society was organized for
the purpose of encouraging the breeding of the native
draft horse and to maintain a studbook for the breed.
Importations of these horses into the United States
were made more or less frequently during the last.
half of the Nineteenth century, but it was not until
the beginning of the Twentieth century that they
were imported in large n umbers. The early trade was
principally a s tallion trade, but later quite large
numbe rs of mares were also imported. Mature
stalli ons in fair condition, weighing a ton or more
are compa rat ively common.
The colors com mon to the Belgian are bay,
chestnut, and roan, but browns, grays, and blacks
are occas io nal ly seen.
In the U. S., the Belgian sire has been valuable in
improving the draft conformation of horse stock,
parti cularly when mated with rangy, loosely coupled
mares. The breed has made wonderful progress in this
Elmer D. Lapp or Kinzer, Pa., has this 2-year old Belgian country, considering that it has attracted much
stallion named Rosco. Rosco is about 1,900 lbs. He won the attention only since the beginning of the Twentieth
red ribbon at the 1975 Pennsylvania state farm show. The
Belgian draft horse, as the name indicates, originated and
centu ry. In fact no breed of horses has shown a
was developed in Belgium. greate r increase in popularity and a greater improve-
ment during this period.
The American Assn. of Importers and Breeders of
Belgian Draft Horses was organized in 1887 , but the
first volume of its studbook was not pub lished
until 1905 .
Belgian 7

.1 ? ·--
~ ',.·-/

Elmer D. Lapp's 9-year old Belgian mare is nam ed Cam. This 3-year old Belgian mare, Floss, weighs about 1,900
Cam is about l,800 lbs. She won the blue ribbon at the lbs. She is harnessed for work. 111e Draft Horse harness
1975 Pennsylvania state farm show. The Lapp's faun is in consists of (from left to right) bridle, collar, saddle and
Kinzer, Pa. Mr. Lapp is a breeder of champion Belgians, breechings.
and a dairy former.

Harvey W. Rice's 5-year old Belgian stallion is named

Scooter, but his nickname is King. King is about 2,150 lbs.,
and is a blue ribbon stallion. Harvey Rice has been
breeding Belgian horses for many years at his farm in
Prospect, Pa.

This is Elmer Lapp 's herd of yearling Belgian studs and

mares. 111e Belgian Draft Horse Corp. of America reports
that 1,210 horses were recorded in t11e stud book in
fiscal 1974 . . . the first time 3Jl American draft horse
association has recorded over a th.o usand head for 30 years.
In l 944, Belgian registrations totaled 1,33 7 :md Percherons
1,21 J. The following year both dropped under the 1,000
Harvey Rice's 4-year old Belgian mare is named May figure and J974 marked the first time in tl1ree decades that
Parceur. She is about 2,000 lbs. Rice has been breeding the four figure m~rk has again been reached by an American
prize Belgian horses for many years. draft horse recording society.

John OuPuis Jr. 's 8-year old Belgian stallion, Pinellas

Buckeye, is about 2,000 lbs. Mr. DuPuis Jr. owns the
Bard-0-Ranch at Port Mayaca, Fla.

DonaJd Wack's 3-yea.r old Belgian mare, Belty·Bell·Conqueror,

is about 1,800 lbs. Donald Wack is a member of the
Pennsylvania Horse and Mule Assn. He lives on the Senech
Valley Farm, Zelienople, Pa.

James Steinbach's 7-year old Belgian mare Sue is about

2,150 lbs. Mr. Steinbach lives in Rochester, Pa., where he
raises Belgian horses. The American Assn. of Importers and
Breeders of Belgian Draft Horses was organized in 1887,
but the first volume of its studbook wa5 not published
until 1905.

This is Big John, a giant Belgian gelding horse, weighing

2,740 lbs. and standing 19.2 hands high at the withers. In
plain talk, he is 8V2 feet high from the floor to his ears,
and JOV2 feet long from his nose to his tail. He is probably
one of the largest horses in the world. John is cxcep tionally
strong, but extremely gentle. He has an enormous appetite,
eating 2 bales of hay and 30 quarts of oats each day.
However, Big John is not fat or overweight, but is in
good conformation. Mr. Randall, owner of Big John,
searched throughout the United States, Canada, England,
Scotland, France, Belgium, Austral.ia and New ZeaJand for
such a horse, placing advertisements in leading Horse and
Farm Magazines. John was the largest horse he could find
and buy. The Randalls live in Wyckoff, N. J. This photo
is courtesy of Edward Druck.

James Steinbach's matched team of Belgians, Dolly &

Molly, each are 3 years old and l ,700 lbs. They go back
three generations to the country of Belgium. They were
bred by Hylmede of Beaver, Pa. In 1924 there were
23,285,000 horses and mules in this country.
Clydesdale 9

The Clydesdale originated and was developed in

Scotland and is practically the only draft horse found
or favored in that country. The breed is of mixed
origin, and its early history is more or less obscure.
In the formation of the breed and during the early
stages of the breed's development, however. it is
probable that the blood of both Flemish and English
horses was quite prominent. But for a large number
of years the Clydesdale has been bred pure. In 1878
the Clydesdale Horse Society of Great Britain and
Ireland was organized.
The first Clydesda les brought to North America
were probably imported into Canada by the Scotch
who settled there.
Jn the early 1870s, Clyclesdales were imported into
this coun t ry both through Canada and by direct
importation. By 1880 they were be ing imported in
large numbers, and these importa tions continued fo r
several years.
No other draft breed equals the Clydesdale in Floyd R . .Johnston's 7-ycar o ld Clydesdale mare, Sweet
style and action. In th e U. S., Clydesdale geldings Holl y, is about 1,700 lbs. 111is picture was taken at the
have been very popular in the cities for use by those Johnston Dairy Parm, Monroeville, Pa. 1l1e Johns tons arc
dairy farmers and U1ey raise Clydesdale horses.
who want draft horses with a good, long, snappy ,
ground-covering stride and at the same time
possessing style and action. Native mares of draft
character bred to Clydesdale stallions have produced
many excellent animals.
The Clvdesdale Breeders Assn. of the U. S. was
organized' in 1879, and up to February l. I 934, had
issued 21 volumes of the American Clydesdale


Dcrro ll E. Rhodcrick's 2·ycar old Clydesda le stalli on, Bill,

Anheuser·Busch's Clydesdale mare is named Bardrill May is about 1,700 lbs. Mr. Rhoderick lives in Gettysburg, Pa.
Mom. Bardrill May J\'lom is about 1,850 lbs. She was a He mises beef ca !lle and Clyd csdalcs. T he Clydesdale
champion a t the ti me th is pic ture was t;1kcn by Anheuser· o riginated and has been developed in Scotland, and is
Busch. [n 1878, the Clydesdale Horse Society of Great pract~ically the on ly d raft horse found or favored in th at
Britain and lreland was organi zed. country.
10 Clydesdale

Floyd R. Johnston's matched team of Clydesdale mares

arc named Sweet Holly and Collissie Celia. Sweet Holly is
7 years old and Collissie Celia is 6 years old. They are
abou t 1,700 lbs. each. TI1e Clydesdale Breeders Assn. of
the United States was organized in 1879, and up to
February I, 1934, had issued 21 volumes of the American
Clydesdale Sn1dbook.

!\fr. Johnston is shoeing one of his Clydesdale mares.

Holding the horse is Mr. Johnston's father. Johnston shoes
all his own horses, as today there arc not many blacksmiths
who will shoe draft horses.
Percheron 11

The Percheron o riginated in France and has been

developed in a small district in the northwestern
part of th at country known as Perch e . Thi s d ist ri ct
is about o ne-fifteenth the size of the State o f Io wa,
and only Pe rcherons born within its bo unda ries a re
eligible to registry in the Percheron Studb ook of
France. Perche ron foals , to be accepted for registry
in the French book, m ust be registered during the
year of th e ir birth. Prior to such registration they
must be ex amined by an official appointed by the
Percheron Horse Soc.iety of France, who takes a
careful desc.:ription of their color and markin gs and
brands the m on the neck with the le tte rs " S.P"
enlaced .
The Perchero n Horse Society o f France was
organized in 1883 , and in addition to lookin g after
the regist ra tio n o f Percherons, it hold s an a nnual
summer show in the Perch eron district.
The Socie ty also offers prizes at other sho ws. T he
William Johnson's 15-ycar old Percheron mare, Donna-Sue,
improveme nt o f the Percheron and other b reeds in is about l ,900 lbs- She has had 9 foals. Percheron foals,
France is clue to both public and private e ffo rts. to be accepted for registry in the French book, must be
The government has for a number of years main- registered during tJ1e year of their birth. Prior to such
tained studs in wh ich selected animals have been registration they must be examined by an official appointed
kept for breeding purposes. In addition , subsidies by the Perchcron Horse Society of France, who takes a
careful descripl:ion of l'11ei.r color and markings and brands
are granted to private individuals in order to keep them on the neck with the letters "S.P." enlaced. William
high class in the stud . Stallions intended to sta nd for Johnson farms in Downingtown, Pa.
public servi ce in France must be examin ed by offi cials
appoin tecl by the government and certi fiecl as be ing
free fro m pe riodic ophthalmia or moo n b lind ness,
and ro aring (thi ck wind).
The in trod ucti o n of Percheron h o rses into the
Uni ted States ela tes back m any years. One o f the
early sta lli o ns brou ght to this country whi ch exerted
consid e rab le infl uence on local d raft stock was Louis
Na poleon, impo rted in 1851 by an Ohio firm. Other
Perchcrons were imported about this time and durin g
succeeding years. During the early 1870s, the y were
imported in large numbers, and these importations
have continu ed to the present time.
The distributi on of the Percheron in thi s country
is very wid espread , and for years i.t has been one of
the favorite dra ft horses.
In 1876 the National Assn. o f Im porte rs and
Breede rs of Pe rc he ro n-Norman Horses was o rganized.
The Perche ro n Ho rse Assn. of America is a n o ut-
growth o f tha t association. Frank W. Knau f's Percheron stallion, Mr. Magic, is 8 years
The name "Fre nch Draft" is the designa tio n applied old and is about 1,900 lbs. This picture was taken on the
Knauf's farm , "Lou-Fran-Farm", or Harmony, Pa. The
broadly to all breeds of draft horses originating in Percheron Horse Society of France was organized in 1883,
France, and does not refer to one specific b reed as and in addition to looking after t11e registration of Percherons
migh t be inferred from its usage in this country . it holds an annual summer show in the Pcrcheron district.
This classifica tion includes the Percheron and a
number o f othe r draft breeds in France, such as the
Boulonnais, Nive rnais, Breton, Arclennais, and
Picardy . Of all the French breeds, the Perchcron is
by far the bes t known, and has obtained a fo o thold
in this country much greater than any other Fre nch
breed of draft horses.
Frank Knauf's Percheron mare, Lou-Fran-Nan, is 8 years
old and is about 2,000 lbs. The introduction or Percheron
horses into the United States dates back many years. One of
th e early stallions brought to tl1is country, which exerted
considerable influence on our drart stock, was Louis
Napoleon, imported in 1851 by an Ohio finn. Other
Percherons were imported about this time and during
succeeding years. During the early seventies they were
imported in large number, and tJ1ese importations have
co ntinued to the present time.

01arles Wray's Pere heron mare, Hanni bell-Degas , is I 0

years old and about 1,950 lbs. The Percheron legs are free
from the long hai r or feather characteristic of the Clydesdale
and the Shire. In action the Percheron is good at both the
trot and t11e walk. The trot is characterized by a snap and
boldness no t ordinari ly displayed by most of the other draft
breeds. Single births arc the rnle among horses. Twins are a
genuine rarity and only a few births of three or m ore foals
have ever been recorded. The head o f the Pcrcheron is clean-cut, and of medium
size. More refinement is noticed about the head and neck
of the Perchcron t11an in any other draft breed. T he neck
is rather shor t and well crested. Thls is Mr- Magic, owned
by F. V- Knauf.

Frank Knauf's mare, Lou-Fran, is 3 years old a.nd about

l,350 lbs. She is sorrel in color, a very rare color for a
Percheron. In 1876, th e National Assn. of Importers and
Breeders of Percheron-Nonnan Ho rses was organized- The
Percheron Horse Assn. of America is an outgrowt11 of
tliat association.

Today it is hard to find a herd of 20 or more draft horses

in this country, such as Charles Wray's herd of 20 Per-
cherons- There are over 7 million horses in the United States
and the total investment in the horse industry is SJ 2 billion.
Frank Knauf's mare named King's Nerva is 8 years old and More people arc breeding, buying, showing and racing
weighs about 1,900 lbs. Her foal is eight weeks old. T he horses than at any time in U. S. history. Entire second
name "French Draft" is the designation applied broadly to industries have been created to serve the nation's horsemen -
aJl breeds of draft horses originating in France, and docs no t ranging from specialized clothing to trailers.
refer to one specific breed as might be inferred from its
usage in this country. This classification includes the Pel'-
cheron and a number of other draft breeds in France, such
as the Bo ulonnain s, Nivernais, Breton, Ardennais,
and Pica rdy. Of all the French breeds the Pcrcheron is by far
the best known , and has obtained a foothold in the U.S.A.
mu ch greater than a.ny other French breed of draft horses.
Shire 13

The Shire.originated and was developed in England,

and today 1s bred in all sect ions of that cou ntry.
The real origin of tl1is breed is more or less
speculative. It is known that this type of draft horse
existed in England in ea rl y times. It is probable that
the Shire was originally of very mixed breedi ng. but
at the present time the Shi re is bred very pu~e. Jn
1878. the Shire horse breede rs of Enoland were
organ ized und er the name of the English "'ca rt Horse
Society. In 1884. the name was changed to the Shire
Horse Society . In add iti on to the registration of
horses, the society holds an annual show and sa le
in London. and also <lwarcls medals and prizes at the
leading agriculturn l shows in England and some of the
fa irs and expositions in the Unilecl States.
Shires were imported in to this co un try a good
many years ago. George E. Bro wn , in Volume I of
the America11 Sltire Horse Studbook . states that in
1853 a Mr. Strickland imported a stallion direct from
England to Aurora, Tl !. , where the horse was known National Brewing Company's Nottage Prince was sired in
England by Crossficlds Supreme. In 1969, he was stallion
as John Bull. Volume 1 of this studboo k shows the champion in the Three Counties a nd Royal Welsh Shows.
~egis trat i on of a smnll number of sta llions impor ted Then a year later, was stallion c hampio n in the Three
in 1880, and these importations increased until Counties Show, the Royal Show of England and rhe Shire
1887, when mo re than 400 Shires were imported. Ho rse Show. He is kept al Green Willow Farms, Winfield,
Md., o wned by Mr. and Mrs. Green
The American Shire Horse Assn. was organized
188 5.

National Brewing Company's 12-year old Shire mare, Hainton

Jennifer, is about I ,850 lbs. and was imported from England. Norbert Behrendt's 2-year old Shire stallion, Ladbrook Joc k,
T he Shire originated and was developed in England, and is about 1,800 lbs. and was imported from England.
today is bred in all sections of that country. The real Be hrend t supplied thi s pic ture. He lives in Highland, Md.,
origin of this breed is more or less spec ulat ive. It is known and is a member of the Marylan d Shire llorse Associates.
tha1 this type of d raft horse existed in England in early Shires were imported into this country a good m;111y years
times. It is probable that 1he Shire originally was of very ago. George E. Brown, in Vol ume I of Ute American Shire
mixed breeding, but al the present lime 1he Shire is Horse Studbook, sta tes 1hat in 1853 a Mr. S trickla nd
bred very pure. imported a stallion direct from England 10 J\uror:i, Ill.,
where the horse was known as John Bull. Volume I o f 1his
studbook sho ws Ute regislration of a small num ber of
stallions imported in I 880, and th ese impo rlalio ns in creased
until, in 1887, more than 400 Shires were imporlcd. The
Am eri can Shire Horse Assn. was organized in 1885.

National Brewing Company's l l ·year old Shire mare,

Swanland Dale Modem Maid, is a bo ut 1,950 lbs. and was
imported from England. Herc she is lmtting with her foal
born in December, 1974. In 1878 the Shire horse breeders
of England was organized under the name of Uic !Znglish
Cart Horse Society. In 1884, the name was changed,
14 Suffolk
The native home of the Suffolk breed is Suffolk
Cou nty , in eastern England, and the production of
the breed in that country is confined almost entirely
to that and adjoining counties. The Suffol k has not
been b red for the heavy draft work of the city, but
largely fo r the farm. For this purpose it ranks high
among the farm ers o f eastern England, who consider
it capab le of doing a l;uge amount of labor on a small
quantity of feed for longer periods than other
drafters. The breed is used more exclusively for
farm work than any other of the draft breeds.
Suffolks were first imported into U.S.A. in the
early 1880s and have been imported since then in
small numbers. However, these horses have never
gai ned a very strong foothold in the U. S. One
reaso n for t his has no doubt been the Jack of size as
compa red with other cl raft breeds. Another 'reason
that few have been imported h as probably been that
they have not been bred in very large numbers in
England, being confined to a limited area, and the
home demand of the farmers has been sufficient to
take care of most of the animals produced.
Furthermore, buyers in other countries have
purchased a good many at prices above what
Americans would pay.
The Suffolks in U. S. are found in small numbers
in a few states, but have never gained any strong
foothold, Consequently, their adaptability to U. S.
cond itions can scarcely be judged. The stallions have
been crossed to some extent on mares in the U. S.,
but demand for extreme size has prevented such
crossing from being carried on sufficiently to judge
its value, except in a small way.

!' .....- , •' • •

·~ . .~ . ~

..,.., ...
.__ ~

An lhony T. Scalzo's Suffolks line up for the camera. From

left to right are Empress, Queen, and Sprite. Scalzo Lives
in Red Creek, N. Y., and raises Suffolk horses. Tl1e
Suffolks in the U. S. arc found in small numbers in
various states, but have never gai ned any strong foothold ,
:111<l co nseq uently their adaptability to U. S. conditions can
scarcely be judged. The stallions have been crossed to some
ex tent on mares in the U. S., but demand for extreme
size has prevented such crossing from being carried on
sufficiently to judge its value, except in a small way.
Mules 15

The m ule is the classic example of the deliberate

and widespread use o f hybrization fo r producing
stock in which vigor is an important co nsideration.
The cross has shown consistently uniform results.
From its horse ancestry it inherits substance and
size, a nd to some extent alertness. From its ass
ancestry , it gets its steady going q ualities, sure-
footed ness, an cl the ability to withsta nd long periods
of hard labor in hot cli mates, in mi nes, and unde r
simila r adverse cond itio ns.
Tn the U. S., one of the earliest ancl most influential
sponso rs o f the mule was George Washington. In
1785, a jack and two jennets of the Andalusian breed,
gifts from the King of Spain, arrived at Mount
Vernon. This was the first recorded jackstock im-
portation in America n history. Later Washing to n
rece ived a Maltese jnck and jenne t from the Marqu is
de Lafaye t te. Washington b red the Maltese ja ck to
an Andalusian jenne t. The progeny, which he named
Compound, was the firs t "all-American" j ack . T his
Team of mu les pulls an Inte rn ational Harvester twine binder
jack sired some excellent mule stock, and the value in Lancaster County, Pa. Running this binder is a one-man
of the mule as a work animal was soon recogni zed operation.
by the early planters.

A tea m of 4 mu les pulls a new fertilize r o n a farm in

Lancaster Cou nty, Pa.

This mixed team of 5 horses and 4 mules works in Lancas ter

County, Pa. TI1e mule is th e classic examt>IC of the
deliberate and widespread use of hybridization for producing
This 9 mixed team of 5 horses and 4 mules is plowing a stock in which vigor is an important considerati on. 111e c ross
straight furrow in Lancaster County, Pa. TI1e plow is a two has shown consistently unifom1 results. Fro m its horse
bottom made by tile Oliver Corp. Behind the plow is a an cestry it inherits substance and size, and to some exten t
plow packer. alertness. From its ass ancestry it gets its steady going
q ualities, sure-foo tedness, and the abili ty to withstand lo ng
periods of ha rd labor in hot clima tes, in mines, and under
This team of 5 mules is disking under fertilizer o utside of similar adverse conditions.
the Rough and Tumble Engineers His torical Association's
show at Kinzer, Pa.
16 Oxen

Bazel L. Lohne's yoke of oxen are used for ox-pulling con·

tes ts. The oxen are of th e Ayrs hire breed, seven years old
and about 3,600 pounds in totol team weight. Bazel
Lohnes lives in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Cnnada. The
oxen wear either a "Neck" or n "Head" yoke when com-
peting. This team is us ing n head yoke. In either case. a
heavy chain is suspended from the center or the yo ke run-
ning down between t he oxe n and hooked to a cou pling at
the end or the sled used for pulling contests. This team
won first place at the International Ox Pull contest ut
Bridgewater in July 1976. Then they won firs t place at the
White hall Township Bicentennial Ox pulling contest at
Whitehall, Pa.. in September 1976.

One of Worth McClure's oxen is ready to pull the hay

wagon at the Williams Grove Historical St eam Engine
Assn. show. The an imal is of the Ayrshire breed, nine
years old and ab out 2,000 pounds in weight. Wort h
McClure lives in Holt Wood, Pa. Pict ures on an Egyptian
tomb, built some 1400 or 1500 years B.C., show grain being
cut with sickles and ca rried away to be threshed by t ramp·
ing oxen. Aside from the s ickle, which dal es back at least
to 3000 B.C., th ere was little mechanization or the harvest
until the middle 1800's. Pliny tells of a stripper · type
header, pushed by oxen yoked behind it and used in the
fields of Gaul during the first century of the Ch ri stian era.
but the idea faded into history .
Dare! Watkine's yoke of oxen is used for ox·pulling con·
tests. The oxen are of the Devon breed, nine years old and
about 3,550 pounds in total team weight. Dare! Watkines
lives in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. This team won
2nd place at the Whitehall Township Bicent ennial Ox
pulling contest at Whitehall, P a., in September 1976. The
oxen must weigh in at under 3.600 lbs. in order to qualify
for competition. Costing approximately $3.000 a pair,
these oxen possess an incredible amount of strength and.
with their strength. an accompan ying S200 mon thly ap· Kenneth Woodworth's yoke of oxen is used for ox·pulling
petite. co ntests. The oxen are of the Hereford breed, eight years
This is a very young team of Holstein steers . broke t o the old and about 3,200 pounds in total team weight. Kenneth
yoke and working. They are on parade nt the Williams Woodwort h lives in Ynrmout h, Nova Scotia, Cunuda. This
Grove His torical Steam Engine Assn. show at team won 4th pince at the Whitehall T ownship Bicenten·
Mechanicsburg. P a .. in August. 1976. Oxen are called oxen nial Ox pulling contest ut Whitehall. Pa.
only after they reach t he age of four. Before that age is
reached. t hey are called steers.
Oxen 17

Plowing is being accomplished with Kennet h

Woodworth's Hereford oxen at the Troxell·Sleckel House Eight teams of oxen are getting ready for the Troxell·
festival in Egypt. Pu. This demonstration was port of the Steckel House Feslivol oxen plowing demonstration in
Whitehall township's Bicentennial Weekend festival. Egypt. Po.
Kenneth Woodworth's is lending his oxen. He is from Yar·
mouth, Nova Scotia, Conada. The Egyptians used oxen to
pull wooden plowers, but plowing with oxen is slow. A
half ocre is a day's work.

These oxen are on parade in Coplay, Po. before going Lo

the Whitehall Township Bicentennial Ox pulling contest
in September, 1976. The oxen pulling contest wos port of
the "Whitehall township's Bicentennial weekend festival.

William Handlcy's yo ke of oxen ore pulling a big wheel

logging cart. The oxen are of the Devon breed, 19 yea1·s
old and about 3,200 lbs. in total weight of the team.
William Handley lives in Cambridge, Md. These oxen 01·0
at the Rough & Tumble Eng ineers Historical Assn. show
at Kinzer, P a .. every year. In the winter time up nortlt,
oxen are used for drogging heavy t imer out of the woods
for fuel and timber. This is still being done today by a few
oxen teams in the upper New England states. Poul D. Hoover's yoke of oxen is pulling a covered wagon
built in J 920. The oxen ar e of the H olstein breed und about
4,000 pounds in total weight of the team. Paul Hoover is
from Manchester, Pu. and owns bolh the tcnm and lhe
wagon. These oxen were in action nl the Williams Grove
Hisloricnl Stenm Engine Assn. s how nt Mechanicsburg.
Pn. in 1978.
Working With Horses
Thomas J efferson used principles of mathematics Among one of the earliest hay machines is a mower
in 1788 to make plow moldboards more e fficient. or grass-cutting maclline patented in 1822. This
Then, a cast-iron plo w was patented in 1797. This mower consisted of a series of scythes, circular in
development met with resistance at first because of shape, which rotated at the end of a shaft a few
fear that it poisoned the land and caused weeds to inches above the ground. With the rake, a man and
grow. But the idea of casting in o ne piece later horse could put hay in windrows at a rate of two or
opened the way to mass production o f identical three acres an hour - as fast as eight or ten men
machjnes from the same pattern. with hand rakes.
Westward-bound settlers were on the move, and Then, in a few years, came a series of reaper
those who reached the rich, black land of the inventions with reciprocating blades protected by
Mississ ippi River country were soon co nfronted with iron fingers or guards. This established the successful
a heart-breaking problem. Their iron-patched , wooden pattern for cutting devices for both mowers and
plows and cast-iron plows usually succeeded in reapers, and fo r combinations of both. At first,
breaking the prairie sod, but re fused to sco ur the cutter bars were rigid. That was also true of the early
second time over. The rich, black earth, high in single-wheel mowers as well as the reapers.
organic matter, clung to the moldboard, increasing Then came a significant milestone which set the
draft and making plows difficult to hold in the pattern for mowing machines o f the future - 2-wheel
ground . A padd le to clean moldboards was standard mowers with flexib le or 11inged bars. There we re
equipment fo r every plowman. The problem was so important patents on this development from 185 3
serious that many gave up their homesteads in to 1860. This was the turning point away fro m
disgust to return east where they could at least make combined machines, but even as late as I 880,
a seedbed to grow tlli er crops. combined mowers and reapers were still in general
When such a crisis presents itself, someone usually use.
rises to the occasio n, and this crisis was no exception. By 1865, it was reported , nearly all hay in this
Blacksmiths in the ne w country began fastening country was cut mechanically except o n the roughest
steel saw blades over the surfaces of wooden mold- ground .
boa rds. The smooth steel took on a polish and as a
resul t, it scoured in Illi nois soil , cuttin g the roots of
tough sod with much less draft.

A team of horses puUs a harrow in Lancas1cr County, Pa.

Back in the early 1800's, a brush harrow o r a log cut in the
woods was the only animal drawn implemen t for smoothing
the seed bed. Then came the flexibl e, wood-bar type
haaow with iron teeth. The next s tep was a spring-tooth
harrow with flexible teeth. This worked better over roo ts
and stones.
This Belgian horse is puUing a one horse walking plow at
the Eastern Pennsylvania Ho rse Plowing Contest. Th e judging
of the plowing includes condition of harness, depth of
plowing, width of plowing, evenness of furrow and s traight-
ness of furrow. lltls contes t is held every year at The
Alexander Farm, Schaeffe rs town, Pa.

Hece a team of Belgian horses is pulling a one bottom

Sulkey riding plow. The d river and the team were fro m
Dover, Delaware. This took place a t tJ1c Easte rn Pennsylvania
Horse Plowing Contest in 1975 on the Alexander Fann,
Schaeffcrstown, Pa. The two-wheel Sulkey Plow made its
appearance about 1864, and for the first tim e in his tory,
the plowman no longer had to plod his weary way on foot.
A few walki ng gang plows were in uso by that time,
particul:uly o n the Pacific Coast. By 1867, wnlking gong
plows were supported on wheels and later they were
equipped with scats.
Workin~1 With Horses 19

Unlike grain drills a11cl seeders, the corn planter is

strictly an American development, just as corn is a
native American crop .
A two-row com planter ca me in to th e picture in a
limited way in 1839, and the first checkrowe r, a
single-row walking planter, was invented in 1857.
Neither made much im pression.
One of the real milestones came in 1860 with the
appearance of a two-row corn planter which was
tripped by hand for cross-checking. The field was
cross-marked first and a man or boy pulled a trip
lever each time the planter runne~ crossed a mark. machine required two operators, one to d rive
and one to trip, but it was an important step fo rward
because farmers felt they needed to cross cultivate
in o rder to control weeds with the equipment they
had at the time. First patents on this plante r were
issued in 1853 , but the provision for a rider to -M"J~r:ti:·~· -:?£.4-
o perate the d ropping mechanism was covered by a J ~ :A ';#:A,..._ ~ "tY..-
patent in 1860. Elmer Lapp drives his team of tluee Belgian horses pulling a
That extra man on the planter was an immediate walking plow at the Eastern Pennsylvania Horse Plowing
Contest. Mr. Lapp is from Kinzer, Pa. Thomas Jefferson
challenge to inventors and in 187 5 an au tom a tic used principles of mathematics in 1788 to make plow
checkrower appeared which caught on. [t used mold boards more efficient. A cast·iron plow was patented
knotted cord at first to trip the planting mechanism, in 1797.
but planter wire took over later. Thus, the corn
planter became a .one-m an mach ine. Still another
improvement came in the early 1890s - th~ single-
kernel accumulative drop corn planter. It counted
out any desired number of kernels to be planted
in a hill.

This farmer is planting corn with a team of 11orscs and a

John Deere two·row com planter. Unlike gxain drills and
seeders, tl1c com planter is strictly an American develop·
mcnt, just as corn is a native American crop. One of the real
miles tones came in 1860 with the appearance of a two·row
A team of three Belgian horses pulls a wa lking plow at ti' e corn planter which was tripped by hand for cross-checking.
Eastern Pennsylvania Horse Plowing Contest. WestwarJ·
bound settlers were on the move, and those who reach~ d
the rich, black land of the Mississippi River country we:.:e
soon confronted with a heart breaking problem. Their
iron-patched, wooden plows and cast·iron plows usually
succeeded in breaking the prairie sod, but refused to scour
the second time over. The rich, black earth, high in organic
matter, clung to the moldboard, increasing draft an d making
plows difficult to hold in the grou nd. A paddle to clean
the moldboards was standard equipment for every plowman.
The problem was so serious tltat many gave up their home·
steads in disgust to return east where th ey could at least
make a seed bed to grow their crops.
Elmer O. Lapp is driving his team of five Belgian horses
pulling a two bottom 3-whecl sulky plow at th e Eastern Pa.
Horse Plowing Contest. He is from Kinzer, Pa. Another plow
milestone was recorded in 1884 witl1 th e coming of tlie
threshwheel sulky which gave the rider a great deal more
stability and safety. This plow also in troduced a new
principle of leveling, both in and out of the ground. About
1899, a foot lift was introduced.
20 Working With Horses

Tilis tedder is s till being used today in New Oxfo rd, Pa. Tl1is is a self-rake reaper made by O. M. Osb orne & Co.,
TI1e tedder enabled farmers to fluff up windrows o f hay Auburn , ' · Y. It is at the Eastern Pennsylvania Horse
which had become wet from rain. Improved hay tedders PIO\\~ng contest on Old Alexand er Schaeffer r arm ,
came out in th e I 850's. Schacfferstown, Pa. The horse plowi ng co ntes t is held
every year in September.

The Wrays and some neighbo rs are loading wheat and

taking it to th e barn for thresh ing. In the background a1e
sh~ked oats. A shock does two things. It holds the heads
of the wheat or grain up o ff the ground so a more complete
drying process can occur, and the s hocks mean less stops
for the bundl e wagons hauling the whea t or other grain to
th e threshing mach ines. A shock usualJy has 5 to 6 sheaves.

A close-up of Mr. ~·hay 's team of Perc hcrons gives a view

of the d r:ift ho rse harness. This harness consists of bridle,
collar, saddle and b reechings.

Here six matched Belgia ns pull a disk and a roller. Rolling

and disking at the same time makes a very smootl1 seed bed.

I •J tf!.

'· · .
Working With Horses 21

.. ·:::-=-~=--·:.:::=:-...::::.~ '

Drilling Alfalfa with two Belgians. This took place on

Elmer Lapp's farm in Lancaster County, Pa., with Lapp's
son, Evan, driving the team. The grain drill was made by
American Seeding Machinery Co., Springfield, Ohio. In the
A team of horses has pulled a load of cotn up to the
U.S.A., the first patent on a seeding machine was granted ensilage cutter. The com is being cut and put. into the silo.
in 1799, but in 1840 and 41 came developments which
distinguished American drills from those of English inventors.
These included devices for delivering the seed and regulating
its volume. The force feed invented in 1851 has been
described as "the most important invention of the drill
industry in America."

A one-row corn picker, made by New Idea and powered by

an Allis Chalmers gasoline engine, is pulled by . horses in
Lancaster County, Pa. There was some attempt to pick com
with machines in the l 860's and 70's, but the first com
picker patent considered important was allowed in 1880.
A few horse-ope.rated machines were built, with commercial
production reported in 1909. One-row pickers, both horse
and tractor-drawn, were sold during World War l, but for
all practical purposes, the corn picker waited fo r power
takc·oft' operations from the tractor.

At the silo, an ensilage cutter will chop the corn stalks and
blow the cut corn up the tube and into the silo. The cut
corn in the silo is called silage or ensilage. In the winter,
the corn silage is taken out of the silo and fed to the
animals. The first com ensilage cutters made their appearance
about 1876. Undoubtedly, the first storage of this succulen t
green feed was in trench silos, but upright silos were soon
reported, first square and then round. ln J882, only 99
farmers in the country owned silos, but the idea was on its
way. By providing a method or preserving green feed for
year-round use, the silo and ensilage cutter made one or the
truly great contributions to modern livestock feeding.
22 Working With Horses

Ray May's light draft team o f about 1,400 pounds each

pulls a wagon at the Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical
Assn.,, Pa. One horse is 8 years old and the other
is 1.0 years old. Ray Mays lives in Myerstown, Pa.

Raking with a team of horses and an International Harvester

rake. ·wood-frame, side-delivery rakes were tried in 1893
and proved so convenient they began replacing dump rakes
and tedders. In 1914, a left-hand, reel-type, side-delivery
rake appeared and farmers began thinking about curing
and handling their hay more carefully to save more leaves.

Clifford A. Teets, the author's grandfather, drives his team

of Percherons in 1938 on his dairy farm of registered
Guernseys in New Sewickly, Pa. He had tltree teams of
Belgians and Perchcrons. The author's mother still remembers
,f very clearly goin g to churc.h and high school by horse and
buggy. The auth or can still remember seei ng the horses
worki ng on the farm.

W. R. Collison's team of IO year old Belgian geldin~ pulls a

wagon at U1e Delaware State Fair Antique Machinery and
Steam Show, Harrington, Delaware. These Belgians arc about
1,900 lbs. each. The driver, Chris Wyatt, is from Harrington,
Del. W. R. Collison lives in Greenboro, Md. The man
wit11 the white beard behind the driver is tJ1c autllor's
father, O. E. Norbeck, a retired YMCA general secretary
witJ1 32 years of service. He is an autl1or of several books on
the American Indian.
Working With Horses 23

Mowing and crushing with a Wisconsin gasoline engine and

Mowing wi th a team of horses in Lancaster County, Pa. a New Idea mower crusher. A team of three Belgian horses
Among one of the earliest hay machines was a mower or is pulling the load in Lincaster County, Pa. By 1865,
grass-cutting machine patented in 1822. This mower con- it was reported, nearly all hay in this country was cut
sisted of a series of scythes, circular in shape, which mechanically except on th e roughest ground.
rotated at tJ1e end of a shaft a few inches above the ground.

Mowing and crushing with an Allis-Chalmers gasoline engine

and an International Harvester mower crusher, a team of
four mules pulls the load. This took place in Lancaster
County, Pa. From 1868, H. Cummings of Western Illinois,
invented and used a steam " mower, reaper and thresher," J. D. Adams a township t rustee in Indianapolis, invented
one of U1e pioneer l·man developments in the U. S. field this grader with adjustable leaning whe els in 1885. It was
of power farming. coiled the Li ttle Wonder. It wns a small, two-wheel, horse·
drawn machine with a 7-foot blade set at. a fixed angle, and
The machinery used to make carriage wheels and light and wooden wheels that leaned only to the left. By 1897,
heavy wheels for wagons. The picture is taken from Adams was able to build his own factory in Inclianapolis
C. & O. Cook & Co's. illustrated catalogue of Carriages and for the next 50 years it proved to be u development
and Special Business Advertiser, published by Dover Publi- center for new ideas in earthmoving equipment. In 1928,
cations, New York. he in troduced t.he self·propclled motor g rad er. The J .D.
Adams Co. wa s m erged with t h e LeTournenu·
Westinghouse Co. on January 1. 1955. Adams graders
have gradually become known as Wabco motor graders.
Today Wabco is part of Ameri can-Standard Co. The hom e
office is in Peoria, Ill.
National Brewing Company's 7-year old Shire, No11agc
Prince, is about 1,900 lbs. and a champion English Shire
stallion. He has U1e fine qualities needed for breeding
heavyweight hunters, open jumpers and superior draft
24 Cyrus McCormick
Mr. Cy rus Hall McCormi ck was born February 15, and a ca rpenter shop, as well as the forge shop. The
1809, on the fam il y fa rm. Walnu t Grove, in Rock- steel ~ u tting kni ves required especially fin e work-
bridge County, Virginia. As a boy, Cyrus went to the manship, and they were made for a time by John
Old Field School. When he was 15 , he fou nd that his McCown, a loca l blacksmi th who operated a tilt-
boyish physique was insufficient to swing a heavy hammer shop. and Inter by Selah Holbrook of Port
cradle in the harvest of grain; so he made a smaller Republic, 20 miles away. Robert, the inventor's
implement to suit hi s slight muscles. At 18 he made father, and Leander, a brother, and a few farm
himself some needed surveying instruments. Of helpers formed -the facto ry personnel as long as the
reapers were built at home. ~
greater importance was the invention of a hillside
plow, which was his first major cont ri bution t o Winter an~ spring at Walnut Grove were busy
modem agriculture. It is also certain tha t he was in seasons. Durmg these peri ods reapers were built and
const an t attendance on his fa ther's labor in the farm orders we re sol icited. Farmers woul d not , as a rnle
blacksm ith shop. order r:iach!nes un ti! they were assured of good crop~
In Jul y, 183 I, Cy ru s Hall McCormick invented and fa ir pri ces. Also, the improvements mad e from
built, and displa yed in <J publi c t1ial the world'~ time to tim e were o f doubtful value until they could
first successful rc:1per. Other men, both in America actuall y be tes ted in the harvest field. Building
and England , h;1cl attempted to build a mechanical re~pe rs for ant i ~ip:1 te d sales was entirely too specu-
grain-cutting ma chine, but few of them had ever lative at that time ; so production was limited to
gone beyond crude plans submitted to the patent actual sa les.
office. Non e of th em h;1d ever built a reaper that The. firs t reaper sales were made in 1840, when two
proved a success in the fi eld. Young Cyrus spent machines were so ld for the harvest of 1841. In the
three yea rs in furth er ex perime ntation before he was latter yea r imp ortant changes we re made in th e
suffi cientl y sati sfi ed wi th his machine to apply for a cutting apparatus, in cluding the reversing of the anole
patent. Th e McCormi ck rea per was patented June of serrations on the knife every inch~ and a lu~f.
2 1, 1834 . After 184 1, McCormi ck was fo r the first time
Un li ke most men gifted with true inventive genius, satisfied with the operation of his machine. He
Cyrus Hall McCo rmick devoted the rest of his long advertised that from that time on " purchasers would
and busy life in perfecting his one grea t invention. run no risk. since if the rea pers fo r 1842 were not
the reaper. making it more and -more avai labl~ strong and durable, and would not cut 15 acres a day
to farmers. The Harvest season in Virginia o ffered and save one bushel of wheat per acre ordinarily
but a short period each year for testing improvements lost by shelling when the cradle was used' they could
so developmen t of lhe reaper was of necessity slow. be returned." Seven reapers were sold fo; the harvest
New machines were bui lt almost every year, and the of I 842. Sa les jumped to 29 in 1843 and to 50
young inventor incorporated his latest changes i11 in 1844.
each new model. By l 840 Cyrus believed his ;eaper Th is sudde n de mand fo r reapers created a new
was sufficie ntly perfec ted to seek a wider market problem fo r the littl e facto ry on Walnut Grove Farm.
for it. How co.ulcl so . mnny machin es be built? Perhaps
The little log fo rge sho p in which the first reaper McCormick
. I real ized from the very beoinnino
o ::.
was bui lt servecl as the only fo ctory until 1843. On u I tim_ate y he must have a big facto ry in a wheat-
the McCormi ck ho111cs le;1cl were tiir1ber, a sawmill , growrng. coun ITy wh ere he cou ld supervise both
production and sal es ancl at the sa me time avoid
heavy tran sportation charges. Such a move at that
time was impossible b~cau sc of limited capital, so
Cyrus contra cted with various firms - first in
Brockport, N. Y., and Cin cinn ati, Ohio and later in
other cities - to manufact ure reape/s for their
respec ti ve com muni ties . Some of these contracts
provided that a ce rtain num ber of machines should
be built fo r which McCormick was to pay the manu-
facturer a stipubtccl sum; others were licensed to
buil? an unlim ited number of rea pers for a specific
tern tory , the manufadurer to pay McCorm ick a
royally on each machine built. Lenat h o f the con-
tracts varied from one to five years. During this time
Cyrus' father and brothers continued production at
home in the little log fo rge shop, while Cyru s
hjmself was busy traveling over the country, spreading
t he re;iper gospel generall y an d selling machines to
anyone whom he beli eved fi1rn nciall y able to buy.
Arrange ments with li censed manu fa cturers were
T eam of three mules pulls a McCom1i ck com hinder in neve! very satisfac to ry. McCormick insisted upon
Lancas ter County, Pa. Com bind e rs, whi ch borrowed the quali ty above ni l thi ngs and those not as interested as
knotter id ea fro m gra in bind ers , were developed in time for
th e Columbian Ex posi tion in 1893. himself in the reaper used in fe ri or materials, poorly
put toge ther. Un expected ord ers coming in from the
Cyrus McCormick 25

new western plains, com bined with trouble with his

licensed manufacturers, Jed to his move to Chi cago in
1847. He established a small factory on the north
bank of the Chicago River just east of the present
Michigan Boulevard bri dge. One by one his contrncls
with man ufacturers expired and were no t re newed.
McCormick preferred to forge ahead a lo ne, with the
reapers bui lt under his personal supervision by men
whom he could trust.
The new Chicago home, known as McCormick's
Reaper Factory, was a marvel of thal pionee r clay .
It was a three-story br ick buildin g; I 00 fee t by 30
fee t in ground area. A steam engine operated saws,
lathes, planing machines, and grind ing stones.
There were six fo rges in the first fa ctory building
and 33 men were employed . Cyrus' younge r brothers,
William S. and Leande r J. came to Ch icago with him
and late r joined him as partners. T h is was just the
beginning of a man ufacturing plant that was to grow
by leaps and bounds. Within eight years the factory
A close·up of a McCormic k corn binder in the field. This
had a daily capacity of 40 machines. Four thousand bin der is pulled by Uiree h orses. The corn binders replaced
reapers were built in 1856. U1e corn kn ife. Machine h uski ng of corn s tailcd about
McCormick knew but o ne standa rd by which to 1909.
measure the e ffici ency of his reapers- quality. He
used the best materials ob tainable and built t he
machines to give years of service to the fanner. He
had provided as a background for his reaper a new
kind of factory where, though he doubtless k new it
not, he was putting into practice the first steps
toward standardization and mass production , with a
sternly enforced code to insure quality in the
finished product.
During the fifty years following the invention of
the reaper in 1831 , McCormick sa w his ori ginal
machine grow into th e steel-frame twine bin der.
Slowly but surely it had progressed through the ' .

self-rake reaper, the Marsh harvester, the wire binder,

and the wood-frame twine binder. The inventor had
watched his reaper evolve from a macliine replacing
four or five cradlers in the harvest fi eld into o ne
which enab led one man to cut an d bind twen ty acres
or more in a day.
The YlcCormick Reaper Factory on the Chi cago William Johnson, a Percheron breeder from Dowingtown, Pa.,
River was complete ly destroyed by the great Chicago drives a team of Perchcrons pull ing a McCom1ick self-rake
reaper. T hi s self-rake reape r is kept at Rough & Tum ble
fire in 1871. Here again the inven tor's ind omi table Engineers Jlistori cal Assn., Kinzer, Pa. This reaper deposits
courage was not to be clowned . A few clays before b unches o f cut grain on th e s tubble, to be ha nd-tied with
the fire he had acq uired a new factory site on the straw. The nex t improvemen t afte r the self-rake reape r was
southwest side of the city-far away from the U1e wire-t ie binder, followed by the twine-tie binder.
crowded center of Chicago. To insure plenty of room
fo r growth, he bought a wide expanse of prairie land
where his vacant acres might serve fi rst as testing
fields and then fo r the ex pand ing ind ustry he
foresaw. On this new site was built McCormick
Works, which soon became and ever since has bee n
the greatest fa rm implement factory in the world.
Elmer D. Lapp drives his team o f Belgian horses pul ling
his one ro w com cultiva to r made by McCo nnic k qcering
in 1943. He still uses this com cultivator today on his farm
in Kinzer, Pa. A wheel cu ltivator was patented in 1846.
The straddle-row, two-horse walking cultivator, a greatly
needed improvemen t, was paten ted in 1856, but did no t
come in to general use until the I870's. La ter, the inven tors
an d manufacturers devised seats for straddle-row c ulti-
va tors and for the first ti me in all history, " the man wiU1
the hoe" could sit down to his importan t task.
John Deere
The life of John Deere, the pionee r blacksm ith From wro ught iron he made the lanclsicle and
who gave to the world th e steel plow, is a story that standa rd, and from white oak he made the hand les
parallels the set tlement and development o f the great and beam . Many trials were made on nearby fa rms.
Middlewest, golden land o f promise to the ho me- After each trial , the blacksm ith carried the plow back
stead seekers of the 19th century. to his shop, took it a part and changed the curve of
The third son of William a nd Sarah Deere, John th e mold board to improve tl1e performan ce of his
Deere was born in Ru tland , Ve rmont, February 7, plo w. Day after clay, ea rl y in the mornin g and late
1804. While he was still a boy, the fa mily moved to in to tl1e night he toiled - working out his "Great
Middlebury , Vermont, where his boyhood and young Idea".
manhood were spent. Herc. he received a common Long before the plow was com pleted, people of
school education and served a 4-year apprenticeship the entire coun t ryside we re talking about John Deere
learning the blacksmith's trad e under Captain and his ne w plo w.
Benjamin Lawrence. On January 28, 1827, he was Th en came the clay whi ch was to mean so much to
married to Demarius Lamb of Granville, Vermont. the infant agricultural industry of the New West.
During the following decade, Jolm Deere estab- John Deere shouldered his plow, carried it to the
lished his reputation as a master mechanic a nd river ba nk , p laced it in a boat and rowed across the
gai ned considerable fam e as a maker of hay forks and river to a farm owned by Lewis Crandal l, where it
shovels. But a period of misfortune came. Twice his was sa id that no plo w would eve r scour. While a group
shop burned down. Business conditions in Vermonl of inte nsely interested farmers looked on, John
were depressed. To the ambitious young blacksmith, Deere hitched a borrowed horse to the plow, grasped
the future looked very gloomy. the handles, spoke to the horse, ancl the test was
Then came tales of the golden op portunities of started . A clean-cut furrow a ncl a clean-shed furrow
the New West. These tales so firecl Joh11 Deere's slice marked his path. The black, sti cky soil shed
enthusiasm that he decided to dispose of his business clea nly from the moldboa rd. The plow which pioneer
in Vennont and move to the land of promise. Leaving farmers knew as " John Deere's Self-Pol isher" was a
his wife and family to join him later, he set ou t wilh success . Thus did John Deere "give to the world the
his bund le of tools and small amou nt of cash. steel plow.
Traveling by canal boat, lake boat, and stage coach, As fast as John Deere coulcl make his pl o ws they
he arrived at Grand Detou r, Ill. in 1836 . were sold to th e prairie farmers around Grand
Two days after arrival he had set up a black- Detour. His business cont inued to grow. Soon the
smith shop and was repairing a broken mill shaft. yearly output was 1,000 plows.
Here he was kept busy shoeing horses and oxen In 184 7, the 4-ycar partnersh ip of Andrus & Deere
and repai1ing the plows of the pio neer farmers. was d issolved and John Deere moved to Mol ine,
Every clay he heard the complain t, "No plow will whe re he buill a shop, and nrnn ufacturccl 700 plows
scour in lhis heavy, sticky soil a fter the first the first year.
breaking". Beginning with a small blacksmith shop in Grand
He saw caravan after caravan of landseekers passing Detour, 111., John Deere, the pioneer plow builder,
through the fertile prairies, pushing on into the through his untiring e nergy, keen fores igh t , and
timberlands, there to clea r the land and establish executive ab ility, blazed th e way with a clea n-cut
farms where their crude iron plows would work in furrow fo r development into one of the world's
the more friab le soil. grealest industries .
John Deere. recognizing the enormous wealth of The imple ments which bear his name are known
the prairies and the vast agricultural possibilities of and widel y used throughout the civi lized world- a
the New West, set about building a plow that would fitting tribute to the man who gave to the worl d
scour. He believed that the m oldboa rd and share the steel plow.
should be made of steel - shaped in such a way that
the surface would clean itself as the plow cut and
turned the furrow slice.
On a log, he carved the shape he desired for the
moldboard and share of his plow. TJ1en he obtained
from Leona rd Andrus, owner of the commun ity
sawmill, who was to become his partner in business
six years later, the only steel available - a piece of
a broken mill saw blade. He heated it and shaped the .. -:.1~<\.•:~.,.
one-piece moldboard and share over the pattern -

fo r work.

111111 j -
afterwards harden ing the steel to adapt i t bette r~ ...::.·. , .:-d~~lilli~:I.
', •«; -~..

• ·.r
~ \~

Ken Wray is driving a team of three Percheron horses pulling

a John Deere binder on his fann at Ford City, Pa. The John
Deere binder was made about 1930 and is still used today o n
Wray's form.
John Deere 27

This mbced team of 4 horses and 2 mules is pulling a John A J ohn Deere wheel rake and a team of horses get
Deere harrow. Following the Civil War, iron and s1ccl came together to bring in the hay in Lancaster County, Pa.
into more general use and began to replace wood for Although wh eel rakes are relatively n ew, the old type
harrow farmers. Farmers began to hitch three or four sweep or buck rakes date back to around 1885. The por t·
sections together to speed up the preparation of seedbeds. able hay stacker reached the market about 1882. Among
the earliest hay machines on record was a horse-drawn,
wooden, revolving rake, invented about 1820.

Five Belgians and one Perchcron pull a .loh n Dee re disk in
Lancaster, Pa. Disk harrows and spring tooth harrows came
into use in the late 1860's, but it was not until the latler

Concave blades for

setting the pattern
tillage f'ools.

This John Deere manure spreader, owned by Walter Messick

of Harrington, Del., can be seen a1 the Antique Machinery
Show, Delaware State Fair, Harringlon. The manure spreader,
which has since become a symbol _of ~ood farming in
livestock areas, came into the record in 1865. This was the
first spreader of che wagon type. The endless apron made
its first appearance in 1877 on what has been described as
the firs! commercially known spreader.

Chronological Evolution of U.S.

Steam Traction Engines
1849 - The earl y s team engines furnished belt
power. but they had to be pulled by horses o r oxen.
One of the first to be produced in the United States 1867 - R. J. t11111 of Savannah, Ga ., patented an
was the Forty- 1ine r. It was built in Philadelphia in "improvement in land conveyance." Jt was essentially
1849 by A. L. Archanbault in 4, I 0 and 30 horse- two or )nore bands running over a series of grooved
power sizes. The sma llest of these weighed 2 tons, rollers that were mounted in a f rame and driven
or 1,000 pounds per horsepower. t hrough a larger roller powered by a steam engine .

185 0 - T he Bake r and llamilto n Co. marketed a 1867 T ho mas S. Minnis o f Meadville, Pa.,
moveab le threshing e ngine in 185 0. The boiler had a pa le n tecl a locomo tive for p lowing. According to
ja cket of 2-in ch s taves, held in p lace by brass bands, Hal Higgins, an aut' ho rit y on po wer farming, " Iowa's
and co uld burn wood , co:i l, o r straw. l t had an Ames first dirt fannin g tracto r was t his Min nis Crawler
engine and Luafcn burg bo ile r and was built by th e from Pen nsylvani a tha t ca me out to the raw prairie
Ames h o n Wo rks of Os wego, N. Y. In this year also, wi thin sight or the new Io wa Sta te Agricu ltural
Gideon Mo rg:1n of Calho un , Tenn . received a patent College as t he fi rst: stude nts started attending classes
on a wheel subs ti tu le. The language of his patent within sigl1t or its smoke."
was for an improvemenl in track-type tract or design ;
t he devclopmenl o r the craw le r type tract or in the 1868 Ph il ander Stand ish bui lt the Stand ish steam
United Stales therefore mus t h~lVC begun before I_850. rotary plow, the Mayflowe r, at Pt1checo , Cal. in 1868.
It was offered for sale in severa l sizes, ranging from
1854 -· Henry Ames was one of very ea rl y builders 10 to 60 horsepower. Operating speed was I .7 to
and advocates of steam power on the fam1. He 3.4 miles per hour. and the plowing rate was up to
founded a factory lo make moveable engines in 1854. 5 acres an hour. T his same year, Owen Redmond of
Rochester. . Y., patented a s team plow.
1855 - The next step in the evolution of farm
power was the conversion of the portable steam 1870 - A repo rt of the Commissioner of
engine into a se lf-propelled steam trnction engine. Agriculture in 1870 announced that "a gang of 6
The first one was deve loped primari ly for p lowing. plows, designed to go with the engine has been
Obed Hussey of Baltimore invented and put in to constructed; intended to be operated by one man ,
operat ion a "stc;,im plow" in 1855. who also might be the fi reman." Again , T homas S.
Mfonis of Meadvi lle, Pa., patented a steam tractor
1858 J. S. Fawkes o f Ch ris tiana, Pa., p rodu ced a mounted o n 3 t r:i cks 2 in t he rea r a nd one in the
more successful s te:1111 plowing outfit in 18 58 . Its front. Each rea r t ra ck was driven by a steam engin e,
frame wus of iron, 8 fee l wicle and 12 fee t lon g, and attached at t he rea r, throu gh pinio n and ·chive gear.
rested o n the ax le of a ro lle r (d river) 6 feet in
diameter and 6 fee l wide. 1873 Robert C'. Parvin o f Il lino is bu il t a steam
tractor propelled by an endless chain of steel pl ates
1859 - Presidcn l Abraham Lincoln, in an add ress to wh ich "fee l" shod with 2-inch p lank, were
before the Wisconsin S talc /\gricu ll ural Societ y at attach~~d. It pu ll ed 6 p lows .
Milwaukee, in 1859, sa id: "The successful application
of steampowcr to farm work is a desicleratum - 1870's (late) M:rny farmers sta rted buying self-
especia ll y a steam plow. It is not enough that p ropelled steam e ngines in the late I 870's. During
a machine operated by stea m wil l really plow. To be th is time. inventors devised a suit:ible gearing for the
successful, it must. all things considered , plow better rear wheels of portable s team engines of the wheel
than can be done by animal power. It must do all type and also a chain or bell drive from the engine
the work <JS well, and cheape r, or more rapidly. so as flywheel to a cou ntc rshaft of this gearing to provide
to get through more perfectly in season; or in some self-propulsion.
way afford an advantage over plowing with animals,
else it is no success."

Chronological Evolution of U.S.

Steam Traction Engines
1880 - A United States patent was issued in More than 30 firms were now manufacturing 5,000
1880 for a steering devise, alth ough English tractors large steam traction engines a year. These tractors
were fitted with steering gears as early as 1863. were Lmprovements over earlier models. Th.e gearing,
TI1ere followed the introduction of a clutch and shafting, a nd other wearing parts we re built to with-
gear train be tween the engine and rear wheels. The stand the immense strains imposed upon them in
steering gea rs on these early steamers we re not at pulling large threshers and plowing many furrows at
first considered reliable by some manu facturers, one time. Big wheat farm s and ran ches in the
and operators were cautioned abo ut their use on Dakotas, Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, K ansas ,
public highways. California and western Canada were using steam
tractio n e ngin es.
1890 -- The Stockton Wheel Co. (later th e Holt
Manufacturin g Co.) b uilt its first track-type steam 1904 - Benjimen Holt successfully de monstrated
traction engin e in 1890. Topography, soil, and large his first track-type tractor near Stoc kto n, Cal. , in
acreages led farmers on the Pacifi c Coast to accept 1904 after considerable experimentation, in wh ich
this type of tractor more readily than farmers in he devised a pair of rough wooden tracks that he
other sect ions. In this year.. about 3 ,000 steam installed on a steam engine from whi ch th e wheels
tractors a nd almost that many stea m threshers had been re moved.
were built. He mad e use of 3 clutches- the master clutch, for
connectio n the power source, and the track clutches.
189 0's (early) - One of the first attempts to manu- When the track clutch was released on o ne side, the
facture tra ck-type tractors commercia ll y was made power app lied through the track clutch on the other
by Alvin 0 . Lombard of Waterv ille , Ma ine in the side caused the tractor to pivot around the cleclutched
ea rly 1890s. Another track tractor was the Centiped track. Applicatio n of brakes on the cleclu tched side
Log Hau ler ma nufactured by the Phoenix Manu- increased the speed of turning. This me thod of
fa ctu1ing Co. o f Eau Claire, Wis. lt resembled the transm issio n con tinues to be used by the Caterpiller
Lombard machine , but it used a ve rti cal instead of Tractor Co . and has been adopted by most other
horizontal e ngine. manufacture rs of tracklaying tractors.

1894 - Seve ral plow manufa cturers advertised 1907 -· On ly 8 of the track-type Holt steamers
multiple-bot to rn steam tractor plows in 1894. were built. Holt had already made ex pe rime nts to
replace stea m power by gasoline, and one model
1900 - A o ne wheel outfit was made by the Best tractor of the track-type, which burned gasoline,
Manu fac turing Co. in 1900 fo r the Middle River was produced in 1907 .
F arming Co. of Stockton, Cal. It had 2 wood-covered Before the abandonment of the stea mer and the
drive wheels 15 feet wide and 9 fee t in diameter. accepta nce of the gaso line tractor, many improve-
It weighed 4 1 tons. ments had been made, and the performan ce of the
huge self-p ro pelled powerplants was the p ri de of the
1901 - Alvin 0. Lombard of Wate rville, patented tractio n-engine engineers who pion eered in the
one of the first practical track-type tractors in 1901. ultimate pla cing of power in the ha nds of 6 million
He substituted rol lers for the balls. He built a farmers in this country. Then came the gasoline
workable tractor and sold a number of niachines. The engin e . Early attempts to develop gasol ine tractors
unit was " d esigned specially for transporting lumber were sparked by the need to red uce the size of the
and Jogs over rough roads and over cross country threshing cre ws. Such crews in cluded two men to
in the Main e woods." The front was suppor ted by operate the stea m engine, two to hau l coa l a nd water,
runners in wi nter and \.Vheels in the summe r. The two to operate the thresher, a waterboy, a nd several
power-drive n tracks were in the rear. men to haul bundles to the thresher a nd the grain
away by horses and wagons.
30 Portable Steam Engines
No one knows exactly when the steam engine was 1850s and early '60s portable models were introduced
first used for farm power, but it was around 1850. to run threshers. At first they were pulled from farm
Up to that time, sweeps, treadmills and to some to farm with horses, but later models propelled
extent, windmills, had been about the only improve- themselves and pulled the threshers. Still, since a
ment over hand power to operate stationary machines suitable steering gear had not been invented, these
like threshers, feed mills, wood saws and others. machines continued to utilize horses for guidance.
These steam engines were stationary, but in the late

Very rare is the 12 H.P. Canton Moniior steam portable The Aultman & Taylor steam portable engine was built
built in 1890 by C. Aultman Co., Canton, Ohio. It is owned in 1904. This picture was taken from an Aul tman &
by Reynolds Museum, Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada. This Taylor Machinery Co. catalog. This engine was built in
po rtable steam engine supplied belt power in 1890, but 8 to 20 H.P. sizes.
had to be pulled from job to job by horses.

