Barley Threshing

Fairbanks Morse type

Courtesy of Frank Riese, Monticello, Wisconsin 53570

Frank Riese

Content Tools

1011 Leicester Road, Calledonia, New York 14423

As I've read past issue of your magazine about old threshers telling about the wonderful old days of big tractors and threshing rigs, I don't believe I have read much, if anything about threshing bearded barley. They probably don't want remember this.

I can remember very well when I was a boy of grade school age, watching them thresh beans at the neighbors. It was in the winter and the thresher pulled in with a Hart Parr and threshing machine (I forget the make) and he had a tow bar made so he could pull his model A pickup behind the machine.

They set the thresher between the mows in the barn with the stacker out the back doors as the farmer used the pods to feed his sheep and the belt run out the doors on the opposite side of the barn.

Now because it was cold weather, they had the doors shut as close to the belt and was impossible to move even with two tractors, so we blocked up the machine and threshed right in the creek.

It seems like it would rain a little every day and after every rain we would have to walk around the field and turn every shock of barley. We would thresh a little and it would rain a little and I thought we would never get done. I nearly itched to death. So, if you ever see me itch a little, it's not because I'm dirty or have bugs, it's because I'm an old barley thresher.

Pictured is a pumping outfit in the early 1900's located at Potters Lake in Pike County, Pennsylvania. It consists of a 6 Hp. Otto engine and Denning pump was used to furnish water for an estate. The outfit was not used the last 25 years and is in good condition. It was moved and is now with a collection of gas engines.

This is my Fairbanks Morse type 'Y', 50 H.P., 2 cycle Diesel, 1 cylinder oil engine with friction clutch, 49 inch drive pulley and water pump. This engine has driven a grist mill for a number of years and is in very good condition. It uses about 3 gallons of oil per hour under full load and about 1 gallon idling. It can be seen at Rock River Threshermans Park on Route 51 north of Janesville, Wisconsin.