A. STANLEY JONES: Inventor Of The Small Thresher

| November/December 1987

  • A. Stanley Jones
    A. Stanley Jones combination thresher at work during harvest.
    Carol Berkland

  • A. Stanley Jones

131, 111th St. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7N 1T1

A version of this article appeared in the Canadian weekly magazine The Western People, and is here reprinted with permission. The article was written entirely from original documents (annual company returns, (and tides, newspaper clippings) which were the results of Mr. Hislops's research. Mr. Hislop also writes a column, Farm Tech and Times, and would appreciate any stories on Western Canadian agriculture, such as a farmer's personal papers.

The article was brought to our attention by Wellesley White, P.O. Box 61, Morden, Manitoba, Canada ROG 1J0, who says that the Call of the West engines had interchangeable parts with the Waterloo gas engines of Waterloo, Iowa (although parts numbers were not identical).

Saskatchewan before the Depression was home to an ambitious, if not thriving, farm implement manufacturing industry. Of the twenty or so companies manufacturing before 1930, most were located in Saskatoon. Of these, the A. Stanley Jones Co. was one of the most prosperous-until its owner decided to sell out during the severe depression of the early 1920's and move to California.

The name A. Stanley Jones was synonymous with the small threshing machine. Jones is credited with having invented the concept of combining a gasoline engine with a small separator on a wagon truck, to create a threshing outfit that was cheap and portable.

Farmers were dissatisfied with the custom operators who threshed most of Western Canada's crops. Custom threshers used steam engines and massive separators which required as many as 25 men to operate. They charged high prices and were not always available when the grain was ripe and ready to be threshed (grade and price dropped if it was rained or snowed upon in the field). A small outfit allowed a farmer to thresh at the optimum time and to use his family and neighbors as labor. He could even do a little custom work for a neighbor when his own harvest was completed.