Tho Aultman & Taylor Hector steam portable engine was

An Aultman & Taylo r stea m portable engine built in 1905. built in 1905. This picture was taken from an Aultman &
Aultman & Taylor Machine ry Co. was located in Mansfield, Taylor Machinery Co. catalog. This engine is a 25 H.P.,
Ohio. This engine was built in 8 to 20 H.P. sizes. mounted on a high pressure steel boiler.
Portable Steam Engines 31

-- - -
Baker & Hamilton built this steam portable engine in 1883.
-= The Bay City steam portable engine was built in 1898.
This engine was built by the Bay City Iron Works, Oakland,
Cal. It burned coal, wood or straw.
l11e Baker & Hamilton Co. was located in San Francisco.
l11is engine, with a Laufenburg boiler, sold new for S2,100.
The Laufenlrnrg boiler burned straw, wood o r coal.

The Benicia steam portable engine was built by Baker &

Hamilton Co. of San Francisco, Cal. This engine burned
straw, wood, coal or oil. lt was mounted on patent iron
wheels, having 6-inch tires, had a convenient and substantial
brake, and two seats for the driver and firman.

The Best portable steam engine was made in 1889 by the

John Best & Son Co., Lancaster, Pa. This portable was made
in 4, 6, 8, JO, 15 and 20 H.P. sizes. Best made ho rizontal,
vertical, portable and hoisting engines, light and heavy
brass castings, ligh t and heavy iron castings, pulleys, shaftings,
hangers, gearing pipe and steam fittings.

l11e New Birdsall steam portable engine is pictured in a

1901 New Birdsall Co. catalog, Auburn, N. Y. This outfit,
both portable and on skids, was made in 6, 8, I 0, 12, 16,
18, 20 and 25 H.P. lt is mounted on iron trucks and was
provided with pole wh iffctrees, neckyoke and serviceable
brake, with a scat for the driver in front of the fly wheel
on the right-hand side.
Portable Steam

The Blandy steam portable engine was built in 1856 b)• The Blymer steam portable engine was built in 1879 by
Blandy Steam Engine Works, Zanesville, Ohio. The 3 H.P. Blymer Mfg. Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio. T hese engines were
new cost $300 while the 35 H.P. new cost $2,300. built in 6, 8, 10 and 12 H.P. versions. The 6 to 8 H.P. cost
Sizes were 3, 6, 8, 12, JS, 20, 25, 30, and 35 H.P. $775, the 8 to 10 H.P. cost new $900, and the 10 to 12 M.P.
cost new $1,025. the cylinder and guid es were bored
together to insure accuracy, and it was impossible for
them to get out of line. The steam chest was cast solid with
tlle cyliruter, thus saving a troublesome joint. The valve was
a slide valve. The cylinder had self-adjusting packing rings.
The connecting rod and crank shaft was of hammered iron,
and the valve rod and piston rod were of steel. The bearings
were large and of the best metal, niceiy fitted, and easily
adjusted. The pump was fitted with air and vacuum
chambers, enabling it to Hft and draw water from a distance.
The engine was mounted on a substantial bed plate and set
on top of the boiler.

T11is Buffalo Pitts portable engine was built in 1896 by

the Buffalo Pitts Co. of Buffalo, N. Y. This engine is a
straw burner. It was built in 14, 16, 20 and 25 11.P. sizes.
This is a regular retmn flue, straw burning boiler. All
sizes were fitted with independent steam pump and injector.
A driver's seat, convenient side steps for mounting, pole,
whiffetrees and ncckyoke, were furnished with all po rtable
· engines. A wheel brake was furnished when ordered. The
20 and 25 H.P. units had center-crank engines.

-- This 16 H.P. Buffalo Pitts steam portable engine was

pictured in a 1902 Buffalo Pitts Co. catalog. 1l1is engine
had a side crank. All the larger sizes had t:he cen tcr crnnk
engines with two band wheel.s.

Portable Steam

This .I. l. Case steam portable engine was pictured in an

1897 .I. 1. Case Co. catalog. This engine is a coal o r wood
burner, or a direct flue straw burner. These engines came
in 5, 10, 12 and 16 H.P. simple ty pes, and 8, 12, 15, and
20 horsepower compound types. Each engine was furnished
with a brake made of wro ugh t iron and supplied with large
wood shoes. The was connec ted to U1e foot lever at
TI1is E. E. Carter stea m po rtable engine was pic tured in a fron t end of boiler. The engine was completely under control
1884 E. E. Cur ter & Co. catalog. Bu.ill in Allecheny, Pa., of the driver while on the road.
this encin e used a curved flue to avoid expansion. All
hearing -surfaces were covered with water. It had a soft or
fusibl e plug, in case of low water, and a large safety
valve with a two inch opening. -This engine cost $350.

111e 15 H.P.. J. I. Case steam po rtable: engine was pictured

This 6 H.P. J. I. Case stea m portable engine was pictured in a 1906 J. 1. Case Co. catalog. This engine is a 9 x 10
in a 1906 J. I. Case Co. catalog. Built in Racin e, Wis., inch cylinder simple. The rear end was supp orted by steel
this portable was a 6 x 8 inch cylinder simple engine. This axle aans which were held by strong brackets bolted to tl1e
engine weighed, with boiler empty, 4,250 lbs. and cost side sheets of the boiler. The axle arm s had bearing in the
S4 75. A 2,400 pound team of horses would handle this long hubs of the extra large wheels. The latter were regular
engine on the ordin:uy country road. steel rims and spoke type wiU1 smoot11 surfaces, sufficiently
large to insure easy draft. This engine sold for $850 new.

J. 1. Case Co. of Racine, Wis., built U1ese portables in sizes

from 18 to 80 H.P. With the exception of the 18 and 30
H. P. models, all sizes could be fitted wiU1 straw·buming J. I. Case portables were built in sizes from 18 to 80 H.P.
attachment and jacketed boiler at an extra cost of SSO. The 18 H.P. cost S600 and the 80 H.P. cost $1,300.
Portable Steam

G. & G. Cooper & Co. of Mount Vernon, Ohio, offered this

portable in 1882. Iron truck wheels were always furnished
wi th the common farm c nhrinc. Parties wan ting wooden
tn1ck wheels could specify them when ordering. A fire C. & G. Cooper & Co. of Mount Vern on, Ohio, in 1882
pump a ttachm ent w;is extra. built many of these engines with traction gearing. Most of
the customers were wiUing to pay the <liffercnce in cost
for the traction gears.

This C. & G. Cooper & Co. 1882 center cran k steam po rtable
engine' is mounted on wheels. These e ngines were also
mounted on skids or siUs when required. The engi ne ca me
in 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 H.P. sizes.

lllc C. & G. Cooper & Co. in 1882 offered this steam

portable engine. The 12 11.P. cost Sl,200, the 15 H.P.
cost SI ,400, and the l 8 11.11• cost Sl,575.

Empire Agricultural Works of Cobleskill, N. Y., bu ilt this

engine, eq uipped with steel boiler, double hinged smoke
stack, large double feed door, s pring sea t, and brake.
Empi res were built in 6, 8, I 0, 12, 15, and 20 H.P. sizes.
Portable Steam

This 70 11.P. Enterprize steam portable engine was pictured

in a 19 14 Enterprize Co. catalog. Each one of tl1c boilers
was tested. to 265 lbs. PSI in cold water pressure after
assembling. After all parts and fittings were ntlachecl,
engi neers fired each one and carried a pressure of 175 lbs.
wh ile the safety valve and steam gauge were se t at the
The 16 to 60 H.P. En tcrpri ze steam poriable engine was pressure. TI1is engine was of center crank cons truction,
pictured in a 19 14 Enterprize Co. catalog. Built in with balance discs on Ole crank shaft. The entire e ngine was
Columbiana, Ohio, this engine could be detached Crom the of heavy construction , suitable for high pressure and high-
boiler and could be mounted on skids on or off the boiler. speed opera ti on.
This engine 's fLrc box was a full water bottom, unusually
large and deep for wood fuel . The fue door was placed well
to U1e top so that the fire box could easily be filled when
firing. The dome was placed directly over tl1e fire box
and was of sufficient size to supply U1e engine wiU1 dry
hot steam.

This 6 to 20 H.P. Erie s team portable engine was pictured

in an 1874 Erie City Iron Works catalog. 111is cngi11e is a
center-crank, mounted on a portable boiler. Ex tra heavy
oak timber, framed and bolted togeUler, forms its foundation.

111is 5 to I 0 H.P. Eric s team portable engine was built in

1874 at Erie, Pa. The detached portable engines were built
in six sizes, from 8 horse to 30 H.P. These engines were
com plete, wiU1 the necessary oil cups, steam gauge, water
ga uges, wh istle, gauge cocks, throttle, blow-off, check, stop
and safe ty valve, governor, ; bel t, pulleys, pump and heater.

The 6 to JO H.P. Erie steam portable engine was pict ured

in an 1888 Erie City Iron Works catalog. The crank shafl
was made longer than regular, and extended underneath the
boiler, having an out-end bearing on the opposite side.
Driving pulleys were placed on each end of this shaft and
were interchangeable. The exhaust was taken from the
heater through the bottom of the smoke box and into
the stack.
36 Portable Steam Engines

This pic ture was taken from a 1903 A. B. Farquhar Co.

catalog. These engines were complete, with hinged smoke·
stack, spark arrester, governor, steam and water gauges,
suction hose and everything, in short, tl1at a portable
engine should have to be ready for work. In use, this
engine stands verti cal. The company did not furnish the
A. n. Fa rq uhar of Yo rk, Pa., offered H1is Aja..x steam front wheels, except on o rder. Front wheels :md tongue
portable engine in 1903. The cylin der was secured to a bed were su pplied at extra price. Engines were furnished with
plate in such a way as to insure the engine to be always an injector.
in li ne. It was accurately bored, and had a spring-pac ked
double-ring piston fitted to it, which experience had sho wn
to be tl1e most serviceable and economical when properly
constructed. All engines were fitted with injectors. The
spark arrester and exhaust nozzle were of an approved
pattem. The engi ne was se t very low on the boiler, thus
preven ting the tendency to ovcr·tum. Driver's seats and
foot brakes were put on all Ajax engines.

The 4 lo 50 H.P. A. B. Farquhar steam portable engine w;is

pictured in a 1907 ca talog. This was the Style 13, improved
Aja.x center crank engine. All the portable engines were
mounted on heavy steel axles and wheels. Steel wheels
were always used, unless otherwise specified. Wood wheels
with steel tires could be furnished at the same price, if so
desired and sta led in the order. Each engine was furnished
with a tongue , including breast chains and whifllctrees,
hand brake, smoke-stack, one ejector, governor, governor
belt, and all necessary fittings and fixtures, ready to fire up.

The l 2 to SO H.P. A. B. Farquhar steani portable engine

was pictured in a 1907 A. 13. Farquhar Co. catalog. Tltis
engine used the Comish boiler. The engine was the standard
improved Aja..x center crank. 1l1e fire box extended through
the boiler and was specially suited for burning wood, com
stalks and straw. TI1 e company did not recommend this
boiler for coal.

A. B. Farquhar's Style B rig was a center crank on a

locomotive boiler on wheels. Regular equipment with the
locomotive boiler included grates, stack saddle, stac<k daniper
up to and including 40 H.P., one safety valve up to and
including 40 M.P. un its, two safety valves on 50 H.P. and
larger models, gauge cocks, blow·off valve, water gauge,
blower, st·eam gauge, smoke box, ring and door, fire door,
flue cleaner, poker, ash pan up to 60 H.P. models, tongue,
whiffletrees, and hand brake on the styles G and B.
Portable Steam Engines 37

Th e 3 to I O H.P. A. B. f:irquh ar ste:1m portable engin e

was built in 1907 by the A. U. l'arquhar Co . o f York, Pa.
This vertical mounted rig was ex actly like the regular side
crank engine, but mo unted <m u vertical tubular boiler. The
ver tical engine and boiler made a very desirable rig where
economy of space was necessary. A. B. F:1rqu har Co. of Yor k, Pa., o ffered this Style S rig,
a center c rank engine on a deep fire boiler on wheels. Some
of the regular equipment with locomotive deep fire box
boiler, included a smoke stack, spark arrester, injector,
jacketing, and an oil burning attachmen t.

ln the background is a 20 H.P. A. B. Farquhar portable ·mis picture is from an 1878 Frick Co. catalog. TI1is engine
steam e ngine running a saw mi ll. ln front is Harvey go1 the highest centennial award and special men tio n by
Studebacker's \6-Bclgian !h-Pcrcheron team of horses. T he the U. S. Centenn ial Comm ission , in the In ternati onal
team weighs about 3,200 lbs., and are 11 and I 2 years old. Exhibition, Phil adelphia, in 1876.
They arc h itc hed up to Charles Mc Murry 's waler wagon
bui tJ in 1928. 'When it ca me lime to move to an other job, the
team o f horses would pull the portable ste am engine and
the water wagon , and if threshin g, pull the threshers also.
Harvey Studebacker, owner of this team, is sitting on the
waler wagon. Titis action took place at the Nor thwestern
Pa. Steam Engine and Old Equipment Assn. show in
Portersville, Pa.

The 4 to 15 M.P. Fric k s team portable engi ne was built in

1906 by th e F rick Co. o f Waynesboro, Pa. This engine's
traveling wheels were large and powerful, and made entire ly
o f iro n. TI1e boiler was suspended on springs for traveling,
which were let down when a t work . l11cre was a powerful '"""--
brake on U1e hind wheels, very useful for staying the
engin e when at wor k. Th e e ngine was carried on top of the
boiler, restin g o n n po werful bed plate, which was hollowed
out to form a receptacle for oil leakage. 11\is could be
detached from the hrnckets and the engine converted into a
fixed horiz ontal engine , if required.
Portable Steam

A 50 H.P. Frick steam portable engine, built in 1924 by

the Frick Co. Waynesboro, Pa., owned by Raymond Widman
of Martinsburg, Pa. This engine appears at the Morrison's
Cove Pioneer Power Reunion, Mar tinsburg, Pa.
A Frick 50 and 65 brake 11.P. improved center-crank engine
with a slab burning return flue boiler of 150 pounds
working pressure. TI1is engine was conveniently fired with
slabs, mill offals and o the r cheap fuel, requiring little or no
preparation. ll1e lire or slab·buming space was a heavy
fire·box steel flue, 24 inches in diameter, entirely surrounded
by water, extending all the way tluough the boiler to a
large, completely water lined combustion chamber. From
this point, the heated anti burning gases arc returned again,
a second time, through the watcr - tl1is time through 2-inch
charcoal iron tubes, effectively and uniform ly radiating tlie
heat resulting from 1w1c tically complete combustion. The
tube heads were s tayed by 3 crow-foot braces each. Hand
holes in the heads and shell were so located to facilitate
cleaning and flushing. The e ngine had a reinforced bed at
the crank pillow blocks, balanced valve, adjustable valve-rod
guide, 2 piston packing rings, force-feed oil pump, Penberthy
injector, pickering bell ranger governor, steam and water
gauges, gauge cocks, safety valve, blow-off valve, whistle,
tongue, double and single trees, breast chains, brake, fire
irons and tools furnished as regular equipment. This picture
was taken from a 1925 Frick Co. catalog.

TI1is 36 11.P. Frick steam portable engine, built in 1924 by

the Frick Co. Waynesboro, Pa., is owned by Carl Campbell
of Mansfield, Pa. Art Taylor is running the Frick portable,
working the saw miU. The portable was caUed the Eclipse,
and was made in 20 to 50 H.P. sizes.

A 50 H.P. Frick s team. portable engine, built in 1924 by

lhc Frick Co. Waynesboro, Pa., owned by Rough and
Tumble Engineers llistorical Assn. of Kinzer, Pa. This Frick
portable is a 9112 x 10 inch and is used to make steam for
the steam models to run at· the show every year. 111e author
is a member of Rough & Tumble, which has a steam
model building. 11ds portable's engine number is 26275.

TI1e 20 to 40 1-1.r. Frick steam portable engine was pictured

in a 1906 Frick Co. ca talog. This portable was named
Eclipse. In the large r sizes, the company used a new method
of mounting the boi le r on sills, giving great strength and
stiffness. The engi ne and boiler were the same as the 4 to
15 H.P. models. The tru c k wheels could be taken off and
the outfit set down on the sills.
Portable Steam Engines 39

Gaa r Scott showed this s team portable engine in its 1908

cal:ilog. The Richmond, lnd. company built this e ngine in
The 8, I 0, and 12 H.P. Gaar Scott steam portable engine 13, 16, 18 and 20 H.P. sizes. 'I11c band wheel of the 6 H.P.
was pictured in an 1875 Gaar Sco tt Co. catalog. Thi s engine e ngine was on the left side. On all larger engines the band
used a circular fire box boiler. The circular form of th e whee l was on the right hand side. Brakes we re extra and
fire hox allowed the sediment to settle easily lo a point furnished o nly when ordered.
conve nie nt to a blow-off cock, and thus was readily
thrown out of boiler in blowing off, or could readily be
re moved by scraper. The company used a large wrought
iro n dome for supplying dry steam. Lnserted in the crown
sheet of all th e boilers was a fusible plug, the ccn tcr of
which would melt o ut the moment the c rown shee t was
hare of wate r, discharging steam and wa ter into the fire
and thus rendering explosions and injury to the crown
shee t impossible.

111is Gaar Scott s team portab le engine was pic tured in a

1908 ca talog. This engine is a 35 and 50 1-1.P., with the
regu lar style o f mounting on skids and wheels. With thls
mode of mounting the engine on skids and wagon, the
wagon could be used to move the engine from place to
place, and then be easily re moved and the engine set in
place for use on the sills.

The Griffith & Wedge s team po rtabl e engi ne wa$ built in

Za nesville, Ohi o. Griffith & Wedge made all kinds of
stationary engines, from 6 to 150 H.P., and also general
saw and grist mill machinery, and propellers for canal and
rive r boats. TI1c co mpany also did business in furnishing
mills compl ete wi th s team engines.

The Harrison '' Jumbo" slca m portable e ngine is piciured in

a 1902 Harriosn Machine Works eatal og. 111e BeUeville, 111.
company built Ulis engin e in sizes of 10, 12, 14, and 16 H.P.,
mounted o n wheels o r skids. These engines were specinlly
noted for simplicily and durability, as well as great powe r in
proportion to the horsepower rating.
Portable Steam Engines

TI1c Cornell steam portable engine is pic tured in a Hagger! The 25 H.P. ~lcilman stea m portable engine used a ro und
Bros. Mfg. Co. catalog. The Hagger! Bros. Mfg. Co. was bottom fire box bo iler. This boiler was made of f1:111gc steel
located in Brampton, Ontario, Canadu. throughout (any pla t:c cou ld be bent back cold wilhout
fracture). It had hand holes a t the lower corne rs for easy
cleaning, and one over fire door for filling the boiler.

·m e 15 to 40 H.P. Heilman steam po rta ble e ngine was built

by I leilman Machine Wo rks, Evansville, Ind. This engine
used the locomotive type boiler. II is a side mount, witl1 a The 4 to 40 11. P. lle nch & Dromgold steam portable e ngine
folding smoke stack. was built in York, Pa., in 1906. This engine was built on
wheels, skids, or dc tachcd. The company also built retwn
tubular or Cornish boilers and larger size engines.

ln 19 10, American Hoist &. Derric k Co. of S t. Paul, Minn., The 5 H.P. Huber steam portable engine was pic tured in
buill this po rtable hoisting steam e ngine. Great pains were a 1902 Huber Mfg. Co. ca talog. This engine weighs about
laken in making a heavy, substan tinl wheel and axle for 3,000 It is the smallest portable that Huber nwd c that
rough usage. year. It was caJlcd the Uaby Huber.
Portable Steam Engines 41

The Ithaca steam portable engine, built by WiWams Bros.

Co. of Ithaca, N. Y., was an upright boiler type. Each
engine was fully warranted. Parts were made in d uplicate,
so avoiding delays and much expense for repairs.

ll1e 6 to 30 II.I'. llubcr steam por table engine was pictured

in a 1902 llubcr Mfg. Co. catalog. This engine weighs about
3,500 lbs. The portable and skid engines were especially
designed for the use of farmers and sawmill men and range
from 6 to 30 horsepower. lluber was located in Marion, Ohio.

·n1e 30 11.P. Lansing steam portable engine was pictured in

an 1888 Lansing I.con Works catalog. It was built in
Lansing, Michigan.

The Leader steam portable engine was built in 1885 by the

Marion Mfg. Co. o f Marion, Ohio. 11lis engine wa~ built in
tl1e sizes of 8, 10, and 12 H.P. The boilers v·e.1e of the
locomotive paltern, by which th e most heating surface and
the most water and steam were secured within certain 111e Lawrence steam po rtab le engine was built by Armington
limits. ·nic longi tudinal seams were double riveted, and all & Sims Co. of Lawrence, Mass. This egnine used the
flat surfaces were thoroughly stayed and braced. Numerous automatic cut·off, folding smoke stack, and locomotive
hand holes made cleaning easy. type boiler.
A 5 !J.P. James Leffel Co. steam portable engine was
built in 1890 by the James Leffel & Co., Springfield, Ohio. A 10 11.P. James Leffel Co. steam portable engine was
This engine was mounted on substantial iron wheels instead built in t 890 by the James Leffel & Co., Springfield, Ohio.
of wood. TI1c boiler had an open space through the bottom TI1is engine was mounted on very strong and subs tantially
beneath the grates, for the free discharge of ashes and built wooden wheels, wid1 bra ke. It was complete in every
cinders. This pic ture was taken from an 1890 James Leffel respect for the attaching of horses. TI1e smoke·s tack was
& Co. catalog. hinged at to p of firs t joint, so that it could be lnid down o n
top of tho boiler durin g t.ransportation. This pich1 rc was
taken from a James Leffel & Co. 1890 catalog.

A 6 H.P. Lehmer Steam Traction Engine or horse steered

was made in 1875. In 1875, Isaac Lehmer bo ught a 6 H.P.
portable plain engin e from Wood , Tabe r & Morse and had a
complete set of patterns made from his own designs for the
attachments necessary to make it a steam traction engine.
These attachments were made and finished under the
direction of llenry Baumgartel, an expert machinis t and an
em ployee of Drake's shop in Sturgis, Ohio, at whic h place
~,.J,., sr 1 tJ1e work was done under tl1e personal supervision of Isaac
Lehmer. Isaac Lehmer used this engine for over 20 years.

TI1c 4 to 50 H.P. Lovegrovc steam portable engines were

built by Lovcgrovc & Co. of Philadelphia, Pa. The boilers
were of th e locomotive pattem, the tu bes lap welded, and
the shell of I.he best charcoal iron. En!,>incs were supplied
with pump, feed water heater, steam gauge, water gauge,
TI1e Ma rshall steam portable engine was built by MarshaU, safety valve, gauge cocks, steam whistle and suction hose.
Graves & Co., Dayton, Ohio. This company manufactured The tire box was constructed on the best principles, the
horizontals on wheels from 8 to 15 H.P., and on skids from draft was cxceUent, and the heat so advantageously dis·
8 to 25 11.P. The company also built vertical trade engines trib.utcd that working pressure was developed within a very
of from 2 to 12 11.P. few minutes after the first was li_ghted. Enclosed in the smoke
stack was a spark arrester.
Portable Steam Engines

TI1e Minneapolis steam porrnble engine was pictured in a

1908 Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co. catalog. TI1is engine
is moun ted o n a re turn flue boiler. TI1 esc engines were
designed for high speed, embracing st rength and durability.
The Nichols & Shepard steam portable engine was built by All castings were made of the best quality of cast iron,
the Nichols & Shepard Co. of Battle Creek, ~Heh. This engine free from imperfections. TI1e cylinder, guides and main
is mounted on a locomotive type boiler. It has a cast iron bearing on all stationary engines were cast to and formed a
scat and folding smoke stack. 1l1e engine is a single simple part of the bed or frame, renderi ng it impossible for the
cylinder. very essential parts to get ou t or line. TI1e company was
located in Hopkins, Minn.

Called the " L. Spence" steam portable engine, this mac hi ne

was bu ilt by Ohio Valley Agricultural Works, Martin's
Ferry, Uchnonl Co., Ohio. TI1ese engines were built in
6, 8, and l 0 1-1.J>. varie ties. TI1e boiler was made of th e best
quality of charcoal iron, somewha t similar in shape and
paltc rn to a locomotive boiler , wl1ich secures the grea tes t
amount of heating surface wiU1in given limits. TI1c fire box
had a water front (tile water flowing all around through the
fron t, except the fire-door) which added niate rially to the
heating surface. It also had an open bottom and an ash pan
underneath. In tlie crown sheet a fusible plug was inserted.

The Oneida s team po rt able engi ne was built by tl1e Oneida

Steam Engi ne Co. of Oneida, N. Y. This engine used the
locomotive type boiler. It had a cast irnn scat, fold ing
smoke stack, hand brake and single cylinder simple engi ne.

The Northwestern steam po rtabl e e ngine, 1887 vintage,

was built by Northwes t Threshe r Co. of Stillwater, Minn.
Tilis engine is mounted o n a ret urn llue boiler.
44 Portable Steam Engines

The Pax ton steam portable engine was pictured in an 1886

Harrisburg Car Mfg. Co. catalog. This engine is mounted on a The Orr & Sembower portable steam engine was buil t by
locomotive type boiler and is a simple single cylinder. the Orr & Sembower Co. of Rending, Pa. This engine was
This p ortable has the folding smoke stack. available in sizes of 15,20.25, 30 and 40 H .P. The shipping
weight of the 15 H.P. engine was 8,400 pounds. The
engine's rear axle was a one piece affair, bent to s hape,
and extending across and underneath th e fire box. It was
equipped with s prings to relieve jars when moving over
th e rough rouds o f th e day - one of the few port ables so
eq uipped. The spri ng~ were arranged so that t hey could be
relieved wh en the engi ne was in opera t ion.

An 18 H.P. Paxton steam portable engine was built in

1874 by Harrisburg Car Mfg. Co. of Harrisburg, Pa. It is
owned by Samuel Osborn o f New Oxford, Pa. Samu el
Osborn is working o n a new m useum whjch wiU be near his
residence in New Oxford, Pa.

An 8 H.P. Peerless steam portable engine, bu ilt in 19 13 by

the Geiser Mfg. Co. of Waynesboro, Pa. It is owned by
Harvey Mcintire of Hollidaysburg, Pa. This engine is shown
at the Morrison Cove Pioneer Reunion's show, Martinsbu rg,
Pa. Harvey Mclntire's 8 H. P. Peerless is running the clubs
shingle mill.

TI1e 10 H.P. Payne s team po rtable engin e was b uilt by th e

B. W. Payne & Son Co. of Coming, N. Y. This engine sold
new for $750. The 8 11.P. sold for S650 . This engine's
boiler had no nat surfaces requiring staves, which were not
only expensive, but uncertain, for many causes. I t had the
form of a cylinde r for a shell and foe box- the o ldest,
strongest and safest form of boiler known. TI1c engine was
supplied with a pa tent au toma ti c cu t-off, whlch was a ttach ed
directly to a balanced piston valve, and worked wi th ou t
Portable Steam Engines 45

The 10 H.P. Po rter steam portable engine was pictured in an

1885 Porter Mt'g. Co. cat:ilog. Built in Syracuse, N. Y., th is
The Rice steam portable engine was built by C11e D. E. portable had a traction attachment. The engine was mou nted.
Rice Co., 19 1 and 193 Atwater Street, Detroit. This engine on a locomotive type boiler and had a folding smoke stack,
was mounted on a locomotive type boiler wi th folding one cast iron seat, and a hand brake.
smoke stack. It was mounted on wheels.

The 30 H.P. Robert Bell po rtable steam engine was built by

the Robert-Bell Engine & Thresher Co. of Seaforth, Ontario,
Canada. It is owned by Vic Hall of Ontario, Canada, and is
shown at the Ontario Steam & Antique Preservers Assn.
show, Milton, Ontario. At the left is Hall's 30 H.P. Robert
Bell portable and at t11e right is Bernard Porter on his
50 H. P. J. I. Case steam tractio n engine. Bernard Porter is
from Woodstock, Ontario.

A 10 to 18 H.P. Robinson portable steam engine, built in

1894 by C11e Robinson & Co. of Richmond, Ind. This is a A 25 H.P. Robinson portable steam engine, built in 1894 by
high moun ted plain engine on a boiler with a water lined the Robinson & Co., Richm o nd, Ind. This was the most
smoke box. This engine was built in 10, 12, 14, and powerful po rtable built by Robinson in 1894. It: had an
16 horsepower. exceedingly heavy bed-plate, main shaft, and pillow-blocks.

The 22-25 H.P. Robinson portable steam engine was built The M. Rumley steam portable engine was pictured in an
h1 1906. This picture is from a 1906 Robinson & Co. 1896 M. Rumley Co. catalog. l liese engines were built in
cata.log. It is a high mo unted Corliss portable with ex tension 8, I 0, 12, 15 and 20 ho rsepowers. This engine was furnished
smoke box and jacket. It would bum wood, coal and straw. complete with patent governor, quality steam gauge, pop
safety valve, Lunkenheimcr's patent regrinding globe and
angle valves, solid oil cups for connecting rod and eccen tric,
la rge cylinder oil cup, water gauge, steam whistle, gauge
cocks, four hand pole plates placed at convenient points for
easy cleaning, blow-off pipe, steam blower, suction hose,
nue clea ner, and wrenches.
A 6 H.P. Russell portable steam engine was built by the
Russell & Co., Massillon, Ohio. lltis engi ne is owned by
Francis Young of East Sparta, Ohio, and is shown at the
Stum ptown Steam Threshers Assn. show, New Athens, Ohio.
Francis Young's 6 H.P. Russell portable is running the club's
shingle mill. The shingle mill is owned by John Sells who
lives in Lisbon, Ohio.

A 20 H.P. Russell portable steam engin e, built ir J 92 1 by

the Russell & Co. of Massillo n, Ohio. Here, Elme r K. Wenger
is putting a shovelful of coal into his portable. No one
knows when the stean1 engine was first used for farm power,
but it was around 1850. Up to that time, sweeps, treadmills
and to some extent, windmills, had been abou t the only
improvement over hand power to operate stationary
machi nes such as threshe rs, feed mills, wood saws and o thers.

·;."-"'~....--9~14'1....... ), '
A 20 H.P. Russell po rtable steam engine built' in 192 1 by
th e Russell & Co., MassilJ o n, Ohio. This engine is owned by
Elme r K. Wenger of Dalton, Ohio, and is show n at the
Tuscarawas Valley Pio neer Power Assn., Dover, Ohi o.
Portable Steam Engines 47

A ty pical lhreshing scene of the J 880's, taken from an early

RusseU & Co. calalog, shows a lrac tion engine which is
horse-steered :ind, mo re often th:m not, horse controlled. A Sawyer & Massey steam poriable engine, built by Sawyer
This is Lhc transition from a porlable s team engine to the & Massey Co. of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The "L.D.S."
tru e traclion engine of a few years later, although even in portable steam engine was a plain one, wi lh reduced shell.
1885 th ere was much progress being made. The .separator is Part of the smoke stack is broken away to show govc m or
Lhe Massill on "Cyclone", also made by Russell & Co. of and connec ti ons in this picture.
~la.ssillon, Ohio.

The 8 to 40 H.P. Scheidler steam por1ablc e ngines were

built in 1903 by Scheidler Machine Works, Newark, Ohi o.
This po rtable saw mill engine had an improved balanced
va lve. It was mounted o n iron wheels with hard steel spokes
and wrough t iron tires shrunk over cast iron rim s.

1l1e 8 10 40 H.P. Scheidler steam portable engine was

pic1ured in a 1903 Scheidler Machine Works catalog. This The Seymour Sabin steam portable engine was called the
portable saw mill engine with slide valve was mounted on "Minnesota Giant." It was built in 1881 by Seymou r Sabin
wooden wheels made of the best seasoned whi te oak. & Co. of Stillwate r, ,\1inn. TI1is engine used coal, wood or
The hub was made in lwo pieces and bolted together, holcting s tra w for fuel. 111e boile r was a re turn nue type. Th e
the s pokes securely. cylinder was a 7!1.i x 12·inch simple singl e.
48 Portable Steam Engines

The T aylo r steam portable engine "Clipper" was pictured

The Taylor steam portable engine was built in 1884 by the in an 1884 Taylor Mfg. Co. catalog. These engines were
Taylor Mfg. Co. of Westminster, Md. These engines were bui11 in 5, 6 and 8 H.P. sizes. The 5 and 6 horsepower
built in 2, 4, 3, 5, 6, and 10 horsepowers. T he engines were engines were furnished with iron, and the 8 H.P. engine wiU1
furnished with a steam gauge, one brass pop safety valve, wooden wheels. The ash pan could be removed in hauling,
and a glass water gauge by means of which the he_ight of so as to give proper clearance over the roads. The 5 H.P.
the water in U1e bolllc could always be seen, which was engine's esti mated weight was 3,400 lbs. and sold new
much mo re satisfoclory U1an having to de pend on the gauge for $450. The 6 H.P. engi ne's estimated weight was 3,500
cocks. Gauge cocks were also furnished with the glass lbs. and sold new for $485. The 8 H.P. engine's estimated
gauge. Jn case the glass broke, the gauge cocks could be used weight was 4,300 lbs. and sold new for $700. A hand pump
to cry the water. Also included were blow-off valve, steam to fill the boiler with cold wa ter cost an extra SI 5. Every
whistle, blower to assist in firing up, self oiling oil cups that engine was carefully tested and run with I 20 lbs. steam
could be set to oil fast or slow, oiler for cylinder, cylinder until known to be perfect and complete. All of its parts
and pet cocks, governor bcl t, fire irons, steam flue cleaner, were warranted.
by means of which the flues could be cleaned while a fire
was in th e boiler, and im1>roved balance valve governor with
Sawyer's valve attachment and s top moti on and speeder.

The Springlicld steam portable engine was pic tured in an

1885 Springfield Engin e & Thresher Co. catalog. This T homas & Sons stean1 portable engine wa.~ built by the
engi ne's lire box had an arched top and was tho roughly J. H. Thomas & Sons Co. of Springfield, Ohio. This engine
stayed, both at the top and bottom, to the outside, by had all the improvemen ts used in the stationary engine.
means of stay bolts, which were both sc rewed into the These improvements enabled the builder to take the smallest
plates and riveted. Every boile r, after completion, was boiler, used by other manufacturers, for an 8 H.P. engine,
tested by hydraulic pressure. The lire hox was entirely and by attaching one of tJ1cir improved e ngines, produce
su rro und ed by water. It used the latest style safety or pop J 2 H.P. In oilier words, the boiler capacity necessa ry lo run
valve which any e ngi neer could regulate without danger an ordinary 8 horse engine, was s ufficie nt to produce
or difficulty. 12 11.P. wiU1 tJ1is engine, 111omas claimed.
Portable Steam

Another view of the St. Johnsville steam portable steam

engine, taken from an 1890 St. Johnsville Agriculture Works

The St. Johnsville sleam portable engine was pictured in

an 1890 St. Johnsville Agriculture Works catalog. The
com pany was located in St. John sville, N. Y. 111is was one of
the few portable engines with an upright boiler.

The Treadwell steam portable engine was built by the

T readwell & Co., San Francisco, Cal. This engine was
designed for driving threshing machines, but was equally
well calculated for other purposes where no more power
was requi red. II was abou t IO H.P. ·nie boiler was 7 feet
long by 30 inches diameter. TI1e Oy wheel was 3 feet in
diam eter, with an 8-inch face. Ga uge cocks, steam gauge,
'Th.e Utica o r Wood & Mann steam portable engine was steam whi stle, cast iron piston rod, wrought iron shaft,
pictured in a Taylor Mfg. Co. catalog. The Westminster, Md., force pump, suction hose, ash pan, smoke-pipe and sparker,
company furnished this engine on wooden wheels unless and an otller fittings were furnished to make tile engine
otherwise o rdered. It was a simple single cylinder engine, complete. TI1e weight or tile engin e was 5,000 lbs.
using a folding smo ke stack.

Wes tinghouse steam portable engine was built in 1886 by

Westinghouse Co. of Schenectady, N. Y. These engines were
made in 6, 10, and 15 H.P. sizes. Tie boiler was made of
two 1>arts, the lower one forming the foe box and containing
U1c tubes, while the upper one was a shell which surrounded
the tu bes and composed U1e wa ler and steam space. TI1e two
TI1e Waterloo steam portable engine wa~ built by Waterloo
paitS were joined by strongly bol ted rings at tlleir inter·
sec tion, in connection wi U1 the vertical smoke tube at the
Mfg. Co. of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. TI1is engine was lop. It was designed to be taken apart when it was necessary
built in 12, 14 and 16 H.P. sizes. Titis engine used the to clean the interior o r the boiler or to replace or rep air
locomotive type boiler. the tubes.
50 Portable Steam Engines

TI1c Wheeler & Melick steam portable engine was built in

The Westingho use steam portable engine, built in 1886 by 1877 by Wheeler & Melick Co., Albany, N. Y. TI1ese
U1e Westinghouse Co. of Schenec tady, N. Y., had a short, engines were built in 6 , 8, and 10 H.P. sizes. The boiler of
quick stroke. For this reason, ii was made lighter than t11e tllis engine was made o f the best charcoal iron, and was
large, long stroke engines. ·me bed fram e eonta.ined the tested to 200 lbs. PSI. The crank pins, connecting rod, and
heater, and was securely bolted to the fire box portion of other moving parts, were made of steel, and t11e boxes of
the boiler. Tl1e cyli nder, steam chest, guide and boxes were composition metal.
all in a si ngle cas ting, and the· cylinder and guides were
bored from one position in a lathe.

The 10 H.P. Wood, Taber & Morse "Triumph" steam portable

engine was built in 1887 by Wood, Taber & Morse Co. of
Eaton, N. Y. This engine's boile r was 25 inches in diam eter,
with fire box 19 inches wide by 35 inches long. It had 28
Dues, 2 inches in diameter, by 4 feet long. ·nic engine
cylinder was 6 inches in diameter, by 10 inches stroke. The
fly wheel was 40 inches in diameter with 7-inch wide face.
It's complete weight was 3,800 lbs.

The Wood & Son steam po rtable engine was built by S. W.

Wood & Son Co. of Clyde, N. Y. TI1is engine was built in
6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 20 and 30 H.P. sizes. Only one boiler reeder
was furnished with the portable engines. On the 6 to 20
H.P. the company furnished either injector or pump, as
ordered, but charged extra if boU1 injector and pump were

Since the first edition of Encyclopedia Of Ame.r ican

Steam Traction Engines was compiled, information on
several other portable steam engine companies was
Wood sum steam portable engine was built by Woodsum discovered. Mechanical requ irements prevent addin g
Machine Co. of Dayton, Ohfo. ·nus engine used the loco- these companies in this section, but these newly found
motive type boiler, had a folding smoke stack and cast companies have been in cluded in an addendum section on
iron scat. portable steam engines. This section will be found, beginn·
ing on page 307.
Ell~IllE flLBUM

Manufacturers From A To Z
The Steam Traction Engines. pioneers in mechani- axles. Springs in the steering gear helped prevent
zation , often weighed more than 45,000 pou nds breakage when the front wheels l1it an obstruction.
and developed more than 120 ho rsepower. They The earl y engine usually was mounted on the boi ler,
operated with a steam pressure of 150 to 200 called top-mounted, and the boiler was mounted on
pounds per square inch. the truck. Sometimes the engines in the locomotive
Both the horizontal-tube boiler (the more popular) type were mounted under the boiler.
an d the vertical-tube boiler were used in these early One common method of mou n ting the boile rs,
vehicles. The two types were diff~rent in form but known as side mounting, was to attach stub axles
had many operative points in common. of the drivers to brackets placed at about the middle
The horizontal-type boiler was constructed 1m1inly of the sides of the firebox.
with direct flue, with return flue, o r with firebox ln anothe r type, kn own as rear m o unting, o ne
return flue. continuous axle was located beh ind the fi rebox.
The direct-flue boiler was known as the locomotive A continuous axle was often mounted ahead of the
firebox, straight-flue boiler. The flues passed hori- firebox on return-flue boilers. It was known as
zontally from the fi rebox at the rea r to the smoke- under mounting.
box in front. The powe r of t he steam traction engine was
T he prod u cts o f combustion in the return-flu e transmitted usually to the traction wheels by a simple
boiler t raveled first through the main flue to the train of spur gears made of cast iron. A driving
combustion cha mber in the front end of the boiler pinion attached to the friction cl u tch engaged an
and the n back through the many small flu es to the intermediate gear, which in turn e ngaged a large
smokebox in the rear. co mpensating gear on the countershafl. Pini o ns o n
Litt le space was provided under the grates of a ll either encl of the counte rshaft drove large master
three types lo ca tch ashes and dnclers. Grates were gea rs, which were fastened in the drive wheels by
always in clange r of burni ng o ul. T his danger was rigid or spring connections.
overco me in the firebox return flu e bo iler. in which TracUon engines first were gea red with one fo rward
wate r su rrounded the healed surfa ces. ·Also, the speed to make 2 o r 3 miles an hour on the road.
grate area was larger, and the boiler had a larger Later, especially those used in hilly country, were
heating surface in the firebox return flue bo iler. geared with two forwa rd speeds, o ne slow and one
Boilers of t he ve rtica l type had n cy linclri ~a l she ll fas t.
with a firebox at t he lower encl. Fire flues extended The front o r steering wheels often were of stee l,
vertically from the flue sheet above the tire to the lop with the outer ends 'of the spokes riveted to a flange
of the boiler, with horizontal water tubes placed in inside the rim, and the inner ends riveted to arms
courses, so that each course was at righ t angles to on the hub. A flange, or coll ar, around the midd le of
the course next below and next above. Th ese tubes the outside o f the front wheels tended to prevent
and circu lation plates maintained constant circulation. lateral slippage. Steering was clone by guid ing the
Of the two main approaches in constructing the front wheels with a chain, winding shaft (roller)
steam traction engines, one was to make the boiler worm gear, and hand wheel. Sometimes powe r
the central stru ct ure and att:ich all other pa rts- from the engi ne helped in steering.
engine, drive gea rs, steering gea r, main truck - to it. The rear traction, o r drive wheels usua lly had stee l
The other was to provide a separale framework on tires. round or flat spokes, and a cast-iron hub. Cleats
which to mount the boiler and atlach all the parts. of steel or iron were mounted diagonally on the
To spare the engine from damage from heavy outside of t he rims to in crease traction. On ri ms that
shocks and jars on rough roads, heavy coil sp rings were cast, the cleats were part of the cast.
were placed between the boi ler and front and rear
Manufacturers From A To Z
Advance Thresher Co., Battle Creek, Michigan Keck-Gonnerman Co., Mt. Vernon, Indiana
Advance-Rumely Thresher Co., LaPorte, Indiana 0. S. Kelly Co., Springfield, Ohio
American Engine Co., Jersey City, New Jersey Kitten, Ferdinand Foundry, Co .. Ferdinand, Indiana
American-Abell Engine & Thresher Co., Toronto, Koppes W. M. & Co. (Paxton), Orville, Ohio
Ontario, Canada Lane & Bodley Co., Cincinnati, Ohio
Ames Iron Works, Oswego, New York Lang & Button Co., Itheca, New York
Atlas Engine Works, Indianapolis, Indiana Lansing Iron Works Co., Lansing, Michigan
Aultman Co., Canton, Ohio Leader, Mario Mfg. Co., Marion, Ohio
Aultman-Taylor Machinery Co., Mansfield, Ohio MacDonald Thresher Co., Stratford, Ontario, Canada
Avery Power Machinery Co., Peoria, Illinois Matteson & Williamson, Stockton, California
Baker A. D. Co., Swanton, Ohio McLaughlin, Co., San Francisco, California
Benicia Agricultural Works, Benicia, California McNamar Co., Newark, Ohio
Best Mfg. Co., San Leadro, California Merritt & Kellogg, Battle Creek, Michigan
Birdsall Engine Co., Auburn, New York Messinger Mfg. Co., Tatamy, Pennsylvania
Blumentritt Co., Spring Valley, Minnesota Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co., Hopkins,
Buffalo-Pitts Steam Roller Co., Buffalo, New York Minnesota
Buffalo-Springfield Roller Co., Springfield, Ohio Morningstar, Mfg. Co., (Napoleon), Napoleon, Ohio
Byron, Jackson Machine Works, San Francisco, Muncy Traction Engine Co., Muncy, Pennsylvania
California New-Giant, Northwest Thresher Co., Stillwater,
Case J. I. Co., Racine, Wisconsin Minnesota
Coffin & Standish, Martinez, California New Hamburg Mfg. Co., Ltd., New Hamburg,
Colean Mfg. Co., Peoria, Illinois Ontario, Canada
C. & G. Cooper & Co's., Mt. Vernon, Ohio Nichols & Shepard Co., Battle Creek, Michigan
Crowell Mfg. Co., (Greencastle), Greencastle, Ohio Thresher & Engine Co., Upper Sandusky, Ohio
Pennsylvania Owens, Lane & Dyer Co., (Hamilton), Hamilton,
D. June & Co., (Champion), Fremont, Ohio Ohio
Davidson & Rutledge, Ada, Ohio Peerless, Geiser Mfg. Co., Waynesboro,
Eagle Machine Works, Indianapolis, Indiana Pennsylvania
Fairbanks Steam Shovel Co., Marion, Ohio Peterson N. C. & Sons, Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
Farquhar A. B. Co. Ltd., York, Pennsylvania Port Huron Engine & Thresher Co., Port Huron ,
Fishkill Landing Machine Co. (Mills), Fishkill, Michigan
New York Reeves & Co., Columbus, Indiana
Frick & Co., Waynesboro, Pennsylvania Remington, Co., Woodburn, Oregon
Gaar Scott & Co., Richmond, Indiana Ritchie & Dyer Co., Hamilton, Ohio
George W. Morris, Racine, Wisconsin Robert-Bell Engine & Thresher Co., Seaforth,
George Page & Co., Baltimore, Maryland Ontario, Canada
George-White & Sons Co., London , Ontario, Canada Roberts & Doan Co., Sacramento, California
Greyhound , Banting Mfg. Co., Toledo, Ohio Robinson & Co., (Conqueror), Richmond, Indiana
Groton, Charles Perrige & Co., Groton, New York Rumely M. Co., LaPorte, Indiana
Hagerstown Steam Engine & Machine Co., (Empire), Russell & Co., Massillon, Ohio
Hagerstown, Maryland Ryan & McDonald, Waterloo, New York
Harrisburg Car Mfg. Co., (Paxton), Harrisburg, Sawyer-Massey & Co., Ltd., Hamilton, Ontario,
Pennsylvania Canada
Harrison Machine Works, (Jumbo), Belleville, Illinois Scheidler R. Machine Works, Newark, Ohio
Heilman Machine Works, Evansville, Indiana Springfield Engine & Thresher Co., Springfield, Ohio
Holt Mfg. Co., Stockton, California Stevens A. W. & Son Co., Auburn, New York
Hooven, Owens & Rentscler Co., Hamilton, Ohio Stevens A. W. Co., Marinette, Wisconsin
Huber Manufacturing Co., Marion, Ohio Twentieth Century Mfg. Co., Boynton, Pennsylvania
Illinois Thresher Co., Sycamore, Illinois Union-Iron Works, (Walker), Newark, Ohio
J acob Price, Racine, Wisconsin Upton, Mfg. Co., Port Huron, Michigan
J ames Means & Co., (Burdett), Steubenville, Ohio Waterloo Mfg. Co., Ltd., Waterloo, Ontario,
J ohn Aylward Co., Livermore, California Canada
J ohn Goodison Thresher Co. Ltd., Sarnis, Ontario, Waterous Engine Works, Brantford, Ontario,
Canada Canada
J. L. Heald Co., Vallejo, California Watertown Engine Company, Watertown, New York
J. M. Ross, Sons & Co. Ltd., (Cornell), St. Westinghouse Co., Schenectady, New York
Catharines, Ontario, Canada Wood Brothers Thresher Co., Des Moines, Iowa
J. 0. Spencer, Son & Co., (Wide-Awake), Waterloo, Wood & Son S. W. & Co., Clyde, New York
New York Wood, Taber & Morse, Co., Eaton, New York
Advance T hresher Co.
The Advance Thresher Co. was incorporated on March 1, 1881.
In 1902, Advance Thresher and the Minneapolis Threshing
Machine Co. jointly purchased the John Abell plant in Toronto,
Ontario, Canada and renamed it the American Abell Engine and
Thresher Co. Limited. Although American owned, the new com-
pany immediately adopted the policy of "Canadian-made goods
for Canadian users" and continued without interruption to build
the threshing machinery formerly manufactured by the John
Abell engine and Machine Works Company.
The Advance was an overhanging-cylinder engine, the cylinder
being a separate casting bolted to the end of the frame which
formed the cylinder-head. This arrangement allowed the cylinder
to expand and contract without causing any injurious strain. The
frame was of the most approved form and handsome design, with
the metal so distributed as to give the greatest rigidity with the
least weight.
The aim of the designer was to produce a shapely, compact and
A 12 H.P. Advo.ncc steam traction engine built In 1907 by Ad- balanced engine, one that possessed great strength, and offered
vance Thresher Co. of Battle Creek, Mich. This engine is owned ease in performance and facility in operation.
by Ken Lewis of Jackson, Mich., seen here operating his engine The machinery was well distributed in such a manner as to
at the Michigan Steam Engine & Threshers show in Mason, throw the weight upon the wheels more evenly than was the case
Mich. The Advance Thresher Co. was incorporated in March 11
of many other steam traction engines.
It was argued by some engine builders that the greatest
E'\OI '\ E. possible weight should be placed on the drive-wheels. Advance
claimed this to be an error. The weight should be so distributed
that, with the most favorable footing for the drive-wheels, the
engine would have sufficient power to barely slip the wheels. Any
additional weight on the drive-wheels would serve no good pur-
pose and would prove an impediment in passing over soft ground.
By transferring the excess of weight from the drive to the front
wheels, a better steering engine resuJted.
A very important feature in these engines was the distribution
of the parts as related to the strain on the boiJer. With the crank-
shaft located near the smoke-stack, the strain between the two
shafts converted the shell of the boiler into a lever and tended to
tear the shell from the fire box. Advance eliminated this defect.
The crank shaft was nearly over the counter-shaft, and there was
A 12 H.P. Advance slcnm trnction engine built in 1898 by the
no such strain on the rivets where the fire box was attached to the
Advance Thresher Co. of Battle Creek, Mich. This is n simple
engine, and a wood and coal burner. This company sold more shell of the boiler.
than 12,000 steam tnclion engines In 23 years. Many users of agricultural engines, and particularly those
using engines made by the old builders, fell into the error of
believing that long stroke engines were more powerful, because
This is the left side of 1hc 12 11.P. Advance slcam traction
engine, .built in 1907. The steering chnin on the left side is the connecting rod worked on a longer crank and must develop
broken. Ken Le,~is of Jackson, Mich., owns this engine. It is in more power than when the crank was short, as in a short stroke
action at the Michignn Steam Engine & Threshers show in engine. This would be true if the short stroke engine made only
Mason, Mich. the same number of revolutions as the Jong stroke.
But. if one engine is two-foot stroke and another one-foot, and
the two-foot slroke makes 100 revolutions per minute, then the
one-foot stroke must make 200 revolutions in order to equal it in
power, the bore of the cylinders and steam pressure being the
same, the shorter lev~rage being obtained 200 times, while the
longer-leveraged engine obtained it in 100 times. The engines,
with their respective revolutions, would each make 400 piston feet
per minute. Hence, the number of piston feet per minute is the
The Advance Thresher Co. sold more than 12,000 steam trac-
tion engines in 23 years. The company made steam traction
engines of simple and compound cylinders, portable steam
engines, portable engines on skids, Advance threshing machin -
ery, and horse powers.
Advance Thresher Co. 55

A 14 H.P. Advance compoun d steam traction engine. This one is

a coal burner. Advance built steam traction engines in 10, 12,
A 16 H.P. Ad\'ance simple side mounted cont burner. This 14, 16, 18, 20, 21, 22, 26, 30, 35 and 40 horse powers.
engine was built in 1917. II is owned by Fred McCarl or Barry,
JJI. This engine is at th e Midwest Old Settlers & Thres hers Assn.
show nt Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Interest in the steam traction
engine is more !111111 a hobby. ll is nchrnlly prc.~cning a part of
Norl'l1 American history.

This is a coa l or wood burning 16 II.I'. Advnncc steam traction

engin e with n simple cylinder. This picture cnme from 11 1898
Advance Co. cntalog. The engine used 40 nucs and had a top
speed or 225 RPM. On nil th e englnos (except 6 lo 10 horse) a
hollow axle wns used. The construction of' the nxle was such thnt
it was self-oiling.

A 20 H.P. Advance compound coal and wood burner engine,

built in 1898. With the mild exhaust and reduced draught or the
compound engine , fewer sparks were drawn from Its furnace
and there was a greater tendency to retain sparks In the smoke-


A 16 H.P. Advance s imple s ide mounted cont hurncr engine.

T his engine was built in 1904. It is owned by Lee Swnrtz-
cndruber of Mount Plcnsnnt, Jowa. This engine is nt the Mid·
west Old Settlers & Threshers Assn. show 111 Moun! Pleasant,
Iowa . H(lrscpowcr rating denotes a unit of wort< c11unl lo 550
foot pounds per second.
56 Advance Thresher Co.

This Advnnce simple cylinder engine is a straw burner. The pic-

ture is from an 1898 Advance Co. t'ntalog. This engine was pro-
The Ad,·ance simple cylinder steam traction engine. This engine vided with arrangements for reducing the hazard of fire to a
is a straw burner, pictured in an 1898 Advance ca talog. This minimum. The smoke-stack had a screen at the top that could
engine's fire-box , coolrnry to the rule adopted b) others, was be opened easily to increase the draft while firing up. I n front
made to "'iden from tbe grates up,.·ard. and under the draft opening, there was s ecured a large, hea vy,
Iron pa n whicb r eceived the ho l ns hes when pushed from under
ADVANCE ·--'~ the grates. Tmmcdialely a bove this pan was a heavy s team hose
co nnected to the feed-water pipe, and provided with a valve
THRESHING through which water could be thrown on the ashes.

This Advan ce compound steam traction engine is a straw
burn er. T he picture wns taken from a 1898 Advance Co. catalog.
This engine used u dead 1>lntc in tbe Th e object of this
plute was to prevent the nlr from making a short cut to the com·
b ustl on chamber. The pla te was always covered with new straw,
ready to be push ed Into the fire when a new supply entered the

A 30 11.P. Advance cross co mpound straw burner engine with

cnb attached. T his engine is mounted on the stnw burner
boiler, bo t was available with a coal b urner b oiler. Advance Co .
made the following: Stea m traction engines of simple and com -
pound cylinder, porta ble steam engines, portable engines on
A 30 H.P. A1h·a11cc s imple slrnw bu rner s team trncllon eni::inc skids, threshing mnchinery 1111d horse powers. This picture is
bu il l In I 90(1. A powerful engine wllh hcav)' gears for plowing tn ltcn from a n 1898 Advn ncc Co. catalog.
and like work, it could be l'ilkd wit h extension rims, 1111 s teel
plow hitch , nnd a la rge wntcr tnnlc and fu el box. It was hullt in
a ll s izes above 14 H.P., in eithe r coa l, woo d or straw burn ing
Advance Rumely Co. 57

In December 1911, Rumely bough t out Advance T hresher Co. Advance Rumely Co. came into being.
and Gaar-Scott & Co. A short time later Northwest Thresher Co. Then in 1924 Advance Rumely bought out Aultman & Taylor
was acquired. M. Rumely Co., set up a selling organization to sell Machinery Co., and discontinued the building of A & T tractors
the products of the three above companies. This selling setup was and machinery. The Advance Rumely Co. continued in business
known as Rumely Products Co. The same tractor models were until 1931. The Allis-Chalmers Corporation on June 1, 1931 ,
continued even after 1915, when financial difficu lties forced M. acquired most of the assets of the Advance
Rumely Co. and the sales agency known as Rumely Products Co. RumelyCo.
into the hands of a receiver. By reorganization, the firm known as

This 16 H.P. Ad.-ance·Rumel) was built in 1916 b) Adrnnce-

Rumely Thresher Co. or LaPorte. lnd. This engine, o"ncd bJ
Carl Tuttle or HoweU, Mich., appears ut the Michigan Steam
Engine & Threshers show in Mason, Mich. In Oeccmhcr, 19 11 ,
Rumely bought out Adrnncc Tlm~sher Co. and Gunr-Scoll &
Co. A short time later Northwest Thresher Co. "as acquired. M.
Rumely Co. sci up a sales organization to sell the products of the
three above companies. This Orm was known 11s Rumcl)
Producl~. Co.

Another 1•lew of the 16 H.P. Advancc-Rumely owned by Carl

Tullle of Howell , Mich. His son is at the steering wheel.

This 18 H.P. Ad,·nncc-RumclJ built In 1917, is o"ncd b)

Lawrence Apgar or Ccdarl'ille, Ohio. 11 11ppcnrs here nl the
Miami ValleJ Steam Threshers show In London, Ohio. In 1924
Advance-Rumely bought out Aultman & Taylor Machinery Co.,
and discontinued the buUdlng or A & T tractors and mnchlncry.
58 Advance Rumely Co.

A 18 H .P. Ad1•m1cc-R11111cly buiU In 1922. T his engine, owned by
Leo Dnmgc ol' Ccdnr Rnplds, Jowu, is 111 the Midwest Old Set-
tlers & Threshers Assn. s how, nt Mount Plcnsnn t , Iowa. The i\d- This 20 U .P. Ad1•1111 cc· R11rncly , built in 1922, is owned by Philip
vancc-Rumcly Co. continued In business until 1931. The AUis · Deeds of Ln ncnsler, Ohio. It is participating in the Miami
Ch almers Corp ., on June I , '193 1, ncfpilrcd mos t of the assets of Vnlley St cum Threshers s how at London , Ohio.

This 22 II.I'. Ad1nn cc- Rumcl) steam traction engine , built in

I 928, is owned b) L) nn & Larr) M ix of Hastings, Mich. This
engine is a t the M ichit.:an Steam E ngine & Th.r eshers show in
Mason , M ich. This engine h lL~ the hori.z-0ntal-type boiler, and
was construcrcd mainly wirh direct Due.

T his 22 11.P. i\dvnncc- Rumely s tcnm t raction engin e, buil t in

19 19, is owned hy Clurcncc R ounds of Lock Port, N.Y. l! ap-
penrs nt th c New Yori< S tenrn E ngine Assn. s how at Canad aigua,
T his is the cylinde r s id e of the cnt.:inc owned by Lynn & Larry N.Y. Clnrencc lfound's engine is 1115003. It has a simple cylin-
Mix of Hastings, Mich . · der 1111d wclt.:hs 15 Ions. It cost nbou f $2,500 to S3,000 n ew.

Advance Rumely Co. 59

This 22 H.P. Advance-Rumely, buiJt in 1917, is owned by Lange Another view of the 22 H.P. Advanee-Rumely engine owned by
Somerville of Mason, Mich. It is running at the Mich ignn SI cam Lange Somerville of Mason, Mich. Lange is at the lhrottlc and
Engine & Threshers s how at Mason. Both the horizonlal-lube his son is wilh him holding the steering wheel at the Michignn
boiler (lhe more popula r) and the vertical-lube boiler were used Steam Engine &. T hreshers show in Mason.
in these early ''chicles. This engine used the horizontnl-tubc

American Engine Co.

