Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

Archive for the tag “steam threshers”

Road Locomotives

Once cutting edge technology, these steam tractors are still very impressive accomplishments.

Different weeks here in Butterfield bring different sights. This week, it’s a couple of steam-powered threshing machines that have been moved out of a large shed and parked on the grass. This won’t do the grass much good in the long run, since the prodigious weight on the rear wheels of these things visibly compacts the soil! These two are not the largest I’ve seen, but they are certainly large enough.

Advance Thresher Co., Battle Creek, Michigan. 1881-1917. At their peak, they produced 1,000 annually, along with much more harvesting machinery of various kinds. (The rear platform and boxes on this one are not original.)

They are referred to mainly as steam threshing machines, though the terms traction engines, road locomotives, and tractors are often bandied about. We think of them today as steam tractors, but that connotes plowing as the main function, which is not really accurate. They were actually designed mainly as Read more…

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