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Steam Stationary Engines, Traction Engines

Steam-powered thresher fired up on family farm


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  #1  
Old 09-30-2007, 12:44:00 PM
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Default Steam-powered thresher fired up on family farm

I read an interesting article on the Duluth News Tribune this morning pertaining to Edin's threshing bee on their farm. They had their 28 h.p. MINNEAPOLIS steam traction engine, Engine No. 7700, belted to the threshing machine.

Click on the link below, and if I did everything properly, it will bring you to the news article?

http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/art...ction=homepage

I had the honors of meeting Clara & Colt Edin at Rollag this year while they were tending to their MINNEAPOLIS steam engine. Needless to say, they are nice friendly people that make you feel welcome!

Gary K
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Old 09-30-2007, 12:51:41 PM
George Erhart George Erhart is offline
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Default Re: Steam-powered thresher fired up on family farm

Your link worked fine ... thanks for sharing!
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  #3  
Old 09-30-2007, 03:39:59 PM
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Default Re: Steam-powered thresher fired up on family farm

I should of added in my first post, that my 10 year old friend whom attended the WMSTR show at Rollag with me, felt honored that Colt took the time to show him how the MINNEAPOLIS steam engine operated . . . Colt even let the boy throw a cobb of wood in the firebox. When the boy asked Colt why he was firing with wood instead of coal, which was already in the bunker, Colt took the time to explain!

When I seen the nice condition of their 28 h.p. Minneapolis I told Colt & Clara that I attended a farm estate auction sale years ago in northwestern Minnesota with a few guys. On the sale there were 4 D-7 Caterpillars, 7 UB Minneapolis-Moline tractors, 7 Massey-Harris self-propelled combines, one 1924 28 h.p. Minneapolis steam traction engine . . . complete with the straw burning equipment, one 1952 or 1953 Cadillac 4-door sedan with 2,000 actual miles, and one 1957 Lincoln 2-door hardtop with only 600 actual miles.

The Minneapolis steam engine caught my eye, as it still had most of it's original paint, and the part number was easily read off of the wheel grouters. The steam engine was still like new, and had been kept in a quonset shed along with the car's. The sale bill listed the Minneapolis steam engine, but had a picture of an old Minneapolis gas tractor. Due to that error, it only brought $1,725, as there were only 2 men bidding on it!

The cars . . . the Cadillac brought $1,995, and the Lincoln $2,995. There's a story behind the car's which I found interesting! The guy was a bachelor and purchased the Cadillac when he was dating some woman. After they broke up, he parked the car in the quonset shed. In 1957 he was dating another woman and decided to buy another new Cadillac while he was in Grand Forks. The farmer normally wore bib overalls and drove pickup trucks, so when he asked the salesman at the Cadillac dealer how much for the display model, the salesman laughed and said, he didn't have enough money to buy it, then walked away. This angered the farmer and when he stepped out of the dealership and seen the Ford/Lincoln dealer down the street, he went there. Story goes, the Ford/Lincoln salesman was friendly, and the farmer pulled out a roll of bills, and paid cash for the car!

I listened to other stories being told at the sale. They said, the farmer made his killing sometime in the 1930's with flax. The farmer had 2 or 3 thousand acres of prime Red River farm land, and they thought he was nuts when he planted most of it in flax, as the price was very low, and had been for a number of years. Anyway . . . due to the shortage of flax that year, the price went sky-high . . . I thought someone mentioned $7 or $9 a bushel . . . and that's in the 1930's when a buck was worth a lot more than it is today?!

Getting back to the Minneapolis steam engine, someone at the sale said, it was last ran in a 1958 parade.

Sorry about getting sidetracked, as one thing lead to another . . . you know how that goes!!!

I'm hoping Colt will see this thread and will fill us in on their threshing bee?

Gary K
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Old 10-01-2007, 10:58:55 AM
Colt Edin Colt Edin is offline
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Default Re: Steam-powered thresher fired up on family farm

Gary,

Thank you for posting this on here! I don't know how the News Tribune got wind of this but there was somebody at our place from the paper taking pictures and talking to people - they snagged me for about 30 seconds as I was moving from the engine to the separator!