Emory W. Mills was secretary and manager of the bad roads, the throwing off of the governor belt enabl-
American Engine Co., located at J ersey City, N.J. ed the operator to get the necessary piston speed to
In 1875 this company built its first steam traction take the thresher in tow.
engine. Actually , it was built for them by A. N. Field
and Son Co., of Jersey city.
It was one of the first steam threshing outfits in this
part of the country, and created no little stir and
jealousy among the horse and sweep power thresher-
man. The design of the engine possessed many radical
features both in design and construction. Being one of
the first light steam traction engines brought out in
the days of steam power, it is worthy of somewhat
detailed description.
The boiler was of the locomotive fire box, open bot-
tom type, well stayed and braced in the flat surfaces
to carry the excessive pressure of one hundred to one
hundred and twenty-five pounds. The boiler shell,
eighteen inches in diameter, contained three sizes of
tubes, three-fourths inches in diameter at the top, one
inch in diameter in the middle rows and one and one-
fourth inches in the bottom rows, which made it a
quick steamer with excellent evaporative capacity.
But, since steam room was sacrificed to heating sur-
face, the boiler was apt to prime or carry over water if The American steam traction engine was buil t in 1875 by
worked hard or when going down hill, in spite of the t he American Engine Company of Jersey City. NJ. It hod
hollow dome in the smoke stack which was used as a a 6 x 6 cylind er. The engine ran at 250 revolution s per
super-heater. minute, gcnrcd with a differential in t he train of geari ng lo
The engine had a 6 x 6 cylinder. When running at travel at two and one half miles per hour on the rood
under t hrottling governor control. For heavy loads and
250 revolutions per minute, the engine would travel bod roads, t.he throwing off of the governor belt enabled
two-and-one-half miles per hour on the road under the operator to get ~he necessary piston speed t.o take the
throttling governor control. But for heavy loads and thresher in Low.
60 American • Abell
One of the most picturesque figures among pioneer Canad ian The sands of time run out for all men. In 1902 this energetic
manufacturers was born in England, September 17, 1822, a nd man was in his 80th year, with no fam ily and in failing health.
imigrated to Canada as a young man. In 1845, John Abell settled Consequently the big Abell factory had to be sold. He lived until
in the village of Woodbridge, 20 miles northwest of Toronto, On- August 7th, 1903, long enough to see that his name would con-
tario. There he obtained employment in the wagon and stage tinue to be associated with threshing machinery for years to
coach facto ry operated by Wood and Ethridge. come-b ut that's another story.
Possessed with much inventive and mechanical ability, young In 1902 t he Advance Thresher and the Minneapolis Threshing
Abell was anxious to get into business for himself and in 1847 he Machine jointly purchased the John Abell plant in Toronto, and
built a small log shop and began the manufacture of mill iron and renamed it the American-Abell Engine and Thresher Company
similar articles. Here he fashioned a lathe and other tools, which Limited. Although American owned, the new company im-
he constructed for his own use and built the fo~~t steam engine lo med iately adopted the policy of "Canadian-made goods for
be used in the district. Canadian users" and continued without interruption to build the i
Assured of power to drive his machinery, he immediately made threshing machinery formerly manufactured by the John Abell
plans to increase his output and in January, 1862, moved into a Engine and Machine Works Co.
larger building and began the manufacture of plows and other Lance Corporal Findlater of the Gordon Highlanders won the
farm machinery. Victoria Cross at the assault on the Dargai Hill in Northern India,
Business increased rapidly and before many yea rs Abell was o~ October 20th, 1897. Shot throug h both legs, he sat through a
emp loyi ng a hundred workmen and concentrating on the produc- hail of bullets and continued to cheer his hard pressed comrades
tion of a threshing machine which he had developed and which with the stirring tune "Cock 0 the North" on his bagpipes.
had met with much favor. Abell's machine. which he named the John Abell was so impressed that he named his new separator
Paragon, was of the apron type and geared for horsepower drive. the "Cock O' The Nort h" and incorporated the story and
Later, gang beaters and straw carriers were added and the illustrations of the epic feat in his catalog. The American-Abell
separator enlarged and improved and adapted for steam power. firm went further by adopting a game rooster on a stump as its
In 1874, the establishment was completely destroyed by fire. trademark, and calling the output the "Cock O' The North" line.
Undaunted by this misfortune he immediately rebuilt on an The American-Abell engines had the fig ure of a _rooster cast in
enlarged scale taking into consideration the manufacture of por- the smoke box door.
table steam engines which he had been planning for some time. When the great Rumely merger took place in 1912, the
Abell's first engines were of the locomotive boiler type, with an American-Abell factory was included and the Cock O' the North
extra long smokestack topped by a screen. line was discontinued.
John Abell stoic the show at Toronto in 1881 with his exhibit of No further engines were built. The boiler of the last traction
the first cross compou nd threshing engine ever built in Canada. engine sh ipped west now serves as heating plant for the Allis-
In 1886, Abell built his first traction engine by adding steel Chalmers-Rurnley building in Saskatoon, Sask. T he company
rear drive wheels and steering controls to his standard Triumph built a total of nearly 2,500 farm engines, the majority of which
portable engine. Abell's early tractions were driven by a friction went to the Canadian west where the Cock O' the North line was a
belt from the main shaft to the countershaft. famous name, sworn by and at as are the tractors of today.
TI1is 22 H.P. American-Abell Kllchcncr, buill in 1903, is owned
by Man itoba Awicultural Museum of Austin, Manitoba. It is a
cross compound engine. This piel"urc was supplied by W. Mon-
cur, Museum Administrator. In 1902 the Advance Thresher Co.
a nd the Minneapolis Thrcshinj:! Machine Co. jointly purchased
the John AbeU plant in Toronto, and renamed ii fhe Amcrican-
AbeU Engine nnd Thres her Co.

A 12 H.P. Americnn-Abell, built in 1902 by American-Abell

Engine & Thresher Co., Toronto, Onlario. These engines were
known as the "Cock 0' the North." This engine is 01rned by
Reynold's Mus l•u m of Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada. This p ic-
ture was suppliccl hy S. G. Reynolds , Museum Manngcr.
American • Abell 61

This 20 H.P. American-Abell, built in 1905, is owned by Bill

Johnson of Burford , Ontario. It appears at the Norwich and
District Historical Society show, Norwich, Ontario. One of the
mosl picturesque figures nmong pioneer Ca.n adian manu-
factures, Abell was born In England Sept. 17, 1882, and im -
migrated lo Canada as a younj! man. lo J845, John Abell settled
in the Village of Woodbridge, 20 miles northwest of Toronto. ln
1886, John AbeU built his flrsl traction engine by adding steel
rear drh•c wheels and stccrinj! conlYols lo his standard Triumph
portable engine.
A close-up of the front end of the 20 H.P. Amcrlcan-Abl'll
owned by Bill Johnson of Burford.

A 28 H.P. American-Abell b uilt in 1911. This is a simple special

plowing engine. II is equipped with the American-Abell straight balance valve. The pump was fed by gynvity f:rom the bot·
tom of the supply tank und was driven by an intermediate gear
wheel, thus assuring perfect water supply. This engine was
equipped with a sll'am pump and injector, a water heater, and
coal bunker on top of th e water lank. The tank had a capacity of
462 gallons.

A 22 H.P. American-Abell built in 1911. It is a straight line

balance vnlve engine. When the great Rumely merger took place
in J 9J 2, the American-Abell factory was included and the
"Cock 0' lhe ·orth" line was d~continued.
62 American • Abell

This 32-120 H.P. Amcr!cnn-Abell, buUt in 1911 , is owned by

West Development Museum of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The
picture wns s upplied by George Shepherd, Museum Curator.
This "Cock 0' the North" 32-120 H.P. American Abell, weigh·
ing over 25 tcms in working order, is the heaviest engine in the
Museum. So ld new in 1911, it plowed and threshed at
Este .. an until 1929. The lust owner was the Porcupine Lumber
Co. of Pclly, which used it until 1949. Wlien recch cd at tbc
Mu.~cum, the s t.ccrlng gear was gOJ1e, but it was rebuilt by the
museum mechanics. I L~ maximum consumption was 5,000
pounds of coal daily. The engine was rated at 32 horsepower on
the dmw bur and 120 on the belt. It is In excellent operating co n-

Thi~ 32 H.P. American-Abell, built 1911, is a cross compound

rear mount special plowing cncinc. It was equipped with inter-
cepting vah·e, power pump , steam re-heater, water heater, steam
pump, injector, 1u1d steam syphon. American-Abell straight line
balance \'al\'e wa..~ used in both cylinders.

Th is 32-120 H.P. Americnn-Ahcll, built in 1911, is owned by

Reynold's Museum of Wctaskiwin, Alberta. This picture was
Another view of the 32-120 H.P. Americnn-AbelJ owned by West supplied by S. G. Reynolds, Museum Manager. It shows the
Development Mu.~cum or Saskatoon. This picture was supplied steam engine as it arrived, n£ter being hauled in from the bush.
by Bernard Porter, of Steam-Era. Thi~ engine is now being rt.'Slorcd to running order. To fhe
owners or stenm I ruction ongim~s, their prize possession is more
fhan n machine. In many cases, it was rescued from junk, then
pampered nnd trea ted with kid gloves and lender loving care.

Ames Iron Works
The oldest Oswego. N. Y., industrial concern still carrying on manufactured as a standard line any other kind of equipment. Its
·oday (1975) is the Ames Iron Works. products have gone to every part of the civilized world.
Its recorded history coincides with that of the incorporation of All things being equal, the company may be considered as one
:he City of Oswego. Fo unded in the I 840's as the Talcott and Un- o f the foremost builders of steam engines in America.
lerhill Co .. it first manufactured wi nches for use on lake craft, During the World War II years the company served in out-
!hen plying in and o ut of Oswego h arbor. In 1854 it was pur- stand ing fashion. Its present production reaches $5,000,000 an-
~hased by Henry M. Ames, who was t he founder of the Ames Iron nually. Employing some 300 people, the annual payrolls of the in-
Works. From th at date unt il 1919, the plant was wholly or par- dustry reach to $7,000,000.
.ially owned by different members of the Ames family. The last of
~hem to be connected with the concern were Alfred H. Ames and
A.lien Ames who retired from the business when it was sold to the
;Jarent corporation in 1919, which is the Pierce Butler Radiator
During the entire lifo of the Ames Iron Works, the company
jevoted its effort entirely to the development of steam engines,
.>team traction engines , and steam b oilers. At no time has it
A 12 H.P. Ames steam trnct ion engine built in 1885. This engine
wns buill by Ames Iro n Works of Oswego, N.Y., the oldest
Oswego industrial concern still carrying on today (1975). The
Ames Iron Works sold a ll the rights for making steam traction
engines to lhc Skinner Engine Co. of Erie, Pa. This company did
not make any steam traction engines but supplied parls for the
engines already ma de by Ames Iron Works.

F. C. Austin Co.
The F. C. Austin Manufacturing Co. of Harvey, Ill. Austin Manufacturing Co. As of Jan. 1, 1944, the
was incorporated under the laws oft.he state of Illinois name of the corporation was changed from Western·
on July 10, 1888. Prior to September 24, 1902, the F. Austin Co. to Austin-Western Co. On March 8, 1951
C. Austin Manufacturing Co. was sold to the same in· the Baldwin-Lima Hamilton Corp. of Philadelphia, Pa.
terest involved in Western Wheeled Scraper Co. of acquired all common s tock of Austin-Western Co.
Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and on that date, the name was Then on July 1965 Armour and Co. of Chicago, Ill.
changed from the F. C. Austin Manufacturing Co. to purchased all of the Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton Corp. of
the Austin Manufacturing Co. On July 7, 1934, the Philadelphia. In December 1970 the Greyhound Corp.
Western -Austin Co. was incorporated under the laws purchased all of Armour and Co. and it's subsidiaries.
of the state of Illinois, effecting the consolidation of In May 1971 the Clark Equipment Co. of Buchanan,
the Wes tern Wheeled Scraper Company and the Mich. purchased only the Construction Equipment
This six·lon Auslin·Chicago sleam roller was owned and Division from Greyhound.
put into top condition by the late Loren Wade of Tracy.
Col. It was built by the Austin l\tfg. Co.. Il linois. It was This F. C. Austin steam t renching machine was built Ol
originally owned by the city of Stockton, Col. Then it was Harvey. Ill. around the early 1900's. On September 24.
sold at an auclion in 1948 too local junk dealer. Sometime 1902 the F.C. Austin Mfg. Co. was sold to t he same in·
later. A. C. Wullocc, u retired Southern Pacific engineer, tcresl in volved in Western Wheeled Scraper Co. nnd the
bought it. Finoll Loren Wad e bought it and restored it. It name was changed to the Austin Mfg. Co. Today lhc
was owned by Ali ce Wade of trocy, Col. This picture was Austin Western Co. is pnrt of the Clark Equipment Co. or
supplied by Howard E. Shindclcr of Manteca. Cal. Buchanan. Michigan.
Atlas Co.
The Atlas Company was originally founded as the Indiana pol
Car and Machine Works in 1872. Two years later it was re
organized as the Atlas Works. In 1878 another reorganization re
suited in its receiving the title that made it a famous concern-
the Atlas Engine Works.
The plant occu pied 65 acres of ground in the northeastern pa
of the city, lying immediately northeast of 19th Street and Colun
bia Ave. in Indianapolis.
This company built steam traction engines, small po1iab
engines and some other lines. Products were sold in India, Afric;
Australia, China, Japan, and countries in Europe. In 1912, Jami
W. Lyons of Chicago took over the Atlas Engine Works. The ne
name became the Lyons Atlas. At this time the company starte
to make the diesel oil engine and the much talked of Sile1
Knight gasoline engine. In addition to these, the company als
made in large quantities poppet-valve automobile engine
The Atlas portable steam engine was made in 1881 by the Atlas possibly the only steam tractor engine company to go into tr
Engine Works of Indianapolis, Ind. This portable was made in manufacture of automotive gasoline engines for other vehic
8, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25 aud 30 H.P. models. It was a typic11I portable manufacturers.
ste111n engine for threshing and other belt work of the 1880s.
Atlas also made steam traction engines.


This Atlas traction engine, made in 1881 , was horse-steered and,

more often than not horse controlled. It was made by the Atlas
Engine Worl;s of Indianapolis, Ind. This marked the t"ransition
from n portable steam engine to the true traction engine of a few
years later.

Th is is the right hand or cylinder side of the Atlas traction

engine. Made in 1881, it was horse-steered.
C. Aultman Co. 65

The C. Aultman Company was established in 1851. by Cor-

.elius Aultman , a native of the Buckeye State. He was born on a
arm in Osnaburg Township, Stark County, Ohio, just two miles
ast of the city of Canton, on March 10, 1827. His parents were
_acob and Elizabeth Aultman who migrated from Pennsylvania
-o Ohio. Soon after the birth of Cornelius they moved to Union-
own, Stark County, and within a year there, the father died ,
~aving his wife and two-year -old son.
As was the custom of that day, the education which C. Aultman
eceived was meager indeed, particularly when compared with
1resent day educational standards. He spent altogether about
ight months in the village school. Thereafter he was thrown
argely upon his own resources.
When he was about 14 years of age he went to work with his un-
':le at the millwright trade. After spending a few months at this
A 10 H.P., C. Aultman Shir engine was built by the C. Aultnrnn
vork he returned to live with his-mother who in the meantime had Co. of Canton, Ohio in 1889. T his engi ne's boiler had a diameter
oarried John Miller, a farmer living near Greentown. Ohio. of 28 inches , and was 9-fccl 6-lnchcs over all. The shell was
Soon after his return to Greentown, he engaged in learning to made of the best quality of holler steel. It had a guaranteed ten-
nanufacture spinning wheels and grain cradles. Following the sile strength of 55,000 pounds per square inch. Longitudinal
seams were double rh·ctcd. The crown sheet diped down and
nastery of this business, he entered the machine shop of Wise
backward, thus a.~suring its being covered with waler in de-
md Ball in the spring of 1848 and worked here for a period of two scen ding hills.
1ears. Later he was to marry the daughter of Mr. Wise. In this
;mall shop he learned the trade of wheelwright and general
nachine work. The output of this shop consisted of wheels for
:ransportation purposes, plows, mill construction and spinning.
Mr. Aultma n established the C. Aultman Co. in 1851. Then he
~stablished the Au ltman Taylor Machinery Co. The Aultman
faylor Machinery Co. stopped building steam traction engines
about 1924. They built about 5,870 steam traction engines.
The Aultman Company made the following steam traction
~ngines (Types): Star traction for coal or wood, the Mogul return
fuel engine. the compound Mogul engine, the upright-boiler Can-
ton Monitor. and the Double Star road locomotive, the last en-
gine built. The Aultman Company also made the Monitor semi-
.portable engine and the steam traction engine Phoenix.
The company also made the Star water and fuel tanks, Low-
Down tank force pump, American t hres her with folding stacker,
a wind stacker, sawmills, a nd horse powers. A 10 H.P. C. Aull man St11r engine of 1889. This engine was buih
by the C. Aullman Co. ol' Conlon , Ohio. The Star engine wns
The Aultman Company became the Aultman-Taylor Machin-
mounted in the mosl suhst1111ti11i mann er. The entire weight of
ery company and later was bought out by Allis-Chalmers. T oday tbe engine and boiler rested upon solid steel axles that reached
the home office of Allis-Chalmers Corp .. is Milwaukee, Wisc. from wheel to wheel. T he wheels were aU of wrought iron nnd
The Aultman-Taylor Machinery Company made the following: steel, except the huh.
The Aultman & Taylor steam traction engines; Bevel Gear wood
and coal burners that used the Woolf patent valve gear; spur gear
tractions mounted o n the John Abell patent boiler; straw coal or
wood burners mounted on t he celebrated A. & T . high p ressure,
water bottom tire box boiler; an d portable steam farm engines.
The company also made the New Century Separator, with
blower and self-feeder; the New Century rice thresher; Aultman-
Taylor Matchless clover and alfalfa hullers; Aultman-Taylor
water tanks, Farm and Plantation mill; saw mills, and horse

A 10 H.P. C. Aultman Star engi ne of 1900. The Sta r engine wns

pluccd on the market and was first thoroughly lcslccl th rough
the season of 1887. The boiler of the 1900 engin e rctninccl Its
dlumetcr of 28 inches, an d was 9-fcct 6-inchcs over 1111. It hnd u
gua r11ntccd tensile strength of 55,000 pounds per square Inch.
66 C. Aultman Co.

A 10 H.P. C. Aultman Monitor traction engine of 1889. One of

this's advantages was its convenien ce. The cylinder was
low dowu , where all parts were easily reached for adjusting ,
oiling and cleaning. The engine turned as quickly , and in as lit- A 12 H.P. C. Aultman Canton Monitor steam traction engine of
tle space, as a cart. 1903. This engine had water above and all around the fire-box,
had knobhled iron nucs , bnlanced steam valrn, locomotive link,
double-speed gear, differential gear and ground wheels.
The .12 H.P. C. Aultman Phoenix steam traction engine of 1889
used 11 return flue boiler, with the seams double riveted. T he
steel plntcs of wltich the boiler was mnde hnd 11 tensile sCrcnglh
of 55,000 po1111ds, go,•ermnent test. The completed boilers were
submiHcd io a test of 175 pounds pressure with cold waler 1111d a
test with steam .after the engine had b een attached. It was only
after these tests had been applied lhat the wood cas ing was put
on. The boiler was c.ased in wood to prevent condensation.


""'"""'___.. .,= ..,,. .~~~~;-.,-:~1~..;1,~"5;"1',&~~.~:;~~)i~
~·~~, ~, ·.\;. .
;~~e0!~-:s ~

A 12 H .P. C. Aultm a n Phoenix steam traction engine of 1889.

This engine used friction clut ch , automatic exhaust, balance
valve, '>ide steel wheels, mud spurs, ins pirator and pump, and a
unique water head. The Phoenix was provided '>ilh compensat-
ing gears to faciJ_itate t:urniJtg, Rn altnchment for reversing the
engine, and an automatic oiler for the steam chest and cylinder
This 12 H.P. St:ar steam traction engine was illust-rntcd in a 1902
C. Aultman Co. catalog. The holler heads were thoroughly
braced internally, and the shell was reinforced by nn extra plate
ri~eted inside the shell, just behind the steam dome where the
mnin shaft, gearing and Oy wheel were carried.
A 12 H.P. C. Aultma n Star engine of 1902. No boiler can be kept A 14 H.P. C. Aultman Co. Star engine of 1903. On all the Star
up without frequent cleaning. The Star engine's boiler provided engines, a center-hung locomothe link valve gear was used,
ampl e hund holes a nd 11 for the purpose of thoroughly i::iving the best poss ible stenm d istribution. A dlffcrcnll11l gear
cleaning the entire boiler, especially the spaces around the fire· was used on all types, properly distributing power between trnc-
box. llon wheels.

A 14 H.P. Star steam trnctlon engine was shown in a 1905 C.

Aultman Co. catalog. T his engine burned coal or wood. It used
The 20 H.P. C. Aultman Co. Mogul s team tractio n engine of
the loco motive type holl er. W11tcr entirely surrounded the fire
1902 carried a return llue tubular boiler of the flre·hox type.
box. In nil o[ the single cylinder engines built in 1905 the boiler
The bottom of lhc tire-box of the straw burner was so designed
carried a double thickness of plate under the main s haft. The
ns to present a broad flat grate s urface upon which lo burn the
flues were mudc of the best knobblcd iron.
s traw. The arrangement of the grates, fire-box and flues were
s uch that the straw was consumed in the fire-box and not in the
llucs ns in other engines.

T he 25 H.P. C. Aultmun Co. Mogul Compound of 1902 offered

high economy of fuel and water. The boilers were made to carry A 20 H.P. C. Aultman Co. Mogul steam traction engine of 1903.
the e.~trn pressure of s team which was necessary lo give high ef- The C. Aultman Co. was established in 1851 by Co rnelius Ault-
ficiency in the com pound engine. man, u native of Ohio.
C. Aultman Co.

The 25 H.P. C. Aultman Mogul Compound of 1903 was an oil

burner which burned either the paraffin oils of Pennsylvania
and Ohio or the asp hall oils of Texas and California. The C. Aultman Double Mogul steam traction undermounl
engine was substantially the same as the Double Star steam
traction engine, except tha t it had the Mogul boiler. II was es-
pecially designed for burning straw, wood and coal. II used two
cylinders set quartering, with no dead point, had steel gears,
double speed gears, a special crank shaft, balanced valve, link
motion, automatic exhaust, and ball bearings In the front truck .

This picture, taken near San Antonio , Tex., s hows n C. Aullman

Double Star foad locomoth·e undermounted steam fraction
The 22 H.P. Ault1111u1 Star undermounfod doub le cylinder steam engine pulling 11 load of 56,000 pounds of gra vel. This picture
traction engine built in J 905 was used for plowing, grading, was taken in 1905.
making roads and irrigalion dit ches, and heavy hauling about
min es, factories, lumber camps, and wherever heavy and con·
stant work was called for. Th e engine had two cylinders set
quartering with no dead point. It used steel gears, double speed
gears, special crank shaft, balanced valve , link motion, auto-
matic exhaust, and ball bearings in the front truck .

This 22 H.P. Aultm an Star undermounted doable cylinder

steam engine, buill in 1904, is owned by Robert L. Lefernr of
Lancaster, Pa. Lefever is now restoring bis engine to running

These are the Dues of the 22 H.P. Alu tman Star undcrmountcd
double cylinder steam engine owned b.1· Rober1 L. Lefeve r of
Lancaster, Pa.
Aultman - Taylor 69

Cornelius Aultman established the C. Aultman Company in

351. Then he established the Aultman Taylor Machinery Co.
he Aultman Taylor Machinery Company stopped building
earn t raction engines about 1924. It built about 5,870 steam
action engines. The Aultman-Taylor Machinery Co. was subse-
uently bought out by Allis-Chalmers.
The Aultman-Taylor Machinery Co. made the following: The
ultman &Taylor steam traction engines, Bevel Gear wood and
la] burners that used the Woolf patent valve gear; spur gear
actions mounted on the John Abell patent boiler; a straw, coal
·wood burner mounted on the celebrated A. & T. high pressure,
ater bottom fire box boiler; and portable steam farm engines.
A-T also made the New Century separator, with blower and
.If-feed er; the New Century rice thresher; Aultman-Taylor water
.nks, Farm and Pla ntation mill; saw mills, and horse powers.
The Aultman -Taylor engine boilers were of the high pressure
pe, safe for a working pressure of 150 lbs. They were tested un·
~r pressures of200 lbs. hydrostatic and 150 lbs. steam. This 8 H.P. Au ltman-Taylor wns buiU in 1905 by Aultman-
The traction was built on a steel frame, independent of the Tnylor M11chincry Co. of Munsflcld, Ohio. T his engine is a bevel
Jiler. The rear axle, countershaft, and the bracket which gear compensating type. It trnns mitlcd power ftom the crank-
shaft lo the compensating gear by means of a shaft. Power trans·
1stains them were entirely free from the boiler. These were fast-
mission by means of this device was simple and direct.
1ed to the steel frame by four radius links. two above and two
!low the channel. The channels ran through the brackets and
:sted on heavy springs on top of the box which contains the axle
his box being the bottom part of the bracket).
The compensating gear had four compensating pinions. The
:!.Vel face gears were made very heavy and kept in mesh with the
•Ur compensating pinions by means of a heavy steel adjustable
>llar on the outer end of the countershaft. The crankshaft was
ounted on sel f-oiling pillow blocks, with the bed plate and
llow cast in one piece. The straw burner steam traction engine
as mounted on a John Abell type of direct firing boiler.
The friction clutch was composed of two wooden shoes that
ressed on the inner edge of the fly wheel rim. The shoes slid
1dially in a spider that was loose on the shaft-this spider was
istened to the gear. The shoes were forced outward by a sleeve
1d toggle link and were operated by a lever at the platform.
One eccentric was required to operate the engine in either for- Aultmnn-Taylor showed this Columbia Mraw burner steam frac-
a.rd or backward motion. The eccentric was rigidly attached to tion engine in a J 902 catalog. This engine used the s un 11ower or
1e crank shaft by set screws. side shuft drive. It wns built in Mansflcld, Ohio.

A 10 H.P. AuHman-Taylor engi ne, buil t in 1902, owned by

Willi um H nll of Burtonsvillc, Md. The engine is a bevel
gcur dri ve, Engine #6396. Aullmnn-Tuylor used black for
the boiler, dome. and smokestack. g reen for the steering
wheel nnd levers. and the bevel gcnr & pinion. The ground
wheels were g reen with stripping us unlly in white, but
also in red. depending on the year the engine was built.
Green wos used for both boxes on the platform, with a pie·
Lu re of o starved rooster on t he bock side of each box,
blocked in with yellow. The connecting rod and steam
chest were stripped in yellow. the flywheel was green
stripped in yellow or red. and g reen was used for th e shaft
of the right side of the engi ne and for t he spindle between
the front groun d wheels. In 1907 Aultman-Taylor bujlt an
experimental steam t r action engine des igned by G. W.
Scumsn. a draughtsman in the local office. It was o double
cylinder engin e - each of the cylinders being 10 inches by
Hi in ches. The drive wheels were seven and one half feet in
diam eter, with o face of fo rty-two in ches. T he maximum
indicutcd horse·power was 171. wh ile the borse·power at
whi ch it was expected lo run continuously and
cco nomi cn ll y was 120. The eng ine had n carrying capacity
of 800 gn llons o f water and 1.500 pounds of coal. It was Cit-
70 Aultman - T-aylor
Th o Auf11>\a~·1'nylor Compo u nd E ngine..

A 10 H.P. Aultman-Taylor compound stc11r11 trnction engbte.

Cornelius Aultman established the C. Aultmnn Co. i.n 1851,
then he established the Aultman -Tny lor Machinery Co. The A 12 H.P. Aultnrnn-Tnylor bevel genr steam traction engin e,
Aultman-Taylor Machinery Co. stopped prodqcing s team trac- built in t 905. This engine used brass casting and fittings, com-
tion engines about 1924. Thes built about 5,870 such engines. pression grease cups, sight feed lubricators, crosshead pump,
Woolf patent rnh'c gear, and only one eccentric.

The 14 to 25 U.P. Aultman-Taylor steam traction engine

pictured in a 1905 Aul lman-Tnylor catalog. T his engine ls a 1
and wood burner, mounlcd 011 the cclcbruted A & T h
pressure, waler bottom boiler.

This 12 H. P. Aultman-Taylor stenm traction engine, built in

1900, is owned by Marcus Lamoreaux of Wnterville, Kan. It ap-
penrs nt the Midwest Old Settlers & Threshers Assn. show at
Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and was also at the Midwest Old Settlers
and Threshers Reunion. The 1905 bevel gcnr dri\'C is a rare
engine, and is the first one of its type to be exhibited at the Mid·
west s how. Lamoreaux acquired tbe engine from the Ben Mark-
ley estate In the faU of 1971. Markley hncl found It lo Kansas
nbout 1939. lls weight is 4 ,500 lbs. and It wns built about 1900.
This type of engine is known as a sunflower gear or inclined
shnfl type. With this engine there is no clutch, rnthcr, a smaU
genr slides on the crank shaft that is move d by n le•'er from the
rear In and out of the large sunflower l.1c•'el ge nr on the top end
of the Inclined shaft. On the bottom of the in clined shaft is a
smnll be•el gear that engages the large differcntinl gear on the
uxle on the right rear of the fue-box.

This 16 H.P. Aullmnn-Tnylor steam lraclion engine, built In

1922, is owned by H. Lester Lee of Cross Creek, Pa. JI is shom1
at the Tri-State Uistorlcnl Steam Engine Assn. show nt Hooks·
Iowa, Pn. The Aulhnnn.Taylor Machinery Co. was bought hy
Allis-Chalmers. Todny the home office of Allis -Chalmers ls
Milwaukee, Wis.
Aultman - Taylor

This 20 H.P. Aul tman-TaJIOr steam traction engine, built in

1918, is owned by George Rickey of Nor wich , Ohio. It is seen ut
lhc St umptu wu Stcnm Threshers Assn. show, New Athens,

This 18 H.P., Aultman-Tnylor s team lrnclion engine, built in
1914, is ownctl by Jim Mnlz of Richmond Center, Ohio. (I is at
the Pioneer Steam and Gas Engine Society s how, Meadville, Pa.
The Aultman-Taylor engine boilers were or the high pressure
1ype_,.arc for a working pressure of 150 lbs. They were tested
under pressures of 200 lbs. hyd roslatie and 150 lbs. skam.

The 25 H.P. Aullmun· Taylor slcam traction engine, straw burn·

er, WM pictured Ln a 1909 Aulhnan-Taylor Co. catalog. This
engine Is a spur gear lraction mounted on the John AbeU pulcnt
boiler. This boiler had double riveted seams, was heavy stayed,
nnd ma de to stand a much higher pressure than would ever be

T his 20 H.P. Aoltman-Tnylor steam tracllon engine, built in
needed. The fir·c-box had a drop crown sheet whicb allowed the
flues to extend into half the lengtb of the ftre-box. This form of
construclioo gave a large heating surface. A hollow c.o rrugaled
flrc bridge exlcndcd back from the drop crown sheet forming a
1912, is owned by Tom Ackcrn111n ofWarctown, N. J. It nppears combustion chnmbcr in the ftrc-box. All the st:raw burners were
at the WiUlnms Grove Historical Steam Engine Assn . show, lagged with matched pine and then covered with planished steel.
Mechanicsburg, Pa. Tom Ackerman's engine bas a bore and
stroke of 9 x 11 inches, nnd is built lo carry 130 lbs. boiler
pressure. This engine was huill during the winier of 1911-12,
and was bought for abou l S2,SOO when new. tis Serial is #8306.

This 25 H.P. Aultman-Taylor stcnm traclion engine, built in

1909, Is 11 coal burner. ll used the Saxon patenl cushion gear.
Aultmnn-Taylor built these engines from 14 H.P. up lo 25 H.P.
Tbc Aultman-Taylor wns a good plowing engine because it was
rear mounted and there was no danger of ii rising In front. Rear
mounting enabled the tender to be placed on the rear platform
and the ll\nlcs on th e side, thus affording very liberal waler
capacity. Rear mountin g brought lh c ernnlcshnft nearer to the
counlcrshnfl llrns nvoldln g severe strains on t he boiler shaf1.
The Oywhccl and crankshnft were close to the opcrntor and easy
to get at.
Avery Co.
The idea responsible for founding the Avery enterprises had its The Avery curved block reverse gear gave equal lead and cut o
conception in the infamous Andersonville Confederate Prison to get the most fuel vconomy.
when a Union soldier spent his time sketching a design for a com The Avery friction clutch had long, heavy shoes, which covereG
planter. That soldier was R. H. Avery. At the close of the Civil about one-half the circle of the flywheel and held fast when th(
War, Avery returned to his farm in Kansas and by 1874 had a full clutch was thrown in. The shoes pushed straight out against the
size working model of his planter completed. In 1877 Avery and rim and thus brought no end thrust on the main shaft to quick!~
his brother established a manufacturing business in Galesburg, wear the engine out of line, as was the case of some which engag\
Ill., to manufacture planters, stalk cutters and cultivators. from the side on a beveled surface. When the clutch was throwi
Success came quickly, and as the business grew, the Avery out, the shoes were drawn well back from the wheel.
brothers determined to move the plant to Peoria to take advan- All the Avery engines were regularly equipped with automatic
tage of better transportation facilities. They purchased 10 acres of self coupling draw bars. All the gears were steel and semi-steel. I
land east of the intersection of North Adams and North Jefferson A progressive company, Avery had introduced a mechanical
streets and erected a square building in 1884. com picker in 1894, but it was so different and unusual that old
In 1891, the company began manufacturing steam traction time farmers wouldn't buy it because it would put too many me1
engines and grain threshers, which became a major part of the
company's business for over 30 years. They also made a gasoline
out of work.
The Avery Company was incorporated in September 1907.
powered truck in the 1900s. From the "Largest Tractor Company in the World" to bank
The Avery was a single cylinder, straight flue steam traction ruptcy came suddenly, and in early 1924 the company went int<
engine. Avery boilers were reinforced for carrying high pressures. receivership. Several reasons have been advanced for the bank
ruptcy, but careful study would probably reveal that a combina·
~=--~~UJIU! ...........
T I .........:;:...t...::l~i.1
tion of reasons brought about t he demise, prominent amonr
which would be poor inventory policies and over extension o:
credit to customers.
Whatever the causes, despite several attempts to revive tht
company after l 924, the bankruptcy ended the Avery Compan)
as a major industry. But, while it flourished, it was Peoria'~
largest industry and it left much behind. The north end of Peori•
during this period was known as Averyville and several churche<
in the area still prefix their names with Averyville. The Old Aver)
homestead in Peoria, although much altered in recent years, stili
remains in a triangle of land bordered by Adams, Van Buren and
Jefferson Streets.
One attempt to revive the company nearly succeeded. The com-
pany made money until 1931. But the depression, plus heavy inJ
debtedness incurred in the initial founding of this secon~!
organization, brought it also to bankruptcy. A second attempt to!
A 16 H.P. Avery & Rnusch return flue built in 1903 by the A.-ery
revive it was never able to gain much momentum, but the com
Power Machinery Co. or Peoria, ID. This engine is owned by the
Reynold's Museum of Wetaskwin, Alberta, Canada. The picture pany was still operating on a small scale in .1941.
was supplied by S. G. Reynolds, Museum Mnnager.

This 16 H.P. Avery top mounted, built in 1916, is owned by

Sater & Prickett of Mount 'Pleasant, Io wa. This engine is al the
Midwest Old Settlers & Threshers Assn. show at Mount
Plefl~llnt. l,n 1891, the Avery Co. begun manufacturing steam
tuction engines and grain threshers, which became a major part
of the company's business for over 30 years.

This 18 R.P. A•·cry locomotive style, under111ow11'cd double

cylinder s team !t"action engine built in 19 I 2, is owned by C. R.
Willits & Son of Mount Pleasant , Iowa. It is in action at the
Midwest Old Settlers & Threshers Assn. show 111 Mount
Avery Co.

This engine, a 18 H.P. Avery undcrmount buUt in 1911, ls

owned by Herber L. Conley of Etters, Pa. It Is at the Williams
Grove Historical Steam Engine Assn. show at Mcchunlcsburg,
Pa. The Avery engine ulwnys put one in mind of a raUroad
engine that has wandered away from its tracks. The Avery Co.
was incorporated in September 1907.

A 18 H.P. Avery locomotive style, undermounted double cyl-

inder steam traction engine built in 1911. This engine is owned
by Rough and Tumble Engineers Historical Assn. of Kinzer, Pa.

This 30 H.P. A>·ery locomotive style, undcrmounted double

cylinder steam traction engine, buUt In 1916, ls on display at
Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn,

This 20 H.P. Avery return Oue, built in 1913, is owned by Bill

Sater of Mount Pleasant, Iowa. It is at the Midwest Old Settlers
& Threshers Assn. show al Mount Pleasant. The short return
flue boiler was liked by some people for its h.igher efficiency, the
result of passing the combustion gasses th.rough the boiler mice.

This 40 H.P. Avery undermounl steam traction engine, built in

1914, is owned by C.R. Willits & Son of Mount Pleasant, Iowa.
It is at the Midwest Old Settlers & Threshers Assn. show, Mount
Pleasant. C.R. Willit's Avery weighs 25 tons. It is a double sim·
pie >;ith springer valve gear and 7 x 10 inch cylinders. Its two
gears give it l'/• and 2Y2 MPH speeds at 250 RPM. C.R. Willits
brought the engine from Oklahoma, where it was used to run a
74 Avery Co.

A 40 H.P. A'cry undermountcd double cylinder steam traction

engine built in 1917. These engines used the Avery curved block
rC\'ersc gear which gave equal lend and cut off. The A \'Cry
boilers were reinforced for carrying high pressures. The A\'cry
fricrion clutch had long, heavy shoes, which covered about one-
half the circle of the flywheel and held fast when the clutch was
This 40 H.P. Avery unde rmoont steam tnction engine, built In thrown in.
1912, w11s owned by E11rl Marhanka of Dowagiac, M ichigan. It
has full ex tension wheels. T his engine was sold for Sl 4,500 In
May, 1973.

Somewhere before 1907 Avery beg11n to move into the gasoline

tractor business, nnd by 1907 the company was producing t his A 50 H.P. Avery single cyllnder straight Due steam tnclion
rather strange vehicle. Although it looked like a t ruck, Avery engine b11Ut· Ln 1918. Regula r equipment on aU Avery steam
refused to call It s uch , naming it instead the "Farm & City Trac· engine.~ included roc ker grutcs, automatic Ore door, nutomntlc
tor." The company claimed that It coul d pull three or four 14· co upler, lifti ng j11ck, and tools. All the gears were steel or scmi·
inch plows, pull a drag or scraper, and could be nttcd witb 11 steel.
cargo bed for carrying loads. Both driver and passenger s11t
abrca~t of the engine box. Avery apparently did not feel that fen· During the fi ve year spun between 1907 nnd 1912, A\'CT)' nnally
ders , lights, or driver proteetfon were necessary on this " trnc· concluded that its " fnrm & City Tractor" was really a truck nnd
tor." should be marketed as s uch. Still, even th ough t he company now
called its l'eh lcle a truck, Its promotional material conttnucd to
Employed as a construction st.earn shovel is this 18 H .P . stress the point that ii could puU four 14-lnch plows, a gang of
Avery locomotive style, undermounted double cylinder harrows, or other ngricuJtural Im plements. It appears that \'cry
steam traction engine. This engine is using the Avery few mechanical or design changes were made in the vehicle be-
Steam crone attachment plus the Avery steam s hovel ut· tween 1907 and 1912, when this Avery went to work for the Polar
tachment, both of which were dealer or factor y installed
Ice & Fuel Co. of I ndianapolis. In a later testimonial, Polar offi·
optional pieces of e quipment.
cials commended the truck for its efficient and economical
operation .
A. D. Baker Co. 75

Abner D. Baker, son of Samuel and Lydia Baker, was born

farch 17, 1861. near Fredericktown, Knox County, Ohio. When
5 years of age he moved with his parents to a farm a few miles
ist of Swanton, Ohio.
He had a common school education. When he was 23 years old,
e went to Akron, Ohio. There he worked as a machinist in the
mpire Reaper Works for about three years. From there he went
l Erie, Penn., and worked one year in the Erie City Iron Works.
rom there he went to Detroit, where he worked in the Frontier
:on Works for about three months.
At this time he returned to Lucas County and started a repair
1op on his father' s farm. He conducted a prosperous business
1ere for a few years and in 1895 he opened a similar shop in
He conducted the Swanton business as a repair shop until
·r .
901, when it was incorporated under th e name of the A. D. ~I •
;:~··,~· ; .. ·•'

:aker Co., to engage in the manufacture of steam traction , I

.. • I• ! ~ ;..
ngines. Mr. Baker had already built five traction engines as a T his 18 H.P. Baker steam traction engine, built in 1913, ls
ersonal business enterprise before he organized the stock com- owned by Jay Bower of Allendale, Mich. It ls at the River Be.n d
any. Steam & Gas Assn. show at Allendale. The engine was built by
In April 1886, Mr. Baker married Ella Berkebile, and in 1891 a A. D. Baker of Swanton, Ohio.
on, Louis R. Baker was born. He later became the mechanical
ngineer of the company.
The Baker steam traction engines used the Baker center-hung
everse valve gear, Baker balance valve and seat, adjustable boxes
or rear axles, and the Baker Uniflow Cylinder.
The Baker boiler was adopted to the A.S.M .E. type of boiler as
iandard, and all boilers produced conformed to the A.S.M.E.
ode. Each boiler was given a rigid A.S.M.E. inspection which, in
tself, was ample proof of the quality of both material and work-
nanship. The boilers had a tensile strength of 55,000 pounds to
he square inch.
The crown-sheet was provided with fusible plug of soft metal,
vhich would melt on exposure, preventing explosion or other
lamage from over-heating on account of low water.
The fire-box was very large, having ample heating surface per
1orse-power. Bakers used less steam per rated horse-power than
my other traction engine in the world, while the fire-box was
unong the largest made. However, the heating surface was in
:orrect proportion to the requirements of the engines. This ls the Oywhecl side of the 18 H.P. Baker steam traclion
engine owned by Jay Bower of Allendale, Mich.
The company also made the famous Baker Valve Gear for
·ai!road locomotives. The Baker Valve Gear was used on r ailroad
ocomotives worldwide. The Baker Co. also made steam road
·ollers and grain threshers.

T his 19 H .P. Baker s team traction engine, built in 1923, is

owned by Lnrry Mb of Hastings, Mich. It Is at the Michigan r
Stc11 m Engine & T hreshers show al Mason, Mich. T he B11kcr
boiler wus ndopted to the A.S.M.E. type of boiler, and a ll boilers
produced conformed to the A.S.M.E. code. Each boiler wns
given a rigid A.S.M.E. Inspection which, in Itself, was ample
proof of the quaJlty of both material and workmanship. The
steel used had a tensile srrength of 55,000 pounds to the square

.; .
76 A. D. Baker Co.

A 18 H.P. Baker steam traction engine, from a 1911 catalog.

Euch Baker steam engi.ue bad a crown-sheet fu.~ible plug of soft, which would melt on exposure prevenling explosion or
other damage resulting from over-heating due to low water.
The Baker uniOow cylinder is one where the steam in the cylin-
der Oows just in one direction ns it passes through. Steam comes
In a porl at the end of the cylinder and follows the pislon up to
the end of the stroke where it is exhausted through portS around
the cylinder wall, which are uncovered by the piston. A long
piston, which L~ nearly one-half the length of the cylinder, is
used so that release does not come until late in the stroke. When
the piston co,·crs the exhaust ports on the return stroke, com·
pression would run very high by the time the piston reached the
end of the stroke If special means were not provided to prevent
It. Therefore, Baker used a piston valve which admitted steam at
the outer end of the valve. This valve bas a piston head on each
end, with two rings on each head. It also has a center valve
which controls steam relense at the center port: in the valve
chamber. The exhaust edges or Inner edges of the end valves
have an 1/8-lnch clearance when the valve is ill center position.
The center valve has a S/J6-inch lap in the same position. By
this means, the compression in the cylinder escapes into the
valve chamber up to the time that the inner edge of the end vah·e
closes the port to exhaust steam.

A 21-75 H.P. B11kcr steam traction engine pictured in a 1929

A 19 H.P. Baker, built by A. D. Baker Co. of Swanton, Ohio, is catalog. This engine's fire-box was very large, having ample
pictured in 111929 catalog. Abner D. Baker was born March 17, heating surface per horse-power. It used less steam per rated
1861 near Fredericktown, Ohio. When 15 years of age he moved horse-power than any other traction engine in the world, while
with his parents to a farm a few miles ea.~t of Swanton, Ohio. tl1c fire-box was among the largest made.
A. D. Baker Co. 77

This 21-75 H.P. Baker steam traction eng'me, built in 1922, is A 20 H.P. Baker steam traction engine pictured in a 1911
owned by Glen Abaker of Newark, N.Y. This engine is at the catalog. All Baker engines were regularly equipped with coal
New York Steam Engine Assn. show in Canadaigua, N.Y. The and wood grates, the bars having '/.-inch openings. For the flne-
A. D. Baker Co. was established in 1888 by A. D. Baker and in- coal districts , the company supplied grate-bars ba\'lng 1/r-lnch
corporated in December, 1900. A. D . Baker's first traction openings. Straw-burning grates could be substituted.
engine was rear-mounted, had a "Baker" valve gear and coun-
terbalaneed friction shoes. A. D. Baker moved lo Swanton,
Ohio, In 1876, and set up his first e:i.'}>erimental shop there.
Later, he built a larger machine ship on the Fulton-Lucas Coun·
ty line, where he mrutufaetured small stationacy engines. 21-75 H.P. Baker steam traction engine, built in 1925, is

owned by B. Cappon of Woodland , Mich. It is in action at the
Michigan Steam Engine & Threshers show at Mason, Mich.

Thb 21-75 H.P. Baker steam traction engine, built in 1921, is

owned bv Hugh Hartzell of Union City, Ind. It Is at the Darke
County Steam Threshers show at GreenvUJe, Ohio. Abner D.
This is the flywheel side of the 21-75 H.P. Bnl<er owned by B.
Baker's s team fraction engines were sold all over the U.S. and in
Cappon of Wood land, Mich.
a few foreign countries.
A. D. Baker Co.

A team or horses and an A. D. Baker steam traction engine are

both on the move. This picture was taken at the Nor thern
Illinois Steam Po wer Club show at Sycamore, Ill. 21-75 H.P. Baker slcam traction engine, built in 1922, is

o>mcd by John McDowell of Plainfield, Ohio. It is at the Stump-
tOl<11 Steam Threshers Assa. show in New Athens, Ohio.

This 21 -75 R .P. Baker steam traction engine, built in 1925, is

owned by Clyde Whitmore of Lodi, Ohio. It is in action at the
Tuscarawas Valley Pioneer Power Assn. show at Dover, Ohio.
This is the cylinder side. This is the flywheel side of the 21-75 H.P. Baker owned by Clyde
Whitmore of Lodi, Ohio. It is appearing here at the Richland
County Steam Threshers Assn. or show at Mansfield, Ohio.

This 23-90 H.P. Baker steam traction engine, built in 1923, is

owned by Ralph Baites of Grt>cmlUe, Ohio. It is at the Darke
County Steam T hreshers show al Gr(,'Cnville, Ohio. The Baker
Valve genr was used on U.S. and foreign railroad locomotives.

A 23-90 H.P. Baker steam traction engine, pictured in a 1929

catalog. T he Bnkcr steam traction engine used the Baker center-
hwtg 1·nlve genr, Baker balance 1•alve and seat, adjusfable boxes
for the rear axles, and the Baker uniflow cylinder.
A. D. Baker Co. 79

This 23-90 H.P. Baker steam traction engine, built in 1926, is This 23-90 H.P. Baker stear:o traction engine, built in 1927, is
o•mcd by Waller Lambert of Troy, Ohio. It is at the Dark Coun- owned by Clark Dell of OnttervUlc, Ontario. It appears at the
ty Steam Titreshcrs sh ow, Greenville, Ohio. Ontario Steam an d Antique Preservers show in Milton, Ontario.

The Baker oniOow cylinder was used on the 23-90 H.P. engine
om1cd by Clark Dell of Oolterville, Ontario.

The 25 H.P. Buker s team tract ion engine, pictured in a 191 1

A. D. Baker catu log, was sold under posilh·e warranties. The
cylinder of this cnj\ine was surrounded by a jacket of lh•c steam
nt boiler tempcrn!urc nnd boiler pressure, overcoming eoudeu- A 25 H.P. Ba l1cr s team lractlcm engin e was pi ctured in a 1911
sntion in lhc cyll11dc1· nnd allowing 1111 of lhc natural ex pansion A. D. Baker Co . catalog. This engine used a jacket a nd had ex·
of the after cut -off took place. tra waler tank capacity.
80 A. D. Baker Co.

The 18-R.P. Baker steam road roller, from a 1911 catalog. This
Baker was a I 0-ton roller, also built to haul heavy loads such as
graders, scarifiers, and plows, or to he used as belt power to run
large capacity rock crushers and saw mills. Roller.~ boil! in the
1920s were equipped with both hand or power friction steering
dc>·iccs, co nveniently located so as to be reached by the operator
from either side of the roller. The compensating gear permitted
Here is a good close-up of the fronl of the 18 H.P. Baker steam
turning at all times in either direction at any speed from a mile
road roller of 191 1. Note the front roller scraper attachment.
or less to 2 1/1 miles per hour.

A 19-65 H.P. Baker road roller, pictured in a 1929 catalog. The

Baker was a 10-ton unit having nu Ohio Standard high pressure
boiler. The boiler, cylinder, valve gear gearing and general
design were the same ns ln the 19-65 H.P. steam traction engine.
This is the flywheel s ide of the J8 H.P. A. D. Baker st:e nm road The peculiar design of the concave rolls permitted free handling
roller pictured in the 1911 A. D. Baker Co. catalog. and steering of the Buker roller. The renr rolls ovedapped the
front roU four i.n ches on each side. Tbe roller had an exception-
ally large boiler and waler capacity.

The Big Brother is equipped wUh Baker valve gear. Baker steam
traction engines used the same principle and quality in their
A Bessemer locomotive equipped with Baker valve gear. More valve gear ns wa.~ used in rnllrond locomotives. More than 14,000
than 14,000 railroad locomoti.ves were equipped with l:hc Baker locomotives were equipped with the B11ker v11lvc gear. A. D.
valve gear. Baker held the patents on this gear.
Best Mfg. Co.
In 1859, at the age of 21, Daniel Best tramped west over the
Oregon Trail. Bad luck hounded him for a decade as he tried gold
mining, hunting and sawmilling all over the Northwest. In 1869,
he took charge of his b rother's ranch near Marysville, Cal. At the
time grain was hauled from the Best fields to town for cleaning ...
the charge being three dollars per ton. Best wondered: "Why not
bring the cleaner to the grain instead?" In the winter of 1869-
1870, he developed and built three portable grain cleaners.
During the following harvest, he and his brothers operated all
three machines. Best soon opened a local factory for their
Not long after, the young inventor moved to Albany, Oregon,
and added a seed dusting machine and fanning mill to his line.
Daniel Best In 1900 built this 110 H.P. Best s team traction
He experimented with a wide variety of agricultural and general engine for the Middle River Farming Co. of Stockton, Cal. The
usage products, and even patented a washing machine in 1877. In 20·ton machine had wood covered drive wheels 15 feet wide and
the early 1880s, Best moved once again-this time to Oakland, nine feet In dlninctcr. T he Best Mfg. Co. of San Lc11ndro, Cal.,
Cal. Business continued to boom; the company became so merged with the Holt Mfg. Co., Stockt·on, Cal. in 1925 to form
the Caterpillar Tractor Co. The home office of the Caterpillar
pressed for space that products were stored in the streets. When
Tractor Co. to day is Peoria, 111.
OakJand police objected, he looked again for a new location and
chose nearby San Leandro, a few miles to the south. A Caterpillar
Tractor Co. plant now stands on the same site.
Daniel Best delivered his first steam harvester in February,
1889, for $4,500. He then stayed on for one week to instruct the
new owner. The machine had two sections: traction engine and
combine. The two traction engine drive wheels were eight feet
high and 26 inches across. Great wheel size helped the machine
get over logs and up out of holes ... in addition to distributing the
11 -ton weight over a larger area. Straw, wood or coal served as
This Best steam traction engine was built in 1906. It is
owned by Oscar 0. Cooke, Billings, ML Oscar operates
this engine every year at his steam show at Oscar's
Dremnlnnd, Billing, Mt. The engine was rated by Besl nt
100 H.P. wit h 100 lbs of slenm pressure and 150 H.P. wi th
150 P.S.I. It is n o il burning engine. Road speed varies be·
tween 5 and 6 :Vl.P.H. Years ago it was used with six
l O·ton ore wagons hauling ni ckel and silver ore from t h e
mi ne eight miles to the s m elter, twice daily.

This Besl 110 H.P. slenrn traction cni;:ine was built in

1902. It is own ed by the Oakland Museum, Oakland. Cal.
Restoration took over three years and some 3,000 hours. Sleeping snfely behind its fenced lot is this 110 H.P. Best steam
T hree doze n loca l firms donated oil rnolcrnls used in refur · trnction engine built In 1906 by Best Mfg. Co., San Lean dro,
bis hing , totalling sonH~ SlS,000. Today it is in running Cal. H ls owned by the City park disb'ict of Rexburg, Idaho.
order and burns coal or wood. Daniel Bcsl of Sun Lcandl'o , produced a steam traction engine
in 1889. After his Orsi sale, he stayed on for one week to gh•e in-
structions to the new owner on bow to operate the 11-ton
machine. This slcnm traction e ngine sold for S4,SOO in 1889.
82 Birdsall Co.
The Birdsall Co. manufactured steam traction engines, road
rollers, road engines, portable engines, threshers, and saw mills.
The company first began business in Penn Yan, N. Y., in June,
1860, under the name of H. Birdsall & Son. The firm was com-
posed of Hiram and Edgar M. Birdsall. Their productions then
consisted of threshers, horse powers, mowing machines and
various agricultural implements. This business was conducted on
a moderate scale for a time.
The diligent attention given to details and first class workman-
ship, soon brought Birdsall products into deserved popularity,
and the business increased from year to year, as the reputation of
the goods became more widely known. Up to the year 1874, the A patent steering device was used on this Birdsall stea m traction
company had been confined to the manufacture of horse-power engine built in 1886. This engine had the water service attached
to the boiler. The engine was adapted to any work of the ordin-
threshers only.
ary traction engine, but was more particularly inl.endcd for
About t his time steam power began to be used to some extent hauling freight on the road.
for threshing purposes, and this company began the manufacture
of farm engines in connection with the threshing business. The itself in this problem, and the Novelty Saw Mill was the result. Its
same energy and careful attention to the perfection of manu- simplicity and strength, and its ease of portability has given it a
facture which had always characterized this company was now prominent place in all parts of the country.
directed towards the development of an engine that would at There were upwards of 300 men employed in the works, and in
once, by its economy and utility, maintain the reputation of the each and every department were found the best skilled mechan·
products. As a result, trade increased so rapidly that the business ics. Edgar M. Birdsall was president of the company until 1886.
soon outgrew the facilities. The Birdsall steam traction engine was the only one at that
Facing the choice to greatly enlarge and remodel the works at time made with the Automobile steering gear, open or solid faced
Penn Yan, or move to where more extended facilities could be af- drivers and a six to ten barrel water capacity on the engine. The
forded, the company finally selected Auburn, N.Y. Birdsall pur- cylinder was of the Corliss pattern, and was cast with the ways
chased the works fonnerly occupied by the Cayuga Chief Com- and brackets in one piece. The compensating gear was placed
pany, and moved in October, 1881. Having now obtained all the directly on the rear axle, inside of the large spur driving-gear, and
facilities required for an increased production of the portable the power was transmitted to it from the large gear through a
engine and thresher, the company resolved to further extend its heavy steel coil spring, thereby forming a perfect cushion to
line of manufacture. Acting upon this, after a series of careful ex- protect the gearing from sudden shocks or severe strains when
periments, it produced its first traction engine. starting the engine in either direction. The Cross-Head was ad-
Attention was now directed toward an improvement in justable to take up wear, and the slides had large wearing sur-
threshing machines and the New Birdsall Vibrating Thresher faces, which were concaved to prevent cramping or heating. The
stands in the foremost rank of this class of machinery. A growing connecting rod was so constructed as to be practically free from
want was now felt among the owners of comparatively small tracts vibration. The result was a perfectly smooth-running engine, even
of timber, situated remotely from permanent saw-mills, for a mill under the strain of a heavy load . The crank head was perfectly
that could be moved from place. The company at once interested balanced, as was the fly wheel. 12 H.P. Birdsall steam traction engine, buUt by Birdsall
Engine Co., Auburn, N.Y., In 1904, is owned by Mrs. B. Earlene This Birdsall steam traction engine, built in 1888, is owned by
Ritzman of Enola, Pa. The late Reverend Elmer Ritcman , the Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Mich. This picture is from
Methodist minister for 42 years, was founder and publisher of the cellections of Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford
"Iron-Man Album Magazine" and "Gas Engine Magazine." He Museum. This engine used a valve eccentric that was reversed by
lived from 1888 to 1971. Mrs. B. Earlene Rih:man, his wife, was a sliding rack instead of the more common link motion.
editor till August 1973. Gerald S. Lestz of Lancaster, Pa. is now
Birdsall Co. 83

A close-up of the patent automobile steering i:ear used on the 15

H.P. Birds11ll steam trnction cn i:lne built in 1897.
This is a chain steering version of n 1S H.I'. Birdsall steam trac·
tion engine buiIC. in 1897. The Blnl~ull Co. made the following:
Thrc.'Shcrs, horse powers, mowing rnacbiJ1es 11nd various agri·
cultural Implements. The Bird~nll s team tracllon engine was the
only one at that time that mode lite Automobile steering gear,
open or solid faced drivers, 11nd 11 six lo ten b11rrel water c11paclty
on tbe engine.

A Birdsall doable cylfoder s team traction engine as it appeared

in the Tl.lreshermcns Review, In 1902. This engine hnd n SUS·
pended water tank , pro\'ided with ejector nnd hose for filling the
tank. The Croat wheels were wrought iron. It had the patent
steering device an d the patent open-foecd driving or tTOction
wheels wUh their peculiar cons truction. A Birds11JI steam traction engi ne built In J 900. The boiler 11nd
engine were mounted on n throui:h shaft at the rear of fhe flre·
box with coll springs on the axle boxes and Crome to cnrry the
driving pinion sbrut. A fore and aft driving s hrut transmitted the
power from the engine by 11 bevel gear, so that by its slight
oscillnHon the springs were compens11ted. The differential gear
wns within the large spur gear on the main sltaft, nnd was
provided with cushion springs to prevent s hock when sta rting or
reversing. The traction wbecls were of novel construction, their
face being made of 1111gle Iron lug11 11lnced In reversed dingonals
and riveted to angle Iron tlrcs. The spokes were of Oat Iron, In
basket form, and riveted to the flanged hubs nnd tires.
Th is 8 H.P. Birdsall stea m traction, Engin e #2538, is ow n·
ed by Ve rdon E. P cnrn ofTusmnniu, Austrnliu. As fur us is
known, this is the o nly Birds all s team traction le ft in
Australia today. The Birdsall Co. built stea m traction
engines. road rollers und road engines, portable engines.
t hreshers. and s aw mills. It begon business in Pen Yon,
N.Y., in Jun e, 1860, und er the nome of H. Birds all & Son.
Joe Blumentritt of New Hartford, in Winona County, Minn ., structed a large earthen dam and water wheel to furnish power
set about to do something about the prevailing conditions of the for the shop. Mr. Blumentritt made all his tools, including dies.
time. In the early 1870s when 20 years old, he built for himself his A large air hammer was used for making all forgings. The pat-
first portable steam engine of six horsepower. terns for the castings were made by himself.
The engine was successful in every respect except it had to be The Blumentritt engines were double cylinder built in 6. 12,
moved from place to place by horses or oxen. Blumentritt decided and 24-horsepower sizes. They were return tlue and operated
he wanted his engines to move by their own power. He designed from the side, fired from the front end. They were straight gear,
traction gearing and steering devices and improved the original no clutch. The pinion was moved over and a square key inserted.
engine. By the time he had built the second engine, it became These engines were the first traction engines built west of the
evident they were successful. Others now wanted to buy similar Mississippi River, and as far as can be determined only one is left
engines. This led Blumentritt to build the engine shop on his today. This is a 12 H.P. double, which was rebuilt in 1952. The
farm, which had a creek running through. On the creek he con- engine was built in 1878.

