FROM STEAM TO GAS


| September/October 1976



Model T Ford tractor

Model T Ford tractor

Kettlersville, Ohio 45336.

I got an early start with gas engines. We got our first engine in 1900. It was an air-cooled 1? HP engine. In 1906 I got started in threshing and sawmilling with steam. In 1910 I bought a 12 HP gas engine for wood sawing, corn shredding and field cutting and in 1915 I bought my first tractor. It was a 10-20 Mogul and it was a big change, being self-propelled.

When the farmers began to replace their windmills with gas engines there was plenty of trouble ahead. Most did not know anything about a coil or carburetor or ignitor...so I was called many times to get these engines started. They were mostly small troubles...empty tanks, stuck valves, coil trouble, loose wires, switch problems...all kinds of troubles, some funny ones. Here is one of my own troubles for being a thresherman.

It is a wood buzzing experience. Our section of the county is timberland country. Every farmer had a woods and every farmer used wood for fuel. We were kept busy buzzing wood all through the winter. It was some life, getting around in the woods with a steam engine. We would get wired down, stuck or everything would freeze up. We had to work hard to keep up steam.

In 1910 I bought a 12 HP United gasoline engine. I mounted it on a high wheeled farm wagon and the saw brush put on a two-wheeled trailer. I hooked it up to the back of the engine. Now we were really set to buzz wood. We could go anywhere. If two horses could not get us there, four could. There was no water tank to drag around, no water to haul, no more pump and pipe freeze. ups.

However, our troubles were not over. We did not have a Chevy or Ford to run home every night so we stayed with the farmers all week. There were no homes with hot air furnaces; the best they had was a