| November/December 1969

  • 16-30 Hp. Oil Pull
    Courtesy of Peter Bitzan, 521 5th Ave. East, Alexandria, Minnesota 56308
    Peter Bitzan
  • Old Homemade Tractor
    Courtesy of Peter Bitzan, 521 5th Ave. Exist, Alexandria, Minnesota 56308
    Peter Bitzan

  • 16-30 Hp. Oil Pull
  • Old Homemade Tractor

521 5th Ave., Exist Alexandria, Minn. 56308

As a subscriber to Gas Engine Magazine and also the Iron-Men Album for some years, I will say-they are very interesting magazines. Even if I am 73 years old and retired, I still like to read what other gas engine and tractor and steam engine men are interested in. I worked around threshing machines just about all my life.

My father bought his first threshing machine in 1887, a J.I. Case 32 x 52, hand-feed and run by horse power, with twelve horses. When I was about nine years old, my father put a box on the foot platform for me to stand on so I could reach up to the feed table to cut the bands on the bundles for him to feed the machine. As I remember, this was a very dusty job. Then in 1908, I started pitching bundles into my Uncles Minneapolis steam rig. In 1912 I hauled water and in 1913, I was fireman on the Minneapolis steamer and in my spare time, I built my homemade tractor. In 1914, I went out threshing with my own rig, a 20 Hp. Witte engine on 16 Hp., old steam engine wheels and 26 x 46 Case machine. Also, in 1914 my father bought a 6 roll Appleton Corn Shredder and a 9 x 30 in. Roller Feed Mill which I ran with the homemade tractor for eight years.

In 1922, we bought a 16 x 30 Oil Pull tractor which was for custom threshing until 1967. So, you can see I have to go to the Threshermans shows at Rollag and Dalton, Minnesota to smell the smoke and dust every year-otherwise, I don't feel too good.

As my hobby is gas engines, I must tell you I sold gas engines for the Witte Engine Works for Kansas City, Missouri getting 10% on all orders I sent in. When my neighbors and friends had old engines to trade in, I took the old engines as my commission and rebuilt them and sold some, but in 1930 when the REA electric line built in, the engine business was out.

I had about thirty used engines in my sheds until 1960 they started selling good. I've saved about half a dozen to take to Dalton, Minnesota to out Threshermen's Reunion Show.


Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

Be sure to take advantage of the Square Deal Subscription Program.

  • No Missed Issues.

  • No Renewal Notices.

  • No Additional Cost.

The Square Deal Subscription Program is designed as a paperless transaction with automatic renewals at a preferred low rate.   With advanced electronic notification, a 100% satisfaction guarantee and an easy opt-out plan, the Square Deal Subscription Program is the best value, risk free, eco-friendliest way to subscribe.

Facebook YouTube