Another view of the 12 H.P. Blumcntrill steam traction engine

owned by Orin Krogsllld of Osni:c, !own. Joe Blumcntritt of New
Hartford, Minn., decided to do something about the prerniling
con ditions of the time. l n the early 1870s when about 20 years
old , he built for himself his first portable s tea m engine or six
horse power. He then built n s tcnm trnclion engine, which was a
Buffalo • Pitts 85
John A. and Hiram A. Pitts were twin brothers born on Decem - The tubes were of 2-inch lap welded, fitted into tube sheets
ber 8, 1799, in Winthrop, Maine. The first named was the foun- with copper gaskets of the approved thickness adopted by the
der of the universally known Buffalo Pitts Co., ofBuffal~ N.Y. best locomotive boiler builders. All the tubes were arranged in
Th brothers began the manufacture of tread powers on a large vertical rows with ample spaces between, providing for perfect
scale in their native town, and introduced them in the New water circulation. The fire box was entirely surrounded by water,
England states as power for the ground threshers. These were with large steam space and large, high domes. Stay bolts were
revolving wood cylinders, mounted in a crude frame, with iron refined iron, 7/8-inch diameter, screwed into the plates a nd
spikes driven into the wooden cylinder for teeth. It was while riveted in a thorough manner.
operating these machines that H. A. Pitts conceived the idea of The boilers were supplied with the Moore independent steam
combining it with a common fanning mill, making the new pump and Penberthy injector, which were compactly and conven-
machine in portable form. He made a machine on this plan in iently arranged for easy access to all the parts. All feed water
1834, which worked success fuJly. passed through the front end of boiler. A 100-gallon steel tank
This was rapidly improved upon until in 1837 when they was located on the front of boiler, into which water was supplied
received a patent for a thresher which was the original of the great or taken from, either with pump or injector. All boilers were
family of endless apron threshing machines. It had all of the fitted with the best make of steam and water gauges, pop safety
essential features of those of the present day. valve, fusible plugs and all necessary brasses for the best quality.
They manufactured these machines until 1840 when John A. Live steam was conducted from the top of the dome through the
Pitts decided to seek a better location. He went first to Albany interior of the boiler direct to the governor chamber and steam
and from there to other cities, finally locating in Buffa lo, N. Y. chest.
There he began the manufacture of the machine which has be- The engine was of the bored guide type, which provided for
come well known over the United States as the Buffalo-Pitts, and self.adjustment and alignment of working parts, and simplified
continued the business successfully until his death in 1859. The by dispensing with many pieces in its construction. Cylinder and
business was continued by the partnership which developed into guides were made in separated pieces, which provided for in-
the Buffalo Pitts Co. Hiram A. Pitts went finally lo Chicago where dependent renewal of these parts. The cylinder and crank shaft
he established a different business. bearing were each mounted on opposite ends of the heater, thus
The Buffalo-Pitts boilers for the year 1896 were made from new avoiding disturbance of working parts by the extreme expansion
improved patterns and designs, embodying in their construction and contraction of the boiler. All cast, wrought iron or steel parts
the best principles known in the art of boiler and engine building were attached to the boiler with bolt ends and nuts on the outside
in their class, and also workmanship and material. of the parts.
The fire box and heating surface of boilers were duly propor- The piston connection with the crank wheel was a solid-steel
tioned to the amount of power required of the e ngines, and all connection rod, without straps or gibs. Steam was admitted to the
were identically the same except as to sizes of parts and capacity engine by the well-tried, quick-opening balanced throttle valve,
of each. The furnace casing was made of one piece #1 shell steel, lubricated with the Swift sight-feed lubricator (all other parts
5/16-inch thick, 60,000 lbs. tensile strength. The fire box was lubricated by solid brass oil cups), and speed was regulated by the
made of one-piece best quality flanged fite-box steel, 9/32-inch Pickering governor.
thick, caulked inside and out. The shell was made of one-piece #I The engines were equipped with the Woolf patent reverse valve
shell steel 9/32-inch thick, 60,000 lbs. tensile strength, with the gear, and a three-point bearing friction clutch, friction clutch
seams double riveted. The heads and tube sheets were the best lever and steering hand wheel, all were on the right side: Cast
quality of flanged steel. The tube sheets were 3/8-inch thick, with steel pinions , properly tempered to give strength, smooth wear
the holes for tubes reamed. and durability, were on all the countershafts.
The Buffalo Pitts Co. was incorporated in 1877. It claimed to
have been the oldest of all thresher manufacturers and to have
built the first machine for separating grain from the straw.
The Buffalo Pitts Co. made the following: Steam traction
engines, single and double cylinder, return flue, portable steam
engines, California thresher, steel frame thresher, Rice thresher,
and the Buffalo Pitts steel water tank.
The 8 , 10, and 13 H.P. Buffalo-Pitts steam traction engine was
shown in a 1896 Buffalo-Pitts Steam Roller Co. catalog. Built in
Buffnlo, N.Y., this engines fire-box was made of one-piece best
quality flanged fire-box steel, 9/ 32·inch thick, 60,000 lbs. tensile
strength, with seams double rinted. Heads and tube sheets were
of the best quality of Oanged steel, with tube sheets 3/8-inch
thick and the boles for the tubes reamed. Live steam was con·
ducted from the top of the dome through the interior of the
boiler direct to a governor chamber and steam chest. The engine
was equipped with the Woolf patent reverse valve gear, and the
three-point bearing friction clutch, with friction clutch lever and
steering hand wheel all on the right-band side. Cast steel
pinions, prop erly tempered to gh·e strength and sm ooth wear
and durability, were on aU countcrshafls.
86 Buffalo - Pitts llUFl'ALO l'ITIS TRACTIO~ E1\GINl:S,

T his is o s ide dis c crank type of 14 and 16 H.P. Buffalo Pitts
s team tTactlon engine, with a stl'aw burning boiler. This pic ture
was taken from a 1896 BafEalo Pin.s catalog. The shell of this
boiler hnd a 331/i-inch waist, and was fitted wilh an independent
smoke bo.~ end. The dome was 28 inches high and 6 Inches
diameter. A 100 gallon water tank was on lhc front end of the
boiler. The boiler was fitted with a Moore independent s team
pump and Penberthy injector and was supplied with the best
make of steam and water gauges, pop safety 1•nlvc, fusible plugs,
and all necessary brasses of the best qualit}'·

Ztbe ~itts Bgricultural 11.'Ulorh t'

This 14 H.P. Buffulo· Pitts stenm traction engine, b uil t in 1912,

is owned by Neil McPherson or Norwich, Ontario. It appears at
the Ontario Steam & Antique Prcseners s how at Milton, On-
tario. Neil McPherson snys lhnt thcre arc only two 14 H.P. Buf-
falo Pitts left in North Amcricn today, his and the one owned by
Earnest Hoffer or Toledo.,
A 18 H.P. Buffalo Pitts rear-mounted double cylinder steam
traction en gine. The fitting of the cylinders of the double cylin-
der were guided inside the frame and made a firm and rigid con-
structlon. This rendered it impossible for tbe cylinders to get out
of alignment Ytith the crankshaft, which wns substan tinlly
housed in the frame.
A 15 nnd 18 H.P. ll uffalo !'ills si ngle cylinder, si de mounted
steam tructio n engine. Buffalo Pitts boilers were made of the
best open hearth nrc-box nnd n nnge steel, 60,000 lbs. tensile
st·rength. The flues were knobblcd chn:ccoal iron, lap welded,
and did not leak even under severe condition s. Every boiler was
tested at 225 lbs. hydrostatic pressure, and was designed to carry
150 lbs. or steam. All were thoroughly tested both before a nd af-
ter being mounted , by actually llring t·hem up and subjecting
them to the same conditions that existed in the field at that time.
Buffalo • Pitts
COAL 1\N ()

This 14 H .P . Buffalo Pit t s double cylinder steam lrnct.ion

engine, Engine #10520, is owned by Bruce MacDona ld of
Marsden Cottage, new South Wales, Australia. As fnr as
is known, this is the only 14 H .P. Buffalo Pi tts in
Australiil today.
Built in 1896, this 15 H.P. Buffalo-Pitts steam traction engine is
11coal and wood burning engine. The shell of lhc boiler was 30
Inches in diameter in the waist ond was made of one sheet of
60,000 lbs. tensile stnngth , homogen~·ous steel plate 9/32-lnch
thick, double riveted , thoroughly s lay-bolted, ond braced. The
dome was lnrge and high, from which dry s team was conducted
direct to the steam chest of the engine, by a dry pipe running
through the interior of the boiler.

T his 18 H.P. Buffalo-Pitts steam traction engine used a solid

forged steel connecting rod. These rods were forged from one
piece of solid steel. T hey were of the flat pattern, having solid
ends. The connecting rod boxes were of high grade gun metal,
which was considered by all e.xpcrts as the best connecting rod


Wi'.h Str.t w•lturn fl.'I~ l}uilu,,.

This 20 H.P. Bulialo-Pllts steam traction engine was illustrated

In an 1896 catalog. The boiler of this engine was supplied with
the Moor~ independent steam pum p and Penberthy injector. It
bnd a 100-gallon water lank on the front or the boiler. All
necessary Ottings were the same as on the JS H.P. engine.

A rear-mounled single cylinder 20 H.P. Buffalo Pitts steam IYac-

tion engine. T he capacity of the side water tan ks were 115
gollons each.

A 20 H.P. Buffalo-Pills steam traction cnglne, pictured In a

1896 Buffalo-Pitts catalog. This engine is a return Oue s traw-
burning type. It was equipped with the 3·point bearing friction
clutch, Woolf rcverSe valve gear, 40-inch diameter band wheel
"ith 9-inch face, sight-feed lubricator, Pickering governor,
quick·opening balanced throttle valve, Moore independent
steam pump, and Penberthy injector.
88 Buffalo -Pitts

Built on the Universal boiler was this 30 H.P. Buffalo Pitts

single cylinder straw burning engine. It would burn wood, con!,
oil or snaw. It bad ,·cry hell\) gearing and 11 strong, durable
engine for the bca,icst kind of threshing.

;:; ~.... ,.,"[tf:;~~~~~,..:;;1111"'11

.i§;t' "' ,.,
,,,, "!" ~.. ." ~·
Thls 20 H.P. Buffalo-Pitts stea m ll'actlon engine, built In 1914,
was owned by Earl Marhankn, of Dowagiac, Mich. This engine
is a single cylinder rear reverse mount. lt was sold for $2,500 in
May, 1973.

The SO H.P. Buffalo P itts d ouble cylinder road locomotive was

baill in 1909. The Buffalo Pitts Co. made the following: Steam
traction engines of single and double cylinder, return nue, por-
table team engines, CaJifornill thresher, steel frame thresher, Another view of the 14 H.P. Buffalo-Pitts steam traction engine
rice thresher, and the Buffalo Pitts steel water tank. o"n ed by Neil McPherson of Norwich, Ontario. This time the
engine is at the Norwich Disfl'ic t Historical Society show ut Nor·
wicb, Onlario. The Buffalo Pitts Stearn Roller Co. wit~ incor·
ltl Pich
flA Spah
f..l'lt,UU'j lutt
~·td 't\"hul.t
porated under the laws of the st.ate of New York in April, 1902.

A Buf!alo Pins special plow steam traction engine was shown in

a 1912 "Threshermcns Review." This engine hnd an exclus ive
design of counlersbuft box wblcb formed n truss between the
throat sheet and shell of the boiler, making perfectl) rigid con·

This 25 H.P. Duffolo-Pitts steam traction engine Is n single

cylinder wood, coal, oil or strnw burner. Jls countcrshaft wns or
high carbon stee l, of large diameter. It ran In ample bearings
line-0 with high grndc babbitt.
Buffalo • Springfield Roller Co. 89
The Buffalo Springfield Roller Co. resulted from a merger of-
the Buffalo Steam Ro11er Co. and the Kelly-Springfield Road
Roller Co. These companies were out growths of road roller de-
velopments of the Buffalo-Pitts Co., manufacturer of threshing
machines and steam traction engines in Buffalo, N. Y. , in 1890
and the O .S. Kelly Co. of Springfield in 1902.
In 1957, Buffalo-Springfield Roller Co., of Springfield, Ohio,
was purchased by Koehring Co., of Milwaukee, Wisc. , and now
operates as a division of that company.
The Koehring Co. consists of 14 operating divisions, a wholly
owned Canadian subsidiary and many affiliated companies
throughout the world, including Koehring Overseas Corp., S.A.
All divisions and subsidiary companies that make up Koehring
Co. operate independently. Each has its own management and
each is responsible for its own sales, service, product development
and research.
The Koehring Co. has been one of the world's leaders for more
than half a century in the design and manufacture of quality
equipment for basic industries. A 8 H.P. Buffalo Springfield Roller, built by Buffalo-Springfield
The local division has, in addition to its Springfield operation, Roller Co. of Springfield, Ohio, in 1924. This engine is owned by
George Gaunt, of MuUica HUI, N. J. It appears in action at the
two branches-Flaherty branch of Pocatello, Ida., which
Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical Assn. sbow, Kinzer, P a.
produces a self-propelled chip spreader and models for power
brooms, all used in road maintenance work, and Franks branch·
in Enid, Okla., which produces portable cable tool and rotary
drilling rigs for the water well, oil field and blast hole industries.
The local division, Buffalo-Springfield, is the major producer
of compaction equipment, which includes steel wheel, tandem
and three-wheel rollers, pneumatic tired rollers, towed vibratory
rollers and segmented wheel compactors. Along with this, the
company also produces various types of stabilizers, drill rigs. and
cargo equipment, which specializes in the Koehravan System.
The Buffalo-Springfield Division in Springfield, Ohio, employs
approximately 350 persons in its shops and administrative
capacities and has a payroll in excess of$1,SOO,OOO annually.

Abe Wnrncr of Wnshlngton, Pn., owns this 15 H.P. Buffalo-

Springficld Roller bullC In 1916. It Is at t:he Willlnms fjrove
Historical Steam Engine Assn. s how 11t Mech11nicsburg, Pn. In
1957, Buffalo-Springfield Roller Co., of Springfield, Ohio, was
purch ased by Koehring Co. of Mllwuukcc, Wisc., nod now
operates as 11 division of Hrnl company. Another view or the 8 H.P. Buffa lo Springfield Roller owned by
George Gaunt or MuWca Hiii, NJ. The Buffalo Springfield
Roller Co. rcsuJtcd from a merger of the Buffalo Steam Roller
Co. and the Kelly-Springfield Road Roller Co. These companies
were out growths of road roller developments of the Buffalo-
Pitts Co. of Buffnlo, N.Y., in 1890, and the O.S. Kelly Co. of
Sprlngncld, Ohio, ln 1902.
90 Burdett & Webb
Burdett & Webb built three steam traction engines at a plant at the engineer's hand, in fact everything was so arranged that it
in New Athens, Ohio. Then in about 1887, the James Means & was unnecessary for the engineer to get off his engine, while in
Co., of Steubenville, Ohio, took over the building of these motion, for any purpose whatever.
engines. The number of engines manufactured at Steubenville is I
not available.
The James Means & Co. was founded by James Means and son,
John L. Means, who was born in Steubenville in 1870. After com-
pleting his education, he entered his father's office in the James
Means & Co., foundry. He remained in the foundry business for
14 years. He took a great deal of interest in the Y.M.C.A.
In 1899 the company changed its name to Means Foundry &
Machine Co.
The Burdett steam traction engine was compactly built, and
strong where strength was required. It was a neat and shapely
looking machine, with no wood used in its construction, all being
of iron, steel and brass. Cast steel cog wheels were used, giving
great strength with durability and lightness, requisites which
were properly considered in all its parts.
It was easily handled by one man, who could fire, run and steer
it while on the road. It traveled smoothly and had two speeds of
two and six miles per hour, respectively. The slow motion was
used in ascending and descending steep hills, the fast motion on A Burdett steam traction engine built by James Means & Co. of
good roads and level ground. The throttle, steering crank, brake, Steubcmlllc, Ohlo. T his engine was compactly built, and strong
where strength was required. It WD.'1 a neat nod shapely looking
reverse and cut off levers were all on the foot board.
mochine. No wood was used in Its construction, all parts being
The water and steam gauges, gauge cocks, levers for opening of iron, steel, or brass. Casi steel cog wbe.els were used, giving
the cylinder cocks and starting or stopping the pump were right great strength with durability and lightness. Sadly, no other iDu·
strntions exist of Burdett engines.

Byron Jackson
Byron Jackson, the youngest of a family of eight, was bom in
Norwalk, Ohio, in 1841. At the age of 19 he, along with other
members of his family, emigrated t o Califomia, and settled in the
Sacramento Valley.
By the time he was 21 years of age he had acquired a farm near
the town of Woodland, and here be remained for the succeeding
ten years.
It was during this interval of time that his inventive genius
began to assert itself. He invented a feeder for a threshing
machine, which later came into universal use. T hen he developed
an elevator for the harvesting machine. Horse forks and derricks
for use in the hayfield were other inventions of his.
Having procured patents on these farm implements, and find-
ing a ready market, be opened a shop in Woodland in 1872, t here-
by laying the foundati on for the Byron Jackson Co. of today.
Here began his experiments in the building of centrifugal
pumps. In order to more successfully operate these pumps with
increased speeds, he also engaged in the building of both station- The Byron Jackson tbree·wheel drive automatic com·
ary and self propelled steam traction engines. pound steam traction engine was designed in 1890. Byron
Many irrigation plants were equipped with Byron Jackson Jackson was born in Norwalk, Ohio, 1841. H e invented a
t hreshing machine feeder, a harvesting machin e elevator
pumps, engines and boilers. and hayfield horse forks and derricks. He opened a shop in
By 1879, the business had grown to such proportions that he Woodland, Cal. in 1872, laying the foundation for the
deemed it wise to move to San Francisco. A factory was estab- Byron Jackson Co. of today. The company was one of the
Ch-st manufact.urcrs of centrifugal pumps . They also made
lished and newly equipped at 625 East Sixth Street, and shortly steam portables and traction engines.
thereafter a sales office was opened on Market Street.
J. I. Case Co.
In western New York state, Caleb and Deborah Case had taken
up a homestead at Williamstown in 1811. Eight years later their
fourth son was born on December 11, 1819, and was named
Jerome Increase Case.
Caleb Case was not too fond of the hard work involved in flail-
ing out his grain, but this occupied him and his sons for t he most
of the winter, and only let up in the spring in time for them to
start the field work. Small wonder then that Caleb Case was one
of the first in his community to purchase one of the "Ground-
hog" threshers. His son Jerome, took the greatest interest in the
operation of this thresher and soon became the family thresher-
man. The efficiency of the Ground-hog thresher as compared to A 10 H.P. J. 1. CruJc steam trnctlon engine was pictured in an
1897 J. I. CruJe catalog. This engine Is n center crank simple that
the flail also enabled the Cases to do a bit of threshing for their
burned coal or wood. This engine's crank shaft was held by four
neighbors. He nce Jerome J. Case was a custom thresherman at an large nnd sfrong bearings; hvo were at the crank, one was
early age. against tbe pulley bub and one against the pinio~. By this
At age 24 J. I. Case went west to Rochester, Wis. , late in the fall arrangement the crank could not b·cmble or jar while running
of 1842. He brought with him six of the latest types of threshers, on the road or In threshing; it nlso kept the crank in perfect line
and resulted In easy running without danger front hot bearings.
for he had heard they would have ready sale out on the frontier.
These machines were bought on credit, and five were sold at a In 1869 the new Case Eclipse thresher was introduced. This
profit. This gave him a bit of capital with which to get started, year the company also sold its first portable steam engine under
and also marked him as a shrewd business man. the Case name. The sale of portable steam engines for use with
With the remaining machine, he resumed his trade of custom threshers gradually increased till in 1876, when 75 were sold.
threshing. When not occupied by this, he was busy keeping his In 1884 an improved traction engine was brought out equipped
machine in repair. Working as he did, with and on his thresher, with differential, hand steering, link reverse and a bar guide
he discovered many of its shortcomings. By discussing these with engine mounted on a direct flu e boiler.
farmers, he found that there was a need for an impr oved Jerome Case died December 22, 1891.
machine. The J. I. Case Co. made t he following in the early 1900s: Steam
It was with this need in mind that he moved to Racine, Wis., traction engines, simple cylinder and some compounds, 6 to 150
where he rented a small shop and started to build what was his H.P. They made about five 150 H.P. engines, 10-ton road rollers,
idea of a good thresher. Success was his, and three years later he portable steam farm engines, skid engines and boilers, Case plow
built a shop of his own. Sweep and tread powers were added to tender attachment, mounted and unmounted water tanks,
the line of goods. Case, wishing to keep his threshers in the front separator feeder and wind stacker, independent swinging stacker,
rank, also added im provements of other prominent thresher Case recleaner, Oover pea and bean hulling machines, Dingee-
builders: such as Pitts, Wemple, Farquhar, Russell and others. Woodbury horse-powers, 10-roll H usker-Shredder, Case Grader,
The building of threshers, horse-powers and other machinery Case Spokane for headed grain, Old Abe tractor gang plows,
had finally reached the point where it required a considerable Case com shellers, Case baling presses, Case hay fork, Case sweep
number of skilled men to manage t he business, hence in 1863 a power baling press, Case road drags, rock crushers, and the Case
partnership was established under the title J. I. Case & Co. , "40" touring Car.
although the shops were still known as the Racine TI1reshing Ma- Today the J. I. Case company is part of Tenneco Inc. The J. I.
chine Works. In this new firm J. I. Case was president, bis bro- Case Co. was incorporated on February 21, 1880.
ther-in-law, Stephen Bull, vice-president, M. B. Erskine was fac-
tory superintendent and R. H. Baker was general agent a nd col- C.E. Christan of Midway, Ohlo, owns this 9 H.P. J. I. Case
lector. steam traction engine bunt ln 1906 by J. I. Case Co., Racine,
Wisconsin. It a ppcan at the Richland County Stea.m Threshers
A 9 H.P. C1Ue stenm tracllon engine built in 1906. T his was the Assn. show, Mansfield, Ohio. C. E. Christian.'s 9 H.P. Case
smallest Case engine, using a 7'/. x 10-lnch cylinder, rated at 9 enaine II is 21728.
H.P. Under the brake tesl It developed fully 30 H.P.
92 J. I. Case Co.

A side crank simple cylinder 10 H.P. J.l. Cn.~e steam lraclion

engine was pichued in an 1897 J.I. Case Co. catalog. In Ibis
engine tbe steam, after doing its work, passed direclly int o the
heater, and coming in contact "ilh a series of pipes provided a
sure and reliable means of heating the feed water to a high tem·
peraturc before it entered the boiler. By simply removing the cap
lo the heater, which could he done while the engine was in
motion, access could he had at any time to these pipes.

The speed of virtually all engines was maintained by a governor

sim ilar to this one, mounted on a 12 H.P. Cn.~c owned by James
Zeger of Leola, Pa.

This 12 H.P. J.l. Case steam tractfon engine, built in 1920, is

owned by Hurry Woodmansee of Hastings, Michigan. It is seen
in action al tbe Michigan Engine & Threshers show al
Mason, Mich.
J. I. Case Co. 93

Cl u-t'c.h

A 1906 J .I. Case Co. catalog shows this engine, a 8V. x t 0-inch
cylinder simple, rated 01 12 H.P. The actual brake power as A 12 H.P. Case steam traction engine as pictured In an 1897 J.I.
determined in the testing room, was 36 H.P. The cylinder Case Co. catalog. This engine's connect ing rods were all made
dimensions of on engine and the brake tests are the best bases from selected hammered iron of the best quality, accurately fit·
for rating horse power. ted with the best form of s ti-nps, nnd boxes with square ends.

A 12 to 16 H.P. Case steam traction engine pictured in a 1897

J.I. Case Co. callllog. With this engine the water was taken from
the steel tank on the si de 0£ boiler, or from the main water lltnk,
by the independent upright pump and also the American in·
jcctor on the center crank engines. The Independent steam
pump would also pump water from the main tank Into the steel
tonk on side.

A 12 H.P. Case steam traction engine pictured in on 1897 J.I.

Cn.~e Co. catnlog. This t~ a return flue simple stnw burning
engine. It had six hand holes for cleaning. A large mud drum
was so placed beneath the boiler as to receh·e all the sediment
and mud, which was eas ily discharged by the blow-off val1·e.

An 1897 return Oue simple srrnw bur nlng 16 H.P. Case steu m
trnction engine. This engine's gear fram es, for holding the main
nxles nnd cross s hafts, were in one casth1g which w1ts Omily
secured lo the holler by bolts passin g through the extension ol'
boUcr projecting beyond the back of rc1U' head.
94 J. I. Case Co.

This 18 H.P. Case steam traction engine, built In 1917, is owned

by Mrs. Verl Malone of Shelby, Oh io. It Is in acilon al the
Richland County Steam Threshers Assn. show ai Mansfield,

This is a good example of how flues are cleaned on an 18 H.P.

Case steam engine. BuJlt In 1917, this engine is owned by Mrs.
Verl Malone of Shelby, Ohio.

An lnternRI view of the J.I. Case Compounded cylinder and

valve, shows that the vah·e was a slngle ca~ llng and performed
oil valve fonctions for both cylinders. In setting, the centrnl sec-
tion pertaining to the large cylinder Wtl~ treated os If It were on a
simple cylinde r, and adjusted accordingly. The valve was held to
its seal when the engine was running down hill, or without a
load, by plunger pistons located In lhe s leam chest cover. The
high pressure steam , entering from the valve seat, had access lo
a limited area on the face of the 'alvc. T his counteracted or A 25 H .P. Case Compound steam traction engine was pictured
relie\·ed the p ressure of the steam on its bnck. When the engine in a 1906 J.I. Case Co. catalog. In the Case compounded engine
was working, the valve was balanced withou I the add ition of a all the advantages were derived from double expansion of steam.
single piece or complication of IUJY sort. Cylinder condensation wits lessened and the maximum economy
was realized wllh the simplest possible mechanlsm. The gain in
p<1wer would depend on the conditions under which the com-
parison was lllude. T he gain was not, however, dependent on the
use of excessh·ely high pressure of steam. The compound was
limited to 130 pounds pressure, the same as in the simples. T he
cylinders were brought so close together that u single head or
partition between them served for both. Where the piston rod
passed through this partition, exceedingly durable and self ad-
justing metallic packing was used. The steam chesl was not a
receptacle for steam from the boiler, but received the exha ust
from the small cylinder for distribution. this engine sold new for
S2,0SO. lt had a 9'1• x I 3 x 11-inch cylinder.
J. I. Case Co.

A fnir s hore of American steam traction engin es wound up

being exported to other countries. One such unit was this
20 H.P.•J.I. Cose engine which for mnny years was
employed in the rolling form lands of so uthern France.
The well-restored engine today is on displuy nt t he Motor
Museum at Rochelnille, Saune, France. It is equipped
with n half-canopy, which protects lhe operator, but not
This 36 H.P. J. I. Case sleam 1nclion engine, buill in 1911 , is the engine, from rain.
owned by Wendell Bin trim of Harmony, Pa. It is in action at the
Northweslem Pennsylvania Steam Engine & Old Equjpment
Assn. s how at PurtersviJJe, Pa.

This 20 H.P. Case is the 1906 Case two wheel ten der.
The water capacity of the lender tank was cigh! barrels and the
hopper on top would ca.rry one.half ton of fuel. A straw rack
co uld be placed on lop of the tank on special order. It was very
convenient on the road and readily gu ided with the engine either
forw11rd or backward. Canopy tops were furnished in 8 and 11·
foot lengths, 6-feet in width. They were n protection to the
operator nnd to the working parts or the engine. For $7 ad-
dlHonul the com pany supplied one or the celebra!ed Ham
headlights, shown in front of tbe smoke stack. T his gave a
powerful light and the flame dld not extinguish on rough roads.
The short engine cab sold for S2S and the full length model sold
for S40. The 8-barrel engine tender tank sold for SSS. The 8·
barrel engine tender with straw rack sold for SlOO.
This 36 H.P. Case steam traction engine, buiJt In I 911, is owned
by John Pion of Conington, Pa. It is at tbc Williams Grove His·
torical Steam Engine Assn. show at Mechanicsburg, Pa.

This 40 BJ>. Case steam ITac!lon engine, bum In 1913, Is owned

by BUI Sclarow, Linc Lexington, Pa., and is at th o Americana
Shoppe In Line Le:t iugton.
J. I. Case Co.

A 40 H.P. Cusc ytcnm trncHon engine mounting u 8Y. x JO-inch

simple cylin der. Tho complete price as shown here was SI ,550
F.O.B., Racine, Wis. Furnished on special order nt exCra pr ice
were con tractor's fuel bunkers, rocking grates, jacketed boiler If
a coal burner, canopy, headlight, extension rims, compounded
cylinders and straw burner attachment.

ThL~ Is an ordinary grease cup. It is opera1ed by a thumb screw. r

In general it may be said that greoscs nre no1 as good lubricants
as llc1uid olls, a fact whlch has bt~n proven by many careful
sclcnllOc tests. Its ease of application, however, 11nd its clean-
liness more lhan compensate for the slight difference in lubri -
cating qua lities, especially for such places IL~ the crank pin, cross
h ead pin and other moving purls of machinery.

A Case engine's waler glass. Wbeo, lhc cngl.oeer cries to

keep waler al least an inch abo,·c lhe c rown sheel for safety.
There a re n,•e safety de\"ices usually found on every sleam trac-
tion engine boiler. They are a steam gauge, n safety ,.aJ~e, a
waler gauge g.lass, a fusible plug and try cocks. Apart from gen-
eral driving, safe steam engine usage rutd maintenance cannot
be ovcr-cmplHL~ized.

This 45 H.P. Cnse stcnm traction engine built in 1909, is owned

b~· R. L. Beekman of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and is on dlspln) at
the Gold Coast Railroad, Ft. Lauderdale. J. I. Case Co. of
Racine, made 35,838 s1eam lnc1ion engines. They slopped
building these en gm cs in 1924.
J. I. Case Co. 97

A 45 H.P. Case steam traction engine, with a 9 x 10-inch s imple

cylinder, as illusnated in a 1906 J. I. Case Co. catalog. This was
an ideal engine for threshing purposes, for drMng the Case
buskcr·shreddcr, saw-mills, rock crushers and road graders.
They rated ii at IS H.P. but under the brake it developed 45

A 50 H.P. Case steam traction engine with a 9 x IO-Inch simp le

cylinder. This engine's flywheel was 40 inches in diameter; its
face was 12 Inches; and its speed was 250 R.P.M. This engine
sold forSJ ,755 complete.

A SO H.P. Cnsc s team tr11ctlon engine, built in 1916, Is being

trucked lo the W Ullams Grove Hi.~torical Steam Engine Assn.
show at Mechanicsburg, Pa. The t:ruck plays a vital pnrl in
transporting the steam naction engines to an d from the s team
s hows. The trucl<ing industry an d its d rivers are to be thn nl<cd
for their help nnd profosslonal ha uling supervision. This SO }l.P. Case stcnrn traction en gine, built In 1917, is owned
by Bernard Porter of W1K1dslock, Ontario. His at the Norwich
and District Historical Society show, Norwich, Ontario.

98 J. I. Case Co.

This SO H.P. Case steam tnction engine, built In 1916, is owned

by J. M. Stiffier of Altoon, Pa. It Is ln action at the Morrison This 50 Horsepower Case s leam traction was a lso buil l in
Cove Pioneer Power Reunion, Martinsburg, Pa. 1915. Today it is owned by Eorl Smilh of Du nd ee, Florido,
and is on disploy al Yeslercl11y Museum in Dundee. Giving
a good indication of lhc s ize of the drive wheels on lhis
unit ore the author's fnlhcr nnd mother, Oscar mid Ann
Norb eck , now of For t Louderdnle, Fin.

J.M. Stifler's SO H.P. Case engine, built in 1916, Is seen in ac·
tion at the Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical Assn. show at
Kinzer, Pa. A picture of J. M. Stifncr's Case was used on the
front co\'er of Model Engineer, June, 1972. The magazine Is
published in En gland.

This 50 H.P. Case steam traction engine is owned by M. F.

Clouse of Waterside, Pa. II ts displayed al the Morrison's Cove
Pioneer Power Reunion show al Martinsburg, Pn. The Case
steam traction engine used blllck for the boiler and smokestack,
ground wheels were red , and the roof was green, as were lhe
dome, cylinder and flywheel.

This 50 H.P. Cose steam traction engine, bullt in 191 S, Is owned

by Charles McMurray of Slipper Rock, Pa. lt is at the Pioneer

Steam a.n d Gus Engin e Society of Northwest Pa. show nt Mead·
~we, Pa.
J. I. Case Co. 99

The 60 H.P. Case steam trac1ion engine used a 10 x IO·inch sim-

ple cylin der. This 1906 engine was an Ideal contractor's engine
IU1 d was recommended for railway contractors and for gradin g
work. The tank bad a capacity of 260 gallons of water and 1,250
pounds of coal.

This 65 H .P . Case s team traction engine ls owned by Carl M ar-

hofer of Baltic, Oh io. It l~ in action nt the Tuscnrnwns Valley
Pioneer Power Assn. show, at Dover, Ohio .

Tbe 65 H.P. Case steam traction engine had n s imple 10 x H-

This 65 H.P. Case s team traction engine, b uilt lt1 1923, is owned inch cylinder. This engine sold complete for $2,190. Its 'front
by Robert Kelly of Midway, Pa. It is at th e Tri-State Histo rical wheels were 48 inches high; tires were 12 inches wide, regular, or
Steam Engine Assn. show at Hookstown, Pa. 18 inches exh:a price. T be traction wheels were 6 feet high; tires
were 22 inches wide, with 8 or 12-inch extension rims nt extra
100 J. I. Case Co.

The 1906 75 H.P. Case steam traclfon engine hnd an J l x 11-

inch cylinder. This was a good freighting engine, aad, with the
Case plow tender~ would plow f:rom 30 to 40 acres per day easily.
This 65 H.P. Case steam ttaction engine, built in 1914, is owned When specially ordered, this engine was equipped wi th the two -
by Fred Smith & Son of Johnstown , Ohio. It is at the Richland specd gear and friction steering device. The slow speed would
County Steam Threshers Assa. show at Mansfield, Ohio. run the engine at 2.55 MPH, the fast speed S.76 miles and
engine was guided at will by slight pressure on a lever.

The 75 H.P. Case steam traction engine had 1tn 11 x 11-inch

simple cylinder. The weight, with the boiler emp ty, was 20,440
lbs. This engine sold complete for $2,250 F.O.B., Racihc, Wis.

Tbjs 75 H.P. Case steam traction engine, built in 1910, is owned

by L. Blough of CharkvWe, Mich. It is at the Michigan Steam
Engine & Threshers show al Mason, Michlgan. This is the cylinder side of the 75 H .P. Cose owned by L. Blough
of CharkviUe, Mich.
J. I. Case Co. 101


Fitted ...,;th 11n 11 x 11 -lncb simple cylinder, this 80 H.P. Case

steam traction engine had a working steam pressure of 150
pounds per squurc inch. This englne sold complete for $2,350
This 75 H.P. Case s team trnclion englne, built in 1925, is mn1cd F.O.B., Racine, Wisconsln.
by Midwest Old Settlers & Tb.resbers Assn. of Mount Pleasant,

This 80 H.P. Case steam traction engine, built In 1920, Is owned

by the Erdlc Brothers of Canandaigua, N.Y. II is 11t the New
York Steam Engine at Canan daigua.

This is a simple ordinary sight feed oiler used by J. I. Case in

1920. The oil ls contained In n glass rcsen-oir which has ground
ends nnd is made oil tight by means of gaskets at the top nnd
bottom. The cover is screwed down on a central tube extending
up through the rese rvo ir. The b ottom of this tube is pro,·ldcd
with n n1lvc scat for a n eedle valve. This needle valve extends up
through the tube and is provided with a cross bar or ccccnl"ric
le,·cr where with II may be raised from its sent. lt is held down Buill in 1906, this 110 H.P. Case steam traction engine used 11
normally by a small spiral spring in the upper part of the tahc. A simple 12 x 12 ·1nch cylinder. It Is a general purpose engine
thumb uut at the lop may be raised or lo wered, thus , increasing dl.'Signcd for heavy plowing, threshing, freighting; in fact, for all
or decreasing the distance the needle valve moves from Its scat kind of work neccssltaling a large a mount of horse-power. This
and so rl.'gulatlng tbe flow of oil. A sight feed glass below the engine bad a friction steering mechanism that was driven from
reservolr shows how much oU is being delive red. If oil risl.'S in the crank shaft. The front wheels would tam when Che rear
this glass it shows that the opening below is obstru cted and wheels were stationary. This made It easy to turn the engine
needs cleaning out. around very sharp corners.
A 110 H.P. Case steam traction engine with a 12 x 12-inch sim-
ple cylinder. Special attachments were locomoti"e cab, exten-
sion rims, and straw burner. This engine sold BS pict'urcd for This 110 H.P. Case steam t'raction engine, built in 1910, Is
$2,400. owned by Midwest Old Settlers & Threshers Assn. of Mount
Pleasant, Iowa. This engine stands 15 feet tall and weighs 18
tons. The rear wheels arc 7 feet in diameter and the tires arc 3
feet wide. The front wheels hu·e a 4y,.foot diameter, with tirl's
16 inches wide. Normal speed is 2.37 miles per hour. Next to the
largest of the Case steam traction engine family, It was originally
designed for big farms and ranches where 10 to 12 bottom gang
plows were used and where team operations were out of the
question. The 110 H.P. filled the requirements on the wide open
prairies to get work done quickly and economically. Const'ructed
according to the lows of the Canadian provinces, It began its life
on the wheat fields of western Canada. For a nurnbcr of years, It
was used nt a Canadlnn service station BS a fuel oil tank. When
Mr. Hlngtgen purchased the engine and brought it 10 Iowa, he
used t·hc engine to operate the sawmill he owned in LaMottc,

This 150 H.P. J. 1. Case steam traction engine was shown in

a 1905 catalog. J. I. Case built nine of these giants. They
were used for ore hauling and heavy draw bar work. The
first 150 H.P. Road Locomotive, # 14666, was built in
1904 and went to U1e Sater Copper Mining Co. at Folsom,
New Mexico. The second one, # I 7162, was built in 1906,
with no record where it was shipped. The next three,
# 18547, # 18548, and # 18549, were built in 1907 and
sh ipped to the branch at Brunswick, ('.eorgia. The next one,
#18723, also built in 1907, went to Louisville, Kentu cky;
f/18848 went t0 Wacertown, New York; #18870 went to
Waubun, Minnesota, and l/.18871 went to Tomahawk,
Wisconsin. These las·t 3 were also built in 1907, which ended
the production. The engine at Tomahawk was owned by a
man named Bradley and he threshed with it. :Jt got ou t of
the country in U1e 1920s. The one in New York was
owned by two young men hauling building stone from a
quarry in 5 wagons, each hauling 10 tons of stone. Two of
these engines were re-shipped to Kansas in 1906 and early
1907. One went to Colby, and the other to Leoti. As was
previously st.1ted, it is not known where the 1906 engine This 110 H.P. Case steam traction engine, built in 1912, is
went, but it had to be Colby or Leoti. TI1erc the engines owned by Willis Abel of FinJeyYille, Pa. It is at the Tri-State
pulled 16 bottom plows, breaking the buffalo grass sod o f Historical Steam Engine Assn. show at Hookstown, Pa. In 1876
Western Kansas. The two-speed set up of U1e gears would not Case developed a steam traction engine and was awarded a gold
hold up und er the terrific power thrust of tl1e 14 x 14-inch medal for cxceUencc at the Centennial Exposition in Phlln-
cylinder, although tl1e engine steamed and handled easily. delphia, Pa.
These were even tu ally shipped back to the factory a t
R,1cinc, Wisconsin. T he "Sample" 150 H.P. engine sold for
$3,600 in 1904. The price was raised to $4,000 in late
1905. The first 150 H.P . .I. I. Case traction engine was
called a "Sample" engine. It was an experimental. The rest
were called Road Locomotives.
Another \'lew of lhc 110 H.P. J. I. Case steam traction engine
bulll in 1912 and owned by Willis Abel of Finleyville, Pa. J. I.
Case Co. built a Iota! of 35,838 steam traction engines. Ln 1876,
lhe fl.rsl year of building steam traction engines, they built 75
engines. In 1900 they built a total of 1,032 engines. Then in
1911, a record of 2,322 engines were built. The last year Case
produced steam traction engines was 1924, with 011ly 132
engines being built.
TI1e 150 H.P. J. I. Case steam tractio n engine had a
14 x 14-inch cy linder. l11is picture was taken from a 1906
catalog. Today lhe re arc no engines of this type left. It was
th e biggest d1a1 J. I. Case bui lt. TI1 c engin e's weight, wid1 This 40 H .P. Case steam road rolle r, built in 1919, is owned by
the boiler empty. was 18 tons. It wa.~ design ed for heavy Charles C. Shanbargcr of Stewarts town, Pa. T his is a ten-ton
haulin g, such as ore fro m min es o r !um bcr o r general road roller that had 11 short wheel-base, lo allow short lurnh1~.
freighting by wagon trains with loads o f 40 to 50 to ns up a The width of the rolllng su rface was 7 feet 9 inches. The tubes
grade o f I 0 per cen t . It had a fri ction stee ring mechanism could be cleaned with a regular Oue scraper In ten minutes. The
which operated mechanically when the engine w:1s running. front roll could b e turned when the machine was standing still .
It was rated at 40- 1SO H.P. 111c cy linder w:1s simple, wi lh a It bad a spring mounted, spring cushioned, gear and h1dl bear-
Wolf reverse. l11c tire box was 58\1.i in ches in length ,
ing front bolster.
39\1.i inches wide, and 45 ~ inches high. The diameter of the
ba"e l was 42 inches. The re were 93 flues, 2 inches in
diame ter and I08 V2 inches long. The grate area was I S.8
square fee t wi th a heating surface of 508.2 sq uare fee t. It
was designed for a steam pressu re o f 160 pounds per squa re
inch. It had a 2-speed arrangemen t o f S.69 miles per hour in
high and 2.64 miles per hour in low, at a tlywheel speed of
200 R.P.M. Th e flywheel was 50 in ches in diameter wil.h a
l6-in ch face. The rea r wheels were 8 ft . in diamete r with a
30-in ch face. The front wheels were S4 in ches in diam e ter
with a 14-in ch face. The width of the e ngine was 10 feel,
with 170 in ch es between axles. Th e length o f the engi ne was
25 feet, 3 in ches. The e ngine had a reserve water supply o f
500 gallons and a coal bunker Uiat held 1,200 pounds o f
coal. This was enough fuel and water to run U1c engine for
3 hours.
The 10-ton 40 H.P. Case steam road r oller also used an 8 1/ . x 10-
inch cylinder. This steam roller had a sho rl wheel base which
allowed sho rt turning, and used a dlffercnllnl gear. The widt h of
the rolling surface was 7 feet 9 In ches. It hod a power steering
device, and the front roll could be !urned when the machine was
standin g still. It had spring mounting, spring cushioned gear-
ing, nnd a ball bearing front bolster. This engine new cost

Another \"lew of the 40 H.P. Case steam road roller with 8 1/. x 10
inch cylinder. The front roll easily surmounted obstacles in its
path. The rear wheel picks could be inserted or r emoved "ithout The 10-ton 36 H .P. Case steam road roller had an 8 1/ 1 x 10-inch
tools. The extreme "1dth of the front r oll was SO inches and the cylinder. This roller was com pactly built; length over-all was
rear was 78 Inches. The speed was 2 1/ . miles per hour at nor mal only 16 feet 7 inches, a nd the ext reme width was a t rifle over 7
engine speed. The wheel base was 120 inches; extreme length feet. The distance between axles was but 9 feel S Inches, afford-
was 18 feel 6 inches; extreme height was .10 feet 2 1/ 1 inches, and ing a very short coupling which permit its being turned on
the ground clearance was 16 inches. narrow roads in less sp11ce than other makl.'S. This engine new
cost S2,300 in 1906.
104 Colean Mfg. Co.
William H. Colean, as manager of the Peoria territory of cen-
tral and southern Illinois, had met with splendid success in the,
sale of Aultman traction engines and threshing machinery. This[
success inspired Colean to resign his position, and with Peoriaf
acquaintances, establish a business for the manufacture and sale;
of a complete line of steam traction engines, threshing machines,f
etc. Unfortunately, this was at the time when steam powered trac-
tion engines and equipment were being rapidly replaced byf
gasoline powered engines, and portable threshing machines werJ
to a large extent, outmoded by the use of portable field har-
After a few years of pioneer work and before it had reached a'.
profitable basis, the Colean Mfg. Co., heavily in debt, was forcedl
into bankruptcy in 1908. The plant was closed and several hun-
dred workmen lost their employment.
The Colean Double steam traction engine used a extra heavY!
This 18 H.P. Colean steam traction engine was built in 1905 by double-riveted steel boiler. The crown-sheet was so constructed'
the Colean Mfg. Co. of Peoria, Ill. This engine is owned by Milo that in going down hill it would always be covered with water. 1
Mathews of Mount Union, Iowa, and is in action at the Midwest The thickness of the boiler plates was a valuable feature; they.
Old Settlers & Threshers Assn. show at Mount Pleasant, Iowa. were tested to a 60,000 pound tensile strength. Such precautions
showed how they keep in mind the main requirements for safety'
of person and property. In constructing the engines, they
arranged the fire-box so that it may have been repaired without.
having to send the engine back to the factory. Any boiler-maker
(any man who could drive rivets) could make the repairs; there
was nothing complicated about the job.
The fire-box and boiler of the engines were constructed on the
latest principles of securing great power at the least expense in
fuel and water, and with ordinary care they would last as long as
the engine.
The Colean Mfg. Co., made steam traction engines, Colean
separator and a special steel geared steam traction engine for rail-
road contractors.

A close-up look at the front· end of an 18 H.P. Colean steam

traction engine built in 1905. This engine is owned by Milo
Mathews of Mount Union, Iowa.

Especially built for freight work was this 25 H.P. Colcan steam
tr1\ction engine. After a few years of pioneer work and before it
had reached a profitable basis, the Colean Mfg. Co., heavily iu
debt, was forced into bankruptcy in 1908. The plant was closed
and several hundted workmen lost their.. employment.

COLEAN MFG. CO., Peoria, Ill.

This is a double cyllnder 18 1:1.P. Coleao steam traction engine,
built in 1908. William H. Colean started the Colean Mfg. Co. in
Peoria, IU.
Colean Mfg. Co. 105

This 30 H.P. Colean steam trnclion engine is a wood, coal or

straw burner of double cylinder style. The Colcan double engine
A 30 H.P. Colean steam traction engine was ' pictured In a
used an extTa heavy double-riveted steel boiler. The crown-sheet
Colean catalog of 1906. The thickness of the Co lean boiler plates
was so co nstructed that in going downhill ii would always be
was a valuable feature; they were tested for 60,000 pounds ten·
covered with water.
sile strength.


A 30 H.P. Colean steam tTaction engine of .1906. The fire-box

and boiler of the Colean engines were constructed on the latest
principles of seen.ring great power at the least expense in fuel
and watu, and with ordinary care they would last as long as the

This 40 H.P. Colean steam traction engine, built in 1894, is

owned by V. O. Tilton & Son of Lima, Ohio. It appears at the
Miami Valley Steam Threshers Assn. show in London, Ohio.
The Colean engine was ma nufactured at East Peoria, Ill. The
Caterpi.!Jer Co. took OYer lb!} plant after the Colcan Mfg. Co.
went bankrupt in 1908.
The fly wheel side of the 1906 30 H.P. Coh~an steam traction
engine. This engine was especially built for freight work.
106 C & G Cooper
The Cooper Co. was founded in the fall of 1833 by Charles and During the war he rose to a Colonel in the Army, and rendered'
Elias Cooper in the city of Mount Vernon, Ohio, when they erec- outstanding service to his country. George Rogers invented and'
ted their original foundry. The two brothers were reared on a patented the Bevel Gear Attachment which was used on steam
farm three miles south of Mount Vernon, which was purchased traction engines. C. J. Cooper & Co. was the first company to us~
by their father in 1810. Numerous stories were told about C. J. the device, and placed their first steam traction engine on the
Cooper. Apparently he was a man of determined character, and market in 1875. That was t he company's first successful self-pro
one who was at all times candid in his relationships with other pelled steam traction engine. It became a major product of the
men. On one occasion, a railroad failed to pay for a locomotive company, and brought it wide-spread lasting fame. '
which the company had built and delivered. So he locked one of While the engine operated under its own power, it still lacked a
the wheels of the locomotive to a rail with a padlock and chain. method of steering. So a team of horses or even men were used tol
He refused to remove them until he had received his pay. steer it. There were many bets that those engines could not climb~
Elias Cooper died in 1848, and for one year Charles managed or surmount the hills, nor could they travel on certain roads,
the firm alone. He then sold an interest in the company, to T. L. which in those days were sometimes veritable bogs'. Large crowds'
Clark. At that time the old name of C. E. Cooper became Cooper often gathered from miJes around to watch those engines per-
& Oark. During 1852 John Cooper, a younger brother, joined the form . Yet, in spite of the jeers, the engines never failed to per-
firm and for one year the name became C. & J. Cooper. The form, no matter how difficult the job may have been.
Cooper & Co. began the manufacture of threshing machines in During those early days of the steam traction engine many
1840; during 1842 they added the building of steam engines and people were skeptical, distrusted and feared them. Well they maYi
sawmills. Then in 1850 they began the manufacture of boilers. By have distrusted and feared them, for there were engines in opera-
1880, they employed two hundred workmen in the various depart- tion which were flimsy and imperfect in their construction. Poor
ments of their plants, as follows: Four clerks, 10 foremen, 40 in boiler plate and inferior safety valves were all too common, which
the moulding room, 45 in the boiler room, 20 in the blacksmith resulted in numero us boiler explosions, accompanied by the loss
shop, 25 in the paint shop, 31 in the wood shop and 25 in the pat- of many lives. Usually the operator of those engines received the
tern shop. The company built its first Blowing Engine in 1852. A brunt of the blame for his carelessness. Unfortunately, all too of-
number of those primitive engines and boiler plants were instal- ten the public was quite unaware of the defects in the construc-
led in the charcoal and iron furnaces in Southern Ohio. Some of tion of the boilers.
those one· cylinder engines were in operation for almost sixty The steam on those engines was controlled by means of valves.
years. Fairchild joined t he company in 1865. In 1868 he was taken There was no reverse or reverse 'lever, nor was there a clutch on
into active partnership. During the same year J. C. Debes, who those first steam traction engines. In fact, the clutch came into
was a well educated, experienced and competent man, and had use quite a number of years after the Bevel Gear Attachment was
been associated with the George H. Corliss Works in Providence, invented.
Rhode Island, was brought to Mount Vernon as a Mechanical A brief description of the Bevel Gear Attachment on the 1880
Engineer for the company. For a number of years Mr. Debes was Cooper Engine may be in place. Those engines were often charac-
the guiding light of the C. & J. Cooper Co., and much of its suc- terized as the "Sunflower" engines due to the resemblance of the
cess was attributable to him. In later years his son, James H. bevel gear to a sunflower. There are two levers on the platform-
Debes, served in a similar capacity until his retirement. the throttle and reverse lever. Inside the flywheel and immediately
It was under the supervision of J. C. Debes that the first Corliss below the bevel gear is located a hand wheel, five or six inches in
Engine was built in the west, which was designed and placed in diameter. The function of this was to engage and disengage the
service during 1869. It was during that same year C. G. Cooper bevel gear. When the operator of that engine desired to engage or
and Colonel George Rogers, son and son-in -law respectively of disengage the bevel gear, he had to leave the platform in order to
Elias Cooper, were made partners in the company. George Rogers perform that function. A few years prior to the innovation of the
was born in Licking County, Ohio, September 19, 1836. His clutch, a marked improvement occurred. A lever was so placed
parents moved to Mount Vernon when he was about four years of that the engineer could engage or disengage the bevel gear from
age. With the exception of the four years he spent in the Union the platfonn which obviated the necessity of the engineer leaving
Army during the CiviJ War, he resided in Mount Vernon during the platform to perform that function.
his entire lifetime. After building the bevel gear engines for a number of years, the
company switched and began building a Spur Gear Engine. The
Spur Gears on that engine were o n the left side and not on the
right side as was the case with most steam traction engines. Ap-
parently those engines were equipped with a center hung link.

An .1883 version of the 12 J:l.P. C. & G. Cooper sl.c am traction

engine. Iron c·ruck wheels were always furnished witl1 the steam
tr11clio11 engines , but wooden h·uck wheels could be ordered.
The Cooper Co. was fonndcd in the fall of 1833 by Charles and
Elins Cooper in Mount Ven10n, Ohio, when tbey C{Cctcd t·hc od·
gir111l foundry. ·
C & G Cooper 107

A l2Y1 H.P. C. & G . Cooper steam tnction engine built in 1873.

This engine wns built by C. & G. Cooper & Co. of Mount Ver-
non, Ohio. The engine is owned by the Cooper-Bessmer Co. of
Mount Vernon. It is a self-steering engine weighing 6 tons. The
price was S435.

An 18 H.P. C. & G. Cooper steam traction engine wi1s pictured A 15 H.P. C. & G. Cooper steam traction engine was pictured in
in an 1882 C. & G . Cooper catalog. George Rogers invented nnd nn 1882 C. & G. Cooper catalog. The Cooper & Co. began the
patented the bevel gear attachment which was used on steam manufacture of t.h rcshing machines in 1840: during 1842 they
traction engines. C. & G. Cooper & Co. was the nrst to use the 1\dded the building of steam engines and sawmills. Then in 1850
device. they began the manufacture of boiJers.

The J.M. Ross, Sons & Co. Ltd ., started manufacturing about and diamond shark teeth. At that time the plant was the only one
1890 in St. Catharines. Ontario, Canada. They made the Cornell run by electricity in Canada. Virtually nothing is known about the
steam traction engines and the New American three-way crank steam engines produced by this company.
separator. The separator had a 16 bar cylinder, 30 inch diameter
108 Davidson & Rutledge
The Davidson & Rutledge enterprise was backed by George W.
Rutledge and James E. Lowry. Davidson was an engineer born on
December 28, 1833, in Trumbull County, Ohio.
For many years, he was on the road selling farming imple-
ments. He was of a mechanical turn of mind, and invented a
machine that proved to be a source of great revenue to him. This
was the Davidson Steam Traction engine, which did work on both
the farm and the road. It was patented March 27, 1877.

A DaYid~on & Rutledge steam traction engine, built in 1877, by

Davidson & Rutledge of Ada, Ohio. The Davidson & Rutledge
enterpdse was backed by George W. Rutledge and James E.
Lowry. Davidson was an engineer born on December 28, 1833,
in Trumbull county, Ohio. The ~t Davidson & Rutledge steam
traction engine was patented in March 27, 1877. This is the only
illustration which could be found of this make of engine.

Eagle Machine On Baltimore St. in South Hagerstown, Md., Garver & Flan-
nagan had shops where they manufactured threshing machines.
'This was changed in 1874 into the Hagerstown Steam Engine and
Works Machine Company, of which Josiah F. Smith was President. The
company added the manufacture of steam engines and steam
traction engines plus other farm machinery to threshing
T he Eagle Machine Works, Indianapolis, Ind., machines.
manufactured threshing machines, portable and sta- The company purchased the old McDowell & Bachtell foundry
tionary steam engines, steam traction engines, boilers, on Franklin and Foundry Streets and erected a large additional
sheet iron work, circular and muley saw mills, wood building in which, for a time, considerable manufacturing was
working machinery, horse powers, corn drills and drag done. But in a few years the business became unprofitable and
saws. was discontinued. About 1900, a portion of the property was sold
to the Hagerstown Brewery and later on the remainder was
disposed of.
An "Empire" steam traction engine was built in 1880 by
Hagerstown Steam Engine & Machine Co. of Hagerstown,
Maryland. On Baltimore St. in South Hagerstown, Garver &
Flannagan had shops where they manufactured threshing
machines. This name was changed in 1874 into the Hagerstown
Steam Engine and Machine Co. of which Josiah F. SmHh was
president. At this time the company added the manufacture of
steam engines and steam traction engines plus other farm
machinery. Very little is known about these engines, and no
other illustrations are kno~'ll to exist.

The Eagle steam traction engine was built in 188 1 by the

Eagle Machine Works of Jndianar>olis, Ind. It is horse·
steered with the scat up front. T he com pany also mode
steam traction engines steered from the rear. This pictu re
is from Al New's Eagle Machine Works 1881 catalog.
A. B. Farquhar Co. 109

The Pennsylvania Agricultural Works was founded by A. B. ized fertilizer. The Pennsylvania Force-feed Fertilizer grain drill
Farquhar, as the A. B. Farquhar Co. in 1856. From his boyhood would not only sow the grain evenly, but what was an equally im-
days, Farquhar had been identified with the manufacture of agri- portant feature, it distributed the phosphate with the same preci-
cultural machinery and implements. He was intimately acquaint- sion, doing the work without any loss of either seed or fertilizer.
ed with the real needs of farmers and planters and being a prac- A. B. Farquhar sold his agricultural implements all around the
tical mechanic and inventor, he was peculiarly successful in the globe. Year by year the demand increased until it came fro m
production of machines and implements. as well as a man of rare every state and territory of the U.S .. and from Canada, Australia
business capacity. All this enabled him to produce standard agri- and New Zealand, India, and Europe. The various South Ameri-
cultural implements and steam traction engines and a number of can states became important customers, as did France, Germany,
special machines in large quantities and at the minimum cost. Russia, China and Japan. Even Africa was constantly making
The Pennsylvania Agricultu ral Works covered a number of demands for implements and machinery from the Pennsylvania
acres, and embraced machine, engine, and boiler shops, bolt and Agricultural Works, and it may truly be said t hat Mr. Farquhar's
nut factory. planing and saw mills, foundries for brass and iron name spread to every civilized nation on the habitable globe.
forging. shearing and polishing rooms, besides warehouses, lum- Farquhar machinery had been awarded premiums at all t he
ber yards, etc., a ll complete in itself. Among the specialties were leading Expositions, including the Centennial at Philadelphia,
steam engines. saw mills, threshing m achines. plows, agricultural Paris Exposition, New Orleans Cotton Exposition, World's
steels, cultivators, grain drills, corn planters, horse powers, etc., Columbian Exposition, Pan-American at Bu ffalo, and World's
in almost endless variety. The magnitude of the operations was Fair at St. Louis.
such that the weekly consumption of iron and steel at that time A. B. Farquhar had a limited partnership association in
was over 300.000 pounds, and of lumber from 50,000 to 100,000 January 1, 1889. In 1952 the Oliver Corporation acquired A. B.
feet. Farquhar Company Ltd. of York, Pa.
Among the well-known specialties manufactured at the works
were the Farquhar Ajax steam traction engines and portable
engines, (the fire-boxes were steel, and the boilers had a remark-
able record, not one having ever exploded); the vertical boiler,
arranged with wheels when desired; the Farquhar vibrators and
rake sepa rators, claimed to be the best merchant threshing
machines in existence at that t ime; and saw-mills with patent
feed, set works and clogs of most improved kind. Among the
leading implements manufactured there were the Pennsylvania
drill and corn planter, with perfect force-feed and phosphate at-
tachment; the Farquhar celebrated wheel or sulky plow; power
hay-presses, and the Farquhar improved cotton planter.
TI1e Farquhar improved cotton planter was very simple and
perfect in its operation, dropping the unrolled seed with remark-
able regularity and in any desired amount. The Keystone Corn A. B. Farquhar steam traction eaglue was built in 1885 a t York,
planter would plant from ten to twelve acres of corn per day, Pa. This engine used the locomothc lJPe boiler. A. B. Farquhar
dropping kernels in drills or in hills, at any desired distance sold his agricultural imp lements nU around the globe.
apart, and sowing at the same time-it used any kind of pulver- This A. B. Farquhar steam traction engine was b uilt in 1897.
The 1901 Farquhn.r engine's governor was new and designed The Farquhar impro•'ed, water-tube, fire-box traction engine
especially for steam traction and saw-mill engines. It had an ap· boiler had many advantagei; o.-er the others. It was mode en-
p roved stop and sawyer's lever attachment. This engine was tirely of steel, \\ith a tensile strength of 600,000 lbs. double ri-
made In slzes of 8 to 10; 11 to 12; 12 to 15; IS to 18; and 18 to 20 veted. The crown sheets were extra thick and braced und sup·
H.P. ported by an exna n umber of sluy-bolts. The sheet around the
fire-box was unusually heavy. The engine was built by A. B. F'nr·
quhar Co. of York, Pa.
110 A. B. Farquhar Co.