All,

It was a fine day. We set things up on Thursday and Friday, got the separator leveled and situated (1936 Allis-Chalmers 22" x 38") and did a test run with a wagon load of bundles. We finished up on Saturday. The separator was fead heavily and did a good clean threshing job with good clean oats coming out of the auger and straw/chaff without oats coming out of the wind stacker! We had 8.5 wagons of bundles (but not bundle wagons! some were single ended, some had no ends on them) and ended up with 545 bushels off of 11.5 acres of oats. I think the yield was 47.4 bushels/acre - pretty good for no insecticide or weed-killing spray, especially in soil like ours with high clay content and none of that nice black Red River Valley dirt! Most of the oats were 2.5-3 feet tall and there was hardly a weed in the field when we bound it a couple of months ago. All of the straw is now baled in small squares and the oats are on the way to the local co-op.

The hills around our house had probably not heard the echoes of a steam traction engine's whistle for a long, long time.

As for the engine, it may have given a light chuff a couple of times during the day when a bundle went in sideways. The 28 Minneapolis (11" bore, 11" stroke, same engine dimensions as an 80 (and 75?) Case, 30 Russell, etc) hardly knew that the separator was there. However, my family just purchased the engine and wanted to have it at home this time to thresh our oats. After boiler washout and layup, it will be shipped back to Rollag where it will be kept. We fired with coal during the day and used the ejector to pull water from a borrowed Aultman-Taylor engine tender.

Darrell Dey was there with his miniature Case steam engine and Jerry Christiansen, Jim Todahl, and Peter Kieffer (thank you so much for coming) were there with the blue prony break which was kept busy during the day testing horsepower and breaking in rebuilt engines on some Askov-area tractors. One VERY nicely rebuilt Allis-Chalmers "A" did 70 HP. Anyway, we finished the evening with a spark show. There was a bit of wind but the 28 did put out a huge plume of sparks!

It was truly a community event. Quite a few people from our church and local area helped set things up kept things running during the day. A good crew of good people (from ND and WI) showed up a couple of days early, too, to help get things going! It was not a show - we didn't charge admission or anything like that; it was just us harvesting our oats, only with a steam engine and threshing machine instead of with a combine months ago! Anybody who showed up and expressed an interest in helping found a place to go!

Have a good one,

Colt
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Old 10-01-2007, 01:08:26 PM
Jerry Christiansen Jerry Christiansen is offline
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Default Re: Steam-powered thresher fired up on family farm

Colt,

Thank you and the rest of your family for inviting us and putting up with us when we got there. We had a GREAT time. I will get some pictures posted soon.

Jerry Christiansen
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Old 10-02-2007, 11:20:45 PM
Jerry Christiansen Jerry Christiansen is offline
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Default Re: Steam-powered thresher fired up on family farm

Hi all,

Here are some pictures from the Threshing day.



The Edin's 28Hp Minneapolis belted to their Allis Chalmers thresher



Some bundle pitchers in action



An old elevator waiting for the grain. Yes, it runs and works. In this picture it is not running.



A close up of the engine a few minutes later after Colt had started the engine.

More to come.
Jerry Christiansen
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Old 10-02-2007, 11:26:03 PM
Jerry Christiansen Jerry Christiansen is offline
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Default Re: Steam-powered thresher fired up on family farm

Hi again,

More than threshing happened over the weekend.



A buzz saw ready for action.



A 10-20 Titan getting started. The puff of smoke is the first one when the tractor began runnning.



Darrel D brought his 1/4 scale Case. He steamed around the grounds all afternoon to the delight of the kids and us adults, too.



Before the day was over, the entire straw pile was baled up, loaded on to trailers and put in a shed before the rain shower came.

Later that evening we had a spark show. I didn't get pictures of that, I was busy running the Prony Brake.

Later,
Jerry Christiansen
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:56:46 PM
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Default Re: Steam-powered thresher fired up on family farm

While riding on D & G Lines, W.M.S.T.R. of Rollag, Minnesota, I noticed a Prony brake by the Pabst building, so we wandered over there after our ride, and I took a few photos of it.

