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Gas Engine at Work

Photo from 1915 of gas engine working harvest

Above is a very interesting circa 1915 picture of a farm harvest scene in Eagan, Minn. At the time, Eagan was rural farm land. The house in the background was moved from the Eagan site to Inver Grove Heights in 1990. The house has been remodeled and is now up for sale.

My questions are many: What is the make of the gas engine in the wagon, and what is the machine on the wagon doing? The drum appears quite large, possibly 24 inches. Could it be a hollow drum or maybe a pulley? The wagon appears to be horse-drawn by the long tongue. A conveyer with wooden slats, like on a threshing machine, is on the front right hand corner extending out to the guys holding the full gunny sacks. I can’t tell what is in the gunny sack or on the foreground of the photo. It could be potatoes, corn or onions. Some appear to be round and some appear to be oblong.

The guys on the rear are holding a wooden bushel basket. Are they feeding the machine? What would the bushel basket by the cream can contain? Could the cream can contain water for drinking, or maybe cooling water for the engine? What would be in the earthen jug?

The 3- or 4-year-old child in the photo is apparently being told to look at the photographer — the man on his left is pointing to him. It is an interesting picture capturing life and work of the time.

Dave Irey, 6348 Mildred Avenue, Edina, MN; (952) 943-8357

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