The 1903 .Farquhar engine had a cab, friction clutch, new style The 1901 Farquhar engine used a new friction clutcb. lt enabled
ash-pan and a tank on either side of the boiler in front of the the operator to exert the full power of the engine instantly to
drivers. The left hand tank did not Interfere with the drive bell. overcome an obstruction, or in case of accident, to Lmmedlately
This engine was known ns the "Pennsylvnnla" steam traction disconnect it. It was a great advantage In putting on the belt,
engine. and lessened the danger of breakage In ca5e of sudden strain. It
avoided the use of bars or pries to asssist the euglne over ob-
structions, or delay in coupling and uncoupling.

This 1903 Farquhar eugine was n center crauk type wltb bal.
anced crank, and with n plain "D" slide vahe. It hud n patent
reverse gear, which wa~ the simplest nrrungcmenl known for the
quick reverse of nn engine, assuring an equal amount of cul off,
with no sliding surfaces lo wear and no pins to become loose.


This 1906 Farquhar steam traction engine was fitted ";th link
This 1906 Farquhar engine was not only designed for road work re\'erse, friction clutch and steel gears, henYy rear driving axle
but capable of driving machinery or rnrlous kinds, such as and wheels mounted on an independent steel frame. It was
threshers, saw-mills, bay presses, and cotton gins. made in five horse power sixes.
A. B. Farquhar Co. 111

This was the new 1907 style "K" Farquhar steam traction
This 1907 Farquhar engine was a side crank, plain slide \'alve engine made In four sl7.cs. K-10, 71/ . x 10-inch cylinder; K- 12,
with a heavy bnlnnced disc, solid forged crank and heavy fly 8 1/ 1 x 10-inch cylinder; K-15, 9 x 11-incb cylinder, and K-20, 10
wheel. This enabled the operator to keep the engine off dead x 11-inch cylinder.
center. From the s pecifications, the cylinders were large per
rated horsepower, but the boiler capacity was more tlu\O s uffi -
cient with proper care in operation. The reve rse was an im-
proved single eccentric. All wearing parts of the engine were
made for cnsy adjustment, Including the cross bead, reverse and
friction clulch.

This engine is a 1912 " K " style, single cylinder, double drive, in-
dependen t mounted. Built for general work, the style " K " crunc
in four sizes of 10, 12, 15, and 20 B.P.

In 1912, th e engine and gears were mounted abso lut ely inde- The 1916 Fnrc1uh nr s tyle "K" was a single cylin der, double
pendent of the boiler oo 5/8-incb steel side p lates attached to 7- geared, independent mounted traction engine, suitable for gen-
inch channels. This s teel frame was held together in the rear by eral work. It was built in three sizes, 15, 20 and 25 H.P.
a cann on-box in one piece, 11Dd a solid steel ca.~ting with brnss- Regularly this engine w11S cquJpped with cast iron gears, but it
bushcd bearings both on the counter-shaft and the main axle, could be furnl~hcd with steel gears when desired. The s tc el-
which was S inches diameter. The counter-shaft was 3 7 / 1 6 geared engine was designated as style "K," a contractors'
inches. Doth s hafts were of high carbon steel. engine.
112 A. B. Farquhar Co.

This is 11 1912 double-cylinder road engin e, s tyle "L." ll had in-

dependent mounting, snnlght linl! dri ve, steel gearing, bruss- The 1916 engine had friction clutch, two Injectors, water lifter
bushed bearings, and other special featu res. Fi rst-class material with 20-foot suction hose and slraincr, water gnuges with gla~s,
and careful workmanship eliminated expensive breakdowns and blow-off valve, guvernor with belt, blower, exhaust nozzle in
dehl)S, so they said. stack, oU pump, all necessary oUeu, steam gauge, whistle, main
steam vnh·e on the dome, le,·er throttle vah·e, combination
wr "Tench, oil can, flue cleaner, poker, and spark-nrrester.

TI1is en gine is a 1916 "L" style double cyllnder road engine This I 916 engine is equipped with 24-inch smooth drivers and
designed for general road work, being pnrtlcularly effcient in locomotive style cab. Extra exteuslon rims for the drivers and an
hauling an d plowing. T his euglne was built In one size only, oil burning nttachment were available.
hn,·lng two 8 x 10-inch cylinders with balru1ccd cranks.

This 12 H.P. Farquhar s team traction engine, built in 1904, is

The flywheel side of the 12 H.P. Farquhar steam traction engine owned by Robert Lefe,•er of Strasburg Pike, Lancas ter, Pa. It is
owned by Robert Lefever. at the Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical Assn. s how, Kin-, Pu. T he Pennsylvania Agricultural works wns founded by
A. B. Fnrqulrnr, as lhc A. 8. Farquhar Co. In 1865.
A. B. Farquhar Co. 113

This 1916 "W" style steam traction engine was made only In ono The draw bar on this 1916 engine was 18 inches from the
size, having an 8 x 10-inch cylinder. The nominal rating of the ground, and adjustable across the rcnr of the engine. 1t was pro-
engine was 12 H.P., while the consen•ative brake rul ing was 36 vided with 11 steel sprin g which absorbed I.he s hocks in stnrting
H.P. loads. The draw bar was fastened to the engine so that the load
was disil'lhuted to the front and rear wh eels In such a proportion
that it was almost an impossibility for the engine to raise up In

A JS H.P. Farquhar "K" combination steam traction engine

was pictured In a 1912 Farquhar catalog. T his engine was equip-
ped with smooth wheels front and rear, and could be used for
rolling, hauling, or driving on the belt. This eugine was built in
15 or 20 H.P., and in single or double cylinder. This engine used
open-hearth steel cast gearing, made from accurate cut gear
patterns. It had a steel cannon box in one solid piece (no caps on
the counter-shaft) with brass-bushed bearings, both for the
main ule and the counter-shaft. A special rear bitch, lower than
the regular hitch , with three hitchiu g connections, was pro vided.

A 18 to 20 H.P. Farquhar steam traction engine of 1903. This This 16 H.P. Farquhar steam traction engine, built in 1927 , Is
engine was made with the fly wheel on the left band side. A. B. owned by Morgan HUI of Linesville, Pa. It is displayed at the
Farquhar had a limited partnership association in January 1, Pioneer Stearn and Gas Engin e Society of Northwest Pa., Mead-
1889. In 1952 the Oliver Corp. acquired A. B. Farquhar Co. ville.
114 A. B. Farquhar Co.

This 22 H .P. Farquhar stea m fraction engine, buiJt in 1920, Is

owned by Bob Marchall of Ensl Bloomf1cld, N.Y. It is Ill the Another \'iew of the 22 H.P. Farquhar steam fraction engine
New York Steam Engine Assn. sh ow, Cnnandalgun, N.Y. A. B. owned by Bob Muchall, East Bloomf1eld, N.Y.
Farquhar said in h is 1887 coloJog t hat hl~ # 2 engine (rul ed at 9·
11 H.P.; had a 6'11-lnch bore and 9-lnch stroke), "wlll consume
ln a day's ordinary threshing, where conditions arc rcasouably
favorable, 350 to 400 lbs. of bituminous coal; if lhc engine is
forced toils grealcsl caJ>n clty, the coal consumed will be more."
He said ii would use 10 to 12 barrels of wnlcr-310 lo 370
gallons. And that wa.~ 11 small engine.

This .1906 engine of30 H.P. is n do uble cylinder. The engine was
double geared , and 1111 genrln g wa.~ soli d steel cns Ung. The gear
wheels were 5-i nches or S'/1-iuchcs focc. II had pulled a 361/ 1-ton
load on 11 S per cent grade dlrl road, without strnlnlng or break-
ing ns much ns n belt.

T his 1907, 30 H.P. engine consists of twin or double cylinder

engines. Ench cylinder was 9 x 10 inches, with double llnk re·
verse controlled by one lever. T his engine w1is 11 plnin slide valve
with balanced crank. It had three be11rlngs on the cran k, one be-
tween the connecting rods and one on each side. The front a:tle
lumed on ball bearings.
This 20 H.P. Farquhar steam traction engine, built ln 1923, ls
O'lmed by Glenn Fullerton of Burgettstown, Pa. It is at t he
Stumptown Steam Thres hers Assn. show at New Athe ns, Ohio.
Fairbanks Steam Shovel Co.
James G . Fairbanks organized the Fairbanks Con·
,ruction Company, which in 1903 was followed by the
·ganization of the Fairbanks Steam Shovel Company
f Marion, Ohio. James G. Fairbanks was t he first
resident and the other officers were William E.
cofield, secretary; R. C. McCullon, treasurer; and R.
L Imbody, vice-president. It was a stock company
rhich was capitalized at $200,000. It was one of the
Iarion 's most important industries at that time and
ave employment to 200 people.
James G. Fairbanks was born in Geauga County,
)hio, on November 3, 1858, the son of Orrin C. and
,ydia (Wilson} Fairbanks. After completing his ap·
1renticeship to the machinist 's trade at Urbana, Ohio,
.nd working as journeyman at different points he
ame to Marion in March, 1878. He was employed in
ocal plants for a time and then became superinten·
lent of the Huber Manufacturing Company. He was
1ssociated with his own company for 19 consecutive The "Lobo" steam traction engine was a return flue type,
1ears. The Fairbanks company built dipper dredges, similar to the one built by the Huber Mfg. Co. James G.
;team shovels, ditcher machines, sawmills, locomotive Fairbanks at one time was superintendent of the H uber
Manufacturing Co., also of Morion. Ohio. then he organiz·
:ranes and "Lobo" steam traction engines. cd the Fairbanks Construction Co mpany at Marion, which
in 1903 was followed by the organization of the Fairbanks
Steam Shovel Company, nlso of Morion, Ohio.

Fishkill Landing Machine Co.

Fishkill Landing Machine Co. was incorporated February 17,

1853, and its charter was renewed at the expiration of 20 years.
The original capital was $25,000; it was increased to $35,000 in
t he late 1800's. The company was composed of some seventeen in-
dividuals, mostly residents of Matteawan, N. Y., who had been
employed by the Matteawan Co. as iron workers. Robert J. Halgin
was president; W. F. Sage Vice-president. The company manu-
factured Corliss steam engines, and other boilers and machinery
on Main Street, near the H. R. Railroad, in Fishkill, N.Y.
The company first leased and subsequently purchased the
building which had been used by the Matteawan Co. for the
storage of cotton. They fi tted up and occupied this place tempor-
arily until another brick structure, one hundred and twenty feet
by forty feet, two stories, was erected and ready for use in 1853.
The old building is still used as a storehouse. The company
engaged in the manufacture of stationary and marine engines and
A "Mills" steam traction engine was built In 1879 by the Fish-
steam traction engines, besides doing a general machine business, kill Landing Machine Co. of Flshklll·on-the- Hudson, N.Y. They
in F.ishkill-on-the-Hudson, N.Y. bad patents covering all the essential elements of this engine,
and the " Mills" threshers an d locomotive steam traction
engines. Flsbldll Landlng Machine Co. was incorporated in Feb-
ruary, 1853, and its charter was renewed at the expiration of 20
years. Still, very little ls known ab out the company's products,
and only this Uluslratlon survh·es.
116 Frick Co.
George Frick, ·who established the Frick Co., was born in Lan- In 1894 the East St. Louis Ice and Cold Storage plant, t
caster County, Pa. , on a 500 acre farm purchased in 1733 by his largest of its kind, installed a 125-ton Frick plate ice maki1
great-greal-grandfather from the Penns. George's grandfather, system and two compressors of 36-i n. stroke, driven by coi
Abraham Frick, was a Captain in the Revolution. pound-condensing engines. A third engine of the same type dro
When George Frick was nine years old, his father left the home the auxiliaries t hrough a b'ig jackshaft.
of his Swiss ancestors in Lancaster County and moved the fam ily Two years later Frick Co. bui lt for Armour and Co. the large
to the Cumberland Valley, near Quincy, Pa. refrigerating machine in the world. This 30-foot giant had a bo
In 1848 George Frick began manufacturing grain cleaners and of 27 inches and a stroke of 48, and with its tandem-compom
horsepowers in a weaving m ill at Quincy. There, two years later, engine measured 59 feet long.
he constructed his first steam engine. This was mounted on a Its high -pressure steam cylinder had a diameter of 26 inche
wooden frame and delivered two horsepower. rn 1851 or 52 he its low-pressure cylinder, SO; the stroke of the engine was ah
built a shop on a farm near Ringgold, and in 1853 established the fou r feet.
Frick Co. The big unit was operated day and night, continuously. for:
An engineering genius, George Frick undertook to ease the years. and was in reserve service another 5 years. Its rate
labor of men and animals with power machinery. He became a capacity at 60 r.p.m. was 350 tons. (One ton of refrigeration is tt
pioneer builder of four essential kinds of equipment: steam cooling effect obtained by melting a ton of ice every 24 hours
engines, grain threshers, sawmills, and refrigerating systems. His The speed could be increased to 70 r.p.m.
portable and steam traction engines were among the first in this In developing new lines of machines, the tendency is to begi
country, and were followed by Corliss steam engines in sizes up to with large un its having slow-moving parts. History shows this I
300 horsepower. Beginning with the hand cranked "fanning have been the case with tractors, combines, Diesel engines, arr
mills" of the 1840's, he started successive improvements which monia compressors, and other equipment.
led to the wonderful steel threshing machines and peanut pickers After the heavy models have shown what can be done,
of today. Frick sawmills, introduced in 1875, were later built in demand arises for smaller sizes, with lighter parts running ~
quantities up to a thousand or more a year. Frick refrigerating, higher speeds.
air conditioning, ice making and quick-freezing systems have set Frick Co. in this decade anticipated the needs of hotels, restau
the standard of dependability since 1882. rants, hospitals, and various industrial plants, for refrigeratin
I n t he mid-1870s the Frick Co. began building its own portable ;;ystems of moderate capacity.
sawm ills. The Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, the engi- As stea m power was not always available, other types of driv
neering event of 1876, gave the highest award in its class to a were introduced. These adaptable machines paved the way for t h
Frick farm engine, which carried the "Eclipse" trademark for the wide acceptance enjoyed by mechanical refrigeration a generatio1
first lime. In 1880 a Frick engine triumphed over 25 others from later.
America. England, and Europe at the great exh ibition in Mel- Approximately half the artificial ice skating rinks on the con
bourne, Australia. tinenl. used Frick equipment.
In 1885 the partnership was dissolved and Frick Co. was char- The Frick Company made the following: Eclipse water wago1
tered as a Corporation. Three years later George Frick retired; for and sprinkler attachment; the ''New Frick" thresher, with wine
43 years he had been active, building the foundations of the in- slacker, self-feeder and weigher with cross conveyer; the Eclips1
duslrial greatness both of his firm a nd of Waynesboro. Pa. His portable engines; the Eclipse stationary engine and boiler; por
life's work is exemplified by his motto: "Be sure you are right, table circular saw-mills; the "Chase" automatic shingle anc
then do it quickly!" heading machine. edger a nd swing cut-off, and hay presses fo1
The Frick or Eclipse steam traction engine was built in baling hay, straw and alfalfa. Refriger~ting, air conditioning, icl
Waynesboro. Pa .. from 1880 until 1936. The Frick steam traction making and quickfreezing systems have set the standard o·
engine had a independent mounted boiler, a center crank engine, dependability since 1882.
clearance for belting to the rear, removable engineer's platform Today the Frick Co. is still in business making refrigeratin~
and encased gearing. machinery and air conditioning. Their home office is Waynes·
boro. Pa.

This is the identical engine, the Daniel Uoonc--competitors will

nc•·er forget the name- thnt "!IS sho» n throughout the rircuil
ur stale nnd principal co1111ry fairs, nnd look 39 f'trst premiums
in 1885. The reason it did not take more i5 because ii co uld 1101
he shown in more 1han one place al the same lime. Such a stir
nnd shnldng of dry bones nil along lhc line in !he s team traction
engine business W3.s never seen before or since.
Frick Co. 117

This 14 H.P. Frick steam lTaction engine, built by Frick & Co. of
Waynesboro, Pa., in 1906, is owned by T racy N. Lewton. It is at
the Tri-State Historical Steam Engine Assn. show at Hooks·
town, Pa. George Frick, who established the Frick Co., wns born
in Lancaster County, Pa., on a 500-acre farm purchnsed in 1733
by his grcat -g rcnt-grnndfather from the Penns. In the third model of the Frick steam traction engine a train of
gears rcplnced the chain drive. The engin e wns Int er turned
around, placing lhe shaft above the drMng wheel~.

A Frick slcnm traction engine, built in 1916, had 11 7 ,( 9-inch

cylinder. The 7 nn d 7 1/1 x 9-inch engines were rcgulurly eC'1uipped
with n cross-head pump and exhaust stcrun heater and an in-
jector, both loc11t ed within easy reach of the engin eer.
Thomas Camp is shown at the wheel of a Frick steam traction
engine near Covington, Georgia, in 1881. The following year. 43
Frick steam traction engines were shipped In one day to Mr.
This IS H.P. Frick steam tTaction engine, built in 1912, Is owned
Camp. He was still selling Frick machinery in th e South In the
by Ken Lc\'is of Jackson, Mich. 11 is at lhe Michignn Stenrn
late 1920s.
Engine & Threshers show at Mason, Mich. An engineering
This 15 H.P. Frick steam traeHon engine, built about 1885, is genius, George Frick undertook to ense the lnhor of men nnd
arranged with flanged wheels for a logging ra ilway using wooden animnls with power machinery. He became a pioneer builder of
lracks. ln 1848 George Frick began mnnufacluring ttrnin four csscntinl kinds of equipm ent: stcrun engines, gra in
cleaners and horsepowers in a weaving mill nt Quincy. There, thrcsbcrs, sawmills, and refrigerating systems.
two years Inter, he constructed his first stenm engine. This wns
mounted on a wooden frame and delivered t1''0 horsepower. ln

1851 or 52 he built a shop on a fnrm near Ringgold, and in 1853
established the Frick Co.
118 Frick Co.

This picture, from a 1906 Frick catalog, shows how thoroughly The Frickstcnm traction engine built in 1916, had a 8 x 10-lnch
the gearing Is protected and encased in tight dusrproof covers. cylinder. This engine successfnJJy and economically drove smnl l
This feature was of great value, as it insured long llfe to the threshers, balers, clover hullers and like machinery, and pro-
gears, noiseless opcrnllon , and absence of und ue wear. vided t·he mos t dependable power for plowing ru1d deep c ulti·
vation, drawing three or four 14-ioeh bottom plows, depending
upon the depth and ki.nd of soil.

This 16 H.P. Frick steam traction engine, bullt in 1915, wns

owned by Earl Mnrnnkn of Dowag.iac, Mich. This engine is a
single cylinder, rear center mount. It was sold for S2,000 ln Mny ,

This 16 H.P. Frick steam traction engine, b uilt in 1914, Is owned

by Dennis Smith of Ma~tinsburg, Pa. lt is at the Morrison's
Cove Pioneer Power Reunion at Martinsburg. Frick Co.
sawmills, Introduced in 1875, were bnilt in quantities up to a
thousand or more a ye.a r.

This picture, from a 1906 Frick catalog, shows the Dy-wheel,

friction clutch, feed-water beater, and direct-connected and
positive-feed pump driven from the coglne crosshead. T he belt
cooJd be rw1 forward or back.
Frick Co. 119

This Frick steam trnctioo engine, bu ilt in 1916, had nn 8 1/1 x 10·
Inch cylinder. T he water carrying capacity of the a xle tank wns
105 gallons. This engine's approximate weight wns 15,500
pounds. The working steam pressure was 135 pounds.
This 16 H.P. Frick stcnm traction engine, built in 1923, is owned
by Lloyd Calhoun of Everett, Pa. It is at the Morrison's Co>·e
Pioneer Power Reunion at Martinsburg, Pa. In 1880 a Frick
engine triumphed over 25 others from America, England, and
Europe at the great exhibition in Melbourne, Australia.

T his 16 H.P. Fri ck stea m trncHon engine, owned by John Sells of

Lisbon, Ohio, ls nt the Stumptown Steam Th.reshers Assn . show
nt New Athens, Ohio, eve ry year. Note the side mounted wa ter

This 18 H.P. steam trnciion engine, built in 1916, is owned by

Newt Bowell of Shclby>·iUe, Tenn. It is at the Tennessee-
Kentucky Threshermcn's Ass n. show, nt Adams, Tenn. The
Frick steam engines sold fo r the following in 1883: 8 H.P.,
Sl ,l SO; 10 FJ.P.,S l ,300, nnd 12 H.P., forSl,400.

Built In 1906, this engine bad a friction clutch, new rc\·ersc

motion, steering attachment, pump heater 11nd injector, and
movable platform. T he boiler was of steel frame, with a patent
expansion connection between engine and boiler.
120 Frick Co.

A 1916 Frick steam ll'action engine with n 6'.I. x 9-inch double

cylinder. This engi ne used the balan ced valves, l'crlicnl reverse
control. It was n light weight-iis approximate weight was
16,000 pounds.

Curtis Weaver, 12 years old, and Van Rayborst, 13 years old at

the time, ftrc the 45 H.P. Frick built in 1m a nd owned by Mar-
tin M. Weaver of Leola, Pa. In 1885 the partnership was cli-
solved nnd Frick Co. was chartered as a corporation. Three
years later George Frick retired; for 43 years be had been active,
building the foundations of the industrial greatness both or his
firm and Waynesboro, Pa. His life's work is uemplificd by his
mollo: "Be sure you nrc dght, then do it quickly."

This 60 A.P. Prick steam traction engine, built in 1921 , is owned

by Hun•cy Hoffman of Rhccms, Pn. The engine is at the Rough
& Tumble Engineers Historical Assn. show nt Kinzer, Pn. Har-
vey Hoffman bought the engine new in 1921 nnd today (1975)
stiU o,.11s und uses It , making it a one owner, (very rare). Gifted
craftsmen created nuthentic operational scale models of steam
trnctlon engines thd work exactly like the original engine. One
ls shown here, posed beside the real machine.

This 60 H.P. Frick steam traction cni,>Jnc, built in 1921 , Is owned

by Jim Hessong ofSmithburg, Md. It is in oclion at the Wlllinms
Grove Historical Steam Engine Assn. show al Mcchunicsburg,

...__ .. ...'t: ..
·- --

This 60 H.P. Frick steam traction engine, built in 1925, is owned
by ~stcr Beach of Martinsburg, Pa., and ls at the Morrison's
C<Jye .P ioneer Power Reunion at Martinsburg. The Frick or
Eclipse steam trac tion engine was built in Waynesboro, Pa.,
from 1880 until 1936.
Frick Co. 121

A 65 H.P. Frick steam traction engi ne, built in 1916 used a 9 1/ 2 x

10-lnch cylinder. In addition to the Independent mounting,
center-crank engine, the 9 1/1 x 10 was furnished with an open
bottom boiler, impro,•ed reverse, and ha lanced vah·c.
This 65 H.P. Frick steam fraction engine, built in 1916, is owned
by Emanuel Nafe of Glen Rock, Pn. This engine Is nt the Mnry-
land Steam Historical Society show at Uppereo, Md. The Frick
engine had the friction clutch mounted on an Independent steel
frame work.

T his 65 H.P. Frick steam traction engine, built in 1923, is owned

by Clyde Costly of Wellsboro, Pa. This engine is al the Williams
Grove Historical Steam Engine Assn. show at Mechanicsb urg,
Pa. Clyde Costly's Fri ck is engine 1123999. It has n 9 1/ 1 x 10-incb

A 7 x l 0-lncb double cylinder Frick steam h'action engine, built

in 1916. The water cnrryi,ng capacity of the a:dc tnnk was 130
gnllons. Each piston had two packing rings. The npproximate
weight was 20,000 pounds. Today the Frick Co. is still in
b us iness mnking refrigcrntion machinery and air conditioning
units. App roxjmatcly half the artificial ice sknling rin ks on tbe
continent lmve used Frick equipment .

Herc nre two Frick steam traction engines In a line nt the R ough
nnd Tumble Engineers Historical Assn. annual s how. T he Frick
was mode in Waynesboro, Pn. A lot of these engines are left
today In good show condition.
122 Gaar • Scott Co.
Abram Gaar was founder of the firm of Gaar, Scott & Co. in grooves in tbe cross section of the bushing fil led with water sup
1836, designated as a family corporation. At one time in its plied by the condensation of occasional drops form ing on th1
history there were some outside stockholders, but the company piston rod as it passed through this bushing, which was coole1
was mostly in the hands o f the Gaars and their descendants. The than the other chambers of the cylinder. This made a stearr
Gaar family was one of the oldest and most substantial in the city packing which was durable and effective and simple and easil}
of Richmond, Ind. replaced. A plate and three b olts held the bushing in position
Abram Gaar was born near Richmond , Indiana. He was a Three set screws also held the center head in position.
cabinet maker and millwright and worked for a time in the ma- A small steam pipe, with a valve, was put on the boiler for th<
chine works known as the Spring Foundry owned by J. M . & J. purpose of carrying the steam direct to the large cylinder, so that
Jiutton. Gaar purchased the Spring Foundry in 1849 and found- in an emergency or hard pull, the engineer could turn on stean'
ed the firm of A. Gaar & Co., continuing an active member until and get the full direct pressure of steam in the large cylinder, for a
his death in 1894. limited time, supplementing the exhaust steam from the small
He was succeeded by his son John Milton Gaar, who was born in cylinder. The cylinder was jacketed in conformity with the boilet
Richmond in 1823 and who worked in the Spring Foundry as and dome.
early as 1842, when that concern was engaged in building the old The Gaar-Scott Co. made the following: Steam traction
"chaff pilers" or "ground-hog" threshers. He grew up with the engines of simple and compow1d cylinders; p lain portable steam
threshing machine business and developed his plant as that in- engines; the Gaar-Scott 3-way crank thresher; rice field Queen
dustry developed . His partner, William G. Scott, was a Virginian, thresher; clover hulling outfit; water tanks; Plantation circular
whose parents had moved to Richmond in 1827. Scott was the saw mills; Pony circular saw mills, and the standard circular saw
business man of the firm and John M. Gaar devoted his time to mill.
the mechanical end. The Gaar-Scott Co. was incorporated in In 1911 Gaar-Scott became part of the Rumely Company.
1870. Then the Rumely Products Co. became part of the Allis-Chalmers
The Gaar-Scott Co. made steam traction engines with simple Corp.
and compound cylinders. The compound had two cylinders which
were directly and strongly attached to each other by a projection
on the small cylinder and a counterbore on the large cylinder,
without any open space between them. This insured their being
always in perfect alignment, and in this position they were bolted
rigidly together. If, for any reason, access was desired to the in-
side of the cylinders, the small cylinder could be easily removed
and then replaced in its original position, and it would again be in
perfect alignment with the large cylinder, with the connection as ,.

firm as if both cylinders were cast together.

There was no stuffing box to pack between the cylinders and
only one steam joint, which was an advantage over compound
cylinders that had an open space between them. In the compound
cylinder, they used a brass bushing between the two cylinders
which took the place of packing around the piston rod. The five

This 13 H.P. Gaar-Scott steam traction engine, built in I 909, is

o"ned by Charles Hirshey, of Lindgrove, Ind. This engine is al
the Darke County Steam Threshers show, Grcen»llle, Ohio.

This 16 H.P. Gaar·Scott steam tTaclion engine, built in 1904,

w11s owned by Earl Marhank of Dowagiac, Mich., but was sold
for S2,250 In May, 1973. Nick Ledcrle bought this engine and
keeps il nt his w11chine shop in Leland, Mich.
Gaar - Scott Co. 123

The 1908 model 13-16 and 18 H.P. Gaar-Scott steam traction

engine. This engine had the regular coal an ti wootl-bllJ'JJing
boiler and reguJar tTaction engine gear. Jackets were flll'nished
A coal or wood-burn ing 13-16 nnd 18 H.P. Gaar-Scott steam on this engine only as ordered. Cabs we re also ex tra, in either
traction engine, pictured in n 1906 G111tr-Scott cntnl og. All the long or regular style.
boiler plates were from open henrth homogcneou.~ steel tlrnt had
been tested to 60,000 lbs. tensile strengt'l1 . After the engines were
finished they were fired up and run under hcm'y s te1un presslll'c,
whlcb a.~sllJ'ed that nil boilers were without n flaw or lcnk when
they left the plant.

The long cab nttachmcnt is shown on this 13-16 nnd 18 H.P.

Gaar-Scott steam traction engine of 1906. Abram Gaar was
foU11der of the Orm of Gaar-Scott & Co. in 1836.

T he 1910 model 13-.16 and 18 H .P. Gn1tr-Scott s tcnm trnction

engine had a huge s tenm dom e with 1trched top which furnished
nn abU11dance of dry, live steam. Th is was taken from near the
lop of the dome and went to the steam chest through the city
pipe inside of the boiler shell l>ithout nny deterioralion In dry-
ness or pressure. Just inside the hnnd-hole, above the fire-door,
a cock wns pl nccd In the elbow of this dry pipe for draining off
any con densaHon ofter the engine wns shut down.

This 16 H.P. Gnar-Scott steam truction engine, built in 1909, is

owned by Nell McClure of Colchester, Ill. This engine is in ac-
tion at the Midwest Old Settlers & T hreshers Assn. show at
Mount Plensnnl, lown.
124 Gaar • Scott Co.

A 13-16 and 18 H.P. Gaar-Scott steam 1-raction engine was pic-

llucd in a 1908 Gaar-Scott catalog. The boilers hnd cl'ery con-
venienc.c for cleaning In the way of hand-holes e nd bottom blow- A 13-16 and 18 H.P. Gonr-Scolt steam troction engine tlS pic-
off valve. A surface blow-off cock 1'ith pipe nllached was pro- tured In a 1910 Gnar-Scoll cata log. Stay bolls of the best refined
vided, by which all sewn and floating sediment could be carried iron were used to brntc the fire-box sheets. These stay bolts were
off, aYo iding foaming from this cause. All modern safcl)' appli· threaded from end to end, screwed in place und er pressure of
ance.s such as fusible plug in the cro1'11 sheet, glnss water gauge, compressed air, and both ends securely riveted over. The stay
try cocks, reliable steam gauge, and pop safety vu)l'e, were parl rods (the usual number being nine, depending on slie of boiler)
of the equipment of the boilers. run from end to encl of the boller, mnking It very rig id to resist
the s hifting strains to which the boiler of a traction engine was

A 16-18 H.P. Goar-Scott steam traction engine of 1910. The

universal boilers, dome.s and engine cyilnders were jacketed in a
wny that reduced, to a minimum heal rncliation and co nd en-
sation. The covering made a \'cry handsome finish.

This 18 H.P. Gaar-Scott steam traction engine, built in 1917, is

01''11Cd b) John Holp of Le" is burg, Ohio. It is 01 the Darke
County Steam Threshers s how at Greenl'iile, Ohio. The Gaar-
Sco11 & Co. was designated 1\S a family corporation. At one time
in Its history there were some outside stockholders, but the com-
pany was mostly In the hands of the Gnars 11nd their descen-
This is n 1910 double C\'linder 18 H.P. Gaar-Scott steam traction
engine, using a unive~al boiler. The steam gauge, whistle and
other brass goods were of the most approved make. A foll equip-
ment of oil cups, glass wolcr gouge, all necessary tools, pipe
toniis, combbrntion and other wrenches, hose and oil cons went
along with 1hc engin es.
Gaar • Scott Co • 125

A 1910 model l8 and 22 H.P. Gnar-ScC>lt slcnm naetion engine. This 18 H.P. Goar-Scott steam traction engine, built In 1910, is
Al the engineer's right, within easy reach , was the srcering owned by Bernord Root of Columbus, Ohio. This engine is in a c-
wheel, an d directly forward of it, the bon d wheel. The worm gear tion at the Richland County Steam Thresher Assn. s how a t
turns the steering roll eus lJy, nnd the chains have goo d leverage Mansfield, Ohio. Th is is the eyli.ndcr side. The tank mounted up
on the front axle at nny nnglc, slralght or cramped. This roU had front is the water lank.
a spiral surface for the wrap of the chain and gave easier and
more positive s teering than a smooth roll. The arrangement of
the ground wheels, the differen tial gea r and the steering gear
pro vi ded for short turning, and aU orhe r operating parts were
where !he engineer wuntcd them to give easy and instant control
of his engine. The chuln could nlwnys be kept taut, with any
sluck taken up by n turnbuckle.

Tbis is th e Oy-whcel side of the 18 H.P. Gaar-Scott steam trac- ,

tion engi ne owned by Bernard Root of Columbus, Ohio.


This 1908 model 18 H.P. Gnnr-Seott steam traction engine is a

un iversal regular gear type. At the engineer's right, within ensy
reach , is the steering wheel, and directly forwa rd of it, tbe band
wheel. In conncclion with rhe s teel waler tank on the engine was
ajet pump operated by steam, by wh ich the steel tank could be
filled with wntcr, drawn by 11hose14 feet long.

This slrnnge-lookln g sight Is a front view of the 18 H.P. Gaar-

Scott stea m traction engine owned by Bernard Roo t of Colum-
bus, Ohio.
126 Gaar
A coal or wood-burning 22 H.P. Gaar-Scott steam traction
engine, as pictured in a 1906 Gaar-Scott catalog. The bottom of
the £ire-box was not merely a thln ash pan bottom, bot a tight
Scott Co.
Shown In the 1908 catalog is the 22 H.P. Gaar-Scott steam tnc-
tion engine. The company could attach a short cab to this
engine, when ordered at erna charge. The engine Cramc was a
boiler plate bottom, and the ash draught doors were tightly At· solid single casling-the cylinder, steam chest , gnldcs, and the
ted, giving the engineer perfect control over his Ure from the foot lower half of the pillow block or main crank shaft bearing were
board. all cast In one piece.

Fitted wllh n cab, this Is the 1908 22 H.P. Gaar-Scott steam trac-
Clon engine. The cnb shown is the one furnished regulurly on
Universal engines at extrn cost. This engine h11d the heavy gear The 1910 model 22 to 32 H.P. Gaar-Scott single cylinder uni·
und steel wheels. versnl boiler steam trncHon engine. The cab shown w1is fur·
nishcd rcgulurly on Unh·ersal engines at extra cos!. The 32 H.P.
engluc hud an Independent pum p, while the 22 and 25 H.P. had
The 22 and 25 H.P. double cylinder steam !Tnetion cngbte was a cross-head pump.
pictured in a 1910 Gaar-Scott catalog. This engine used the
unh•crsal boiler ,.ith heu-y traction gearing and steel drivers.
Gear oilers were furnished with the heavy gear traction engines Fitted with hea\')' plow gearing Is this 1910 model 22 and 25 H.P .
outCitted for plo,.i.og. These oil cups were designed for the use of double cylinder Gaar·Scotl steam tTactlon engine. Mounted on
inexpensi.-e crude oil. A valve under the cup regulated the feed. the universal boiler, the large tanks held about 11 barrels of
One of these oilers was placed over each pinion and one on the water. It won.Id give steady power when belted, and strong and
guard over each master gear. ready power when bitched. ~
Gaar - Scott Co. 127

Another view of the 1910 model 22 and 25 H.P. double cylinder The 1906 straw burning Gaar-Scott steam traction engine came
Gaar-Scott steam traction engine. The hollers In the double in 16, 18, 22 and 25 horsepowers. The fire-box was specially con-
1mglncs were large, quick stc11mers. The muln crank shuft was s l.ructcd for burning straw, but would burn coal and wood
forged from a single piece <•f steel, turned lo 35/a -inch diameter. equnlly as well.
Its pull was evenly distributed between two hea''Y self-oiling

The gear side of the l 906 Gaar-Scol'I s lcam traction engine. This
engine Is u univcrsnl straw burner, uvniluble in both simple and
compound engine.~. 11 camein16, 18, 22 and 25 horsepower.

The 25 H.P. Ganr-Scott steam trncllon engine owned by G.

Richey of Norwich, Ohio, is seen here at the Stumptown Steam
Threshers Assn., New Athens, Oh io.

This 1915 model 25 H.P. Gaar-Scott steam lraclion engine is

owned by G. Richey of Norwich, Ohio. It Is al the Tuscarwas
V11Ucy Pioneer Power Assn. show at Dover, Oh io. The Gaar·
Scou C-0. made steam tract ion engines of simple nnd compound
cyllndcr, plain portable steam englnes, the Ganr-Scoll 3-Way
crank thresher, Field Queen rice thresher, clo,·cr hulling outfit,
wutcr tanks, plantation circular saw mills, pony circular saw
mills and the standard clrculnr saw mill.
128 Gaar • Scott Co.

A 30 H.P. Gaar-Scoll' compound cylinder steam traction engine

was pictured in a 1906 Gaar-Scott catalog. This is a plowing
engine, ,.ith extra he11vy 11low genr, plow hitch, and n wide plat- Tbe 1906 slTaw burning 30 H.P. Gaar-Scott compound cylln·
form for currying t·wo exlTa waler tanks and a large coal bunker. der steam traction engine bad the sn1111J high-pressure cylinder
The two extra steel water tanks were each of three banel and the large cylinder directly and strongly at-
capacity. tached to each other by a projection on the small cylinder and a
counterbore on the large cylinder, without any open space be
tween them. This insured their being always in perfect align-
ment, and in this position I hey were bolted rigidly together. If,
for any renson, access was desired to lhe inside of the cylinders,
the small cylinder coulcl be easily removed and then replaced in
its orlglnnl position, again in perfect alignment with the hirgc
cylinder, and lhc connection as firm as if both cylinders were
casl together. There was only one steam joint between the cylin·
ders, and Lhe cylinders were jacketed. A smaU steam pipe, with a
vahe, was put on the boiler for the purpose of carrying the steam
directly to the large cylinder, so that In an emergency or bard
pull, the engineer could turn on steam and get the full pressure
in the large cylinder for a limited time.

The 1908 model 30 H.P. Gaar-Scott compound cylinder steam

fraction engine has the heavy gear without plowing attachments.
The cab shown is the regular style for this engine, at extra cost.

Another view of the 1908 model 30 H.P. Gaar-Scott compound

cylinder steam traction engine. In aU essentilll feMurcs, except
the cylinder, and being equipped with an independent steam
pump instead of a crosshend pump, the compound cylinder
engines were practically the s am e as the single-cylinder engines.

A 30 H.P. Gaar-Scott compound cylinder steam fraction engine

was pictured in a 1908 Gaar-Scott catalog. This cngi.n c used the
universal boiler, hc11vy plow gears, 1111-steel 11low hitch, strong
wide platform with large fuel box and round steel tank, and an
extra large squure steel t·a nk on top of the boiler. Also, it had J 6-
inch by 76-inch steel drive wheels with cccentr.ic spindles.
Gaar • Scott Co.

The 1910 model 40 H.P. Gaar-Scott double tandem compound

cylinder steam traction engine used the plow hitch be11m 1h11t
was extra strong and convenient for hitching any desired num-
The 1910 model 30 H.P. Gaar-Scott compound cylinder steam
ber of plows or other machinery. The Gaar-Scott steam traction
traction engine bad hea»J traction gearing and steel dri\'e
engine used black for the boiler dome and smokestack, the
wheels. The cab shown was the regular style for this engine, ut
ground wheels, fly-wheel, coal and wood bunkers, and the water
extru cost.
tm1k were red, und the roof had some yellow stTipplng.

Galion Iron Works Co.

The Galion Iron Works Company was founded in
February, 1907 by David C. Boyd, L. M. Liggett, G. L.
Stiefel, H. Gottdiener, J. M. Talbott and H . A.
Pounder. Mr. Gottdiener served as the company's
president fo r its first 5 years. I ts first product was
cast iron culvert pipe, which was cast in two halves
and designed to be bolted together when put into use.
Product diversification came quickly and the com-
pany signature could be seen on road drags, wheel and
light scrapers, sprinkling wagons, stone spreaders,
portable gravel screening plants, rock crushers, stone
unloaders, coal handling equipment, highway sanders,
belt conveyors, chip spreaders, and a variety of ex-
perimental road machinery.
In 1913 the name was changed to The Galion Iron
Works & Mfg. Company. In 1915 Galion produced a
new type of grader. The Galion Light Premier - billed -
as being light enough for 2 horses and strong enough
for 4 horses.
An experimental roller built in 1916-17 led to the firs t
production model in March 1921. The first 28 rollers
were powered by huge Herr 2-cylinder gasoline A Galion steam roller built by the Galion Iron Works Co .•
engines. But these engines were in t urn posessed with of Galion, Ohio. Kenn eth Mack from Ohio is standing by
the roller. At t he time t.his picture was taken he was the
the evils of hard starting, as were most of the gasoline owner. Th e steam roller was bui lt in 1921, had an 18 to 20
engines of the time. So in 1922, Galion introduced its H P engine, and when filled with water its weight was 10
first steam roller, a 3-wheel macadam-type roller. In tons.
1923 very heavy Galion tandem steam rollers (2-rolls)
were produced to keep pace with the demand for pav-
ed roads. Then in 1924 a return was made back to
gasoline engines, using t he Fordson Tractor gas
engine. In 1925, I HC engines powered the rollers.
In 1929 the company was purchased by the Jeffrey
Mfg. Co. of Columbus, Ohio. Today Galion Mfg. is a
division of Dresser Industries, Inc., with its home of-
fice still at Galion, Ohio.
John Goodison
John Goodison, who had been general agent for the bankrupt
Sarnia Agricultural Implement Assn. Co., together with G. H.
Sam is, purchased the interest and factory of the insolvent com-
pany. They operated for a year, but under adverse circumstances,
and were glad to enter into negotiations with the Sawyer &
Massey Co. of Hamilton , Ontario, for the sale of their interests.
Operations were continued as usual and John Goodison was re-
ta ined as manager by the Hamilton firm.
John Goodison was not satisfied with the new arrangement,
and late in 1889 acquired sole ownership of the concern. The days
of Sawyer & Massey control convinced him of the future of the
threshing machine industry, and he wisely abandoned the manu-
facture of reapers and plows and concentrated on threshing
machinery. For a while he called his factory the Tunnel City
Thresher Works, but soon changed it to the John Goodison
Thresher Co. Meanwhile, the fam e of the McCloskey thresher was
spreading, and in 1892 Mr. Goodison acquired the right to build
these machines. He persuaded John McCloskey to move to Sarnia
and work in his factory. The years that foll owed saw the fi rm
prospering and soon the Goodison " New McC!oskey" threshers
were favorably known throughout both eastern and western
John McCloskey was born in Ireland in 1847. At the age of
seventeen he came to Ca nada along with his parents, three sisters
and five brothers. The family located in the bush near the t iny set-
tlement of Oldcastle, about 11 ·miles from the present city of
Windsor, Ontario.
Vince Riddell 0£ New Market, Ontario , shows off the fly-wheel
John McCioskey died of pneumonia in J 902 at the age of 55
side of his 20 H.P. John Goodison steam tntcHon engine bulll In
leaving behind in his workshop several uncompleted models of in- 1920.
ventions he had been working on. John Goodison died in 1915.
The firm, now known as Goodison Industries Limited, is still
headed by the third generation of the Goodison family.
In J902 it began to build a few portable engines, and two years
later entered the traction engine fie ld. Only single cylinder, side
m ou nted engines were built and the original design was never
changed .
In 1920 Goodisons began selling Hart-Parr gas tractors and af-
ter the big merger of 1928 became Canadian distributor of Oliver
tractors and equipment. Thus, another well known make of
threshing machinery passed into history.

A 20 H.P. John Goodison s team traction engine, bulll by John

Goodison Thresher Co. of Sarnia, Ontario, In 1920. T his engin e
ls owned by Vince Riddell of New Market, Ontario, a11d is here
chugging arowtd at the Ontario Steam & Antique Preservers
show. ln 1902, John Good Ison Thresher Co. bcg11n to build a few
porlAbl e engines, and two years later entered th e tracti on engin e
field. OnJy single C)llnder, side mounted engines were built, and
the original design was never changed.
John Goodison 131

The Goorlison 'l'roctiou Engine

A built-in ladder provided easy access lo the cylinder of che 1909

model 20 ll.P. John Goodison steam traction engine. The flues
of this c11gb1c used special hlgh-gradc quality chnn:onl-iron
tubes. The material had a s mooth surface, to which scale did not
reudlly adhere. The manner of arranging the tubes allowed free
circufotlon or water, und the number and dimensions gn1•c n
This is the 1909 .-ersion of the 20 H.P. John Goodison steam
beating s urface that ensured easy steaming. The Ouc sheets were
traction engine. This engine's boiler wns a locomotive lype, of
cut to fit the Oues, making absolutely steam-tight joints, so that
hea''Y steel plate, stayed throughout. The boilers were designed
brass ferrul es and other con tri"ances were unnecessary.
so that they would withstand all the se1•ere strains incident to th e
work of a traction engine. The boilers were made of the 1·ery best
open hearth homogeneous steel of 60,000 pounds tensile

This 20 H.P. John Goodison steam traction engine, buill in

1922, Is owned by Donald Snell of Ontario, Canada. It ls at the
Ontnrlo Sf cam & Antique Prescr"ers show. In J 920 John Good-
ison began selling Hart-Parr g11s tr11cloi:s, and after the big
The 22 H.P. John Goodison steam l'raclion engine, built In 1922, merger of 1928, became Cnnadlnn distributor of Oliver tractors
contlnued to sport a built.Jn ladder for easy access to the cylin· and c11ulpment. Thus, another well known make of threshing
der. This was one of the last engines built by this company. machinery paused into history.
The Greencastle line of machinery was built by the Crowel
Manufacturing Company of Greencastle, Penn ., located about i
miles from Waynesboro, the home of Frick and Geiser. The com
pany was founded sometime in the 1800s by a Mr. Crowell, whc
was joined by Henry B. Larzelere, either as a partner or a:
machinist a nd designer.
It is impossible to determine how many Greencastle engine:
were built. The Greencastle Chamber of Commerce thought onl)
a couple were built along with 13 threshers. Twelve of th
threshers were returned to the factory because of imperfections
with only one being paid for. This one was burned in a barn fire
and the insurance paid for it.
It appears that there were about 12 traction engines built
judging from old timers who remember hearing of such engines.
The Crowell Mfg. Co., also built the Greencastle grain drill
which was their specialty.
Farm Implement News Buyers Guide of 1890 lists the compan)
as building threshers, po1table sawmills and portable engines.
The Crowell Co. went into receivership in the late 1890s under thJ
reign of a Rahauser family. The Geiser Mfg. Co. of Waynesboro
bought the plant about 1901. using it to build gas engines, trac-
tors etc. The buildings are still standing, with "Emerson-
Brantingham of Rockford, Ill. ," painted on the west side of the
main building. E-B gained control of the Geiser Co. about 191 3.
This l2 H.P. Greencastle stenm traction engine, built by Crowell Mr. Larzelere was a mechanical engineer born in Willow
Mrg. Co. of Grcenea~tle, l!n. ln 1885, is owned by William U. Grove, Penn. He moved to Greencastle in 1882, probably from
Wnlers Jr. of Damnscus, Md. This engine Is believed to be the Doylestown, Penn. In about 1887 he moved to Muncy, Penn., and
only Greene&Stle left today. The engine has an 8 x 101/,.inch with the help of a Mr. Brocious started the Muncy Traction
cylinder and a non -variable cu loff. The CroweU Co. was founded
sometime in the 1800s by a Mr. Crowell, who was joined by a
Engine Company. The Muncy Co. was apparently unsuccessful.
Henry B. Larzelere, either a.~ a partner or as machinist and Mr. La rzelere spent his later years with the A. B. Farquhar Co. of
des igner. York, Pa., selling and installing sawmill outfits.


William W11ters inspects the smokestack of his 12 H.P. Grcen-

costle steam troction engine, built in 1885. The Crowell Co. went
Into receivership in the lnlc 1890s under the reign of 11 Rah auser
£o111Uy. The Geiser Mfg. Co. of Waynesboro, Pa., bought the
planl aboul 1901, using II to build gas engines and iractors. The
. ~ buildings arc still standing, and Emcrson -Brnntingham of
Rockford , JlJ., is painted on lhe west side of the main building.
That company gained conlrol of the Geiser Co. about 1913.
Greyhound (Banting Mfg. Co.)
To know when and where to use his ability and just what op- He had organized the Banting Machine Co. in t he fall of the
)rtunities to embrace is often the salient feature that carries the previous year, but the business did not get under way until Janu-
1ccessful man beyond his fellows and enables him to become a ary l, 1901. On the 1st of January, 191 5, the Banting Manu-
:>wer in his chosen field. John William Banting, who possessed facturing Co. was organized and Mr. Banting was president of
tis quality in a notable degree, was specializing in the manu- both concerns, of wh ich his brother, Carlos C. Banting, was secre-
icture of farm m achinery. The importance and scope of his in- tary, while J. F. Sanders was vice president. They made the
·rests had not only placed him in a position of leadership in in- famous Greyhound type of farm machinery, which they sold
ustrial circles of Toledo, Ohio, but had also made his name well direct to farmers, and their implements were used extensively by
nown to agriculturists in many parts of the world. He was born agriculturists in the United States a nd Canada, with a particu-
1 Ottawa county, Ohio, August 6, 1858. larly large demand in the grain-growing districts. They manu-
His parents were Carlos Cornelius and Eva (Stadler) Banting, facture threshers for grain and beans, hay presses, steam traction
1e former a native of the north of Ireland a nd the latter of engines and other farm machinery and their plant was only one of
aden, Germany. In 1854 they came to Ohio and the father the kind in Toledo, Ohio. They maintain a selling agency in South
evoted his attention to fanning, continuing to cultivate and im- America and they established a branch in South Africa, their
rove his land until his demise, which occurred at Elmore, Ohio, ramifying trade interests extending to many parts of the world.
11881. He was an honored veteran of the Civil War, joining the Mr. Banting combined keen sagacity and breadth of vision
nird Ohio Cavalry, and he remained in the service during the with superior executive ability and had the power of concen-
ntire period of hostilities. The mother passed away March 12, tration which enabled him to give all of his thought to the matter
908. In their family were four children: Carlos C., an executive in hand. He thus brought to bear all of his forces upon the ac-
fficer of the Banting Manufacturing and Banting Machine com- complishment of his purpose. His labors had been manifestly
•anies; Emma V. and Lucy, who lived in E lmore, Ohio; and Joh n resultanted a nd an extensive productive indust ry resulted as a
V., who was the eldest in the family. monument to his initiative spirit and powers of organization.
John William Banting acquired his education in the country Mr. Banting, also was a nationally known figure also in the
chools of Ottawa county, Ohio, and he obtained his experience automobile business, written about often in virtually every early
n business through selling farm machinery direct to the agri- motor magazine in America. He entered the automobile business
·ulturists of Ottawa county. In 1882, when 24 years of age, he in 1908 with the Deal Buggy Co. which he represented. He started
1pened a store at Elmore, Ohio, for the sale of hardware a nd farm building the Deal 2-cylinder. air-cooled delivery car which had
mplements. This constituted the nucleus of the large business of much the appearance of a horse-drawn vehicle.
vhich he would become the head. He continued to operate his in- In 1909 he took the agency for the Carter Car, a friction drive
erests at Elmore until 1900, when he sold out and on the 1st of model built in Pontiac, Mich., and presented it that year in
·anuary, 1901, moved to Toledo, Ohio. Toledo's first automobile show which contained 11 exhibits and
which he helped to organize.
In 19 11 Mr. Banting took the distributorship of the Patterson
automobile in Oh io. Later he became distributor of the Chandler,
then the Du rant, and in 1930 was appointed distributor of Dodge,
Plymouth and Dodge trucks. He represented these until his
death, operating under the corporate name of the Banting Motor
Car Co., at Detroit Ave. and Collingwood Blvd. in Toledo. Previ-
ous sales rooms were at Jefferson Ave. a nd Michigan St., and at
Madison Ave. at Eeventh St., Toledo.
Mr. Banting was one of the founders of the Toledo Automobile
Shows Co., a non-profit organization holding annual motor ex-
positions and was treasurer of it many years. Later he, with
others, fo rmed the Toledo Automobile Trades Assn. in which he
held all offices.
Mr. Banting for many years was interested in the Elmore Oil &
Gas Co., operator of oil wells and leases in the vicinity of Elmore,
Carlos C. Banting, John's brother became t he president of the
Banting Co., farm equipment firm. In 1930 the Banting Manu-
This aUraclh'e 18 H.P. Greyhow1d steam trnction engine, built facturing Co. ceased its manufacturing operations and Carlos C.
in J 917 by Banting Mfg. Co. of Toledo, Ohio, is owned by Banting formed the Banting Co., to sell farm equipment.
Reuben Miller of Thomns\'Ule, Pa. It is steaming quietly nl the
Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical Assn. show al Kln1'er,
Pa. ln January, 1915, the Banting Mfg. Co. was organized, with
John Willtam Banting as president.
134 Greyhound (Banting Mfg. Co.)

This is the cylinder side of the 24 H .P. Greyhound sleam trac-

tion engine owned by Wm. & Ed Flowers of Adena, Ohio. The
Here is a head-on view of Lhe 18 H.P. Greyhound steam traction side mounted water tanks were standard equipment on Grey-
engine owned by Reuben Miller of Thomas ville, Pa. hounds.

Th e Greyhound steam traction engine came in two sizes: wi th a

8'.h x 11-lnch cylinder or a 9'.h x 11-inch cylinder. The 81/. x 1J •
inch cylinder engine wei ghed 19,500 lbs., while lhc 9'/.. x 11-inch
was 22,500 lbs. net. J. W. Bunting was also a known figure In lhe
automobile business.

Sporting a cnnopy top a.n d a multllude of whistles is this 24 H.P.

Greyhound sleam traction engine built in 1922. This engine is
owned by Wm. & Ed Flowers of Adenn, Ohio, and appears at
the Sturnptown Steam Threshers Assn. show at New Athens,
·· Ohio. J. W. Bunting for many yeurs was interested in th e Elmore
OU & Gas Co., operator of oil wells and leases in the vicinity of
Elmore, Ohio.
Groton Mfg. Co. 135

Charles Perrigo was born at Canajoharie, N.Y. , September 22,

ll 7, the son of Martin B. Perrigo, a tanner. c urrier and shoe-
aker. At th e age of 19, Charles was apprenticed to a foundry at
enoa, where he worked four years. Afterwards he worked at
rnneateles and Geneva, N.Y. In 1849 he went to Groton, N.Y.,
1d started a foundry, now a part of the Bridge Company's exten-
1e works.
Lyman P errigo went t o Groton and started in business with his
·other Charles in 1849. They manufactured agricultural ma-
tinery, the firm name being C. & L. Perrigo. Lyman was an in-
ntor of a spoke planer, a nd a first-class machinist. He was an
ganizer of the bank and a stockholder in the Southern Central
William Perrigo went to Groton about 1859, and became a part- This 10 H.P. Groton steam traction engine was built by Charle.~
:r with S. Spencer in the manufactu ring of threshing machines. Perrigo & Co. of Gro ton, N. Y. in 1891. II is owued by Harry
e bought Mt·. Spencer out and, about 1863, formed a partner- Hogcrs of Kensington , OhJo, nnd Is pnrtlclpatlng at the Stump·
ip with Fredrick Avery. This firm, with Charles Perrigo & Com- town Steam T hres hers Assn. show nt New Athens, Ohio.
Wllllnm Perrigo went to Groton uboul 1859, and became a part-
my formed the Groton Manufacturing Co.
ner with S. Spencer in the mnn ufacturing of threshing
The Groton steam traction engine had a large b oiler of the fire mach ines. Be bough t Spencer out and, a bout 1863, formed a
J X, wagon top pattern with dumping grates. The fire box part of partnership with Fredrick Avery. This firm, Charles Perrigo &
Jiler extended some six inch es above the fore part of the boiler Co., later formed the Groton Mfg. Co.
ld had an extra la rge dome directly over t he fire. The steam was
ways dry and perfectly separated from the water and was
1rried along inside of the boiler to the smoke box. It was heated
~ain before it reached the steam ch est, where it went through a
ide valve into the cylinder, and after using went directly into the
noke stack and left little or n o back pressure. The engine had an
:tra long arm and perfectly balanced crank, ball governors and
Jsolute reverse. The steam traction engine had large drive
heels with a steel face 12 inches wide and lugs bolted to face, flat
eel spokes that could be removed easily and repaired , a four inch
de which passed back of the fire box across the boiler and re-
1Jved with the wheels. resulting in no binding of gears, which
ere heavy and large. The clutch was in the fly wheel. T he boiler
as fed by a Penberthy injector, which was a lways ready, m aking
) use for a steam p um p.
The Groton Ma nufacturing Co. mad e the Groton steam trac- This Is the Oy-whecl • ide of the 10 H.P. Groton s team traction
on engines, and the "Monarch" steam road rollers. engine owned by Hatry Rogers of Kensington, Ohio. The fancy
canopy trim is not odgin nl .

The Amcricnn Monarch steam road roller was built by Amer!·

can Road Machlnel'J Co. of Groton, N.Y. This steam roller used
n heavy, well proportioned boiler, front rolls, hlgh steam dome
and gears. American Road Machlnery Co. was connected to the
Groton Mfg. Co. and the Charles Perrigo Co.

This 30 H.P. American Monarch steam trnclion engine was

built by Amcrlc11n Road Mnchlnery Co. of Groton, N.Y. The
engine wns quite similar in design to the Monarch road roUer,
but was lilt ed with rond wheels instead of rollers. It Is probable
that this engine wns designed lo be more of 11 roud locomoth·e
for the construcfion Industry thw1 a n 11grlcultur11l C"racl'lon
136 Harrison Machine Works
Harrison Jumbo steam traction engines were built by Harriso
Machine Works of Belleville, DI., a company established in 184
and incorporated in 1878. This company made 839 steam tractio
'The Harrison Jumbo was a single cylinder, side mounte
steam traction engine, close coupled so that it could be t urned i
a very small circle. The weight was evenly distributed on th
wheels, reducing the tendency to rare up. The boiler was ver
large for the horse-power rating, and of the low pressure open fir
box type. In spite of the large size, the fire box, flue area anc
water capacity were so proportioned that the boiler was highly el
ficient. It was a ready steamer, easy to fire, with economical con
sumption of water and fuel.
The J umbo was desirable for road travel because of its tw•
speeds. The high gear, for traveling over the road, had a speec
...'_t.,_.\~" .... range from four to five miles per hour. For heavy pu lls, a low gea
Appearin g lo be extremely complicated, this 10 H.P. Harrison was practically unlimited, with a top speed of 2112 miles per hou ~
steam tracti on engine was built by Harrison Machine Works of Th'e two speed arrangement was simple, sturdy, and easy to ma
BeUe'' lUe, DJ. in 1882. An example of this engine, bearing nipulate.
production II 71 4 was restored In 1961. For 35 years it w•as The Jumbo boiler was built from the best flange and fire bo}
bu ried in the shifting sands of the Missouri River, on Howell
Island, near St. Charles, Mo. The smokestack passes through that could be procured. According to a company publication
the steam-dom e. This super-healing steam-dome greatly relieves "Each sheet is stamped with its tensible strength, which range:
the ten dency to foam and makes dry s team. The dry steam is from 55,000to 65,000 pounds per square inch."
taken out at the top of the dome, 30 Inches above the water line, The Harrison Machine Works made the following: the Jumb<
with short pipe connections. This engine hus the Stephenson
steam traction engines; the Jumbo portable e ngines; the Bellevilk
Link Valve Motion. Harrison used this lln k \•alvc motion until
1884·5. T he stub tongue on the front axle, to attach horses when separator; t he Great Western separator; Belleville separato1
desired , wus used on all engines produced by the Harrison geared for horse-power; Weighers, Baggers, and Wagon-loaders
Machine Wo rks till lhc end of production. All of the early and the well known Dingee· Woodbury horse power.
engines were equipped with double·lrecs, neck-yoke and a front
seat for the driver. The engine has R 6V2·inch cylinder and a lJ.
Inch stroke. The fl~·-wheel is 4.t Inches in diameter. The rear
wheels arc 4-foo t 10-inchcs in dlumcler. In 1884-5, when the
engin es were cull ed "J umbos ," the diameter of the rear whC1!ls
was Increased to 6-foot 6·i11ches. There urc 26 2 V2-lnch flues, 70
Inches long. Restoration work was done by Fred Kom mer an d
Mortin Rosen neur of St. Louis, ond by the owner Louis Kunz of
Fenlon, Mo.