Does this Prony brake belong to Jerry Christiansen?

Gary K
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  #9  
Old 10-03-2007, 02:40:49 PM
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Default Re: Steam-powered thresher fired up on family farm

Gary,

Yes that is Jerry Christians prony brake. I have seen this machine in operation a few times and it does a great job...not just on the big stuff, but the little guys can handle her also. I can't wait to get the ol' Gaar on her. I had the 1/2 size GaarScott on the red brake a few times up at Rollag, even was in one of their spark shows one year. The Gaar pulled a steady 13hp that day with spikes in the low 20's. Regardless of the hp rating...I had a grin from ear to ear. Matter of fact, I was smiling so hard that Jerry made a comment on the PA system that I was smiling so hard that I needed chapstick from my ear to ear! Gotta love it!

Lawrence
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:14:01 PM
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20 Reeves Highwheeler 20 Reeves Highwheeler is offline
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Default Re: Steam-powered thresher fired up on family farm

Hardly worth the mention and definitely not steam, but it was interesting to see the "Track Loader".

I had to post the picture of Dad and his brother's old John Deere Track Loader, taken back in very hard times, at Joan, Montana. I doubt three other people (maybe Dave Vanek, Randy or Mike May?) know where Joan is (was). I saw bunches of truckloads of grain go through this unit when I was a kid. The "green" engine had gone by the wayside and had been replaced by an IHC 3-5hp LB engine.

Anyway, before I get us extremely derailed, thanks for posting the picture Jerry.
Gary

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Old 10-04-2007, 10:27:01 AM
Colt Edin Colt Edin is offline
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Default Re: Steam-powered thresher fired up on family farm

Hey all,

Here are a few more pictures - most of the people in attendance had never seen a steam engine like this before, let alone a spark show! Even though the sparks were rather horizontal, they really enjoyed the spark show and commentary from Jim and Jerry. I've attached a few pictures taken by Ben DeMarais, two of the spark show and one threshing scene. We pitched bundles into that Allis-Chalmers about as fast (and steady) as it they could be fed!

Gary, what horsepower engine did those paddle grain elevators come with originally? This one was missing its engine when we got it and the 2.5 H P Fuller and Johnson that you see on it is borrowed from a friend.

Have a good one,

Colt
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  #12  
Old 10-04-2007, 10:59:57 AM
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20 Reeves Highwheeler 20 Reeves Highwheeler is offline
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Default Re: Steam-powered thresher fired up on family farm

Colt,
As MoRo can tell you, I don't know "jack" when it comes to John Deere. I wish I knew, but it would have to be something around 2.5-3hp, at least, I'd think. It appears like that John Deere on ours could be as large as 5-6hp? As I remember the old IHC LB always delivered grain effortlessly.

Thanks so much for the pictures. That last one with the firebox door open on the Minneapolis is priceless!
Gary
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Old 10-04-2007, 12:25:42 PM
Jerry Christiansen Jerry Christiansen is offline
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Default Re: Steam-powered thresher fired up on family farm

In response to Gary in post #8,

The Blue Prony Brake belongs go my wife, Jane. She paid for it.

I think she let me build it so that I would keep busy and stay out of the house for awhile.

Later,
Jerry Christiansen
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Old 10-04-2007, 05:55:25 PM
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Default Re: Steam-powered thresher fired up on family farm

Quote:
In response to Gary in post #8,

The Blue Prony Brake belongs go my wife, Jane. She paid for it.

I think she let me build it so that I would keep busy and stay out of the house for awhile.

Later,
Jerry Christiansen

Sounds like you got a good woman . . . smart too!!!

Gary K
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:17:42 AM
Colt Edin Colt Edin is offline
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Photo Re: Steam-powered thresher fired up on family farm

Here are a few more pictures - these were taken by my mother, Clara Edin.

The first picture shows the view from the coal bunker on the 28 Minneapolis. The red hose runs from the Aultman-Taylor engine tender to a Minneapolis ejector that we plumbed in right before threshing. With a minimum of steam, water was blasting into the front tank at the full diameter of the 1.5 inch pipe! It was still cool, too - didn't pick up much heat from the ejector.

