First Things

Gilson gas tractor

Charles Keberly

Content Tools

Walter Hull of Dutton, Ontario, pictured with his very rare Gilson gas tractor at the Western Ontario Steam Threshers Association reunion. Courtesy of Charles Keberly, 9162 Hartel, Livonia, Michigan 48150.

The John Deere Company informs us that this machine was manufactured by the Dain Mfg. Company from 1915 to 1925. The approximate cost was $600.00 to $700.00.

My father T. R. York, now deceased, bought this baler in 1919 or 1920. After using it four years, it sold at auction in November 1925, at which time we left the farm. A friend, Mr. William Pryor bought it and used it two or three years and parked it in the barn lot where it sat until July 1976 when a friend of mine, Leland Bauman, and myself bought it and started restoration of the engine. This was completed in 1977. We then started restoring the baler which was completed about September 1978. We also had another baler like this one to use for parts.

This machine is completely restored and in running condition. We, as you can see, ran some hay through it, so people would know what it is. We had it in our homecoming parade in October of 1978 and it attracted a lot of attention, so we feel that the restoration was justified.

At the time we used it we could bale 500 to 600 bales per day. Bales then had to weigh 80 to 90 pounds. This was considered a large days' run. We mowed, raked, buck raked and put the bale pile for $4.00 per ton. Courtesy of Leslie York, P.O. Box 17, Fredonia, Kansas 66736.

Pictured is a photo sent to me from England by Derek Hackett, Ross-on-Wye, England. It is a beautiful picture of a beautiful and also an unusual tractor. Courtesy of C. A. Harsch, Spokane, Washington 99206.

Shown is an early horse powered hay press being operated at the 15th annual Missouri River Valley Steam Engine Show at Boonville, Missouri on September 8-10, 1978. Baler was operated with both small horses and mules. Courtesy of the 'Kingdom Daily News'. Photo by Marlene M. Burger. Courtesy of Vincent H. Hoener, Gilliam, Missouri 65330.

Picture of our 2 HP Waterloo Boy engine. Courtesy of Harold Barr, R. R. I, Box 197, Fullerton, Nebraska.