This is the 1902 ,·ersion of the 16 H.P. Harrison Jumbo steam

traction engine. The boiler was made of S/ 16-lnch steel plate, of
60,000 lbs. tensile slTcngth , large in proportion lo the horse·
power rnllng, which gave ample steaming cnpnclly. The crown
Herc Is 11 good close-u p s howing the cylinde r, guides, Gordner shee t wns mnde sloping, thus insurin g Its bein g protected by
governor, slcom gouge, throttle v11J ve, reverse lever, s teering water when going down steep grades. T he 11vcroi:e sp11ce a bove
whl>cl, hcntcr and oth er p ar b. T he engi neer h ad bu t two levers the crown sheet wns 12 tnehes and wns iu the form of an arch ,
to ha.n dle, while most engines bud three. T he right han d did the which g11ve It additional strength. The dome w1L~ very large in
steering and the left hand opcruted both the throttle and re· size, being 24 inches high and 16 inches In dtnmcter, ceat"rally
>'erse. Th is l.s the 16 H .P. engine of 1902. Harrison used an ele- localed on chc boiler. The flues were of the best lnpwelded iron,
p hant us its trademark for the "Jumbo" series- referring, of were 2V2 lnces 111 diameter, and were thoroughly expa nded and
cou rse, to P. T. Barnum's famous trained circus elephant. beaded.
Harrison Machine Works 137

On displ11y 111 lhe Henry Ford Musem, Greenfield Village, Dcllr· This is the cylinder or engine side of the 16 1:1.P. Harrison Jumbo
born, Mich., is thls 12 H.P. Harrison Jumbo steam traction steam traction engine of 1902. Th e engine was equipped with a
engine, buUt In 1895. This is a reversible engine with h.-o speeds. safety fusible plug in the crown sheet, a steam-dome on the
The vah'c eccentri c was shifted by slidin g Lhe shaft on which lhe boiler; n flue protecting pla te; water t11nk on the front of the
eccentric wus mounted. These engines used huge front-mounted boiler, slc11m jct pump and hose for filling same; Gardner go,'er-
water tanks, wblch must have ma de steering a bit less than a nor with Sawyer's valve; steam gauge; pop safety vah'e; healer;
p leasure. An Interesting note on th is engine is the trw1k of u tree reverse gear; steam whistle; throttle valve; packing rings (either
firmly embedded in the spokes of the rear wh eel. When this steam or spring); Injector; cross-head pump; funnel and Ouc
engine was discovered, the tree was growing through the wheel, bro.s h; fire hook and scraper; combination pipe '!<Tench; hose;
and the trunk bad to 'be sectioned off in order to move the socket and spanner wrenches; extra glass water gauges; steam
engine. During restoration, it was decided to leave the remain· and water gnugcs; gauge cocks; oil can; steam blower; sight feed
der of the trunk in the wheel. lubricator and tool box on the platform. Also furnished on
special order was a cab over the engine ond a solid platform and
shield over the drive wheel. These cost an ex tra $25.

A 17 H.P. Harris on Jumbo steam traction engine. This engine's

fire-box wns of the open bottom type. The inner and outer shells
were riveted to a h eavy cast mud ring . The rue-box an d accom·
p1wylng grate surface were large, but were in proporllon lo the The 20 H.P. Hnrrison Jumbo st eam trnctlon engine w1L~
other d imensions o( the boiler. Plnln grates or rocker grates pro,'ided with 11n Injector, ejector and cross-head pump, so ur-
could b e fumlsbed, either of which were of a sobstnntial design. raoged that feed water could be d.r11wn rrom a barrd on the
AJI sheets comprising the i.ns ld c of the fire-box were of a spccllli ground, from the head tank into the boiler, or from the wntcr
fire-box steel, which was made to withstand the intense hcnt to wagon into the hcnd tank. All bearings subject to wear were so
which these parts were subjected. Th e Doe sheet was '/:-Inch arranged that they co uld be adjusted and kept tight. Comenlcnt
thick, with drilled flue holes. This presented a smooth bearing, oil cellars, grease cups and automatic oilers were located where
which with the copper ferrules, made 11 steam tight joint that necessnry. The Jumbo was built for hard service and long life.
could be kept without trouble. This unit was rated al 65 brake H.P.
138 Harrison Machine Works

_. - -~ ~

Shown with its canopy cab is the 16 H.P. Harriso n Jumbo steam
trnc tlon engine. The Harrison Mnchine W orks of Belleville, lU.,
wns established in 1884 and incorporated 111 1878. This compru1y
mndc nbout 839 steam traction engines, In cluding the Jumbo
This is the flywh eel side C>f the 20 H.P. H arrison Jumbo steam
slcnm trncticm englne, the Jumbo portable engines, the Belleville
tractio n engine. T his engine's smoke box, instead of being
sep arat or , tb c G reat Western separator, Bellcl'ille separator
formed in one piece with the shell , was rolled independently and
geared for horsepower, weigh tiers, baggers, Md wngon-loaders.
attached \\;th butt straps. The smoke box was long, a nd acted as
nn ef:fect h'e spark arrester. Due to its construction, it co uld be
detached for replacement. This was cspeclnUy desirable,
because t he bottom of the smoke box usunlly received little at-
tenti on an d was subject to strong corrosive action.

This 20 H.P. Harrison Jumbo steam traction engine, built in

1914, is owned b) Neil McClure of Colchester, Ill. It is on display
at the Midwc.~t Old Settlers & Threshers Assn. show at Mount
Pleasant, Iowa. Neil McClure acquired this ll nrrison Jumbo in
1952. l ie found it nl the southern tip of Illinois near the Ohio
!liver, whcl'C it hnd opcrntcd a sawm ill. Aflcr sccudng the
engine , Neil McClure used it on his farm before tnking it to
Mounl Plcasunt. This engine is a single cylinder, s ide-mounted ,
close coupled so that It could be turned in n ve ry small circle.
The "eight wns cvcnl) distl'ibuted on tbe wheels, r educing the
tenden cy to rare up.

T his 20 H.P. Harrison Jumbo steam tractio n cni:ine, built in

1931, was owne d by Earl M:nhanka of D owagiac, Mich. This
engine is n single cylinder side re\·crse mount . lls engine is
H2341. T his engine sold for $6,700 in May, 1973.

This 20 H.P. Harrison Jumbo steam traction engine, built in

1912, is owned by Wilford Bunyea of Plymouth, Mich. The Jum-
bo boiJer was built from the best Onngc and fire-box steel that
co uld be procured. Each sheet was stamped with its tensible
strength, which ranged from 55,000 to 65,000 pounds per square
Heilman Machine Works
William Heilm an was born in Bermersheim, Hesse-Darmstad t. flue brush ; funnel to fill boiler; oil can, and wrenches as follows;
iermany, on October 11, 1824. His father , Valentine Heilman, one combination, one socket, one alligator-elgin, one forged S. or
·as a fa rmer. He died in 1826. The widowed mother mar ried one forged spanner wrench for bolts and piston gland, cold chisel,
'eter Weintz. William labored on the farm and also attended the hemp and gum packing.
::hool of his native village. The Heilman Machine Works made the following: steam trac-
In 1843 the family emigrated to the New W orld and landed tion engines, Heilman t hresher, portable steam engines, Heilman
irst at New Orleans. Then they went up the river to St. Louis, and standard self contained engine, Heilman double geared ho isting
oon after located in Posey county. Indiana, where Mr. Weintz engine, Heilman steam road rollers, saw mills, motion hoisting
1 ursued the occupation of a farm er. engine, and water wagons.
He re young William labored, but the business was distastefu l
o him . Four years afterward, in 1847, he engaged in the fou ndry
•usiness in Evansville with his brother-in-law, Christian Kratz.
Their small machine shop on Pine St. was at fi rst run by two
1lind horses. Three years later their log shop was displaced by a
1rick one, and the horses relieved by steam power. Their first
vork was d og-irons, cast plows, and stoves.
In 1854 they constructed their first portable engine, and in
859 their first thresher. The emergencies of rebellion greatly en-
1anced their business, and they could scarcely fill their orders,
wtwithstand ing the enlarged capacity of their works. When
(ratz retired in 1864, he received $100,000 for his interest in the
:oncern. Then, through Heilman 's untiring energy, the field of
:rade was enlarged, the City Foundry enlarged so as to cover
1lmost a n entire block, and the business made to prosper almost
ike m agic.
After 1859 the company ma nufactured the Heilman steam

:raction engines and threshers.
The Heilman steam t raction engine boiler was made of Flange ..._
---- ~
steel throughout (any plate could be bent back cold without frac- ~ ~ ··~- -· --~
12 H.P. H eilman stea m traction engine built by Heilman
ture) of full rated horse power, wi th water-bottom fire box having Mach ine Works of Evansville, Ind. This engine owned by Paul
hand holes at the lower corners for easy cleaning, and one over llnhn of Wes tminster, Md . lt is believed to be the on ly 12 H.P.
the fire door for filling the boiler. The engine was a rigid bored, Hcilmw1 running today . William Hcilm1111 was born in Bern1cr-
girder bed type with adjustable shoe. large crosshead, heavy sheim, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, In 1824. In 1843 the family
emigrated 10 new Orleans. Then they located in Posey County,
_forged connecting rod and branches and wrists of ample dimen-
sions. T he gearing was heavy and durable, being of steel alloy and
the differential pinions were steel of best quality.
The cast iron smoke stack was of neat design and would o utlast
many sheet steel ones. The steering wheel and d rive pulley were
both on the right side for ease in lining up for the belt. The engine
platform was a ll steel frame with a wood top; very rigid a nd
arranged for attaching the patented adjustable plow and grader
hitch with pull low, giving great tractive power to the engine. The
fricti on clutch had a large friction surface and gave full power to
the drivers. It could be engaged and released with ease.
The Heilman cross shaft shift reverse was used, having demon-
str ated its dependability through twenty years of service on
Usual furnishings t hat came with the steam traction engines in-
cluded two round steel water tanks and tool box on the platform;
force feed oil pump; all oil cups; centrifugal oiler for wrist; gover-
nor; governor belt; cross-head pump and injector with 8VJ feet of
1-inch suction hose; one jet with 12112 feet of 1-inch suction hose
with strainer; steam and water gauges; gauge cocks; pop safety Produced in 1893, !"his was called the " Improved" Heilman
valve; blow-off valve; surface valve and whistle; poker; scraper; s tcnm h'nctio n cnglne. In 1854 fh e Heilman Co. constructed ils
Orst portnblc s team engine, and In 1859 its first thresher. Afler
1859, the Heilman Co. manufactured the Heilman steam trac·
lion engines and threshers.
140 Heilman Machine Works

This ls yet another version of the Jntc 1890s Hellman steam trac·
tion engine. Willfom Heilman, in 1847, engaged in the foundry
business Ln E.-ansville ~itb bis brother·ln-law, Christian Kra1z.
Their small machine shop on Pine St. was at fi.rst run by two A Heilman stenm ll'Uction engine of the lntc 1890s. The Heilman
blind horses. Three years later their log shop was displaced by a Machine Works made the following: steam traclion engines,
brick one, and the horses relieved by steam power. Hellman thresher, portable stenm engines, Heilman standard
self contained engine, Heilman double geared hoisting engine,
Heilma n steam roud rollers , saw mills, motion hoisting engine,
and water wugons.

A rear view of the lust model Hclhn an steam traction engine.

The Heilman boiler was made of Onngc steel throughout of full
rat ed horsepower, with a wnter-bollom fire-box having hand
boles at the lower corners for ensy cleaning, and one over fire
door for nlling the boiler. The engine was a rigid bored, girder.
bed type with a henry forged connecting rod and brasses and
wrists of ample dimensions. T he gcnr lng was heavy and durable ,
being of steel alloy and the differenllnl pinions were of the best
quality s teel.

lilJ sa. -..

l!fll-'i\<\'\ '.\' 4.· 11:'-t .,., ,
f\ \!\.,\II ti l'\111 \ 'd

This is the Dywhccl side of the lust model Hellman steam trac-
tion engine. The cast iron smoke stack was or neat design and
would outlast many sheet steel ones. The steering wheel and
drive pulley were both on the right side for convenience in lining
up for the belt. The engine platform was an 1111-sCccl frame with
11 wood top. The frnme was r igid and arranged for attaching the
pntentcd adjustable plow and grader hHeh with pull-low, giving
A Hellman s team traction road roller engine. Th e lleilman cross greaC tractive power to the engine. The friction clutch had large
shaft shift reverse design was used on the rood roller after friction surfocc nnd ga»c full power to drivers besides engaging
having demonstrated ils dependability thrn ugh 20 }'Cars of and releasing with case. The extension rims shown on this unit
service on lhc engines. were supplied al cxlrn cost.
Holt Mfg. Co.
In 1890 Benjamin Holt. a Stockton. Cal., combine builder, pro-
duced his company's first steam er. In the following 24 years, Holt
built 130 wheel-type steam traction engines.
The world's first practical track-type tractor was originated
when Benjamin Holt who was president of the Holt Manu-
facturi ng Co., took one of the standard steam traction engines his
company was making and replaced the wheels with a rough set of
tracks. On November 24. 1904, the historic test of the world· s first
practical crawler tractor took place near Stockton. Tracks were
not a new idea, but before Holt, no one had made them practical.
Intending only to solve a local problem, Holt did not at first see
the broad range of future uses for his new machine.
The "Farm Implement News," reporting on the new crawler in
the spring of 1905 said: " In a tract where a man could not walk
without sinking to his knees and where tule-shod horses cou ld not
be used, the new steam traction engine was operated without a
perceptible impression in the ground. This t ract of land has been This con traption Is a 60 H.P. Holl Bros. steam traction engine
useless for crop raising for several years because no way was built by Holt Mfg. Co. of Stockton , Cal., in 1896. The cylinder
found to plow it, but the platform wheel steam traction engine was 11 x l:2·lnch. The main wheels were 16 inches wide by 6-fcct
has brought the land into use again. It is predicted that with the 8-inchcs In diameter. A fire-box boiler was used. This engine
sold for $4,500. In 1890 Benjamin Holt, a Stockton, Cal., com·
new device it will be possible to work any of the soft lands of the bine builder, produ ced his company's first steamer. In lhe
reclaimed districts and bring into cultivation thousands of acres following years, Holt built 130 wheel-type steam tracllon
of rich areas that are now unproductive." engines, all o( tremendous si'Lc.
Holt was the first to use the name "Caterpillar." He regis-
tered the trademark "Caterpillar" in 1910 with the U.S. Patent
Office, and reported in his application that he had used the name
since 1904. Today "Caterpillar" and "Cat" are registered trade-
marks of Caterpillar Tractor Co. , whose world wide headquarters
are located in Peoria, Ill.

This is lbe fi:ont view of the 3·wheel 60 H.P. Holt Bros. steam
traction engine but.It b) Holl Mfg. Co. in 1896. The world's first
prnctic11l track.type trnctor was originated when Benjamin Holl,
who w11s president of the Holt Manufacturing Co., took one of
the stnudard stc111n !ruction engines his company was making
and replaced the wheels with a rough set of tracks. On Novcm·
her 24, 1904, the historic test of the world's first practical
crawler h:nctor took place nellr Stockton. Tracks were not a new
idea, but before Holt, no one had made them practical. In·
tending only to solve n local problem, Holt did not at first see the
This crawler ls a 40 H.P. Holl sleam traction engine, No. 77, the broad range of future uses for bls machine. The Holt wheel troc·
world's first practical tra.c k-type tractor design. One of the lorS of the 1)1JC shown here were Intended primarily for logging
features of this unlt was power steering. It is shown pulling a I 0- or freighting In the northwest. They were rather com-
bottom plow. On this machine the engineer sat high nhovc the plicated machines of huge propo rtion , reqoi.ring two men for
" works." The Orcm11n is on the lower pl atform. operation.
142 Holt Mfg. Co.

Yes, this is reaUy a ll'Bctor. It is a 60 H.P. Holt steam traction

engine, almost 46 foci wide, working lo California's San Joaquin
Valley. Each of the six. wheels was 71/2 feet in diameter and six
feet wide. Holt built the machine shorOy after the turn of the
century; then added the extra wheels to keep it on top 0£ the soft
gtound. The engine worked weU enough on the straightaway ...
but it was dlfficull. to h1rn and impossible to get through fence
rows, across bridges, or down roads, even though the four outer
wheels could be detached for traveling.

Funny looking as it is , rhis is the second or third steam traction

engine buUt by Holt on tracks. The first one had two chains, two
sprockets and h.·o idlers on each track. Here is the machine as it
appeared In the trial rUJ1 on Roberts Island, near Stockton, Cal., This is Holt steam traction engine No. 33. In 1890 Benjamin
in the spring of 1905. Track shoes were heavy blocks of wood Holt, a Stockton, Cal., combine builder, produced his com-
and the trucks revolved on rough sprockets driven by long ex· pany's first steamer. In the following 24 years, Holt built· J 30
posed chalns which obviously were of short life. Caterpillar wheel-type steam l'racl!on engines.
Tractor Co. of Peoria, UI., is the successor to the Holt Company.

This is Holt steam traction engine No. SJ. Holt was the first to
u~e the numc "Caterplllnr." He registered the trademark
"CntcrpilJar" In 1910 wit·h the U.S. Patent Office, and reported
in his application that he had used the name since 1904. Today
"Caterpillar" and "Cat" are registered trademarks of Cater-
pillar Tractor Co., whose world.wide headquarters are located
in Peoria, Ill.
Holt Mfg. Co. 143


This monster Is Holt steam traction engine No. 83. This engine
was wcll t11lnp1ed to resilient soils, such :IS bog nnd snnd lnnds. It II
was mosl economical in fuel and runnin g expenses. It could be
turned within its owu length.

A Holt s team tracrlon engine in Africa in the pre-Caterpillar

days. It looks like the crew stopped to take on water. It is safe to
assume !hat this Holt employed as a road locomorh·e for the
trl\llsporration of goods, and was not used for agricultU11ll par·

Holt's first regu lar production model steam traction cra wler was
so ld In 1906 to the Golden Meadow Developing Co. for use in
the LouJsiana delta lands. The price was SS,500. The open gear·
This is Holt stenm traction engine No. 53. This engine l~ equip· Ing nnd drive chains, plus the exposed engineer's seat adjacent
pcd with n stenm power lnke·off, which was used for breaking lo the "'hlrllng Oywheel would certainJy give fits to today's safety
on mountnln roads, power lhrcshing, and aiding up.bill Creight· experts.
ing ..• in other words , as nn auxiJiary engine.
Hooven, Owens, Rentschler Co.
George H. Rentschler, owner of a small fo undry in Hamilton,
Ohio, with his partner, J. C. Hooven, and George H. Helvey, had
been making their own portable steam engines and threshers un-
der the trade name "Monarch."
They subcontracted their engines to one shop and their
threshers to another, with all parts being farmed out to still other
firms . Rentschler a nd partners reorganized about 1880, it is be-
lieved, with a consolidation with the Owens, Lane & Dyer
(General Machinery's book has it: "In 1882 this firm was re-
organized by the original George A. Rentschler and his associ-
ates, J.C. Hooven, Henry C. Sohn, George H. Helvey and James
E. Campbell, and became the Hooven, Owens, Rentschler Com-
Ads from old farm papers indicate the new firm showed their
Monarch steam traction engine at the St. Louis fair in 1881 ,
where it was awarded first prize as the most powerful engine on
display there.
Records prove that about 1890, Ritchie & Dyer took over the
engine and thresher business of this old outfit.

The Hooven, Owens & Rentschler Co. of Hamilton, Ohio, pro·

duced the "Monarch" steam traction engines nround 1882. The
engines, all of appro:dmately the snme outwurd 11ppearanee,
were made in 10, 12 and 16 H.P. sizes. The company claimed
that the 16 H.P. size had the capacity to pull up lo 50,000 lbs. on
ordinary rond~. The wheels from 8 to 12 inches wide, and a
patented claw attachment c.ouJd be furnished for use on muddy
roads . The company claimed that its new dome effect ively pre·
Yented the engine from drawing water when laboring, possi·
blJ insinuating llrnt earlier designs had been a bit troublesome.
The engine also used a link motion reverse. Despite an apparent
local popularity of these engines, it Is bclle,·cd thaC none exist
toduJ. Furthermore, this is the only illustr111ion that could be
fou11d of the Monarch engine, even though a s lml.l ar machine
was awarded first prize at both the 1881 GrcaC St. l-0uis Fair
and the Atlanta C<>Hon Exposition of 1881. The Booven, Owens
& Rentschler Co. also made the Monarch ''lhrato r threshers.
Huber Mfg. Co.
Edward Huber was founder of the Huber Mfg. Co. He was born
n Kelso. Indiana in 1837. His parents were German farmers, and
.uring his boyhood he worked on his father's farm. When he
:rew older he became an apprentice in a blacksmith shop. He was
. mechanic. and soon learned wagon making.
In 1865 he moved to Marion, Ohio, and manufactured a revol-
ing hay rake which he had invented. He was so poor he had to
1orrow tools from his kind-hearted neighbors to work with. That
ame year he married Miss Elizabeth Hammerle of Kelso, lndi-
ina. After the marriage her brothers came to Marion, to start a
11anning mill, known as the firm of Kowalke and Hammerle,
vith Mr. H uber as superintendent. In connection with the mill
hey began the manufacturing of the Huber hay rake. In a few
·ears the other men retired.
Huber then invented a traction engine and form ed a company
:ailed Huber, Gunn and Company, to put the engine on the
narket. The venture proved so successful that in four years the
-Iuber Mfg., Co. was organized, with a capital stock of $75,000. A 14 H.P. Huber steam traction engine built by Huber Mfg. Co .
.n 1880 the company started to manufacture grain spearators. of Marlon , Ohio, in 1886. This engine Ls owned by Jim Malz., of
Then he set on foot many other enterprises, such as the Marion Richland Center, Ohio, a nd Is on display at the Pioneer Steam &
)team Shovel factory, and the Marion Malleable Iron Works. He Gas Engine Society show at MeadvUle, Pa. Edward Huber was
founder of lhe Huber Mfg. Co. In 1865 be settled in Marion,
.vas president of the Marion National Bank. More than 100 Ohio, and manufactu.rcd a revolving hay rake which he had In·
Jatents had been granted him. vcnlcd.
The Huber steam t raction engine was of the return flue boiler
:ype. The Huber Co. was the original builder of this type of steam
:raction engine. The Huber boilers were built in the form of a
fouble cylinder. The center one, which constitutes the fire flue, is
:wo inches smaller in diameter at the front than at the rear, which
sreatly adds to its stiffness, and enables it to have the greatest
mlume of water where there is the most intense heat. In the
Huber there were two points of intense heat; directly over the fire
and in the combustion chamber at the front end. This insured Gelling up a bead of steam ls Ibis 16 H.P. Huber steam traction
perfect circulation in somewhat the form of the figure eight. engine, bullt in 1905. This engine Ls O'l''lled by J. H. Holmes of
Without this circulation, the water remains "dead" and steaming Mounds~· We, W.Va., and ls participating in the Stumptown
Steam Threshers Assn. show at New Athens, Ohl<>. The Huber
is a matter of great difficulty. The water jacket surrounding the steam traction engine was of the return Oue boiler type. The
combustion chamber served the double purpose of preventing too Huber Co. was tbe original builder of this type of steam traction
much heat at the front end, as the return through the small flues engine.
was made, and further utilizes this heat for steaming purposes, as
water circulated through it as freely as through any other part of
the boiler. In a fire box boiler, this heat is lost through the stack
and is estimated to be from 60 to 75 per cent of the heat un its of
all fuel consumed.
TI1 e Huber Co. made the fo llowing: Return flue steam traction
engines; return flue steam portable engines; the Huber double
cylinder steam traction engines; the Huber skid steam engines;
steam road rollers; the Huber threshing machinery; bean and pea
threshe rs; rice threshers with grader; water tanks; Real Power
Lift plow, and Ideal one-man outfit
From the late 1800s to early 1900s, the Huber Co. was known to
be one of the largest manufacturers of threshing machines and
steam traction engines in the U.S.A. The company still manu-
factures large construction equipment today. The Huber Co. was
established in 1863. The home office today is Marion, Ohio. This
company made 11,568 steam traction engines.
146 Huber Mfg. Co.

This 16 H.P. Huber steam traction engine Is owned by Billie

BWer of Orrville, Ohio. It is on display al the Tuscarawas
Valley Pioneer Power Assn. sh ow at Dover, Ohio.

This 1905 Huber steam trncHon engine was built in 8, 1O, 12, 16,
18, 20, 25 and 30 H.P. sizes. This engine received the highest
award at the 1893 Columblun Exposition, and the highest awurd
at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition.

This 16 H.P. Huber steam fraction engine, built in 1910, is

owned by Henry Doll of Alum Bank, Pa. It usually participates
in both the Morrison Cove Pioneer Power Reunion at Marti.ns -
burg, Pa., and the Williams GrO\'C H istorical Steam Engine
Assn. show at Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Here is a good close-up of the front end of the DuU's engine and
the big water tank mounted on the front end. The show's fiea-
market space ls visible in the ba.c kgroond.
Huber Mfg. Co. 147

The 1905 model Huber straw burner steam traction engine was
built in 16, 18, 20, 25 and 30 H.P. sizes. It could be ordered with
either a plain or ajacketcd boiler. Huber was readily identifiable
by its compact, almost squally appearance, and by the fancy
scaUoped trim used on the canopy. All Hubers used a front-
mouoted water tank.

TI1c Huber double cylinder steam traction engine of 1905 came

In 17, 19, 21, 26 ond 32 H.P. slzcs. Thls was combination of the
orlgln11I upright Huber engine, bull! for many years, and the
later horizontal type. The working quarters were both on the
same "Tisi pin , which had been made especially strong. It bad
less than one-half the usual friction wearing surfaces. This
eliminated the danger of getting out of Une and all breakages in-
cident to 11 crooked center sh11ft used by other double engine
builders. Note that one cylinder rlln in a horh.ontal plane while
the other ran in a ' 'ertlcal direction.

On display al the Tukahoe Steam & Gas Assn. show at Easton ,

Md., is Ibis Huber steam tTactlon engine owned by Sam Fair-
banks of Preston, Md. Mr. Falrbank's engine appears to be of
about 1913 vintage, judging by the design of the wheels, eyUnder Paul ll. Stolt zfoos of Leola, Pa., gets set to fire up his 1912
and canopy. From the late 1800s lo the early 1900s, the Huber model 16 H.P. Huber stenm traction engine during the annual
Co. was one of the larger manufacturers of threshlng m achines show of the Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical Assn. The 16
and traction engines In the U.S. The company ls still In business H.P. Huber was considered a s plendid size engine for general
today, manufacturing heavy construction equipment. During Its bell work, such ns corn shredding, hay baling, and foed grin-
steam tract-Ion engine era, the company bulll 11,568 engines. ding.
148 Huber Mfg. Co.

The smallest Huber built in 1915 was thls 16 H.P. steam traction
engine. It.~ moderate size and relatively light weight made II a
practlcul engine for the individual fa.n:ncr or for purtnershlp out-
fits. Lurgcr engines were recommended only for very large farms This 16 H.P. Huber steam traction engine, buUt In 1920, Is par-
or conrrnct threshers and plowmen. This unit was recommended ticipating In the Richland County Steam Threshers Assn. show
for th reshe rs up to 28 x 48 inches In size. at Mansfield, Ohio. The engine is owned by Gilbert Oborn of
Kenton , Ohio. Thls engine is equipped with the orlglnal canopy
cab, front wn tcr tank, fuel and tool boxes, oil pump, hose,
wrenches, oi.I c1ms, 11nd all tools necess:tl)' to operate.

Hard at work on the belt Is this 18-50 H.P. Huber steam traction
engine, buUt in 1913. This engine Is owned by Ira Prickett of
Mou.n t Pleasant, Iowa, and Is being operated at the Midwest
Old Settlers & Threshers Assn. show at Mount Pleasant. Ira
Prickett purchased this engine a number of years ago from John
Wyckert of Columbus Junl'tlon, Iowa. John Wyckert bad pur-
chased th e engine new in Des Moines, and used it for threshing
a.n d running his sawmill.

A factory Installed ladder was standard on the engine side of the

1915 model 18 H.P. Huber steam ttaction engine. The 18 H.P.
engine was about the most popular size, particularly lo the cen-
tral states. I t had a wide range of usefulness, and was recom-
This Is the gear or flywheel side of the 1915 model 18 H.P. mended for the 32 x 54-lnch separator. It was nol too large for
Huber stcnm t-ractlon engine. general farm work , yet large enough for commercial th reshing.
It bud strong trucUon power.
Huber Mfg. Co. 149

A 20 H.P. Huber steam traction en gi ne, as pictured in a 191 5

Huber Mfg. Co. catalog. lu all Huber eng ines, the weight wus
well distributed, and as low as possible consistent "itb great
strength and du rability. The engines were designed for general
Now rt--slding In Washington, D.C., Is this 18 H.P. Huber steam
work on the (arm, and were easily handled by any man with a lit-
tractlon engine, built in 1921. This engine was owned by Amos
tle knowledge of steam power.
Brandt of Bainbridge, Pa. Mrs. Brandt, in cooperaHon with the
Huber Co., donated this engine 10 the Smithsonian lnslitution.
This engine was the last one manufactured by the Huber Co. Ac·
cordlng to Mn. Brandt, the 12-ton engine will be located iJl the
fll'SI floor exhibit of the Smithsonian's new Agricul ture Depart·
menI just o(( Pennsylvania A"enuc.

Built In 1915, this 25 H.P. Huber we.~ equipped with n cylinder

of 10-lnches diameter by 12-in chcs stroke. All Huber engines
followed the same basic des ign, and differed only in size os the
horsepower increased. All could be equipped .,.;1h a friction
power steering unit to assist operators whlle plowing or trnveling
over rough ground.

This rear view of a 30 H.P. Huber steam traction engine shows

the plow nttuchment. The 30 H .P. was the larges t and most
powerful steam traction engine that Hober built. It was
designed for all kinds of " ork that required more lhan ordinary
power. II easily ran the largest threshers "i lh all attachments,
and would poll big plowing outfits. It was ex tensively used by Among the largest of lhe Hubcrs was lhls 30 H.P. double cylln·
road con tractors for hauling material, and for grading. The con- der engine, built in 1910. II is owned by Nell McClure of Col·
struction lhroughont-drlve wheels, gearing, shafting-gave chester, IU., and is seen here quietly steaming at the Midwest
aruplo strength for every possible requirement. This Is the 1915 Old Settlers & Threshers Assn. show nl Mount Pleasant, la. No,
model. lhe water tank Is nol equipped with windows. A photographic
illusion resulted here when the camera caught the lop of an ob-
scrnlion tower dlreclly behind this engine.
150 Huber Mfg. Co.

The "friction gulde," or power steering unit is ,·lsible behlnd the

[)}·wheel on this 1915 model 30 B.P. Buber steam traction
engine. All Huber boilers could be equipped for burning stnw.
The easy steaming qualities made them exceptionally good
lu 1915 Huber produced this single cylinder road roller. The s traw burners. This engine is equipped "itb a belt pulley, fitting
Huber stenm road roller was especially well a dapted to the eou- ii to operate different ki.n ds or belt driven machinery.
stl'uctlon of mncadam and grll\'cl roads. II had ample weight for
compncllng the crushed stone or gravel, Md the weight was
properly distributed. Wheels were beveled so as to give a proper
crown to the fmlshed road.

This ls the 1915 model Huber double. cylinder steam road roller.
The steam roller engines were single or double cylinder. All
styles were cqulpped with the friction guide, giving quick con-
trol at all times. For tearing up old strcc~ for re-surfacing, a
scarifier attachment was furnished. It would break up and pul-
verize the old material, leaving It in shape for the grad er. After
the grader brought It into shape, the roller was used and the old
road was made as good as new, with rney little experue for

A llubcr stcnm road roller, with scnr!Oer nttnched, is working

on a street. The scarifier attachment was made by Huber. Note
that two men 11re required to operate t:hls machine.
Illinois Thresher Co. 151

The Illinois Thresher Co., was started by William N. Rumely

who was the son of Meinard Rumely who started the M. Rumely
Co., of LaPorte, Indiana. Wm. N. Rumely was President and
general manager, G. E. Dutton was Vice President and treasurer,
and P. B. Mcintyre was secretary and sales manager, and W. C.
Roby, superintendent of the Huller and Thresher Dept.
These men started the Illinois Thresher Co. in Sycamore, Illi-
nois. They bought a large tract of ground , on which were located
their various big buildings, which at one time were used by the
Marsh Harvester Co., Elwood Wagon Co., and F. C. Patton Co.
The buildings stood along the west side of Park Ave., and in all,
the plant comprised about a hundred thousand square feet of
floor space, entirely adequate for a good annual output.
The Illi nois steam t raction engine was a double geared, rear
mounted steam engine. The boiler was built larger in size than ----
A catalog illustration of the 20 H.P. Jllinois engine shows ll111t
was req uired by the accepted engineering stand ards at that time. the steam dome wns relutlvely large in size, well braced, and
It used the best quality of open hearth boiler steel, tested at localed In a position to Furnish a good supply of sleam 111 ult
times. A safety plug was used In the crown sheet lo prolccl Che
QQ,000 pounds tensile strength. The tubes were of the highest boiler against low water. The fire-box was of the arch lype, and
grade of steel, and to insure strong and lasting union, they were apparently of generous size. T he boiler was thoroughly tested
surrounded by copper ferrules where they entered the flue sheet under a hydrostatic pressure of 225 pounds cold water. Arter the
of the fire box. Stay bolts, 7/ 8 inch, were placed every 4-3/ 8 inches unit was assembled, It was again tested under live steam
pressu.r e for both bell and traction power.
and 4-9/16 inches from center to center in the fire box. These
were provided at both ends with large beaded heads. The steam
dome was very large in size, well braced, a nd located in position
to furnish at all times a copious supply of dry steam. The fire box
was of the arch type and was of generous size, furn ishing a cham-
ber for perfect combustion of fuel. Their boilers were tested under
hydrostatic press ure of 225 pounds of cold water.
After the engines were mounted, t hey were again tested under
steam pressure of both belt and traction power. T he reversing
device used on the engine was the Arnold single eccentric. They
used the double ported valve, which was not commonly used by
other engine builders because of its excessive cost.
Mr. E. J. Murphy told the author that this company built only
63 engines and then went broke.
The lllinois Thresher Co. made the fo llowing: steam traction
engines; the Scientific Combination thresher-huller; a gearless
wind stacker, and separators.
The largest Illinois was this 25 11.P. steam traction engine. This
was a coal, wood or slTaw bu ming engine ,.;th cab and jacket.
The engine frame was of lhe self.contained Corliss type. The
cylinder, steam chest, guides and pilJow block were all combined
into one casting of especially tough, close grained Iron thnl was
perfectly muchlned and made susceptible to luhrlcatl on. The
boring of the cylin der und cross-bead guide was done ln one
operalion, both Cools being carried by a boring bar which In-
sured perfect alignment of all parts. The reversing dc\'lce used
was 1he Arnol d single ~cccn lric. The friction clu tch cou ld be en·
gnged or disengaged, whether running at high or low speed.
The draw bar was built to withstand several times its normal
strain and was secuxely allnchcd In close proximi ty l o the huge
brackets which too k the forward thrust from the rear l\Xle.
Heavy cross bars held It In posillon against side thrusts.

Quietly puffing away in an Iowa orchard is lhis 20 H.P. Illinois

engine, bui11 by t he Ulinois Thresher Co. or Sycamore, 111., In
19'20. The engine is owned by E. J. Murphy of Cou ncil Bluffs, La.
The Llllnols Thresher Co. was started by Wiiliam N. Rumely,
who wns the s on of M ei1111rd Rumely who was tbe founder of the
M . Rumcly Co. or Llll'orte, Ind. Mr. Murphy's engine Is No.
135. Today, there arc three Illinois engines still operating.
152 D. June & Co.
David June, machinist and engine builder, of Fremont, Ohio, He then returned to the Cuyahoga shops to work for the Lake
was born May 11, 1824, at Ithaca, N. Y., the son of Peter June, Superior Line of steamers, in which employ he remained for a
who was a sailor and ship-rigger. period of about eight years. This tine extended from Oeveland to
In 1833, the family moved to Portland, now Sandusky, Ohio, Sault Ste. Marie. In 1851 they built the steamer "Northerner" in-
where David attended school a short time, at intervals when he to which Mr. June put an engine and machinery; this was the first
could be spared from work. He remained with his father until steamboat built for the Lake Superior trade. In 1853 they built
about 14 years of age, when he entered a machine shop to learn the steamer " North Star," which cost $128,000. Having by in-
the machinest trade. dustry and economy laid by some money, Mr. June in 1853 went
In the fall of 1838 he was cabin boy on the old steamer "Jack to Fremont, Ohio, to start in business. He and a Mr. Curtis first
Downing," on the Sandusky river, which was his first experience bought out the plow shop of F. I. Norton, and began to fix it up
at sailing. In 1839 he was cabin boy on the steamer "St. Clair" for the building and repair of engines. Six months later Curtis
until she was laid up by the Combination Line, after which he sold out to Daniel L. June, and the June brothers continued
went on the steamer " Sandusky." together under the firm name of June & June until 1856, when
In 1840 he assisted his father (who was a contractor on the San- Lyman Gilpin bought out D. L. June. 0. June and L. Gilpin re-
dusky & Mansfield Railroad) by driving a team of plow and mained together as partners until November, 1859, at which time
scraper, in the construction of he road-bed from Sandusky to D. June became sole proprietor. He again took Mr. Curtis into
Monroeville. In the winter of 1840-41, at Sandusky, he attended partnership, but seven years later that gentleman retired, and
for a short time a school taught by Mr. Hickox, an Episcopal three years after that a partnership was formed, consisting of
clergyman. ln May 1841, he began a seven-year apprenticeship to David June, Robert Brayton, and 0. S. French, under the firm
learn the trade of mechanical engineering with a firm in San- name ofD. June & Co.
dusky. During this time he also worked for a while with his The completion of the Toledo, Norwalk & Cleveland railroad in
brother-in-law, Charles Waterous, on the old Ohio Railroad, 1853 enabled Mr. June to bring engines from Cleveland for
which was to pass through Sandusky county. This finn was doing repair, and return them to the Lake Superior Company cheaper
the general repairs through the counties of Erie and Sandusky. than the work could be done at Oeveland. His shops also received
M r. June's work was to look after pile-drivers and saw-mills. many orders for work from the surrounding country.
A dissolution of partnership of the firm to which he had been In the winter of 1855 he rebuilt the "Manhattan," whose
bound released him from his apprenticeship, and in April, 1842, engines were brought in by rail, and in the winter of 1857 he
he went to Oeveland and found employment in the Cuyahoga rebuilt the "North Star" at Fremont, Ohio. During these years
Iron Works. There he remained about 10 years, during that time Mr. June was away occasionally on Lake Superior to overhaul
filling the position of engineer on steamers of the Buffalo and steamers and make repairs. Tn 1858, at the urgent solicitation of
Chicago Line during the summer seasons, a nd working in the the Lake Superior Transpo1iatio11 Company, he left his business
shops during the winter seasons. During a pati of 1843 he was at Fremont, Ohio, in care of a partner lately taken in, and went to
second engineer on the steamer "St. Clair" and the rest of the Cleveland to take charge of all the company's boats and keep
year on the "Commerce." them in running order. He remained there until 1860, when he
In the winter and spring of 1844 he assisted in building the returned to Fremont, Ohio, bought out his partner, and assumed
engine of the steamer "Empire," and in August sailed on that entire control of the business.
steamer as second engineer, remai ning on that vessel until June, He had quit the lakes in 1858, and now remained in Fremont
1847, when he went on the "Boston." In the summer of 1847 he permanently, in 1861 commencing the erection of new works,
took charge of the steamer ''Detroit," until she was sent to which were completed in 1877. After several changes of partners
Chicago. In the following winter he put in the engine of the he associated himself with Robert Brayton, an old and skillful
"Monticello," at Fairport, Ohio. In the spring of 1848 he put in machinist with whom he had worked in Cleveland, and who
an engine for the "Ohio," and fi xed engines for the " Republic" in
the fall. He was on the "Republic" until July, 1849, when he was
employed to fit out the steamer "Globe," at Cleveland, by the
American and Liverpool Insurance Company, who were under
contract to furnish the railroad iron from England for the C. C. &
C. railroad, by January l, 1850. Their vessels from Liverpool
could not pass up the Welland canal, and the iron was unloaded
on the banks. Mr. June was employed to deliver the iron for the
company at Cleveland, and it took him from July until December
22 to do it.
A 12 H.P. D . June "Champion" hori:iontnl sfruw b urner engine
was pictured in 1891. This engine wns idcntlcnlly the snmc as the
Improved Friction traction engine, bur the boiler was of new
design. 11 was of lhe IO(,'Omotive style, excepting It had a round
fire-box. The combusllon chamber for the straw was attached to
the fire-box and so arranged that it could be readily removed in
case of n10,·ing on the road or when using wood or con.I as fuel. It
was furnished with wood or coal grates, 11t1d lhcy did not require
rem oving when using the skaw combustion cluunber.
D. June & Co. 153

·ema ined nine years and did much to make the ventures suc-
:essful. Many valuable improvements in the building of engines
vere made by this enterprising ti rm. 'n1ey were the inventors of a
elf-action spark arrester in 1875, which has come into general
ise. The engines built by the firm had a high reputation, and
vere shipped all over the country. The firm also had two branch
:oncerns, one at Waco, Texas. which did a business of about
;150,000 a year, a nd one at Council Blu ffs, Iowa, which did an
mnual business of about $25,000. They had another at Austin,
f exas, which they sold to A. R. Gossard.
In 1869 Mr. June took 0. $. French as a partner, and the firm
lame became D. June & Co., by which it has been known ever
;ince. In 1886 this firm divided up a one-third interest with S. A.
rune & Son, Martin Holdem1an and A. M. June. ln 1890 S. A.
rune and Peter June, his son, surrendered their stock to D. June&
::::o., since which time the firm consisted of D. June, 0. S. French,
Yi. Holderman and A. M. June.
The company built the Champio n portable steam engine and This is 11 1904 model 12 H.P. D. Jw1e "Champion" Improved
:he Champion steam traction engine, self-contained girer frame fricl'ion stC11m lr11clion engine. \Vhen in co11st11Dt use, the boiler
~ngine with sub-base, stationary engines and boilers of any size, of this en2ine had to be blown out and thoroughly cleaned once
from 10 H. P. to 150 H. P .. Champion pony saw-mills, and a week.
Locomotive boilers for oil wel ls.
The stea m traction engines had the first spark arrester in the
United States. The upright boilers never exposed the crown sheet
and the flues would last much longer than in a horizontal boiler.
Using cold water they would get up steam in abou t 20 minutes.
The Champion engine was patented in 1875, 1876, and 1877.

A 12 H.P. "Ch11mpion" irupro•·ed friction s team traction engin e

was pictured in an 1898 D. June catalog. The boilers used ln the
Champion were of the best 60,000 lb. Oange steel, with beads
11nd made of best fire-box s teel , 11nd were mode light
uuder a co ld water pressure of 200 pou.ncls per s qu11 re inch
before leavin g th e s hop. T he company g11ve a cerlific11te to each
purchaser, giving II f ulJ description Of the holler and lhe date Of

A 12 H.P. "Champion" improved s team traction fire-proof road

locom otive was produced in 1898. The lank on which the engine
was mounted held about four b arrels of waler. The lTllClion WllS
driven by 11 friction working Inside of 11 drive pulley and tr11ns-
mlltcd by 11 pair of spur gears to 11 counter shaft llllll to the
wheels by a crucible steel eh11ln. 11 co uld be instantly thrown out
and Into gear while the cngi.n e was In motion.
A 12 H.P. "Champion" Improved friction s team traction engine
was pictured in an 1898 D. June catalog. This engine was pro·
\•lded with the new reversible eccentric, which was operated by a
lever conven ient to the cng in~r. This engine co uld be taken up
and down heavy grades with perfect safety. T he driving wheels
h11d 13-inch tires, 1111d were provided with creepers which could
be bolted on for muddy roads. It bad no cqu11l in pulling,
especially on muddy roads.
154 Keck· Gonnerman
Keck-Gonnerman steam thresher engines were built 16 mile
south of Evansville, Indiana. Mr. Billie Keck and Mr. Gonner
man were from Germany and were fine mechanics when the:
came to the U.S.A. They started a blacksmith shop and buil
their first engine where the factory stands today.
The company was established in 1873, headed by John Keck
Louis H. Keck and Wm. Gonnerm an for their lifetime. The stean
traction engines, at first were side mounted single cylinder units
very simple and powerful. These engines were well balanced anc
had everything to make a good traction better. The Arnold re
verse gear was used and was very positive and well liked ; t he fric
tion clutch was positive and was one of the best designed to bt
found on any traction engine. Rocker grates, cross head pump
and injector were used. Very reliable, this engine made friend:
whereever it went.
Then came the double cylinder Keck-Gon nel'man, offered a:
both inside and rear geared mod els. T hese were also accepted fas
This Keck-Gonnerman steam traction engine, buUI by Keck- by the trade. The gearing used was heavy; all engines had pump:
Gonnerman Co. of Mounl Vernon, Ind., is owned by V. O. and injectors, friction clutch; in fact nothing was left out. The
Tilton & Son of Lima, Ohio. It appears at the Miami Valley
Steam Threshers Assn. show at London, Ohio. This engine was later models had the new Miller reverse valve gears on the single
built in 1901. The company was established ln 1873, headed by engines and the Gentry type on the double. A Keck-Gonnermar
John Keck, Louls H . Keck and Wm. Gonnerman. hitched to a good thresher would make its self known, and wai
found busy from morning to dark during the threshing era.
Keck-Gonnerm an threshers were fast; grain savers and depen·
dable; eq uipped with self feeder, weigher and baggers, wind
stackers, and a fifteen bar cyl inder. With a good crew, the Keck
Gonnerman was a hard one to beat during the threshing season.
They were long lived and easy to keep up.
The Keck-Gonnerman Gas-Oil Tractors likewise were well
constructed. The power was ample for the largest threshers. Some
of these can be still found in good condition. The Bean & Pea
Threshers were well liked. In the 20s and 30s, cow peas were a
major crop in west Kentucky, southeast Missouri, and southern
Illinois. The Keck-Gonnerman sawmills, likewise were heavily
in demand in the 1900s to about I 925. Coal mining machinery
was another unit built by Keck-Gon nerman. This old firm stayed
in business longer than almost all others d id . The company was
incorporated in 1901.

This 19 H .P. Keck-Gonnerman engine, built In 1923, Is owned

by Frunk Childers of ClarksvlJJe, Tenn. It is shown here pulling
a wugon at the Tennescc-Keotucky Thrcsbermcn's Assn. show
nt Adams, Tenn. The Kcck-Gonnermans were side mounted
sing.le cylinder traction engines, verysimple and powerful.

This is the Oywbeel side of a 1923 model 19 H .P. Keck-Gonner-

man steam tu cllon engine. ThlN engine is owr1ed hy John
Bownrd of New Philndclphia, Ill. 11 Is on display at tbc Midwest
Old Setllcrs & Threshers Assn. show at Mollnt Plerurnnt, Iowa.
Keck-Gonnerman also built threshers which were fast and
dependable. These were equipped with self feeders, "'eii:htcrs
and bnggers, wind slackers, and a 15-bnr cylinder. With a good
crew, the Keck-Gonnerman was a hard one to bent during the
threshing season, especinlly when using a Keek-Gonnerrnnn
steam traction engine.
iV'- •
~ ~!.•r
r-,~ : .... . _. '~-..J.:., l / y,...
• "I: I ~. ~ ~
. .;- I £l~.~,~ ~:°:V
• o· _•

.-,: .....i/.:.;if:
- -
.~~ .:.:.
Parked 111 Cront o( a loa d of lumber, this 19 H.P. Keck-Gonn er- t' I~:~
man stc11111 lwction engin e, built in 1925, Is owned by Paul C.
Singer of Denton, Md. It appears at the T uckn hoc Steam & Gns
Assn. show a l Easton , Md. This engine is serial No. 1819. It has
a 8'! .-inch bore and 12-inch slTokc; does 3 M .P.H. at 240 RPM:
weighs 20,000 lbs., and cost S2,900 new.

Very heavy gearing was evident on lhe Oywhecl side of the Keck-
This is lhe cylinder side of a Keck-Gonnerman steam traction Gonnermnn steam traction engine. The engine was made In 10,
engine. T hi.s engine used a fron t axle made or heavy squa re 13, 15, 16, 18 and 20 H.P. versions. T hese engines used the Gid-
machinery steel. Oil pipes and oil holes were conveniently dings patent friction clutch. The gearing was made entirely from
located for lubricating the gearing. The smokestack was cast accurately milled cast iron patterns. The compensating gear was
Iron , mude in one piece, with an omnrncntal top extending filled with steel pinions. AU gearing was provided with a means
above the roof of the cab. The cab or canopy top exten ded th e for lubrication an d shields for p rotection from dust and sand . ,......
full len gth and width of the holler and pl atform , and was sup - The lrnction wheels were cast iron huhs, wil h long bearings fo r CJ\
ported on a s tiff iron frame. nxlcs, wrought· iron spol\l'S and bronc! cust iron faces.
156 Keck - Gonnerman

Running a belt is tbls 20 H.P. Keck·Gonnerman steam traction

engine, built in 1922. This engine Is owned by C.R. Fullerton &
Son o( Burgettstown, Pa., and Is operating at the Tri-State His-
torical Steam Engine Assn. show at Hookstown, Pa.

This is the flywheel side of the side-geared 19 or 22 H.P. Keck-

Gonnerman steam tl"action engine of 1923 -rintage. Since 1921,
nU Keck-Gonnermans were mou.n ted on boilers built according
lo the A.S.M.E. spccificntinn, having 3/s -inch boiler shell, and u
waist double butt strap riveted and made to st·and 175 lbs. of
working steam pr<.'Ssurc.

This is a 1923 model 19 or 22 H.P. Keck-Gonnerman single,

rear-geared engine. It used the Miller reverse for single engine,
wilh a variable cut off. All the engines were equipped with a very
simple and accurate balance valve of K-G design.

The 19 or 22 H.P. Keck-Gonnerman of 1923 had Its cylinder

mounted far forward. The engines used a single feed lubricator
with the throttle vahe, governor, sl.ide valve and cylinder. The
company said that ii was the first to adopt this on fraction
Keck - Gonnerman 157

Looking very heavy is this 1926 model 19 or 22 H.P. Keck-

Gonnerman single side-geared steam traction engine. Each trac-
tion engine was furnished with a force feed lubricator, center
cnmk oiler, oU cups, governor, Injector, pump, reversing device,
cab, water tanks, jet pump, fl\•e feet of I-inch suction hose for
the htjcctor, 12-feet of suction hose for the pump, strainers for
the hose, one 14-lnch combination wrench, three S wrenches,
cold chisel, poker, scraper, flue cleaner, funnel for filling boiler,
oil can, 18 inches each of 5/ 1 6 and Y:-inch empire and hemp
packing, iron tool box and spark arrester.

This ls the 1926 model of the 19 or 22 H.P. Keck-Gom1erman

double, rear-geared steam traction engine, us viewed from the
flywheel side.

The 19 or 22 H.P. Keck-Gonnerman single, rear-geared steam This Is the cylinder side of the 1926 model 19 or 22 H.P. Keck-
traction engine was pictured ln a 1923 Keck-Gonnerman Co. Gonnerman single side-geared steam traction engine. Note the
catalog. The shaking grates used on this engine were of heavy tool box mounted on the canopy brace.
c :-=....

Clyde MeAlllstcr of Jerom esville, Ohio, demonstrates his engine


c at the Rlchln.n d County Steam Threshers Assn. show. This Is the

cylinder side oftbe 1923 K-G.
This 22 H .P. Keck-Gonnerman steam traction engine, built in
1923, is owned by Clyde McAllister of Jeromes ville, Ohio. It is

c partieipaiing in the Richland County Steam Threshers Assn.

show a l Mansfield, Ohio.



This 22 H.P. K1.-ck-Gonnerman steam traction engine, boUt in The left side of the 1926 model J 9 or 22 H.P. Keck-Gonnerman
1916, Is owned by Melvin Logten of Hamilton, Mich. It appears double, rear-geared steam tl"aetion engine shows how th e cylin·
co at the Michigan Steam Engine & Threshers show at Mason,
i.n ders were mounted directly 011 top of the boiler, Immediately
~ Mich. behind th e steam dome.
0. S. Kelly Mfg. Co. 159

Oliver Smith Kelly was president of the 0. S. Kelly Mfg. Co., of

Springfield, Ohio, and connected with the 0. S. Kelly Western
Mfg. Co., oflowa City, Iowa.
Mr. Kelly was born in 1824 and was an orphan at the age of one
year. At the age of 14, he began making his own living on the
farm. At the age of 17, he served one year as apprentice at the
carpenter trade and a year later began work as a contractor. In
1857, he became a member of the firm of Whitley, Fasseler &
Kelly, manufacturing mowers and reapers. 0. S. Kelly became
identified with the thresher business in J 882. The old thresher
factory of Rinehart, Ballard and Company was acquired by 0 . S.
Kelly and was organized under the name of Springfield Engine
and Thresher Co., and afierwards the 0. S. Kelly Company.
The 0. S. Kelly steam traction engine used boilers without a
seam. Those long steel sheets cost money, but they made the best A 12 H .P. O. S. f( clly slcam traclion engine is shown with a
boilers, so they said. The deep fire box had slanting sides and a Fidler lender nlluchcd. This was a luxury, pure and simple, and
sloping crown sheet stayed every 4Y2 inches with 7 /8-inch stay one thnt could be npprccialed on ly by those who had seen or
bolts. used it . This is 11 1902 engine.
The grates were deep and heavy and laid to give the best results
in using coal or wood. lf the engineer wanted weather protection,
he could get a neat and s ubstantial cab, full or three quarter
length, at an additional price.
The 0. S. Kelly Co. made the following: Steam traction
engines, cable plowing steam traction engines; steel water tanks,
and separators.

Th e 12 or 15 H.P. O. S. Kelly stcn m tl'Pctlon engine wllS built In

1902 by O. S. Kelly Co. of Springfield, Ohio. Oliver Smith Kelly
wQS presidenl of the O. S. KcUy Mfg. Co., and was connected
with the 0. S. Kelly W~lcrn Mfg. Co. of Iowa City, Iowa. This
steam traction used a boiler wllhout a seam. A deep ftre-box_
with slanling sides nnd slop ing crown sheet was stayed every
4'/z inches with 7/ 8 -inch stny bolts.

A 15 H.P. O. S. KclJy s team traclion engine was piclured in a

1902 0. S. KeUy Mfg. Co. catalog. The Kelly tTBnsmltted power
from tbe engine to the compcnsnting gear through 11 train of
three gcllr wheels. The pinion nncl spu r wheel had 2 3/.-inch
faces, the bull pinion bad u 6'! .·lnch face.
• Co.

This is a 1902 model 18 H.P. O. S. KeUy steam traction engine.

This engine's gralcs were deep and heavy, and co uld use coal or
wood. This engine had a heavy double speed gear whlch neces·
s itated one extrn countershnfl 1111cl one e;ttta pinion and spur

Living far from the place of its birth is this 18 H.P. O. S. Kelly
steam traction engine, built in 1906. This engine ls owned b)' Jim
McNlcol of Manangatang, Australia, and Is on display by lhe
Lake Goldsmith Steam Engine Preservation Society of
AusiTBlia. Thls O. S. Kelly, engine No. 2-061, was sold by lhc
agents, Cliff & Bunting, to R. I. Argyle, of Kynelon. The Mc.
Nicol Bros., of Korong Vale, osed Ibis machlne on various types
of work 11ftcr acquiring it in 1909. Threshing, chuffculling, pile
driving, 1111d suw milling were 11 few of the tasks this engine per-
formed. The O. S. Kelly Co. made cable plowing slcnm tracllon
engines nlso. The Lake Goldsmith Steam Engine Preservation
Society, founded in 1962, exists in order to preserve for poslcrlt)'
A complete threshing oulfll ls shown loaded aboa rd a Chicago, examples of eng lneedng arts, crafts and trades, and lo bring
Rock Isln11d & Pnclflc Oal car, ready for tTansportation to Its together muny people with Uke interests who feel lhey have
new owner. T he engine Is 101 J8 H.P. O. S. Kelly unit with something of value to pass on to later generations. The Society
canopy cab. Olsnsscmbled behind the cnglnc Is a Fuller 4-wheel has never sought or rcceh•cd government grants to carry oul Its
steel tank lender, Md au O. S. Kelly thresher. The thresher has works 11nd relies entirely on any surplus from Its proceeds to
11 Parsons feeder, Perfection weigher, and Landis blower finance building of amenities, elc. From a local body the Society
s tacker. This scene was taken about 1901 near the O. S. KeUy has progressed lo a p osition where members arc to be found the
plant at Iowa City, la. lenglh and breadth of Australia. The one lhlng they have In
common is rc.-spcct and enthusiasm for lhc workmanship and
abWty of I heir forefathers.

O.S. Kelly In 1905 produced 11 few of these cable plowing
engines. Bui cnblc plowing was nol adapted to lhe large grain
Ciclds of wcslcrn North America, where the lenglh of the furrow
we..~ usually measured in hnlf-rnllcs rather than in rods. There
the cable plows, with their s lHlrl slrings of cable, were gl'.ossly in-
Mr. Kitten was born in Prussia in I 840, the son of a wooden
shoemaker. When he was 10, he moved with his family to this
country where they settled in a promising Indiana farming area
near Ferdinand. He helped his father on the farm until be was 19,
then for six years he worked as a carpenter. It was at the end of
this period that the name Kitten began to spread in popularity.
Joseph Kitten was the founder of the Ferdinand Iron Works of
Ferdinand, Indiana. When orders for Kitten threshers and steam
traction engines began to overcrowd the second floor of the home-
stead, Kitten constructed a two-story factory on the property ad-
joining his home.
Mr. Kitten started building e ngines around 1880. He first used A rcul king of the bill is this 24 H.P. Kitten steam tTaction
an upright boiler, but then went to the marine type boiler which engioe, built in 1915, and owned by Walter Knapp of Monroe,
Mich. II ls s howing off at the National Threshers Assn. show al
was horse drawn. The first steam traction engines were of high Wauseon, Ohio. Joseph Kitten started building engines around
road speed, and would do about 6 to 7 mph when wide open. 1880. He Orst used an upright boiler then went to the marine
There were 246 of these later type steam traction engines built. type boiler on a horse drawn rig. T he Orst steam traction engines
The last engine was built in 1940 and sold to Mr. Kueken in June were of high road speed.
1942 for $2,550. It was a 25 H.P. engine and he used it in his saw-
Kitten would give his boilers a cold water test when finished.
They would only give it S to 10 pounds more on water than steam
as they said cold water was so hard on a boiler. Sometimes they
would run it up to 40 or SO lbs. more.
The weight of the engine entirely equipped with water, tools,
coal and jacks was 17,025 lbs. All the patents of the Kitten
machinery were those of Joseph Kitten the founder of the factory.
The Kitten factory also manufactured complete sawmill outfits
and separators. The separators were all wood, 36 in. cylinder and
60 inch, separator belt driven blower. The separators sold for
$1,800 complete with a Ruth feeder and Hart weigher. The fac-
tory still has some repair parts for the engines and separators.
Mr. Kitten died around 1920. The factory now belongs to Sterling
Bros., formerly of Rockport, 111. At last report, they made truck
beds and did general repair work, plumbing and heating.
This 24 H.P. Kitten steam traction engine was built by the Fer-
dinand Foundry Co., of Ferdinand, Ind., In 1925. It is owned by
Robert Lyerly of Mocksville, N.C., and Is here running a belt at
the Mocksville Threshing Reunion. Joseph Kitten wns the
founder of the Ferdinand lron Works.

This Is the Oywheel side of the 24 H.P. Kitten owned by Paul B.

Stolzfoos of Leola, Pa. Paul's engine Is No. 214. The weight of
this machine, fully loaded with water, tools, and coal, Is 17,025

lbs. The Kittens were rather unusual In that the cylinder was
...t., mounted on the right, and the Oywhcel/belt pulley was on the
left. It Is believed that all Kittens were of the return flue design.