The second pictures shows a nice fall scene with some nice color in the maple and oak trees north of the house. Somehow, though, a big chunk of old iron got in the way!

The third picture shows the 34,000 lb. 28 Minneapolis on its way into our yard. It took the 730 and the A together to pull it up a couple of decent hills on the road.

The last picture shows Jerry's prony brake at work early on Saturday morning along with some other activity going on in the background. The tractor is Tim Anderson's 1937 John Deere A - I think it did 17 or 18 HP or so.

Have a good one,

Colt
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:06:03 AM
Redwing Redwing is offline
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Default Re: Steam-powered thresher fired up on family farm

Quote:
Originally Posted by 20 Reeves Highwheeler View Post
Hardly worth the mention and definitely not steam, but it was interesting to see the "Track Loader".

I had to post the picture of Dad and his brother's old John Deere Track Loader, taken back in very hard times, at Joan, Montana. I doubt three other people (maybe Dave Vanek, Randy or Mike May?) know where Joan is (was). I saw bunches of truckloads of grain go through this unit when I was a kid. The "green" engine had gone by the wayside and had been replaced by an IHC 3-5hp LB engine.

Anyway, before I get us extremely derailed, thanks for posting the picture Jerry.
Gary

http://www.smokstak.com/gallery/files/3/2/4/6/_Joan-YaegerBros.TrackLoader.jpg[/img]
thanks for pic! will show my dad.

that one my dad has fresh all correct original with 3hp JD came new, it still kept inside barn for years, My young brother was bought it from Montana (I think?) about 10 years ago.
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:34:15 AM
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20 Reeves Highwheeler 20 Reeves Highwheeler is offline
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Default Re: Steam-powered thresher fired up on family farm

Redwing,
Thanks for the HP identification for the John Deere Track Loader. I looked at one here near Kalispell a couple of years ago. I could have had it for hauling it off. It had rubber tires and axles under it and had a PTO shaft instead of an engine (motor?). I find that I can't drag everthing home that someone wants to give away. (Now watch Mike read that and send me a threatening e-mail, for not getting it!)

Our neighbors used to have a nice late model Track Loader. 26 years ago, when I still lived in the Judith Basin, it was still very green, although setting outside since I was a boy.

In later years, dad had put a car frame under our Track Loader and a rear axle out of a Model TT Ford, with Budd wheels welded to the hubs and a "V" hitch on front, so it could be pulled behind a tractor and backed into the granery easier. The last I remember, the top and bottom got hacked off of the tube and it was used as a culvert in a wet area of a lane road to the farmland.

Anyway, I'm into steam, not ALL of the periferal items a person can gather, such as Track Loaders, cook cars, etc. If I were younger... That's a different thing!
Gary
Gary
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Old 10-05-2007, 01:28:59 PM
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20 Reeves Highwheeler 20 Reeves Highwheeler is offline
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Default Re: Steam-powered thresher fired up on family farm

Quote:
Originally Posted by 20 Reeves Highwheeler View Post
Hardly worth the mention and definitely not steam, but it was interesting to see the "Track Loader".

I had to post the picture of Dad and his brother's old John Deere Track Loader, taken back in very hard times, at Joan, Montana. I doubt three other people (maybe Dave Vanek, Randy or Mike May?) know where Joan is (was). I saw bunches of truckloads of grain go through this unit when I was a kid. The "green" engine had gone by the wayside and had been replaced by an IHC 3-5hp LB engine.

Anyway, before I get us extremely derailed, thanks for posting the picture Jerry.
Gary

Redwing PM'd me and said he thinks the engine on this John Deere Track Loader is a Fuller-Johnson, or something similar, due to the open crankshaft and oil dripper. My apologies for leading anyone astry. I never heard any mention of the "interim engine" when a boy on the farm. Thanks for your sharp eyes, Redwing! I don't admit to being the sharpest knife in the drawer, when it comes to these hydrocarbon consuming contraptions. Few of them will even run, when I set my hand on them. Maybe they smell the steam oil on my hands?
Gary
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