Paul B. Stolz.f0-0s of Leola, Pa., operates his 24 H.P. Kitteo

steam traction engine built in 1925. This engine Is at tbe Rough
and T umble Engineers Historical Assn. show at Kinzer, Pa. Kit-
ten would give his boilers a cold water test when finished, but
would only give S lo 10 pounds more on wnter thnn steam as he
snld cold water wa.~ too hard c>r1 a boiler.
Koppes & Brenneman
In January 1879, the firm of Koppes & Bren neman was organ-
ized, consisting of W. M. Koppes and Christian Brenneman, who
manufactured the Champion thresher machines. The shops oc-
cupied were built by Freer & Co., and consisted of a fi ne two-story
brick building, 40 x 60 feet, and an engine house, 20 x 30 feet, to
which the firm made an addition of 40 x 60 feet. Power was fur-
nished by an engine of 20 horse power. Fifteen men were em-
ployed. Sales extended all over t he United States. W. M. Koppes
was a native of Medina County, Ohio. He went to Orrville, Ohio,
in 1875.
Christian Brenneman was native of Lancaster, Pa., but became
a citizen of Ohio. He went to Ohio in 1836 when the present site of
Orrville was a wilderness. He was one of Wayne County's
This company manufactured the Champion combine, grain
threshers, and clover hu11ers, Paxton steam traction engine, farm
engines, and sawmills.

A "Paxton" steam traction engine built by W . M . Koppes &

Co., of Ornillc, Ohio. Thls picture was taken from a Koppes Co.
catalog. lo January 1879, the firm of Koppes & Brenneman was
organized, consisting of W. M. Koppes and Christian Brenne·
man, who the "Champion" com bined grain
threshers and clover hullers, "Paxton " steam traction engine,
farm engines a.a d sawmUls. There was no rel ationship between
Ibis company and Harrisbu rg Car Mfg. Co. of Harrisburg, Pa.,
which built the "Paxton" portable steam engine.
Lane & Bodley Co. 163

The Lane & Bodley Co. was established in 1851 in Ci ncinnati,

Ohio. It was incorporated as a stock company in 1876. The
capital stock was $345,000, which, however, was less than the real
value of the plant and business, which was over half a miUion.
The President was H. M. Lane, and the Secretary and Treasurer
Charles F. Thompson. In 1868 J. T. Bodley, one of the principals,
d ied, after an honorable and brilliant career. T he extensive works
of the company went on, a nd enlargements were made which
would employ 600 men, the great majority being first-class and
well paid mechanics.
The company did a general business as founders and machin-
ists, manufactured steam traction engines, steam engines. in-
cluding Corliss automatic cut-off engines, complete circular saw-
mill outfits, steam and hyd raulic power and safety elevators,
boilers and the like.
The compa ny, during the latter part of 1890, extended and
remodeled a portion of their extensive works on the river bank
and supplied them with all the latest improvements and labor
saying appliances.
Their work was known all over the United States, and was well
distributed over the American continent as well. They had for
years shipped sawmills and other machinery to South and Central
America, Australia, India, and other countries, and the engine
furnishing power in the Imperial University, T okyo, Japan, was
one of their makes.

The Lane & Bodley s team portable e.n gine was pictured in the The Lane & Bodley steam traction engine was bullt by Lane &
Scientiflc Press In 1871. The engine was built by Lane & Bodley Bodley Co., of Cinclru1ati, Ohlo. Lane & Bodley Co., was est.ab·
Co., of Cincl.nnatl, Ohio. It was of the locomotive pattern, with fished in 1851 and was incorporated as a stock company In 1876.
large fue-box and great steaming capacity. There was ample The company was started by H. M. Lane and J. T. Bodley. Very
water and steam room. The large steam dome was made of Uttle is known about these engines, and it is assumed that very
"TOught !Ion, In the top of which was a man-bole of size sufll· few were but.It.
clent to admit free access lo the interior. The engine was at·
tached to a bed plate accurately fitted and securely bolled to the
surface of the boiler, at Its center.
Lang & Button
In 1868 James Reynolds and John B. Lang established a
agricultural equipment factory in a machine shop on Tioga Street
in Ithaca, N. Y. The plant subsequently moved to Green Street in
August, 1870. On October 31, 1891, Mr. Reynolds died. Then in
1902, Ernest D. Button joined the firm, which became Lang and
Button .
Steam engines, portable sawmills, land rollers, plows, horse
hoes and cultivators, etc.. constitute the leading articles made by
the firm. In the 20th century, steam traction engines were its prin-
cipal products, but in 1921 their manufacture was discontinued
because of the increasing use of gasoline tractor.

This 12 H.P. Long & Burton st·com traction engine was built by
Long & Button Co., of h hucn, N.Y., ln 1909. This engine Is
owned by Lt.-ster Norris of M11rcellus, N.Y., and appears at the
New York Stearn Engine Assn. show at Canandaigua, N.Y. This
Lang & Button engine Is believed to be the only one left today.
In 1868 James Reynolds and John B. Lang established a agri-
cultu ral equipment facto ry In n machine shop on Tioga St. ln
Ithaca. On October 31, 1891 , James Reynolds died. Then, ln
1902, Ernest D. Button joined the firm , which became Lang &

A huge water lank doml.nates a front view of the little 12 H.P.

This is the cylinder side of the 1909 model 12 H.P. Lang & Bot- Lang & Ballon engine owned by Lester Norris. An unusual
ton steam engine owned by Lester Norris of Marcellus, N.Y. feature of this engine Is the large tool box mounted on the front
Present day steam owners and buffs are paying tribute to the axle. Despl!e rnthcr significant production of Lang & Button
pioneers who haunted the junk yards for abandoned, rusty engines, this is the only example known to exist. Even more rare,
steam traction engines. Some of them found the last of a kind. seemingly, are any photographs, il.Iostrations, or tecbnlcal Infor-
Steam tl'actlon engines were once the principal products of the mation on these mnchlnes. Appa.n?ntly all of this material was
Lang & Button Co. But In 1921 thdr manufacture was dis- lost since the com pany discontinued manufactudng these
continued because of the Increasing use of gasoline tractors. engines in 1921.
Lansing Iron & Engine Works
According to Samuel Durant in his History of Ingham and
Eaton Counties: "The buildings at present occupied by Jarvis,
Barnes & Co., were erected in 1872 by the Lansing Iron Com-
pany, of which W. S. George was President . . . A foundry and
m achine business was commenced by the company in the fall of
1872, and continued until March, 1876, when it was closed.
The property was turned over to W. S. George and 0 . M.
Barnes, who settled up the business. George sold to Barnes in
1879, and from April, 1879, to April, 1880, the works were rented
and operated by Cady, Glassbrook & Co. At the last-mentioned
date Joseph Lugen and Samuel E. Jarvis purchased a half interest
of Mr. Barnes, since which the firm has been Jarvis, Barnes &
Frank N. Turner in Volume No. 3 Ingham County, of Historic
Michigan says that "the Lansing Iron & Engine Works was incor-
porated in 1885."
However, in .the 1883 Lansing City Directory there is a listing
and large ad for the Lansing Iron and Engine Works-Jarvis,
Barnes & Co., Proprietor.
This company is also listed in the 1891 and 1895 Directories,
but not in the 1898 Directory.

Quite modem for Its era is this 1888 model of the 12 H.P. Lan-
sing 4-whcel-drh·e steam traction engine. T hese machines were
built by the Lansing Iron Works of Lansing, Mich. A rather DD·
complicated system of gears, sprockets and chains allowed a U
four wheels to have driving traction.
Lansing Iron & Engine Works

Form erly owned by the late Rev. Ritzman, thls Is believed to be

the only existing example of a Lansing 4-whccl-drive steam ti-ac-
tion engine. This 12 H.P. model was built in 1897- This is return
llue engine, while the 1888 model was a straight boiler type.

An engineer of an 1897 Lansing engine would hal·e had this view

over the cylinder of his 12 H.P. machine. Note the simple
threaded cup lubricators on aU bearings. These lubricators con-
sisted of a cup with an external thread and a cover with an in-
ternal thread. Both the cup and cover were filled to capacity
with grease or "bard oil." As the bearings used this gTease, the
engineer could supply more lubricant to the bearing surface
simply by turnlng down the cover and thus squeezing more
grea.'e from the cup onto the bearing. On these engines , the ob-
ject of the lubricant was not only to reduce friction, but also lo
carry nwuy whate,·er excess heat was generated by the friction.
The grease reduced friction by forming 11 cushion between the
bearing surfaces , thus keeping the apart. It also
dissipated the beat by melting and running nom the bearing, or
by vaporizing and carrying away the heat In the form of vapor-
i:ted oil. Because of Its beat dissipating requirements, a grease
suitable for steam engines was generally unsuited to the much
faster movtng gasollne engines. Steam engl.n e oU or gTease is
what is known as a compounded oil, made by ml:ting either
This Is the front-wheel-drive system used on the 12 H.P. Lansing animal or vegetable oil 'l'<itb conventional mineral oU.
of 1897- The solid nont axle could pivot within the large
sprocket, thus allowing the front wheels to steer 1.n a com·en-
tlonul 11J11nner even while under power. However, on a turn It Is
obvious that the inner wheel would have to spin while the outer
wheel would drag, to compensate for the difference in the radius
of the turn. This engine, the only known example of a Lansing,
was owned by the late Rev. Elmer Rltzman, a Methodist
minister for 42 years, and founder and publisher of "Iron-Man
Album Magazine," and "Gas Engine Magazine." The engine is
now residing In North Carolina.
Leader (Marion Mfg. Co.)
The Leader steam traction engine was manufactured by the
Marion Mfg . Co., of Marion, Ohio, founded in 1886.
The Leader steam traction engine used an extra Jong smoke
box, which contained a baffle plate over flues. The stack was posi-
tioned to prevent throwing fire. The steam dome was centrally lo-
cated to prevent priming in going up or downhill. A large com-
pensating gear, gave the engine a powerful leverage on the drive
wheels. The large axle, skein and hub were properly braced and
spoked wheels were designed for great strength.
The front axle was mounted on an extra strong pedestal, brac-
This 12 and 16 8.P. Leader steam traction engine was built in
keted to the water space of the boiler, and not to the smoke box as 1906. This was a regular coal burning engine. It was best adap·
some engines were at that time. This gave the engine a perfect led to the central states and rough and hilly parts of the country
poise in its mount ing, and made it exceedingly easy to handle and where small nnd medium sized threshers were used.
control on the road, so they said.
For the convenience of operating for the engineer, everything
was in easy reach-such as the controlling rods for the cross head
pump, reversing gear, throttle, friction clutch , water gauges and
the injector. T he fly wheel, being on the same side as the steering
wheel, made it easy to line up the steam traction engine for belt
work. The boiler was mounted high so as to clear any obstructions
in the roadway. The drive wheels were 74 inches high, and from
18 H.P. up the drive wheels were made with high double oblique
cleats. Their engine had a very strong foot board and platform, on
which was mounted two large water tanks, connected under-
neath. so that in filling one tank the other was filled at the same
time through the connecting pipe.
The Marion Mfg. Co. made the following: steam traction
engines; steam portables; the Leader skid steam engine; the
Leader junior separator, and sawmill machinery. They also made
a 10 ton steam roller.

This 12 H.P. Leader steam traction engine was built by the

Marion Mfg. Co., of Marion, Ohio, in 1895. The engine's boiler
was of ,·cry best homogeneous boiler steel, and was provided
with all safety appliances. The boilers were of the locomotive
pattern, by which the most heating surface and I.h e most water
space were secured within certain limits. The longih1dlnal seams
were double riveted, and aU flat surfaces were thoroughly stayed
and braced. Nu.rnerous hand holes made cleaning easy.

The 16 H.P. Leader steam traction engine was pictured in a

1895 Madon Mfg. Co., catalog. This engine's waler tanks were
on either end of the footboard and connected, so that fllllng one
filled both. They were made of sheet steel, had rounded corners ,
and were very neat.
168 Leader (Marion Mfg. Co.)

This is the cylinder side of the 1916 model 16, 18, and 20 H.P. ln 1916, this design was used for the 16, 18, a11d 20 H.P. Lender
Lender steam traction engine. 'fhe governor was now attached to steam tract-ion engines built by the Marion Mfg. Co. This wns 11
the steam chest Instead of being mounted on the dome. Corliss-type cylinder engine. Note the manner in which lhe cross
head pwnp and heater were attached. It had a variable exhaust
which gave perfect control of the draft ~;th all kinds of fuel.

This i~ the 1906 version of the 18 and 20 H.P. Leader steam trac-
tion engine, built by the Marion Mfg. Co. This engine had n ex-
tra long smoke-box, whlch contained a baffle plate over the
Oues. The position of the sta ck prevented throwing fire. The
dome was centrally located to prevent priming in going up or
downhill. A large compensating gear gave the engine a powerful
leverage on the drive wheels. It had a large a.xle skein and hub,
and properly braced and spoked wheels for great strength.

The 1904 Marlon Mfg. Co. catalog contnined this rather start· This heavy looking unlt is a 1906 model 20 H.P. Lender special
ling engraving of 11 Le11der engine. Somehow the artist or road locomotive. This heavy rond engine was furnished as eilher
cngrnvcr cnmc up with n completely wrong perspective for the 11 wood, coal or straw burner. This engine was of special con·
flywheel, and thus created a ••ery ridiculous looking slruetlon, containing many features not used on the regular
machine~ven in 1904, artists h11d bud days. thn'Shlng engine.
Leader (Marion Mfg. Co.) 169

T his Is the cylinder side of the 20 H.P. Leader owned by Chnrles

This 20 H .P. Leader steam traction engine, built in 1910, is
Deeds of L1u1c11s tcr, Ohio.
owned by Charles Deed~ or Lancaster, Ohio. It appears at the
Miami Valley Steam T hreshers Assn. show at London, Ohio.
Charles Deeds' Lender Is believed lo be lhe only one left today.

The 25 H.P. Leader steam traction engine, built in 1906 by

Marion Mrg. C-0. was designed es pecially for use in the great
north west, where s tnw wa.~ used for fuel, and threshing was
done on a large scale.

A JO·ton Leader s team road roller was produced in J91 6. This

engine's boiler was made of high grade open hearth steel plnte of
Appeatlng In One form Is this 1904 version of the J 8, 20 and 25 ext·ro thickness, so constructed to get the best possible combus-
H.P. Leader engine. In 1904 the Marion Mrg. Co. changed the tion {rom lhe fuel, and the greatest amount of heating surfnce.
crosshead castings of the engines. A built·in ladder was supplied
for easy access to the lubrication points of the piston and rods.
170 MacDonald Thresher Co.
Alex MacPherson, mechanic, and John MacDonald, book-
keeper from the firm of Glasgow, MacPherson and Company, of
Ointon, Ontario, decided to start a threshing machine business
of their own. They chose Stratford, Ontario, a railway center fifty
miles east, as the site of their business venture.
Running shy of capital to complete their factory, they appealed
to John P. MacDonald's brother James to sell his farm and go in-
to partnership with them. The firm, known as MacDonald and
MacPherson Company, built and sold without difficulty the 30
threshers they planned for 1877. The success of their machines
from the start assured increasing sales and prosperity for the
company. These threshers were of the conventional apron or can-
vas type side shake shoe. About 1880 an end shake shoe was
adopted and four years later they placed on the market the first of
their deck type separators.
Alex MacPherson did not live many years, and after his death
the two MacDonald brothers carried on the business as the Mac-
Rusty but still strong is this 18 H.P. MacDonald steam traction Donald Manufacturing Company. Young Peter attended school
engine built by MacDonald Thresher Co. of Stratford, Ontario, in Stratford for two years then entered the Grand Trunk Railway
in 1908. The eoglnc is owned by Reynold's Museum of
Wetasklwln, Alberta. Alex MacPherson, mechanic, aod John
Shops as an apprentice machinist. In addition to learning his
MacDonald, bookkeeper from the firm of Glasgow, Mac. trade, Peter's work on locomotives developed a deep and lasting
Pherson and Co. of Clinton, Ontario, decided to start a interest in steam engines. A few years later he and his brothe~
threshing machloc business of thelr own and chose StTntford, John K. MacDonald joined their father and uncle in the threshing
Ontario, a railway center SO miles east of Clinton, as the slic of
machine business. Here Peter's training and interest was directed
their business venture.
towards the mechanical end while his brother, just as naturally;
favored working with wood.
In the early 1880s John P. MacDonald's health and other in·
terests resulted in his withdrawal, leaving James and his two som
to carry on the business. James MacDonald died in Decembet
1911. Born in Scotland, he was only a few months old when hi~
family crossed the ocean to Nova Scotia in 1831. John P. was thf
first child born during the 14 years the MacDonald famil)
remained in Nova Scotia before moving on to the vicinity o(
Brucefield in what is now the Province of Ontario. Following tht
death of James MacDonald, the firm was reorganized as the Mac:
Donald Thresher Company Limited and a modern factory was
built at the eastern outskirts of Stratford to take .care of the in·
creasing output.
The demand for t raction engines finally persuaded the firm tc
T his 20 H.P. MacDonald steam traction engine, built in 1905, Is begin their manufacture, and in 1905 arrangements were madf
owned by John Hoover of Ontado. II is at the Ontario St:eam &
Antique Preservers Assn. show at Milton, Onta.rlo. The demand with the A. D. Baker Company of Swanton, Ohio, to build thf
for traction engines finally persuaded the firm to thelr well known Ba'ker traction engines in Canada.
manufacture, and in 1905 arrangements were made with the The first of these engines, in 18 H.P. size, were built the next
A. D. Baker Co. of Swanton, Ohio, to bo.ild the well-known year. The 20 and 22 H.P. sizes followed and in 1914 a special 2~
Baker steam traction engines in Canada. H.P. engine was developed to meet the demand for heaviei
engines for Western Canada.
Early Decker steam traction engines were built at the samf
time as the 1906 models of A. D. Baker engines. In 1913 the firs1
piston valve engines were built, making the Decker one of the fe\\
if not the only, piston valve traction engine built in Canada.
Peter MacDonald lived until Nov. 22nd, 1950 and remained
one of the old school of steam lovers who never could reconcile
himself to the gas age.
This 20 H.P. MacDonald steam traction engine, built in 1908, is
o"ned by Allan Crone of Ontario. This engine is at the Ontario
Steam & Antique Prescn·crs Assn. show at Milton, Ontario. MacDonald lived untll 1950 and remained one of the old
school of steam lovers who never could reconcile himself to the
gas age.
McNamar 171

Julius J. D. McNamar, taking over the engine works at Newark,

Ohio, from his father John McNamar in 1885, built a complete
line of traction, portable and skid engines and sawmills for the
next 35 years. McNamar did not build as many engines as
Scheidler nor did he match his competitor in showmanship, but
the McNamar engine spoke for itself.
The McNamar boiler was built to a proven locomotive design
with very little change during the 45 years of production. As proof
of its easy steaming abilities, several engines were built to special
order, having a cylinder rating of 2 to 4 H.P. beyond the boiler
rating which gave the operator a mighty handy engine in hilly sec-
tions. As far as record or inquiry can reach there has never been a
failure or explosion traceable to a McNamar boiler.
The McNamar engine and gearing designs were just as stable.
Grime reverse was used entirely to 1903, after which the Steven-
son link was it. Heater bed plate was used on all sizes to 1904, af-
ter which the Girder bed plate was available on the 14 and 16
H.P. sizes-not much change during the many years of building.
All McNamar engines were fitted with a balanced slide valve and
all tractions had a good clutch and foot brake on the intermediate
shaft, with a differential lock. McNamar engines were single
geared with the compensating gear or differential in the left drive Built about 1900, this 8 H.P. McNamar steam tnctlon engine
was pictured in a McNamar Co. catalog. The boiler was built to
wheel on the main axle and thereby hangs an interesting point. a proven locomoth'e design, with very little change during the 45
McNamar used an all spur gear differential of his own patent, years of production. As proof of its easy steaming abilities,
even on the first tractions bu ilt in 1892. The driving effort on the seveml engines were burn to special order having a cylinder
outer, internal gear (left wheel) was just twice that applied to the ratini: of 2 to 4 H.P. beyond the boiler rating, which gave the
inner gear (keyed to the right wheel), and thus it follows that the operator 11 mighty handy engine in hilly sections. As for as rec-
ords show, there had never been a failure or explosion of a Mc-
left driver did the greater part of the pulling. This was cleverly
Namar boiler.
offset by building the engine heavy on the left side-which
resulted in a good pulling arrangement and satisfactory steering.
As evidence of driving effort concentrated in the left wheel,
consider that one 16 H.P. engine wore the third set of cast cleats
through to the underside hollows in 27 seasons of work, while the
original cleats on the right drive were still serviceable. Also on a
steep-hill pull, that engine would just teeter the spindles in the
front wheel hubs and never rear up beyond that point. There is
engine balance for you. The last traction engine McNamar built
was in 1920.

This 8 H.P. McNnmar steam ITaction engine, built by McNamar

Co. of Newark, Ohio, In 1905, is owned by Jesse P. Radabaugh
of North Lawrence, Ohio. Julius J. D. McNamar, taking over the
engine works from his father Joh.n McNnmnr in 1885, built n
complete line of steam traction engines, portable and skid
engines and sawml.lls for the next 35 years. McNamar did not
build as many engines ns Scheidler nor did he match his compe-
titor in showmanship, but the McNamar eni:lne spoke for itself.
172 Merrit & Kellogg

I n 1871, Richard Merritt and Dan W. Kellogg, under t he name

of Merritt & Kellogg, began the manufacture of self-propelled
steam traction engines in Battle Creek, Michigan. At the tests of
the steam traction engine up Maple Street hill, it ascended the
hill without using half of its reserve power and was the wonder of
the town. ln a few years, all t he t hreshing machine companies in
Battle Creek were making steam traction engines.
Th is first steam traction engine furnished them with a basic
idea which later developed into a lighter type of self-propelling
vehicle, the automobile.
Merritt & Kellogg Co. did not last long, and the old buildings
were rented for store purposes. In later years they have been tom
down and brick blocks erected on the site.

This unbelie\·able looking thing ls an 1871 Merrit & Kellogg

self.propelled steam tnetlon engine. ll was built by Richard
Mcrrltl 1111d Daniel W. Kellogg, operatin g In Halt lo Creek,
Mich., under the name of Merrit & Kellogg Co. ln the manner
of portnblc engines of the era, this machine used a folding
s mokes tack, and was not equipped with either w11ter ta nks or
fuel bunker. In reality, it was a portable engine with the ability
to move itself for short distances, but not a steam t'raction
engine in the true sense of the word. Th e engi.n ecr sat out.board
of the rear wheel, on a iron seat su pported by rather light
pipe bracing. This machine required two men for operation.
There Is very little evidence to show that m11ny of these engines
were built, or that any were really successful. This rather poor
engraving is the only illastntion that could be found of a Merrit
& Kell ogg engine.
Messinger Mfg. Co. 173

The Messinger Manufacturing Co. of Tatamy, Pa., was found -

ed by Samuel S. Messinger in 1857, and was incorporated under
its present title in February, 1912, with a capital stock of
$100,000. Samuel S. Messinger was proprietor of the Empire
Agricultural Co. of T atamy, Pa., a nd Senior member of the firm
of S. S. Messinger & Son, iron founders and manufacturers of
agricultural implements and engines. He was born June 8, 1823.
His great grandfather emigrated from Switzerland to America in
1745, and in 1771 settled in Northhampton County. From the
Penn heirs he bought a tract of land in Palmer township (Palmer
township was once included in Tatamy borough), on which he
located , becoming the fore-father of the family in this country.
ln 1857, Mr. Samuel S. Messinger began the manufacture of
plows and plowshares. The enterprise was conducted under the
name of S. S. Messinger until 1861, at which time he took in
several gentlemen as partners, the title then being changed to
Messinger, Shimer, Werkheimer and Allsfeld. From 1864 to 1868
the finn name was Messinger and Shimer, the principal product
being the Excellsior mower and reaper. In 1873, Mr. Messinger
admitted to partnership his son, G. Frank Messinger and the firm
name changed to S. S. Messinger & Son. In 1876 his son Charles
B. Messinger purchased his father's interest, and until 1883 the
firm name was S. S. Messinger's Sons. Jn 1883, the father pur-
chased back his interest, once again became head of the firm, and
conducted the business under the name of S. S. Messinger a nd
The Messinger Mfg. Co. made the following: Undershot grain
thresher; Overshot thresher; cleaner run by one-horse tread
A 7 H.P. Messinger steam portable engine, built in 1898 by the
power; Empire iron frame lever power; cross-cut saw with swing- Messinger Manufacturlng Co., Tatamy, Pa. This L~ the Empire
ing table; Gem pole saw; the Empire portable steam engine; Yertlcal mounted steam portable engine. It used the snrne gover-
about three steam traction engines; gasoline engines; power com nor as did the horizontal engine. It was built in S, 7, nnd 10 H.P.
sheller; Empire feed and ensilage cutter, and other farm ma- sizes.
G. Frank Messinger died in 1928. The firm evidently went out
of business in 1970.

A 20 H.P. Messinger steam portable engine, built in 1889 by the

Messinger Manu{achlring Co., Tat.a my, Pa. This engine is a
horizontal automatic , on a Cornish boiler. The Comish boiler
had a large centrnl Oue passing through the whole length of the
boiler, which was adapted to any description of fuel. The shape
of the fire-box made ii much stronger than any other portable
boiler, it was claimed.
Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co.
The Minneapolis Threshing Machine Company story started in
1887, when James F. MacDonald brought his small threshing
machine business from Fond du Lac, Wis., to Hopkins (West
MinneapQlis) Minn., and began turning out the Victory separa-
tor. Two years later the company began producing the first steam
traction engines.
As the company grew, so did Hopkins. Many of the workers
were skilled machinists from Scandinavia and Central European
countries, who settled on small plots of ground around Hopkins,
Minn. This company made 7,981 steam traction engines.
The Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co. , made the following:
The Minneapolis simple engine, mounted on a direct flue, fire
box boiler; simple steam traction engine on return flue boiler;
simple traction engine on direct flue boiler, using wood, coal,
straw or oil burner with flat spoke wheels and heavy plowing gear;
the Minneapolis double cylinder steam traction engine on direct
flue boiler using wood, and coal, straw or oil burner; a compound
T his ls the return flue, stT11w burnl.n g version of the 1906 Minne· steam traction engine or return flue boiler using wood and coal or
apolls si mple engine. This boiler Is the Scotch Mnrlne type, oil burner; the Minneapolis compound engine on direct flue fire
des igned to burn wood, coal, or straw. The Minneapolis Thresh· box boiler; Minneapolis portable steam engines on return flue
ing Mnehlnc Co. started In 1887, when James F. MacDonald boiler; Minneapolis double cylinder stationary engine; the Min-
brought his small threshing machine business from Fond do neapolis compound stationary engine, and the Minneapolis sim-
Lac, Wis., to Hopkins (West Minneapolis, Minn.,) and began
turning out the Victory separator. Two years later the company ple (reversible) steam engine on direct flue fire box boiler (mount-
began producing steam traction engines. ed on skids).
The Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co. also made the follow-
ing: separators, the Great Minneapolis line of Dingee-Woodbury
horse powers ; the Minneapolis No. 2 dustless cylinder com
sheller; round steel water tanks; Minneapolis force pumps, and
the Minneapolis power lift engine gang plows.
Formation of the Minneapolis-Moline Power Implement Co.,
incorporated in 1929, was the result of a merger of the Minnea-
polis Steel and Machinery Co., founded in 1902, the Minneapolis
Threshing Co., founded in 1887, and the Moline Implement Co.,
founded in 1870. The Minneapolis Steel and Machinery Co.,
organized in 1902, had been building Twin City tractors since
1908, and at the time of merger was engaged in the manufacture
of threshing machines and tractors. The combined assets of the
three firm s in 1929 was $33 million, and the new company
emerged as the fifth largest farm machinery manufacturer in the
Today the Minneapolis-Moline Company is part of the White
Built In 1906 w11s this Mlnne11polis simple engine. Mounted on Motor Corporation.
direct flue, Ore-box boiler, It was designed especially for plowing
and heavy drnft work. The Great Minneapolis line of steam trac-
tion engines covered every size and type of engine used by the
American farmer and thrcsherman.

This is 11 18 H.P. Mln nenpolls steam traction engine, built by

Minneapolis T hreshing Co. of Hopkins, Minn. The engine is n
single cylinder, front and side mount.
Minneapolis T hreshing Machine Co.

Tbls Is the cylinder side of a 1906 Minneapolis simple engine, Shown withoul Us fringed canopy ls this 1906 Minneapolis sim-
bearing No. 4506. Mounted on a direct flue boiler, It would burn ple engine. Mounted on a direcl flue boilu, ii would burn wood,
wood, co11l, stmw, or oil. It had flat spoke wheels nnd henvy coal, stta w or oU. This is the flywheel side.
plowing gear.

This is Minneapolis steam traction engine No. 4450. It Is a sim-

ple engine, mounted on a direct flue boiler. It would burn wood,
coal, straw or oil. It had round spoke wheels, and sta nd ard gear.
This Is the cylinder side.

This Is the flywheel side of the 1906 Minneapolis doub le cylinder

engine, built In 1906. This engine, designed for heavy plowing or
hauling, used substantial wheels with flat spokes. The front·
mounted water tank seems a bit on the sm all side for an engine
of tltls size.

Built for heavy-duty work in 1906 was Minneapolis doub le

cylinder engine. Mounted on a direct flue boiler, It would bum
wood, coal, straw or oil. It had Oat spoke wheels, and heavy
plowing gear. Tbls ls the cylinder side.
Minneapolis Threshing Machine .C o.

Bullt In 1907 was this Minneapolis simple engine. Mounted on a

direct flue fire-box holler, It bad standard gears, <k-slgncd for or·
dlnary form work and threshing. This engine was c<1ulpped with
a Duplex pump, Injector, cylinder oil pump, hard oil cups, and
patent heater. A pretty but complicated looking machine was this rather stub-
by Minneapolis return floe com pound engine, built in 1906. The
engine used the Woolf compound cylinder, which ran at a max-
imum pressure of 125 lbs. As were most Minneapolis engines of
the 1900s, this unit was designed to bum coal, wood, straw, or
oil, depending upon whlch adapters were used in the fire-box.
The canopy top with its scalloped trimming was an exlT& cost
Item, as was the spark arrester on top of the smokestack.

The Woolf Compound cylinders used by the MLnneapolls Linc

were n complclc s uccess. They gave all the benefits derived from
compound cylinders, bot with the same steam pressure used in
simple engines-not exceeding 125 pounds. The high and low-
pressure cyllnders were sci op close together. One valve per·
formed all the functions for controlling the admission of steam
to the high-pressure part of the piston, Its passage from the high
lo the low-pressure part of the pis Ion, and the fina.I exhaust from
the low-pressure cyllnder.

This Is the flywheel side of the 1907 Minneapolis simple engine.

The piston head of this engine was hollow, made of one casting,
and securely fastened to the steel piston rod. The piston rings
Equipped for hen,)· plowing was this 1907 model Minneapolis were cast iron, turned eccent'rleally, slightly larger tha.n the
simple engine. Mounted on a direct floe fire-box holler, It wooJd cylinder. After they were cut, they were sprung Lnto a corres-
burn wood, coal, straw, or oil. The straw burner engines were aU ponding groove in the piston, similar to the rings Ln today's
equipped with grates for burning wood or coal. automobile engines.
Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co.

Th is Is the flywheel s ide of the 1907 heavy-duty M inneapolis

double engine. II wns mounted on a high p ressure, direct flue
Designed for n iry heavy work wns !his 1907 Minneapolis double fire-box boiler dl'Slgned to bum coal, wood , or straw. It cnme
cylinder engine. Mounted on u direct Ouc Ore·box boiler, it had equipped with Oat spoke wheels and heavy plowing gear, but t he
henvy plowing gear. T he Oywhecl, steeri ng lever, reverse lever extra wa ter l1111ks and fuel bunker shown here were extra cost
and friction clutch lever were all on the righ t- hand side of lhe items . Stnndard Items included a Duplex pump Injector and a
engin e, a ffording a great convenience Ln runn ing on t he road or cylinder oU p um p.
in lining to a separator for threshing.

Rather hlgh and stub by was this return flue b oiler M inneapolis
simple engine, built In 1907. II was designed to bum either coal
or wood, but not stn w or oil, unless equipped l'litb special a dap-
lers for these fuels. The flange steel boiler was of Cornish mar ine
pattern, recognized as a very economical b oiler. The canopy
wilh scalloped fringe trimming was considered an accessory.

Shown wllbout Its a ccessory top Is this Minneapolis simple By 1908, Minne11poils was producing tbls style s im ple engine for
engine, mou nted on a return flue boiler. This is the cylinder medium-duty wor k. The engine, mounted on a direct Oue fire-
side. Note that both the cylinder a nd the smo kestack faced the box boiler, would b um wood , coal or stTaw. It Is shown here fit-
engineer. Barely 1·isible Is the th rottle or Minneapolis ' own de- ted with heavy pl owin g gear and an extra fuel bun ker and water
sign. It was or cnsl iron, on the principle or n butte rfly and roller tank . It co uld be Otled with a locomotive ca b or full canopy at
pattern . extn cost.
Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co.

This is the flywheel side of the 1908 Minneapolis simple engine.

It ls shown fitted with heavy plowing gear and extra water tank
and fuel bunker on the footboards. These were added eost items.
At this point, Minneapolis Thresher Co. called itself the builder Rated at a minimum of 35 H.P. was this 1908 Minneapolis com-
of the most extensh·e line of engines In the wodd. Among its pound engine. Mounted on a direet flue fire-box boiler, it would
products were slmple, double and compound engines on direct. bum wood , coal 1md straw. It had heavy plowing gear. This is
flue, fire-box boilers, simple and compound engincs on the the cylinder side. The cylinder, steam chest, guides and bearing
return flue boiler, skid engines, and simple, double and com· for the main shaft were all cast in one solid piece, and securely
pound stationary engines. mounted on the boiler. The cylinder and guides were both bored
at one and the same time, which Insured perfect travel of the
crosshead and piston.

Built in 1908 wu.~ this Minneapolis double cylinder engine.

Mounted on ll direct flue fire-box boiler, it would burn wood,
coal and straw. This Is the flywheel side. The double cylinder
engine was made In one solid casting. The double cylinders were
set parallel to one onolhcr. Eaeh was attached to a heavy bed.
plate and heate.r frame, c.ast in one piece and securely bolled to
t be boiler.

This oddity is a Minneapolis double cylinder, double stacked

engine. Mounted on a direct flue fire-box boiler, It would burn
wood , coal, siww or oU. lt had heavy plowing gear. This is the
cylinder side. The double stack~, in principle, greatly increased
the draft thrnugh a double cylinder engine, as the exhaust from
each cylinder was fed directly into its own stack. Thus, each
Minneapolis also built its double cylinder, double stacked stack in effect acted a.~ a single stack on a simple engine, and
engine on a return flue boiler. This wa.~ engine No. 3102. The when combined, gave the effect of two Independently operating
company made about 8 , 711. engine.~.
Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co.
16 H.P. 18 II . I'.
18 H . P. 20 II . JI.
20 El. P.

This is the cylinder side of the 1916 model Minneapolis sim ple This Is the 1916 version of the Minneapolis simple engine. This
engloe, fitted with standard gear. It could be supplied in 16, 18 engine wns bu lit in 16, 18 and 20 H.P. sizes. It would bum wood,
or 20 H.P . sizes. A canopy top was available at extra cost, and cool, and straw. This Is t he flywheel side.
the extra tank a.n d bunker shown on the p latform were also con-
sidered accessories.

This is the new 1916 model Minneapolis Canadian simple

engine. It was built in 28 and 34 B.P. slzes, and would bum
wood, coal and straw. This is the cylinder side. It was r egular ly
equip ped wilh full steel canopy, heavy steel platform, one large
tank at the front end , two lurgc tanks on the platform, and a
gear oiler.

Some design changes were noti ceable on th e 1917 Minneapolis

simple engine. It was built In 16, 20, 24, and 28 H.P. sizes, and
would burn wood, coal, or straw. T his ls the Oywhecl side. The Hard nt W(>rk on the bell ls t·hls 20 H.P. Minneapolis steam trac-
Minneapolis s team traction engine used black for the b oiler, tion engin e, built In 1923. It ls owned by Dennis & Marjorie
dome and smokestack, and green for the steed1Jg wheel and Webb of Dcnm~vllle, Canada , and ls at the Norwich and Dl~lrict
levers. The ground wh eels were red, as were the water lank In lllslorlcnl Society show al Norwich, Ontario. This engine carries
front and on the back platform, Oywhcel, and the cylinder. The 1111 Onh1rlo government ccrtlflcal.e for sheU pressure of 120 lbs.

pipes were green. It w11s purchased In 1968 Crom E . Huber of Brookville, Ind.
Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co.

This 20 H.P. Minneapolis steam traction engine, built in 1922, is A Minneapolis s team traction engine with double smokestack
owned by James Cotter of Aliquippa, Pa. It is running nt the Tri- was pictured In a 1904 Minneapolis Co., catalog. ThJs engine is
State Historical Steam Engine Assn. show at Hookstown, Pa. a double cylin der on a direct Oue holler. The advantage of [')l'O
Formation of the Minneapolis-Moline Power Implement Co., in- smokestacks on a double cylinder engine was that a single
corporahid in 1929, was of a merger of the Minneapolis Steel engine, nmning 250 revolutions per minute, exhausted into the
and Machinery Co., founded ln 1902, the Minneapolis Thresh- stack 500 times per minute, and a double cylinder engine, run·
b1g Co., founded ln 1887, and 1·hc Moline Implement Co., ning 250 revolutions per minute, with but one smokestack,
fou11ded in 1870. The Minneapolis Steel and Mnchinery Co., exhausted into the stack 1,000 times per minute. This would
organized in 1902, had been buildini,: Twin Cily lrnctors since produce practically the same effect upon the combustion that
1908, and al lhe lime of merger was cngngcd in the munufucturc would be produced when a blower was turned into the stnck, ,·iz,
of threshing machines nnd tractors. The combined nssets of the ii draws nearly all of the fire-box through the center Oues,
three fll'mS in 1929 wn.~ $33 million, noel the new compnny producing imperfect combustion, and consuming more fuel.
emerged as the fifth largest· form mnchinery manufoct:urer in the Thus a double cylinder engine with but two smokestacks avoids
U.S. Today the M.bmcapolis-Mollne Co., is purl of the White this problem. Howe\·er, scrnral years later Minneapolis rcl'urned
Motor Corp., of Clcvclnnd, Ohio. to a single stack for its doubles.

Here is a good view of the two mouulcd water tanks on the bnck This is the cylinder si11e of the 20 H.P. Minneapolis steam trac-
end of the engine, and the fire-box und conl'rols of a 20 H.P. tion engine, built in 1923, and owned by Dennis & Marjorie
Minneapolis simple engine. Webb of Beamville, Ontario.
George W. Morris 181

Prior to 1895-96 George W. Morris had operated a small T

thresher manufacturing and supply repair business in Brantford,
Ontario, Canada. In 1896, he had J. I. Case Co. of Racine, Wis.,
build three steam traction engines. These engines were said to be
of about 120 B.H.P. One was shipped to North Dakota, and not
being satisfactory was soon abandoned. The others were sent to
foreign trade and followed the same fate as the one that went to
North Dakota.
Late in 1897 Morris went to work directly for Case as a design
engineer, and on May 30, 1899 was granted a U.S. patent for a
method of mounting the gearing of a traction e ngine. This patent ' ,f
was assigned to J. I. Case Threshing Machine Co. of Racine, and . ~-', ~~
was used on all steam traction engines built by Case thereafter. ~,,.'f"~ . . ".
~-v· ~~-~·;...
~ ~:t'\'W-';.:J;-\:~... -

This particular idea is all that is left to tell any thing about this
.~ '"' : )::t.~~8.-'> . ~\.-..
This 30 H.P. double cylinder rear mou.ntcd special plow steam
During the years of 1905 thru 1909, Morris built two steam traction engu1c was built in 1907 by George W. Morris Co., ai
traction engines of about 30 H.P. These were built in Milwaukee. Milwaukee.In J896, George W. Morris had t.heJ. I. Case Co., of
Racine, Wis., buiH' Cwo, perhaps three steam trnction engu1cs.
During the years of 1905tbru1909, George W. Morris built lwo
more steam traction engines of about 30 H.P.

One of the last engines to be built by this firm was this 30 H.P.
George W. Morris single cylinder, rear mow.1ted steam traction
engine, built in 1909. Late in 1897 George W. wcni Co
work directly for Ca.~e as a design engineer, and on Moy 30,
1899, was granted U.S. paCe11t H626, 027. This patent was for a
method of mounHng the gearing of h:acticm engines. lt was
assigned to J. I. Case Threshing Machine Co. of Racine, Wis.,
and was used on all steam traction engines built by Ca.~e there·

This is the renr \'iew of at least two 120 B.H.P. George W.

Morris steam lndlon engines, built in 1896-97 by J. I. Case Co.
for the George W. Morris Co., Racine, Wis.

George W. Morris designed this 120 Brake H.P. steam traction

engine. It was built in 1896-97 by J. I. Case Co., but sold under
Che nnme George W. Morris, Racine, Wis. At lease CWo, perhaps
more were buUt. One engine went to North Onkllta and the
other Co a foreign country.
182 Muncy Traction Engine Co.

Mr. Larzelere was a mechanical engineer born in Willow

Grove, Pennsylvania. He moved to Greencastle in 1882, probably
from Doylestown, Pennsylvania. In about 1887 he left the Twen-
tieth Century Mfg. Co., and moved to Muncy, Pennsylvania. With
the help of a Mr. Brocious he started the Muncy Traction Engine
The Muncy Traction Engine Company, located on East Water
near Main St., in Muncy, Pa. were manufacturers of traction
engines; portable and stationary engines; boilers; sawmills, and
other farm machinery. The Muncy Company was apparently un-
successful. Mr. Larzelere spent his later years with A. B.
Farquhar Co. of York, Pennsylvania, selling and installing
A Muncy steam traction engine was built by Muncy Traction
Engine Co., of Muncy, Pa., about 1890. Mr. Lanelere moved to sawmill outfits.
Muncy, in 1887, and with the help ofa Mr. Brocious, started the
Muncy Steam Traction Engine Co. The Muncy Co., was ap-
parently unsuccessful. Mr. Larrelere spent his later years with
A. B. Farquhar Co., of York, Pa., selling and Installing sawmill
oul{its. There is very llttfo information available about these
engines, and this early engraving is the only UJustration that
could be found of a Muncy. It bad a surprisingly huge steam
dome for its size, but otherwise appears to be of rather a c-
ceptable and conventlonal design.

Napoleon Mfg. Co.

The Morningstar Manufacturing Co. of Napoleon, Ohio was
organized in 1892 by R. W. Cahill and A. B. Blank, who contin-
ued the business as a private enterprise until 1902, when a com-
pany was incorporated under the laws of Ohio for the manu-
facture of various kinds of machinery and mechanical devices, all
of which appear to have found ready sale. Under wise and judi-
cious management, the business during the ensuing ten years
prospered to the satisfaction of all parties concerned. But on the
first day of January, 1904, the building caught fire and before the
flames could be checked the entire plant and contents, including
much unfinished work, was a mass of ruins. The fire department
had been almost helpless, owing to the freezing of the water
Immediately after the disaster, the company proceeded to re-
build, but on a much larger scale then formerly. The new factory,
when finished and ready for occupancy, was one of the largest
and most complete manufacturing plants in the city. It was con-
structed of brick, covered a large area of ground near the Wabash
This Napoleon steam traction engine is a double cylinder 16-18 Railroad and was well situated and admirably adapted to the pur-
H.P. built in about 1906. This engine was built by the Morn - poses for which used. When finishing the new factory, the com-
ingstar Manufacturing Co., of Napoleon, Ohio. The company pany introduced the manufacture of Napoleon steam traction
buUt single and double-geared engines, with steel or cast wheels. engines, as well as threshing machines. The company was again
The Morningstar Manufacturing Co., later changed its name to
Napoleon Mfg. Co., but apparently never was a major factor in incorporated in August, 1905, and the name changed to
the steam engine field . Napoleon Mfg. Co.
New Giant (Northwest Thresher Co.)
The New Giant steam traction engine was built by the North- The engines were fired and steamed up four consecut ive days to
west Thresher Co. of Stillwater, Minnesota, which was founded in the maximum steam pressure they were designed to carry, subject
1874. the whole t ime to state boiler inspection. This was done for the
The New Giant steam engines's cylindrical form of boiler com- two-fold purpose of discovering and removing any leakage that
mended itself to the practical engineer. The pressure was equal may develop, and to permit thorough inspection by the state
upon every point, doing away with the necessity of stay-bolts. This authorities.
made the Giant the most durable boiler on the market, without The combust ion chamber in the New Giant engine, at the front
exception, so the company said. The boiler was of steel, 60,000 end of the boiler, was of large capacity, being 17 inches in length,
pounds tensile strength to the square inch. and of the same diameter as the boiler. It was lined with heavy
Eighteen horse and smaller boilers had shells 1/4-inch in thick- ribbed iron plates, preserving the shell from the flame. The flue
ness, main flues of 5/ 16-inch , flue sheets of 3/ 8-inch, and sheet sheet above the water line was protected by the top plate or lining,
for the dome of 3/ 8-inch. Twenty-horse and larger boilers had a carefully adjusted. Brass goods and trimmings used on the
shell of 5/ 16-inch, main flues of 3/ 8-inch , flue sheet of7 / 16-inch. engines were of the best quality.
In the 25-horse simple and 30-horse compound boilers, which A sight feed lubricator was furnished with every engine, as were
carried 150 lbs. pressure, the main flue was made in three sec- solid oil cups for all bearings. Also, solid oil (grease) of the best
tions, the center section being 13/32-inch thick and the two end quality was provided. Also furnished were small tools, poker,
sections, 3/ 8-inch. scraper, flue cleaner, combination wrench, cast wrenches, cold
Every boiler was tested by regularly appointed state boiler in- chisel, oil cans, packing, and a funnel for filling the boiler.
spector. A canopy top, either short or full size, was furnished when
The company made no extra charge for jacket ing. The jacket of specially ordered at an extra price. It was built of heavy gal-
the New Giant had an extra covering of Russia iron, which made vanized iron , on a solid hardwood frame.
it indestructible, and gave it a fine finish. This prevented the con- A special safety plug at the fonvard end of the crown sheet was
densation of steam in cold weather, and added to the durability of fitted in the end of a large plug in such man ner that the soft metal
the boiler. became exposed while there was still two inches of water over the
When burning straw, there was to the rear of the grate rest an crown sheet, thus assuring absolute safety.
8-inch dead plate, which was to be used at all times when straw The New Giant steam traction engine used t he Woolf valve
was used. For burning coal or wood, regular coal grates were gear and the compound engines used the Woolf Compound cylin-
used. All t he engines underwent a cold water test of 50% greater der and valve.
pressure than the maximum steam pressure to be used . That is, T he Northwest Thresher Co. made the following: Steam trac-
boilers carrying 150 lbs. steam were tested at 225 lbs. cold water tion engines, return flue and locomotive types, single and com-
pressure. pound engines, the Northwest separator, and water wagons.

One of the first products of tbe Northwest Thresher Co . of

Stillwater, Minn., was I his steam traction engine built· in 1887.
The engine went· under the name of the "StiUwal:er Engine."
Later vnriations of this return flue design were rnarkefcd under This New Giant steam traction engine wit~ built in 1903 by
the name "New Giant," while the straight flue engines bore the Northwest T hresher Co. This engine lrns a rel.urn flue boiler.
name "Northwest." The Northwest Thresher Co. was founded in Every boiler that this company made was tested by n regularly
1874. This engine uses an exceedingly large flywheel. Hs power ap1>olnted state boiler inspector. In all the return flue boilers,
transmission from crankshaft to wheels was via a rather long the flues were 21/2- inch diameter while the s lmlght boilers 2-
chain connect.ed to the rear·mounted bull gear. inch Oucs were used. This engine used the Shelby seamless Oues.
New Giant (Northwest Thresher Co.)

Milo Mathews of Mount Union, Iowa, cleans the Dues of his 20

H.P. New Ginni return flue steam traction engine. The scene
took place al the Midwest Old Settlers & Threshers Assn. show
at Mount Pleasant, lown. Milo's engine was built in 1902. Sim·
pie return Oue engines of this type used the Woolf valve genr,
while Che New Giant compounds used the Woolf compound
cylinder and >'alve. Flue cleaning, one of the more tedious chores
of mnlntaining steam traction engines, is a \'Cry necessary ac·
tivity. lf not clenned, the Ones will clog with soot and carbon.
This greatly reduces heating capacity and draft, whi.le increasing
fuel consumptfon. New Giant also produced the Northwest
separator with self-feeder and windstackcr.

This is t,he fly wheel side of a 10 H .P. New Giant return Seen from head-on, Mi lo Mathews, 20 H.P. New Giant is a
flu e s t eam tra ction engine built in 1889. It is owned by the rath er unusual looking engine. The large box on lop of the
Reynolds Museum. Wetaskiwin. Alberta, Canada. The front combustion chamber is the water tank. This view
engin e is chain driven. The seat up front is for pulling it also gives o goo d indjcation of the width of the drive gears
by ually for short moves that did no t warrant and the belt pulley on the crankshaft. This engine began
the bother of firing up the boiler. The Northwest Thres her its life os a straw burner threshing grain in Nebraska.
Co. of Stillwater. Minn., was founded in 1874. Loter il wus converted to a coal burner. This engine was
shipped to Oscar Nelson at Utica, Nebraska in 1902. It
was bought ut. the Oscar Nelson estate sale August, 1950
and mode its first appearance at the Midwest Old Settlers
& Threshers Assn. show in 1951. Its cylinder has an
8Y.-inch bore and lO·inch stroke. With 100 lbs. of working
s team press ure, it will produce 250 RPMs on the belt and
run at 2 ~ m iles·per·hour.

Produced in I 907 was this Northwest steam tnction engine.

This engine used the straight flue fue-box boiler. At the forward
end of the crown sh~t was located a safety plug. This plug fitted
in the end of a large plug in such a manner that the soft metal
became exposed while there was still two inches of water over the
crown sheet, thus assuring absolute safety. Northwest Thresher
Co. produced straight flue engines under the "Northwest" name
nnd return flue engines under the "New Giant" name.
Produced in 1903 was this New Giant compound cy linder
This is the flywheel side of the 1903 teturn Ouc New Giant steam engine. This engine is a return Ouc boiler. The engine used the
tractio n engine. This engine's com bustion chnm bcr, at the front Woolf compound cylinder and vnJve. A canopy top either short
end of the boiler, wns of lnrge cnpaclty, being 17 inches in or full size was furnished when ordered as an extra. It wns built
length, and of the srun e diameter as the boiler. It was lined with of heavy galvanized iron, on a solid hardwood frame.
hca\'Y ribbed iron pint es, prescn•i.n g the shell from the flame.

Northwest Thresher Co. claimed t.h11t the easiest steamer made

in 1903 wa~ the Northwest sterun tracl'ion engine. Th is engine
used the s traight Due fire-box boiler. The smoke-box was 25
The Northwest steam traclion engine of 1903 used the straight
inches long and 30 inches in diamclcr, and designed fo r pcrfecl
flue fire-box boiler. Around tbe fire-box a sufficient number of
combus tion. E••ery boiler was lhoroughJy tested. The scams were
stAy bolts were pro••ided to make the boiler lhe strongest fire·
box boiler on the market.

186 New Hamburg Mfg. Co.
Samuel Merner, a native of Switzerland, moved to New Ham-
burg, Ontario, in 1838. He was a blacksmith by trade and imme-
diately set up a shop where his busy anvil shaped out pioneer tools
needed for clearing the land and building homes. Merner's shop
grew, and from it came the agricultural implements required as
the country developed. Simson Merner carried on his father's
business and extended it to include tread-power, horse powers
and a threshing machine that was little more than a cylinder.
In the early 1890s Werner Brodrecht joined young Merner and
they began building a separator designed by John Beam of
Baden, Ontario. About this time another Merner relative left the
employ of the Waterloo Mfg. Company and came to them, bring-
ing with him his knowledge of the manufacture of steam engines.
In a few years the men were turning out limited numbers of a very
efficient portable engines and separators.
A group of local businessmen, seeing the excellent prospects
for such an industry, came to their aid financially and, in 1897,
The New Humburg steam traction engines were built In eastern organized as the New Hamburg Manufacturing Company. The
Ontario until 1917 when the firm made the mistake of going into firm began the manufacture of "Hamburg" portable and traction
the C1111adlan West without a branch at Winnipeg, Saskatoon or
Calgary to furnish parts and service. The Compruty folded in
engines, separators and attachments exclusively.
1918. This Is tbe flywheel side of a 1917 model. The plant was badly damaged by fire in 1901, but the prospect
of expanding markets with the opening up of the Canadian West
induced the company to rebuild and enlarge the factory.
All the traction engines were of the sidemounted type, with the
boiler mounted on springs placed on top of the axle and between
axle brackets. Only simple engines were built and all had the
Woolf single eccentric reverse gear, Gardner spring governor and
expanding friction clutch with three large wooden shoes.
The company also built two types of separators, the "Ontario
Chief' for the Eastern market and the "Prairie Chief' (a heavier
machine) for Western Canada.
No records exist as to the number of engines and separators
that were built, but it is well known that the coveted Western
market was the undoing of the company. The machines were
built, shipped and sold, but collections were slow and too often
bad, forc ing the New Hamburg Manufacturing Company to close
This is one of th e last of the New Hamburg steam traction
down in 1917. Later, The Dominion Thresher Company was
engines. All the traction engines were of the side-mounted type formed to try to revive the business but the day of the steam
with lhe boi.ler mounted on springs placed on top of the axle and threshing engine was drawing to a close and the new company
between axle brackets. Only simple engines were built and all shut down in the early 1920s, writing "finis" to the Hamburg
had the Woolf single eccentric reverse gear, Gardner spring threshing machinery which had grown up with and served its
go>'ernor and expanding friction clutch with three hirge wooded
shoes. This Is the cylinder side.
community well, but lost out to a more modern source of farm

This 25 H.P. New Hamburg steam traction engine was built by

New Hamburg Mfg. Co. of New Hamburg, Ontario, in 1918 .
•~ , This engine Is owned by Western Dcvclnpmeot Museum of Sas-
. '3tl., ' katoon, Saskatchewan. Samuel Merner, a nntive of Switzerland,
'.,; \\'i moved to New Bamburg in 1838. He was the founder of the New
• Hamburg Mfg. Co.
Nichols & She pa rd Co. 187

John Nichols started a blacksmith shop in 1848, in Battle

Creek, M ich. In the early 1850s, with only blacksmith tools, he
built his first thresher. Crude as it was, it was the best thresher
that had been b uilt at that time. In 1886 Nichols & Shep ard Com-
pany was est ablished and in 1902 developed t he first machine in
which were combined the famous "Four Threshermen," the big
cylinder, the men behind the g un, the steel winged beater, and the
beating shakers.
John Nichols had reason to believe a small foundry would prove
profitable. In the early 1850s, with the aid of David Shepard to
share the additional financial and b usiness duties, a small foun-
~:lry was added to the smith shop. Some of the early products were
agricultural implements, mill irons, and sma ll stationary steam
The year 1886 saw the firm re-incorporated as the Nichols &
Shepard Company. It had now grown to be one of the larger This 8 !J.P. Nichols-Shepard s leam traclioo engine was built by
builders of threshing machinery in this country, being capitalized the Nichols & Shepard Co. of Battle Creek, Mich., in 1900. This
engine is o" ned b}' Pele Lovelace of W}'e Mi lls, Md., an d is
fo r a m illion d ollars. Also came the first of the new t hreshing s team ing a way at the Tu ckahoe Steam & Gas Assn . show at
machines, which were known as the "Flagg" vibrator, having Ens ton , Md. The engin e is No. 1895. It weighs 6 tons, nnd will go
been d esig ned by Eli Flagg, one of their threshing machine ex- 3 Ml'H nt 250 RPM. It hns the Stevenson link vnlvc i:car. The
perts. engine cost $900 new.
Edwin C. Nichols became president of the company when his
father passed away in 1891 at the age of77.
D avid Shepard passed away in 1904 at the age of 84, having
been vice-presid en t of the company till then.
T he Nichols & Shepard steam traction engines had the most . , • - -. , ..
subst a ntial boiler made, with the thickest boiler plate used in
traction engine construction. It steamed easily a nd had ample
steam capacity for its engine. It had steel traction wheels, plat-
form frame, and draw bar. It had an extra large main shaft and
counter shaft. The extra large main and counter shaft boxes were
arra nged for thorough lub rication.
Extra large brackets were strongly attached to the boiler. Each
engine was thoroughly tested to twice its nominal horse-power.
All the actuating levers and vi tal working parts were immed iately
under the hand of the engineer. The throttle, reverse, and frict ion
levers, and the steering gear were handy in their natural places for
prompt action.
Th e steam gauge a nd waler gauge glasses were in plain sigh t of
the fireman and engineer. T he injector and pump valves as well as
lubricator and governor adva nce were within easy reach.
The Nichols & Shepard Co. made the following: s team traction
engines of double cylinder and single cylinder, adapted to coal, •
wood, or straw; the Red River special threshing machines; rice
threshers; alfalfa and small seed s threshers; mou nted water
tanks; low down tank pumps, and Nichols-Shepard all -steel
fram e horse powers.
The Nichols & Shepard Co. of Battle C1:eek became part of the ..
Oliver Farm Equipment Co. in 1929. T oday the Oliver Cor p. is
part of the White M otor Corp., with its home office in Cleveland.
Ohio. This is the Oywheel side of the 8 H .P. Nichols-Shepard engine
o"ned by Pete Lovelace of Wye Mills, Md. It is in ac tion at the
Delaware State Fair Antique Machinery show at Harrington,
Del. At the wheel is the author's father, O. E . Norbeck, a rclired
YMCA general secretary with 32 years of service. He Is an
author of several books on the American Indian.
188 Nichols & Shepard Co.

This is the flywheel side of the 1900 Nichols-Shepard steam trac-

Non eoginc. Only the hest selected steel was used in the con·
struction of the boiler. It wus provided with all approved safety
npplinnces, including a double riveted boiler, double thick flue
s heet, sloping crown sheet, p atent "pop" safcty-vahc, glass
water gauge, and fusible safely plug in cro"n sheet. This is the C)'linder side of a J900 Nichols-Shepard sim ple steam
engine. The cylinder on this engine faces the driver, with the
piston running forward lo a front-mounted crankshaft. The ball
governor oo top of the steam dome is al the same height as the
top of the smokestack. The Nichols & Shephard Company had
ils formation in 1848, when John Nichols opened his first black·
smith shop. By the early 1850s, Nichols wa~ producing bis 01'11
threshers. The actual Nichols & Shepard Co mpauy was estab-
lished at Battle Creek, Mich., in 1886.

T his 1900 Nichols-Shepard stenm traction engine is c11uipped

with steel water tank in fron t and tool boxes on the platform.
This engine in general design, was of the locomoti ve style. Note
the clutch shoes inside of the fly wheel.

Nichols-Shepard in 1900 also produced this return flue sttaw

This 1900 Nichols-She1>ard steam traction engine is a compound burner. The combustion chamber in the front end was sut"-
engine. The gearing was extra heavy and sh·ong. Steel pinions rounded with water on the top, boUom, and sides. At each end
were used on the main shaft, counter-shaft, and in the differ· of this boiler was a door, for ready access to the flues for
cntial gearing. The cylinder was jacketed in wood. cleaning or inspection.
Nichols & Shepard Co. 189

This 1900 Nichols-Shepard is a direct llne simple straw burner.

. ~ ·4 it
~~: \,, ~ • ,_ ~1~~· ..;' l.~!- r• The simple engines were made in 8 , 10, 13, 16, and 20 H.P. sizes,
-~~,_.... __ ·.i:.-., ,\;~, wbjjc the compow1ds were 13, 16, and 20 H.P. The straw burn·
This 10 H.P. Nichols-Shepard steam traction engine, built in ers were made in 18, 20, 22 and 25 H.P. in simple form and 20
1890, ls owned by Samuel Osburn of New Oxford, Pa. Osborn is and 26 H.P. in compound.
working on a New Geiser museum, which will be at his residence
near New Oxford.

This 13 H.P. Nichols-Shepard steam traction engine, b uilt in

1900, ls owned by PauJ Hahn of Westminster, Md. Paul is run·
ning his engine at the Early American Stearn Engine Society
show at Stewnrtstmm, Pa.


From the front, Paul Hahn 's 13 H.P. Nichols-Shepard presents

a very nice appearanee-.a conventional appearance that one ex- This is the flywheel or pulley side of Paul Hahn's 1900 model
pects to sec when meeting such an engine. The pulley-flywheel Nichols-Shepard. The 13 H.P. engine was of conventional loco·
on this engine was of substanUal size. The producer of this motive s tyle, with a simple cylinder, and a geared drh•c train.
engine was the Nichols & Shepard Co., but the e11glncs thcrn· Nichols & Shepnrd built a substantinl series of engines, many of
selves were called "Nichols-Shepard." which remain operational todny.
190 Nichols & Shepard Co.

This Is tbe gear side of the 1908 Nichols-Shepard double cylin-

der engine. This engine could be fired with coal or wood, and In 1908 Nichols-Shepard offered this double cylinder steam
was also adaptable to straw burning. All controls and tbe steam traction engine In 16, 20, 25, 30 and 35 H.P. si.zes. The engine
gauge and water glass were in plain "lew of the fireman and used steel traction wheels and a steel frame and draw bar rather
engineer. The company recommended that two men operate this than the cast iron units used by many other manufacturers. It
machine. had an extra large main shaft and countershaft and shaft boxes.
Unlike most engines, the side contained only the com·
blnation belt pulley and flywheel, with the drive gears being on
the opposite side.

In 1908 Nichols-Shepard offered thls single cylinder engine.

This eng,i ne could be adapted to coal, wood or straw. It was
made in 13, 16, 20, 25, and 30 H.P. sizes. This engine was fitted
with cross head pump and injector, oil pump for cylinder lubri·
cation, and oil cups for lubricating bearings and gears.

This is the flywheel side of the 1908 Nichols-Shepard single This formidable macMne is a 1908 Nichols-Shepard double
cylinder engine. All the actuating Je,,ers and vital working parts cylinder plow engine. This gives a good view of the plow plat -
were immediately under the hand of the engineer. The throttle, form and extra large water tanks and coal bunkers. Extra strong
reverse, and friction levers, and the steering gear were in thei.r steel and semi-steel gearing was used on these engines. This ap-
natural places for prompt action. pears to be the 35 H.P. version.
Nichols & Shepard Co. 191

This Is n 1908 Nichols·Shepnrd double cylinder sC"r.11w burner In 1908 Nichols-Shepard offered this single cylinder s traw burn-
engine. This engine was mllde in 20, 25, 30 and 35 H.P. sizes. er engine. The injecto r und governor speed were within easy
The engine's governor was arrll11ged so that the engine could be reach. AU these features were where the engineer co uld reach
adjusted to run at a speed between 100 and 300 revolutions per them from the pletfom1.

This 1915 Nichols-Shepard is a rear-mounted plow engine. This

engine was made in 16-60, 20-75, and 25-85 H.P. sizes. The rear·
mounted engines were fastened to the boiler by the use of heal)'
steel flrutges secmcly riveted to the boiler. No bolts went into the
stcrun or water space.

This 16-50 H.P. Nichols-Shepard steam traction engi ne, built in This Is a J 915 Nichols-Shcp11rd s team traction engine of single
1915, Is own ed by Mr. Neal of Easton, Md. It Is running at the cyli nder style. This engine could be adapted to coal, wood or
Eastern Shore Threshermcn & CoUectors Assn. s how at s traw. Its whools had steel tires with wrought kon spokes riveted
Federalsburg, Md. The 16-50 H.P. figure related to belt and wbUc red hot in the tires , and the molten metal in the hub was
drawbar ho rsepower. cast solid on the spokes.
192 Nichols & Shepard Co.

Designed to have maximum weight on the rear wheels was this

This is the gear side of the 1915 Nichols-Shepard rear-mounted 1920 Nichols-Shcpaxd doable cylinder, rear-mounted plow
plow engine. This view illustrates the convenience of taking engine. The engine was available in 16-60, 20-75, and 25-90 H.P.
water on the move. Nichols-Shepard now referred to all of its si:zes. The rear-m ounted engines were fastened to the boiler by
engines as the Red River Ll nc. heavy steel flanges securely riveted to the boiler. As in earlier
, models, no bolts wen I l.uto Che stewn or water space. This engine
carried side water tanks in addition to the rear-mounted tanks.

One of the many remaining Nichols-Shcp11rd e11gines is Ibis 16

H.P. version. This Is a double cylinder, center reverse mount,
one of a multitude of designs produced by the Nichols &
Shepard Co. during its many years of engines. Sur-
prisingly few Nichols-Shepard engines are shown with cabs, ernn
though the company did offer canop)· cabs as an accessory.

Jn I 920 Nichols-Shepard offered this single cylinder traction

engJne. It was built in 16-50, 20-70 and 25-85 H.P. versions, and More com•cntional than the plow engine was t his 1915 Nichols·
could be ordered as a coal, wood, or straw bu.m er. In this era, Shepard single cylinder engine. This engine was also built in 15-
Nichols-Shepard continued to refer to its engines as the Red 50, 20-70, and 25-85 H.P. sizes. It was adnpted to coal, wood or
River Special Line. st~aw.
Nichols & Shepard Co. 193

I ~_1..;
~!:\•t~· ~
Thls ls the gear or flywheel side of the 1920 Nichols-Shcpurd This is the gear side of the 1920 Nichols-Shepard double cylin·
sh1glc cylinder sream Crnction engine. This engine h1L~ been dcr rcar-mouuted plow engine. This engine was made In 16-60,
equipped with ujacketed boiler, und appare11Hy was dcslined to 20-75, a nd 25-90 H.P. sizes. T his engine is equipped to take
be opcrnted in a cold climate where such jacketing helped con- water on the move from the large auxiliary side tanks.
sen·c heat and fuel. These engines were a\·aUablc in 16-50, 20-70
and25-85 R.P.sizcs.

Luurcl Runals of LaGral]ge, Obio, demonstrutcs his 1924

double cylinder rear-mounted Nichols-Shepard ut the RicbJand
Cow1ty Steam Threshers show at Mansfield, Ohio. This is the
special plowing engine, with the majority of the weight concen·
!rated on the rear wheels for maximum traction. Mr. Runal's
engine is unusual in thnl it is one of the few Nlchols-Shepards
with a full canopy cab.

This 16 H.P. Nichols-Shepard steam traction engine, built in

1924, is owned by Laurel R of LaGrange, Ohio. ll i~ un der
full steam nt. the Richland County Steam Threshers Assn. show
at Mansfie ld, Ohio. Nichols-Shepard made s teiun traction
euglncs of double and single cylinder, the Red River Special
threshing machines , rice threshers, alfn.l[a and small seeds
threshers, mounted water tanks, low-down 1.nnk pumps, and the
Nichols-Shepard aD-steel frame horsepowers.

Designed strictly as a straw burner was this 1920 Nichols·

Shepard rear-mounted engine. David Shepard passed away in
1904 at the age of 84, having been ~·ice-president of the Nichols
& Shepard Co. till Chen. The comp1u1y became part of the OUver
F11rm Equipment Co. in 1929. Today the Oliver Corp. Is parl o(
th e While Motor Corp.
194 Nichols & Shepard Co.

This 16 H.P. Nichols-Shepard single cylinder steam traction

engine, built in 1916, Is owned by Gene Morris of Alexis, Ill. It is
in action at the Midwest Old Settlers & Threshers Assn. show.
This 16 H.P. Nichols-Shepard steam traction engine, b uilt Ln
1910, is owned by Milo Mathews of Mount Un ion, Iowa. It ls In
action at the Midwest Old Settlers & Threshers Assn. show al
Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

This 22-7 S H.P. Nichols-Shepard double cylinder steam traction

engine, built in 1913, is owned by Gene Morris, of Alexis, Ill. It
is on display at the Midwest Old Settlers & Threshers Assn.
s how at Mount Pleasru1t, Iowa.

This monster, with a full-length canopy cab is a 25-85 H.P.

Nichols -Shepard steam traction engine built in 1916. T his
engine is owned by Wi!Jard MarsbaU of Cayuga, Ontario, and is
sholl'11 at the Ontario Steam & Antique Prcscrvcr:s show. This
engine was built in December 1915 and sold in 1916 to a farmer
in Sydney, Manitoba. I.I was then sold lo Peck Supplies in 1927,
and later resold to a sawmiU operator in the 111ow1tains of Mani-
toba. The mill burned in 1935, but the engine was saved and
sold to the Swan Rh·er Museum. Cn 1960, Peck Farm Supplies
traded it for a restored George White & Son engine pl us $900.
Peck restored the engine and bad it in parades in Brandon and
other cities in lhe west and put it on display al the Austin
Museum. 1n 1968, Peck h:ansporled ii to Ontario and stored ii
in a shed until 1971, at which time ii wns sold to the present
owners, Willard t111d Gordon of Cayng11, Ontario. It has Yi-inch
boiler plate an d is tesled for 170 lbs. p ressure. lt weighs 20 tons
full of water. This engine was placed in service when a lumber
mill burned down in 1972 an d it c ut lumber until 1973. lt took a
260 H .P . diesel engine to replace it, yet the steam engine co uld
delirnr more power lhan the diesel.

This 120 H.P. Nichols-Shepard steam traction engine, built in

1910, is o"W11ed by George Neal of Enston, Md. II is at the
Tuckahoe Steam & Gas Assn. s how at Easton, Md. This engine
is the largest Nichols-Shepard on the eastern shore and one of
only two of this size in existence today.
Nichols & Shepard Co. 195

This is the flywheel side of the huge 120 H.P. Nichols-Shepard

steam traction engine owned by George Neal of Easton, Md.

Nichols-Shepard hit a11 aU-t.iruc high for sheer size when it built
this 120 H.P. engine in 1910. This wns the largest engine built by
the company, and wns designed primarily for the western grain
fields. This front view gives an idea of the size of both the front
and rear wheels. This is a double cylinder engine.

Tnis 20 H.P. Nichols-Shepard steam traction engine, built in

1913, is owned by Milo Mathews of Mount Union, Iowa. It is in
action at the Midwest Old Settlers & Threshers Assn. show at
Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Mr. Mathews' two Nichols-Shepard
engines are unusual in that both arc equipped with front.
mounted water taoks. Actually, lhc Nichols & Shepard Co.
produced comparat:ively few engines wilh this type of water sup·
ply, preferring instead the platform mounted tank~, with sidc-
mo1mts for an auxiliary supply.

One of the most importan t gauges on a steam engine is the

steam pressure gauge, which measures the outward pressure of
the steam on the walls of the boiler. The gauge measur<.'S this
pressure in potmds per square inch, and all boilers and boiler
plate are measured and rated in tensile strength of pounds-per·
square-inch. If I.he gauges register 150 pounds, it means that
every square inch of wall b1side of the boiler is being subjected to
a11 outward pressure of 150 J>Ou11ds . This gauge is 011 the 8 H.P.
Nichols-Shepard owned by Pete Lovelace.
196 Owens, Lane
& Dyer Co.
Job W. Owens, born in Wales, moved to Columbus, Ohio in
1824, and to Hamilton, Ohio, in 1845, where he founded the firm
of Owens, Ebert & Dyer. In 1846-7 the name was changed to
Owens, Lane & Dyer. The company built steam engines,
threshers and nearly everything in metal from waffle irons to
Ohio Thresher papermaking machines and sawmills.
Job Owens is credited with building the first traction engine
built west of Pittsburgh. In 1873, Owens, Lane & Dyer built the
first steam engine. It was of chain drive, with its cylinder on the

& Engine Co. firebox end of the boiler-a design that was discarded almost im-
mediately. In 1874 the firm brought out a new design that was
gear driven, with an inclined cylinder mounted on the smoke box
end of the boiler, and a shaft with belt pulleys mounted across the
front end of the boiler. In all advertising, Owens, Lane & Dyer
On August 19, 1889 the following men, William called this engine the "Hamilton" engine. The depression of the
Ackerman, Andrew Burneson, H. H. Brinkerhoff and
J. G. Nixon, all of whom were from Mansfield, Ohio, 1870s forced Owens, Lane & Dyer into receivership. Clarke Lane
and who had been associated with the Aultman & was the receiver, and operations continued to 1880.
Taylor Company, journeyed to Upper Sandusky, During the same period of time, George H. Rentschler, owner
Ohio. They were joined by others in organizing "The of a small factory in Hamilton , with his partner, J. C. Hooven,
Ohio Thresher and Engine Company". They erected a and G . H. Helvey, had been marketing their own portable engines
modest building along the side of the Pennsylvania and threshers under the trade name Monarch.
railroad tracks in Upper Sandusky, Ohio which served They subcontracted their engines to one shop and their
as a plant in which they built threshing machines, threshers to another, with all parts being farmed out to still other
steam engines and other machinery during the years firms. Rentschler and partners reorganized about 1880, it is
from 1889 to 1902 inclusive or for a period of approx- believed, with a consolidation with the Owens, Lane & Dyer Co.,
imately thirteen years. This company went out of and became the Hooven, Owens, Rentschler Company.
business in 1902.
Ads from old farm papers report that the new firm showed its
Monarch traction engine at the St. Louis fair in 1881, where it.
------.,.,,...~~"IF"~ll""l'lltl'!"!!"""--:.~-~';f-----, was awarded first prize as the most powerful engine on display
The Owens, Lane & Dyer Co. of Hamilton, Ohio, is credited
with being the first company west of Pittsburgh, to build stcan1
traction engines. The product of this company, known as "The
Hamilton Traction Engine," first appeared in 1873, and was
produced in small numbers for several years thereafter. The
engine was a rather unique machine, with a huge rear-mounted
flywheel and a forward-mounted simple cylinder. The belt
paJley was mounted on the smoke-box door, aud apparently was
run by a belt from the flywheel, though such a belt is ool shown
in this illustration. A locomotive-style fire-box and boiler were
used. No technical information exists 11.~ to the size or horse-
power of this engine, or who made the ''llrious components that
were used in its construction.

"THE OHIO" steam traction engine was built by the

Ohio Thresher and Engine Co., Upper Sandusky, Ohio.
This e ngine used a simple cylinder and was gear-driven.
The company mad e t hreshing machines. steam engines,
steam tra ction engines and other machinery during t he
years from 1889 to 1902.
George F. Page & Co. 197

The 12 H.P. George F. Page & Co. steam traction engine was
built in Baltimore, Maryland. Heretofore in the operation of trac-
tion engines a serious difficulty had been caused by the slipping
of the wheels in passing over sandy or soft soil. This engine over-
came t his to a great extent, as the surface of the wheel in contact
with the ground was greatly increased .. This was accomplished by
means of a V-shaped chain connecting each pair of wheels, thus
forming a track on the pulling or tight side of the chain , that was
laid on the ground for the drivers to roll on.
Besides increasing the bearing surface this enabled the engine
to utilize more of its power than it would if rolling on the ground.
The pilot wheels were of the same width as the drivers, and the
weight was distributed on all four points. T he guiding of these
wheels was accomplished with a short axle pivoted at the center of
the face of the wheels, so that the length of the chains were not
altered when turning a corner. The engine rolled on its own rail,
the pilot wheels laying it down. And, being connected with the
drivers, the pilots took their proportion of the weight of the
In regard to the work which this engine could do, the inventor,
George F. Page, of Baltimore, stated that "with my twelve horse
engine, I pulled through the red clay mud, up a grade of one in
twelve, ten tons in two six-horse wagons. The engine made better
time, with less water and coal, than the old wheels on a dry road
of the same grade."

This mo~trosity is a 12 H.P. track-laying steam traction engine

built by the Geo rge F. Page & Co. or 8111limore, Md. It is one of
the first track-laying machines on reco rd , 11nd there is little ac-
tual proof of the success of this engine except for the rather
grand claim of the inventor, Mr. Page. In an intToductory press
interview, Mr. Page s tated, "With my 12 H.P. engine I puUed
through red clay mud , up 11 grade of one in lweh'e, while towing
10 tons in two 6-horsc wagons. T h e engine made better time,
wW1 11.-ss water and coal, thru1 the ol d wheels on a dry roud of the
same grade." Research co uld flnd no other evidence to pro.c or
disprove this statement, and It appears that very few such
engines were e,·er sold. The engine required two operators, and
it appears that steerini: would ba,•e been very cumbersome, to
say the leas t.
Paxton (Harrisburg Car Mfg. Co.)
The Harrisburg Car Mfg. Co. , of Pennsylvania was a vast enter- invested was $200,000, which fou r years later was augmented to
prise mainly started by William Calder, about 1853. when it was $300,000. Of course the production increased correspondingly,
first organized. There were nine men who together subscribed the and the company was now able to turn out 14 cars per day and
capital of $25,000, necessary to establish the firm. The company give employmen t to J ,200 men.
purchased two and a half acres of ground, comprising a portion Out of these works grew first a large sawmill. Next came a
of the present site, and had facilities to tum out oioe railroad cars foundry and machine works, which were organized as a separate
per week. company. The last enterprise was a planing mill and lumber yard,
One of the shareholders, William T. Hildrup, a practical costing $100,000.
mechanic, had served for over ten years in a railroad car factory In April, 1872. the entire establishment, including all the
in Worcester, Mass. He was named manager, and under his care, machinery, material and manufactured stock, was burned to the
the company prospered. The cars t urned out then, as compared ground, involving a loss of over $500,000. While the fire was yet
to later ones, were vastly inferior in finish and construction, smoldering among t he heaps of debris, the work of renovation
although they commanded a high price. commenced. About three-fourths of the men thrown out of em-
Up to 1862, t he original organization remained unchanged, but ployment by t he conflagration were at once engaged in removing
at that date William Calder purchased t he interests of several of the rubbish, reconstructing the shops, or working in other estab-
the stockholders a nd re-established t he concern upon a larger lishments under the control of the company. Within 90 days after
basis. Having now a controlling interest in the works, he and four the fire, the works were rebuilt in a far more substantial manner
others increased the amount of working capita l to $75,000. The than originally.
former manager of the old concern became the superintendent of The convenience and quality of the framing and construction
the new. The number of employes was now 250, and the works departments had been greatly increased and improved, and
was able to turn out four large eight-wheeled freight cars each where formerly 10 cars could be manufactured daily. 14 were no\\
working day. turned out. T he company had furnished the New York Central
There were prosperous times for the car-builders during the Railroad with as hig h as 1,000 cars per year, and also did large
war, as the government depended upon railroads for the trans- amounts of work for the Pennsylvania, Northern Central and
portation of men and material. A great many cars had been o ther railroads. The avernge price of cars manufactured was $850
destroyed by raids and accidents of all kinds, including the not in- each.
frequent voluntary destruction of rolling stock to prevent them This company, from the 1880s to 1890s also built the Paxtor
and their contents from fallin g into the hands of the enemy. Of steam traction engine. This stean1 traction engine was a gooc
course these had to be replaced, and the trade was lively. The engine, but was built in the days of single-riveted boilers.
works accordingly increased its capacity, and in 1864 the capital The company went out of business in the early 1890s.

This is lhe IO-ton Horris burg Cnr Mfg. Co., m rood
The P nxton steam traction engine wus mude between 1880 roller. Tho Hurrisburg Cur Mfg. Co., was n vnst enterprise
nnd the mid-1890's by the Harrisburg Cnr Mfg. Co. of H nr · started by William Cald er in 1853. I ts main nctivity was
risburg, P a. The engine apparently was as good as any on constru ction of railroad cars, and it appears that the
the market al the time, bu t did not seem to be outstanding building of steam traction engi nes and steam road rollers
or unique in any way. It used n locomotive-style boiler and was very secondary in t he overall company activities. The
fire·box, and a s imple single cylinder with a rear rollers were used lo roll down highways, breaking up old
crankshaft. The boiler was single riveted in the mann er of roads, plowing and hauling heavy loads. This ro ller 's yoke
th e day, which meant that t he engine probably suffered was able to s wing. It r est s upon the axl e of the front
from a multitude of leakage problems ofter u few years of roller, which also forms the steering wheel. 1'he horizontal
hard use. The engine shown here was built in 1886. lt. swinging moti on is imparted to it by th e steering
bears engin e No. 758, so obvious ly more t han a few of mechanism, which consis.t s of chain and worm gea r, and is
these machines were sold. opera ted by n hand-wheel near t he reversing lever.
Peerless (Geiser Mfg. Co.)
Peter Geiser started the Geiser Company in 1852. Prior to this, The Emerson-Brantingham Co. was incorporated in Illinois,
from 1848· to 1850, he built his first grain thresher at Smithburg, August 19, 1895, though the business was established in 1852.
Maryland. In 1852, he patented this thresher, and in 1854 This company acquired the Geiser Mfg. Co. of Waynesboro,
displayed it at the Hagerstown Fair and won first prize in compe- P a., and the Reeves & Company of Columbus, Indiana. Emerson-
tition with a newly built Smith thresher from New York. Brantingham made 15,801 steam traction engines.
In 1855, the Geiser Company was organized, and entered into Then, in 1928, J. I. Case bought a limited part of the Emerson-
an agreement with Jones & Miller of Hagerstown, Maryland, to Brantingham Co.
manufacture Geiser threshers. In 1860 the Geiser Mfg. Co.,
moved to Waynesboro, Pa., on part of the land purchased by
George Frick two years before. At the same time George Frick
,, w
moved to this land, beside Peter Geiser. '
In 1869. the Geiser Manufacturing Company was incorporated
and turned out 400 threshers. In 1881 , Frank Landis , not bother-
ing too much about patents, took the best engine and assimilated -
it into .the Geis~r whic~ was named the Peerless, in order to com- "'"~ . ~il -
pete with the Frick Ecltpse. '.;:. • :'J;J;.("
In 1912, the Geiser Mfg. Company sold out to the Emerson • ~
Brantingham Company of Rockford, Ill. The end came in 1940 ':" .J
when the G eiser factory and shops burned to the ground, with the •~
exception of the brick office building which was later converted
into a dwelling and still stands.
The Peerless 40 H .P. Z-3 special heavy duty steam traction ~~ . :lt, . ·
engine was built especially for heavy work, such as hauling logs, ::: ,r-I· · ~
lumber and ore, road building, contractor's use and plowing. The 1 - • •~' ~-~.~~~I~
engine had two cylinders. The drive wheels were six feet in ~/1 ,.,~,:).'-liil!lil~~
diameter, and were made entirely of iron and steel. Spokes were •'"':""' ~ ' ~ : ~ ,
made of solid steel and each wheel was equipped with two rows of ~ ,J,;.,: ··~
such spokes. The t ires were 7/ 8 inch thick. -
This IO H .P. Peerless steam l'ractlon engine was bu ill by Geiser
The driving wheel axle was 7 inches in diameter. and the coun- Mfg. Co. of Waynesboro, Pa., in 1884. It is owned by Samuel
ter shaft was 6 inches in diameter. The front axle was of extra Osborn of New Oxford, Pa. Osborn's engine is a Q Model a.nd
double heavy pipe, which was 6-5/8 inches outside diameter and the engine No. is 1974. Osborn is worl<.ing on n New Geiser
4-718 inches inside diameter. The king post was of an entirely new Museum, which wUI be near his residence in New Oxford, Pa.
pattern, its base in the length direction of the boiler was three
feet. On account of this length, the brace rods from the fire box to
the king post were entirely dispensed with.
The engine shaft pinon, the intermediate wheel and the counter
wheel had six inch faces. The master wheel and the master wheel
pinion had 7 inch faces. The gear wheels were made from mach-
ine-cut patterns, and were enclosed in casings making them as
near to dust proof as possible. No friction clutch was used on this
The compensating gear used on all of the traction engines con-
sisted entirely of spur gears. On the engine were mounted two
water tanks, with a combined capacity of 540 gallons. A coal box
of about 1,000 lbs. capacity was attached to the engine right
below the fire door.
j The Geiser Mfg. Co. made the following: single and double
cylinder steam traction engines , 10 to 120 H.P.; a 10-ton Peerless
road roller; portable steam engines; portables on sills; the
Geiser built this straw burning Peerless steam traction engine in
" Domestic" steam engine, which had an upright boiler; the New 1893. This engine used water cooled bearings. The valve and its
!Peerless threshers; rice threshers; clover and alfalfa hullers; the seat were interchangeable and conld be dupUcntcd at any time..
fPeerless hay press baler; four-wheeled mounted horse power; the Tbe boi)e( had a waicr-lined smoke·box.
Peerless Gang Plow attachment, and sawmills.
200 Peerless (Geiser Mfg. Co.)

A Peerless steam traction engine, built i.n 1913. This engine wa.~

·-· .-:--..r -~ .t
... made in 12, 15 and 16 H.P. models. It would burn wood or coal.
These engines were nil built with the water tank on Oywbccl side
·.. ~..~~~ · ...~· turned so the engine could be belted backwards.
This 10 H.P. Peerless s team traction engine, built in 1898, is
owned by G. Murphy of Dover, Pa. It appears here at the
Williams Grove Historical Steam Engine Assn. show at
Mechanicsburg, Pn. Peler Geiser started the Geiser Co. in 1852.

15 H.P., and the TT Class at 16 H.P. The engines had cylinders

of 71/z, 8 and 8 1/ 1 inches bore respecti vely. AU classes had a IQ.
inch stroke, and in other respects were identical with each other.
The flywheel was 48 inches in diameter, had an 8-inch face , and
would nm a 111nximu111 of 220 RPM. The rear wheels hnd a
diameter of 66 inches and a standnrcl tire width of IS inches.
The front wheels had a diameter of 40 inches and a width of 51/ ,
inches. Peerless claimed to be the only genuine spring-mounted
engine on the market at the time.

This Peerless steam trnclion engine wns produced in four horse·

power ranges in 1913. The ranges were: Clnss X, a 14 H.P. unit
with a 7:Y.-inch bore; Class U, an 18 H.P. w1it with an 8'.1.-inch
bore; Class UU, a 22 H.P. engine with a 9Yz-inch bore, and
Oass Z , a 25 H.P. unit with a 10-inch bore. All used a JO-inch
stroke, and all had a flywheel 42 in ches in diameter that turned
Designa ted the Model·R, this 13 H.P. Peerless was built in 1893
by the Geiser Mfg. Co. This engine used a much larger bclC at a maximum working speed of260 RPM. The rear wheels were
66 inches in dinmctcr on all engines, but the tire width on the
pulley than most other cogines on the market at the time. The
Class Zand UU engines was 20 inches, wbilc the Class U h ad un
si.ze of Ibis pulley was compatible with the pulley used on the
Geiser thresher. But the company warned, that if a thresher of 18-inch tire, and the Cla~s X a 15-inch width.
another make was hooked to the Peerless engine, then a pull ey
of at least 8 inches diameter should be used on that thresher, or
the Peerless would overrun the other machine.
Peerless (Geiser Mfg. Co.) 201

A 20 H .P. Peerless stc11111 traction engine, doub le cylinder, U

model, bui lt In 1913 by Geiser Mfg. Co. It is n double drive,
wood or coal burning engine, especially designed and buil t for
hcm·y draft. The principal weight was on the great drive wheels,
Samuel Osborn of New Oxford, Pa., who is busily Ll"ying to con- lh c nxlc of which ran clcnr across the rear end of the boiler. All
struct a Geiser Museum on his properly, proudly displays his purls were made cs pcclnlly large and strong, and bad anti-
1891 vintage 16 H.P. Peerless. This is the Peerless Model T. It frlctlon bearings.
bears Gciser's production No. 3509. Mr. Osborn has one of the
larger collections of steam traction engines in existence in the
east. The majority of his engines were produced in Pennsylvania
and surrounding areas.

Appearing to be >'irtually Identical to the 1913 Peerless steam

traction engine was this 1914 Emerson Branlinghnm engine
buill by the Geiser works. The name switch apparently did not
effect the design or specincalions of this engine, as the data
sheets of the two machines are identicnl. On these engines, the
engineer's platform was nctunlly the top of lhe water tank. The
fuel bunker is mounted on lop of this tank. On lhcse engines,
the gear wheels were all made from machine-cut patterns. The
compensating gear consisted en ti.rely of spur i::ears.

A rea r >'lew of the 1913 '20 H.P. Peerless double cylinder, U

model. It Is a double dri >'e, wood or con! burn ing engine. This
engine wus doub le geared, (drives from both sides). All gearing
wus of large dimensions, wide faced and made of i::cnuine open
hearth steel. Eight pinions were used in the compcnsaling gear, This Is lhc single cylinder version of the 1913 Model U 20 H.P.
and only spur gears were usccl, rather than bevel gears. This Peerless stcnm trnctio n engine. It is a double drive, wood or coll.I
formed a cushion thut not only took away all jar rcsulHng from burning engin e. It had I\ cylinder of 8¥.-inch bore aud JO-inch
sudden slrain, but kept the gcuring in perfect mesh nnd Insured stroke. The flywheel was 42 inches in diameter with a 12-inch
an even distribution of the strain on nU of the pinions. The gear- focc. ll worked at 260 RPM. The diameter of lhe rear wheels
ing was as near indestructible as possible. The contractor's lum- was 66 inches nnd the width of the tires on the rear wheels was
bering nnd plowing engine supposedly would stand more trac- 24 inches. The diamcler of the front wheels wus 46 inches and
tion work than any other engine made. the width of the tires on the fronl wheels was 10 inches.
202 Peerless (Geiser Mfg. Co.)

The rear view of the 1914 Model U shows virtually no change

This is the 1914 Model U 20 H.P. Peerless steam traction engine from the 1913 style. This 20 H.P. Peerless double cylinder is a
with double cylinder. It is n double drive, wood or coal burning double drive, wood or co11l burning engine. The engine was
engine. This engine was especially designed and built for heavy double geared, and all genring was of large dimension, wide
draft, and carried extra large water tanks and fuel bunkers. faced, 1wd mnde of genuine open hearth steel.

This is a single cylinder 1914 Model U 20 H.P. Peerless steam

tractio.n engine. H is a double drh·c, wood or coal burning
engine. The 20 H.P. continued to use a cylinder of 8%-lnch bore
and JO.inch stroke. In virtually nil respects, it was identical to
the 1913 Model U.

The Pecrl~-ss boiler had n patent crown sheet protector. It is a

well known fact thM no greater damage could hnp1>cn to a boiler
than to permit the crown sheet to become bare of water. It is
almost fatal and frequently ruins the sheet. The Peerless was one
of the tl"action engines with a boiler tb11t retained the
water on the crown sheet when pulling downhill or kept the front
end of the tubes covered whUe on an uphill pull. It did not carry
waler with the steam through the cylinder, ns It produced a com-
plete cireululion of water from one end to the other in all parts
of the water space. This is n 1914 Peerless boiler.

This 22 H.P. Peerless steam traction engine, UU model, built, in

J 1901, is 01n1 ed by Samuel Osborn of New Oxford, Pa. This

engine is No. 7268. It is restored to show condition.
Peerless (Geiser Mfg. Co.) 203

The 1913 style 22 H.P. Peerless steam traction engine, double Complete with canopy is this 22 B.P. Peerless plow engine. It is
cylinder, UU Model used two 7 x IO-inch cylinders. It was built owned by John Bonner of Mansfield, Ohio, and is In action at
to meet the demand for a double cylinder engine for threshing the Tuscarawas Vnlley Pioneer Power Assn. show at 01)ver,
purposes. It wa~ built with a compensating gear and piston Ohio. This is the flywheel side.

From the left side, the double cylinders are in plain view on the
22 H.P. Peerless plow engine owned by John Bonner of Mans-
field, Ohio. Note how the water tanks are formed around the
rear wheels.

Looking rather stark is this 1914 UU Model, 22 H.P. Peerless

double cylinder engin e. T his UU continued lo use .two 7 x 10-
inch cylidcrs, built to meet the demand for a double cylinder
engine for threshing purposcs. It is shown here without water
tanks or bunkers.

Built in 1913 was th is 25 H.P. Peerless sin gle cylinder, double

drive engine. This is 11 Z Model that would burn wood or con! l\S
fuel. This engine's fire-box boiler retnincd the water on lhc
cromt sheet when pulling do\\'~thill or kept the front end of tubes
covered while gob1g uphill.
204 Peerless (Geiser Mfg. Co.)

Identical to the 1913 \'ersion was the 1914 Model Z 25 H.P. ~~~~A
Peerless single cylinder, double drive engine. 1t would burn This 40 H.P. Peerless steam traction engine, built in 1919, ap·
wood or coal as fuel. This engine's rear axle w11s large and peared at the Tioga County Early Days show at Whitneyville,
strong, a straight and continuous axle clear across in rear of Pa. ID 1848-1850 Peter Geiser built his first grain thresher at
boiler, turning in very large boxes and not il1 the wheels. Smithburg, Md.

Marketed as r1 Peerless, this 40 H.P. Peerless steam traction

engine was built in 1916. This picture is Crom a 1916 Emerson
Brantingham Co. catalog. In 1912, the Geiser Mfg. Co. sold out
to the Emerson Brantingham Co. of Rockford, 111. ln 1916, !his
company wa~ marketing under the name Reeves-Peerless-Geiser
Machinery Co.

A good size engine was the 1914 Z Model 40 H.P. Peerless

double cylinder, double drin' engine. This engine was built espe·
clally for heavy work, such as haulmg logs, lumber, or ore, road
building, contractor's use, or plowmg. The drive wheels were sh
feet in diameter, and were made entirely of iron 1md steel. The
spokes were made of solid steel and eacb wheel was equipped
with two rows of such spokes. There was 11 0 friction clutch IL~ed
on this engine. On the cngiuc were two water tanks,
with a combined capacity of 540 gallons. A coal box of about
1,000 lbs. capacity was attached to the engine right below the
This 40 H .P. Peerless steam traction engine, built in 1921, is
fire door. This engine rested on springs, which made for travel-
owned by Dale Hempflng of Glenrock, Pa. It is al the Early
ing over rough, rOCk)' roads, as far superior to a solid engine as a
American Steam Engine Society show al Stewartstown, Pa. In
robber tire buggy was to a farm wagon.
1855 the Geiser Co. wns organized, and cnlcrcd in to an agrec-
mcut with Jones & Miller, Hagerstown, Md., to manufacture
Geiser threshers. T hen , In 1860, the Geiser Mfg. Co. mo\·cd to
Waynesboro, Pn., on part of the hmd purchased by George
Frick two years before.
Peerless (Geiser Mfg. Co.) 205

This SO H.P. Peerless steam tracHon engine, bui.11 in 1917, ls

owned by C. A. Fisher of Stoneb<iro, Pa. It is appearing nt the
Pioneer Stcam and Gas Engine Society show at Meadville, Pa.
In 1869 the Geiser l\lig. Co. was incorporated and turned out
400 threshers.
Seen from head-on , the 1917 Peerless 50 R.P. ll"action
engine presents a nice clean and conventional appearance. This
eugine is owned by Ben Da,·ts of Glen Bernie, Md. It is appear-
ing at the Williams Gro,•e Historical Assn. show at Mechanics-
burg, Pa. In 1881 engineer Frimk Lundis, not bothering too
much about patents, took the best engine designs he could find
and assimilated them into the machine which the Geiser Co.
began to manufacture. Geiser took on the name "Peerless" ill
order to compete with the Frick Co., which wus markeH.o g under
the name "Eclipse." By 1917, when this engine was built, the
cast smoke-box door carried the inscription, "Emerson-
Brantinghan1 Co., Geiser Works, Wa)'nesboro, Pa."

Chuffing happily across the grounds at the Stc11111-0-R11rna

show of the Early Arncrictm Sterun Eugine Soc let) ls this 50 H.P.
Peerless, built in 1923. The show is held at Stewartstown, Pa.
The Geiser works stopped producing steam traction engines ln
the late 1920s, but continued in other facets of the machinery
trade until 1940 when the factory burned to the ground. It was
never rebuilt. The only tuce of the factory remaining today is
the brick office buj(ding, which has been corwertcd into a
dwellin g.

This SO H.P. Peerless, with the fancy scalloped canopy and pin·
striped water tanks, is O\rned by Arthur F. Harker of Hollidays-
burg, Pa. It was built in 1923. Mr. Harker is shown here
This ls the engine side of the SO H.P. Peerless engine owned by preparing to let loose a hlast from his multi ple whistles during
Arthu.r F. Harker of Hollidaysburg, Pa. the Morris Co\•e Pioneer Power Reunion al Martinsburg, Pa.
206 Peerless (Geiser Mfg. Co.)

:'! ,.
&- •.-" :."-;.. - .• -;,......, a

""!: .....

This SO H.P. Peerless s team traction engine, buil t In 1923, L~

owned by Herman Wulcott of Allendale, Mich. It is here
stc1unlng at the River Bend Steam & Gus Assn. show at Allen-
dule. T he engine b ed and cr1utk shaft boxes were cast in one
piece, thus insuring perfect alignment and removing all st rain
from the boiler. The cylinder was bolted to this frame 1md wns Seen from the front, the large locomotive bell and clus ter of
interchangeable. The fram e was fastened to the boiler with one whistles are quite appare nt on M r. Barker's 50 H.P. Peedess.
solid connection and two steel plates, the plates being so placed The 1923 ''intage engin e is nick-named "Nellie Bel.le." By this
as to make provision for expans ion and contraction , which was era, Emerson-Brantingham decided to play down the nwn e
very important in large engines. "Peerless,'' and instead decorated the cast smoke-box doors
with a large " E-B" insignia. M.r. Barker's engine wears rubber
tires so that it can be used OD local pu·ed s treets. Iron wheeled
engines are aot· allowed on paved streets because the heavy
cleats would crush the p11vcn1ent.. This would hen threshennan's
view of the engine, with the belt hooked up OD the rlght.

Nickn am ed "Nora Jean," this 50 H.P. Peerless is owned by

S hcrd Doughman o f Harrisburg, Pa. The engine, built in
19 24, uses a very heavy disc and large crosshead and cra nk
pin s. TI1ese pins are h ollow and are automaticall y lubri cated
from within and witJ1 011 t, there by furnishing a bea.ring
surface large enough to remove almost all knocks and a
lubricating device that virtually p revented ove rheating. Mr.
Doughmar1's Peerless is shown he re keeping company wi th
ano the r Peerless at the Ro ugh & Tumble Engineers Hislori·
cal Ass n. show at Kinzer, Pa. Botl1 engines have been
fitted with the acces.~ory can opy cabs.

Another variation of a 50 H.P. Peerless steam traction engine

built in 1923 is this engin e owned b)' George Derr of Mech1tnics·
Herc is the flywheel side of the 50 H.P. Peerless engine owned by b urg, Pa. It also appears al the Early American Stcmn Engine
Herman Walcott of Allendale, Mich. Mr. Walcott also has rub· Society show at Stewartstown, Pa.
her tires on h is engine.
Peerless (Geiser Mfg. Co.) 207


- -----
if.t•• fitted with a set o f extra-large water tanks is this 60 H.P.
Pee rless owned by Betsy Richwine of Williams Grove, Pa.
A IO·ton Peerless steam road roller, built in 1914 is shown
This engine is a twin cylinder unit built in 1913. No te the
working in Baltimore County, Md. The roller is a double cylin- springs fitted between the front iLxle and the steering chains.
der engine. T he smoke-box has bce11 spcciCically designed to 11c- This was to lessen the road shocks on the steering mechanism,
commodate the front roller, which in itself rides in a \'ety unique as tJ1e springs would absorb the initial jar of the front
front carriage. Note the top hat on the engineer. This roller was wheels hitting obstructions in the field or on the rough
equipped with the standard Peerless C!Ulopy top, with roll-up road of tl1e day. This engine is appearing at tJ1e Williams
side curtains which would prO\ide almost complete weather pro- Grove Historical Steam Engine Assn. show at Mechanicsburg,
tection for the engine and crew. The roll-up curtains were a Pa.
seldom purchased accessory.

Herc is a good close-up of the steam dome and double cylinders

on a 60 H.P. Peerless twin cylinder engine. This engine, Model
Ul-2, was built in 1913. T he standard whistle is on the left of the
dome, while two accessory whistles ha\'c been added irnmccliate-
ly behi nd the stack. This engine is owned by Betsy Richwine of
Williams Grove, Pa.

A re11Uy huge engine is this 120 H.P. Peerless built in 1912. This
engin e is owned by Rober! Bunkley & Ralph Lewin of Berryville,
Va. II appears at the Shenandoah Valley Steam & Gas Engine
Assn. s how at Berryville. This is the ltLrgcst engine built by
Peerless. The engine was used ·to pull three big wagons Oiled
with apples to the railroad where the apples filled a hox car at
each trip.
208 N. C. Peterson & Sons
Nonis Conrad Peterson, was born at Smith Falls, Ontario,
Canada, in 1837. As a boy he learned the blacksmith trade and in
1857, he journeyed westward to t he t hen fron tier town of Sarnia
where he established a blacksmith shop at the corner of George
and Victoria Streets.
His business grew and a small foundry was added for the
production of castings. Later, a machine shop and boiler shop
were added. Two sons, James Norris and Willia m Conrad, en-
tered the firm when they grew up and t he foundry became known
as the N. C. Peterson a nd Sons Engine Works. In 1884 the first
Peterson portable steam engine was built followed soon after by
the first traction engines. These were wood-burning engines of the
rou nd water bottom locomotive type. For a straw burning engine,
they later switched to the rear mounted return flue type as more
N. C. Peterson decided to retire at the turn of the century and
the sons felt that, as future sales were most likely to be in the fast
opening Northwest, it would be sensible to move closer to the
m arket. Accordingly, in 1901, they closed the Sarnia plant and
shipped all t he eq uipment and several new straw burning engines
to Winnipeg, Manitoba, where they established the Peterson
Foundry and Machine Works. Winnipeg, in those days, had
growing pains and gave the new foundry so many orders for
municipal castings that it couldn't find time to get back into the
engine business. When the company was able to consider
building engines again, the days of the steam threshing engine
were numbered. No Peterson engines were built in Winnipeg. The
Peterson engines were of the single cylinder, rear mount, return
flu e type of steam traction engine.


M .,

In 1891 lhe N. C. Peccrson & Sons Co. of Samia, Ontario, began

to produce a series of single cylinder, return One steam traction
engines rated at 12 H.P. This is the cyllnclcr side. The engin e ap· Double doors ,.·ere used on the forward smokcbox of lb e 1891 N.
pears to be a rnlhcr conventional unit for the era. It used a C. Pccerson & Sons return lluc steam traction engine. This is the
jacketed boiler and steam dome. Jt appea rs that neither fuel llywhcel side of the 12 H.P. unit. Peterson built its first st"eam
hunker nor wal"cr lank were attached , and ther.efore a lender portables in 1884, and hy l 890 was producing traction engines.
wouJd have had l o be used. In effoct, many of these early stcnm One of these engines exists today at the Manitoba Agricultural
traction engines were reaUy portable steam engines fitted with Museum in Aus tin , Manitoba. 'Vhat makes lhis engine so
t·raction ge.ars a nd a steering system. They were able co move unusual is that the museum bought it from the old Peterson
short distances under thei~r O\\n power, but the lack of self con- foundry. When it was dclil•cred to the museum , the boiler had
tained waler an d rucl s upplies meant that any long-distance never had a fire in it, and sc\'cral of the parts were still in their
travel would necessitate a tender bein g attached. original pac king ca~cs.
Port Huron Co.
The first thresher shop in Michigan was started by William
Brown in 1851 at Battle Creek. The firm Upton, Brown & Co.
succeeded Wm. Brown in 1859. The corporation Upton Manu-
facturing Co. succeeded Upton, Brown & Co. in 1874. The Up-
ton-Port Huron traction engine was first made and sold in 1882.
It was original in several important respects; and it earned a high
reputation. Arrangements for moving the business from Battle
Creek to Port Huron were made in 1884. Return flue boiler trac-
tion engines were built by Port Huron as early as 1886.
The name Port Huron Engine & Thresher Co. was adopted, by
amending the company's by-laws, in the fall of 1890. Port Huron
Rusher threshers, and Port Huron traction engines, were intro-
duced in 1891, and they made good records.
Por t Huron in 1896 developed the cylinders which proved to be
the best of all engine cylinders in the history of the thresher
trade-the Port Huron-Woolf Compound.
A malleable iron foundry was added to the plant equipment in
1903. At that time Port Huron Engine & Thresher Co. was the This 19·65 H.P. Port lluron steam traction engine , built in 191 S,
only thresher manufacturer making malleable castings. is 0"11cd by Dean Vannoy of Altoona, Iowa . II is steaming at th<'
Double and single compound traction engines, with boiler Midwest Old Settlers & Thrc.~hcrs Assn . show at Mount
tubes 9 feet long-"Longfellows"- were advertised and sold to a Pleasant, l owa. The engine is a compound.
limited extent in 1907.
At the end of the threshing season of l 908, Port Huron received
scores of reports from users and experts to the effect that
Longfellow-Port Huron engines had proved to be the most ec-
nomical and the most satisfactory t raction engine in the history of
t he thresher trade; that they required much less fuel and water
than did any other makes.
The difference between the Port Huron-Woolf and other Woolf
compound engine cylinders and valve gears, was the economy in
the use of fuel and water. The Grime-Woolf-Port Huron valve
gear, which was developed in 1891 a nd improved in I 893, gave
the Port Huron compound engine practically a square cut-off(few
if any other engines had it). Port Huron said that this gave a
saving in fuel of 3 to 4%
Port Huron made the following: simple cylinder steam traction
engines; compound traction engines; double compou nd steam
traction engines; Longfellow double and Longfellow single steam
traction engines; combination roller and hauling steam traction
engines; the Port Huron regular road roller; portable steam
engines on sills or trucks; water tanks for wagons; the Port Huron
Rusher threshers; a complete line of sawing machinery; a hay This is the flywheel side or a 19-65 H.P. Port Huron steam trac-
press baler; Port Huron corn shellers. and for hauling by steam tion engine built in 1912. This engine Is owned by Carl Tittle of
traction engines they made special wagons or ''Cars" suitable for B owdl, Mich., and appc1trs at the Michigan Steam E ngin e &
various purposes. Threshers show at Mason, M ich. Carl Tittle's engine is a com-
pound. Each boiler wn~ tested artcr attachment of the engine
The Port Huron Co. made about8,600 steam traction engines.
with 250 pounds cold -.ater, and later with 185 pounds steam
press ure.

Promoted ns the most economical traction in the world was the

19 H.P. Port Huron single cyli nder Longfellow, built by Port
Huron Engine & Thresher Co. of Port Huron , Mich . This Is a
1909 model.
210 Port Huron Co.

This ls the cylinder side of the 19-65 H .P. Purl Buron steam
traclion engine owned by Carl 11ttle of Howell, Mich. The water
tanks allaehecl to this engine are square shuped; better than
round for occ upying space nnd better in appcnrnnce. The fwo
tanks on the engineer's platform were made of steel and had a
total capacity of 100 gaUons.

This 19 H.P. Port Huron steam tTaction engine, built in 1918, Is

owned by W.W. Dill of Houston, Ohio. It appears at the Durke
County Steam Threshers Show at Grcem•lllc, Ohio. This engine
is a compound. In 1891 the name "Port Huron Engine &
Thresher Co." was ndopted. Port Huron Rusher Threshers, und
Port Huron Traction Engines, were introduced in 1891, and
made good records thereafter.

The 22 H.P. Longfellow-Port Huron steam trac~tion engine was n

double cylin der unit. The double engines were eq uipped with
friction clutch, nnd ulso had a lock pin de,.icc pro1•iclin1: for trac-
tion operation without use of the clutch. This eni;:inc was built in

A 24 H.P. Longfellow-Port Huron steam tracticm cngit1c, single

cylinder. This picture is taken from n 1909 Port Huron En gine &
Thresher Co. catalog. This engine used the high pressure boiler.
The .-alve was the popular balanced piston 1nhc. The steam
chest completely surrounded the 1·ah'e.
Port Huron Co. 211

The company claimed that more than SJ.SO 11 season could be

saved hy using the 30 H.P. Port Huron double tandem com·
pound, " Longfellow." This eni::lne had four cylinders, but used
only lwo vnl vcs. Th is double tandem compound was greally
superior lo a cross compound, in that ii a\'Oidcd the need of arc-
No llgbtweigbt was this 22 H.P. Port Huron steam traction cei,-[ng chamber ben.-een the t"o cylinders. In such n chamber,
engine wiih its compound cylinder. This picture was taken in would l"Ondcnsc and lose power.
1909. Th is engine used the Woolf-Port Huron compound cyll11-
dc1· working nt 175 po unds press ure. There was very little loss by
condcnsnti on of steam during passage to the large cylinder.

This 24 H.P. Port Huron compou11d stcnm lraction engine, built _ D~,,."'.'.i~~~
in 1921, is om1ed by E. J. Salt~mnn of Windwesl , Iowa. It Is .._..-
operating at the Midwcsl Old Sctllcrs & Threshers Assn. show
a l Mount Plrnsnnt, Io wa. This engb1e Is a tandem compound ,
wilb both pistons on lhe s am e rod. II \HIS first sold in Kansas,
then was resold in town.

The 32 H.P. Port Huron steam traction engine was designed for
hc11vy plo wing . This eng ine is a steel geared compound stcnm Of truly tremendous size was the 25 H.P. Porl Huron double
traction engine used cspccinlly for plowing 11 1111 heavy hauling on compound slcnm traction engine. The platform nnd front tanks,
unimproved roadwnys . This engine could also be used for held 480 gnUons total w1ttcr capocity. This engine had 11 canopy
thresh ing. II was built in 1909. lop and curtains , drh·c wheel extension rims 101d detachable
lugs. The diameter of the drive wheels was 90 inches , with a 34.
inch face, in cluding e:rtcnsions. The diameter of the front wheels
was 60 In ches, with a 14-lnch face. It bad a gear oiling outfit.
212 Port Huron Co.

This 32 H.P. Port Huron steam tratlion compound engine was

/ built in 1915. The Port Huron Co. mndc about 6,030 steam trac-
tion engines during its production span.

Herc is an unusual one. It is a 32 H.P. Port Huron com pound

steam traction engine, dl'signcd as a combbtation roller and
tractor for hauling on public roads. This engine was used espe-
cially for heavy hauling on improved roadways, or publi c roads
or streets, where the rollers would not damage the roadway, as
would clea ts. In fact, .i t is very likely that such a roller nctualJy
wou.ld improve the roads of the dn_r. This unit wa~ built in 1909.

This is the 32 H.P. Port Huron regular road roller with com -
pound cylinder. Built in 1909, this roller was suitable for all
roller work in the const·ruction and finishing of plain macadam
roads and tar macadam pavements , and for rolling and com-
pacting cmbanluncnts, fills, subgrades, ear th road~, gravel
roads, and shale roads. It also had sufl1cicnt power and ec1uip-
mcnt for hauling road making materials and graders, or for
drhing rock crushers.

This 1912 Porl Huron steam road roUcr was marketed as " the
New York Huron Standard." The roller was suit·ablc for all
rollc ( work and for hauling and powering moveable construction
Jacob Price 213

On January 14, 1890, Jacob Price patented his " field Loco-
motive." This machine resembled somewhat its predecessor,
Remington steam traction engine, with its vertical boiler set bet-
ween the two la rge drive wheels, and the single wheel in front
which was used for steering. The engines were of two sizes, the
la rge one weighing nine and one-half tons and the smaller one six
and one-half tons. Their speed, when plowing was about three
miles per hour; when traveling without a load, about five. The
plows of the larger machine cut twelve feet; of the smaller, nine.
Capacity of the larger was three to four acres per hour; of the
smaller, two to three. These engines hand led plows under a ll con-
ditions with the utmost ease.
The Jacob Price steam traction engiJ1e was built for Jacob Price
by J. I. Case Co., Racine, Wisconsin.

Thi.s strange looking thing Is a 40 H.P. Jacob Price slcam t?ac·

tlon engine buUt by the J. I. Case Co. of Racine, Wis., for the
Jacob Price Co., also of Racine. Price called bis steuru traction
engines "field locomotives." He began in Petaluma, Cal., by
building hay presses, then moved his operation to Sun Leandro,
Cal. By 1890, when this vcbiclc WllS buUt, he WM In Racine,
Wis., having the Case company bulJd his machines. Little Is
known about the success of these engines, but a close look at
some of the engineering and design features would lead one to
suspect that the machines were less lhan practical.

Sometime after the Ont Jacob Price design of 1890, lh c com- By 1893 the Jacob Price Co. hnd modified Its engine lo this
pnny came out wllh this model of its 40 H.P. engine. 11 nlso of- poin t-still sh:angc looking, bul nl~o showing more prnctlcaI
fered a smaller engine of undisclosed horsepower. Appn rcntly design features. The company conflnued to produce the engine
both engines were s imilar in appearance and design, nnd dif· in t·wo sizes, a 40 H.P. model nnd a smaller version of un·
fcred only in size and strength. The larger engine weighed 9 1/2 disclosed horsepower. All Jacob Price machines required two
Ions, could pull a gang of plows with a 12.foot cut, and could men for operat1on- lll1 engineer and a fireman. The machines
plow 3 to 4 acres nn hour. The smaller engine weighed 6 1/ 1 Ions, resembled somewhat the Remington and Be.>t engines made in
could pull a gang of plows with a 9·foot cut, and couJd plow 2 lo San Leandro In the 1880s. It Is known that Jncob Price was
3 acres an hour. The company claimed 11 plowing speed of 3 nssocialed with these engines before moving to Racine, Wis.,
M.P.H. for either engine, and a road speed of 5 M.P.H. and having the Cose Co. build his engines beginning in 1890.
Reeves Co.
The Reeves Company of Columbus, Indiana, was established in
1874 and incorporated in 1888. About 1885, being builders of
threshers since 1874, the company bought Ritchie & Dyer Co., to
get an engine to team up with their threshers. The engine was a
double cylinder, rear mounted.
The Reeves 90 H.P. cross compound, Canadian Special steam
traction engine had its traction gearing wholly enclosed in a sheet
steel housing. This insured long wearing, as it prevented dust and
dirt from getting into the grease and oil and the consequent cut-
ting of this dirt. The housing also prevented accidents apt to oc-
cur when the gears were wholly exposed.
The full jacket on boiler and dome was co nsidered very essen-
tia l, especially for the large engines generally used in the
Canadian Northwest, where low temperatures were prevalent
during a large part of the year. The jacket on the Reeves
Canadian Special engine comprised an air-space next to the
Built in 1901 was the 13 JI .P. Reeves steam tractfon en1?ii1e with
boiler shelf, composed of close lagging of wood with the outer
double simple cylinders. The boiler wns made of the very best
flange steel boiler plate, tested lo 60,000 lbs. tensile strength. covering of heavy, smooth iron held in place and trimmed by
When made up, the engines were again tested by cold water and brass bands. Drain pipes carried the cylinder drippings down the
steam up to a much higher pressure than was ever required in side and away from the jacket so there was no rust or corrosion
actual use. from this source.
The jacket prevented a very considerable amount of heat
radiation from the boiler and dome. As heat represented fuel con-
Th<> i~ Linc> sumption, heat retained for the generation of steam represented a
REEVES-PEERLESS-GEISER MACHJNER~ saving of fuel, labor and wear.
The Reeves friction power guide was a very simple but effective
power-steering device. It could be attached to all Reeves engines
of 20 horse power and larger sizes. It consisted of a friction disc
disengaged from the band wheel but which could be brought into
contact with either the right or left of the band wheels by the use
of a lever conveniently located.
A chain engaging with a sprocket wheel attached to the disc
shah and a nother attached to the steering shaft transmitted the
power and was easily controlled by the operator. TI1e use of this
attachment was recomm ended only where the engine was to be
used mainly for traction purposes, and was furnished on ly on
special order at extra price.
A hinged spring seat was provided for the engineer. It was
mounted hig h so he could sit down while operating the engine.
The seat for the fireman hinged back out of the way or could be
removed entirely as occasion required.
The Reeves Co. made the following: cross compound steam
traction engines of double or simple cylinder; Reeves water tanks;
Reeves Compound Separators; steel engine tender; clover huller,
This is the 1911 version of the 13 H.P. Reeves steam traction feeder and blower; Reeves sawmills; steel baling press; flexible
engine with double simple cylinders. This engine had steps on frame steam lift engine; gang plow, and cylinder corn sheller.
the side, reverse gear, and a jacketed boiler. The engine's go,·er- Reeves & Co. continued in business till 1912, when Emerson-
nor was of the horizontal t) pc. This "as adopted because it was
Brantingham bought the firm. That old Rockford. 111., firm,
felt to be the most snlisfoctory for lT11ctio11 engine use. The spin-
dles , beari ngs, aud oil chnmbcrs, being in a horizonlal position, which went back to John H . Manny in pre-CiviJ War days,
retained the lubricant longer and gave increased wear. or gathered three or fou r good names in the tractor field. Big Four,
greater irnporlancc wns the fact that the consuinl jolting on the Geiser, and Reeves were all advertised by E.-B. for a few years. ln
road so oflen affected 1he grnlily balls on lite vertical gol"ernor. 1925, Emerson-Brantingham closed down the Reeves plant.
This would cause an irregular supply of steam to the cylinder,
with a conscqucnt jcl'l<y rnolinn that s trained every worl<lng part
The Cummins Engine Co., of modern diesel fame, arose from
of (he engine mechunlsm. On the nccl'CS horizonllll type, the the ashes o f the old Reeves plant, when a local banker put some
gral'ity bulls <:ountcrbnlunccd each olhcr so a~ to completely men to tinkering with a Sears, Robuck gas engine in order to
neutralize the jarring and Jolting oflhc cn,::inc on rough roads. develop something to give jobs to a town full of skilled labor.
Reeves Co. 215

This i.s the 1913 version or the 13 H.P. Reeves sieom troction
engine with double simple cylinders. This engine had steps on
the si de, reverse gear, and a jacketed boiler. This engine's This 13 H.P. Reerns steam traction engine, built in 1916, is
jacketed boiler com prised a wood covering next to boiler, an air owned by Jim Richwine of Mechanicsburg, Pa. It is shown at the
space underneath, a"d a heavy covering of Russia lron held in Wllliams Grove Historical Steam Engin e Assn. show at
place by br11ss bands. Mechanicsburg. This engi ne was built by Reeves & Co. of
Columhus, Ind. Reeves was established in 1874 and incor·
pornted In 1888. ln about 1885, Reeves bought the Ritchie &
Dyer Co. to get an engine to team with the Reeves thresher,
which hnd been in production since 187-t.
Th e 16 H.P. Reeves steam traction engine, double C)'lindcr, sim-
ple, was built in 1901. This engine's rear axle and countershnft
was made of hea\) steel, and was placed at U1e rear of the boiler
in hea,·y cast bo~ing wilb long bearings. The gearing was at-
tached to the nx lc nncl co untershaft, which extend ncross the
engine. The compensat ing gear was very stro ng and was ad·
justed lo la1rves of any radius. The gearing was covered, thus
keeping out stones and dirt.
TI1is 16 11.P. Reeves double simple steam traction engine,
built in 1906, is owned by Lyle Hoffmaster o f Bucyrus,
Ohio. Nothing is known of the engine's early history until
it was shipped into Monroe County, Ill., about 1920
where it threshed and drove a saw mill until 1932 wh en
the boiler became un safe. The Knoblcc Machine Shop
traded for it and did a complete reb uilding job, inc lud in g a
new butt and strap boiler built by John Noo tcr o f St .
Louis. Fred Schneider then purchased the engine and ran it
for the next twenty years, again threshing, using a 36-inch
This 16 H.P. Rec"cs steam traction engine, built in 1915, is Belleville separator and again sawing lumber. Mr. Schneider
also used the engine to press cide r, bale hay and grade
owned by Rodney Kin er of Westerville, Ohio. It is puffini; away
ro:1ds. lloffmaster purchased the engine from Sch neider
at the Miuml Valley Steam Threshers Assn. show at Lond on,
in 1952, but it was not restored until 1962 and was first
Ohl(). Reeves & Co. continued In business till 1912, when Erner· exhibited at the Mount Pleasa nt Midwest Old Settlers and
son- Drnntingham of Jfockford, UI., boughl the Orm. Thrc$hcrs Reunion tltat year.
216 Reeves Co.

Taking on water in the old, approved way-vin u horse drawn

This is lhc cylinder side of the 16 H.P. Reeves own ed by Rodney water wagon-ls this 16 H.P. Reeves Reeves b ulll in 1915. This
Kin er of Wcslervllle, Ohio. This engine is filled wHh both plat. engine is owned by Ralph A. Weidman or Wooster, Ohio, and i.s
form ruul side tanks for extra water supply. pnrticipating In the Tuscarawas Valley Pioneer Power Assn.
show at Dover, Ohio. The team or Belgians arc owned by Doran