Rare Titan Conies To Pennsylvania


| July/August 1993



Titan tractor

Titan tractor as it looked after being unloaded.

P.O. Box 1313 Hanover, Pennsylvania 17331.

I've had an interest in gas engines for many years. For about the last five years, my thoughts had turned towards owning an old IHC tank cooled, one cylinder tractor. It was a dream that someday I would own one. Little did I know things would fall into place and this year (1992) my dream would come true.

To my delight, I heard of an old IHC tractor for sale while attending the Canandaigua, New York gas engine show this past August. Unfortunately, it was located in the state of Washington. So I placed a call to Mr. Clarence Harsch and he told me he did indeed have a 1913, 20 HP, type B tractor for sale, but another man had first option to buy it. He also informed me that he had a 1911, type D, 25 HP Titan he would sell. Mr. Harsch told me he was selling his collection since he was getting up in years and wished for other collectors to enjoy his tractors. Since it did not suit me to travel to Spokane, Washington, we exchanged many phone calls, pictures and letters about the 25 HP Titan. About three weeks later, I was the proud owner of a type D, 25 HP, Titan tractor!

From these exchanges with Mr. Harsch, I found out that the tractor was used for about twenty years in the St. John, Washington, area to power a thresher. After the thresher runs had died out, the tractor was parked for about fifty years. Fortunately, the tractor escaped the scrap drives during World War II and was left alone. Mr. Harsch also had an original manual which went with the tractor. Although I have never met Mr. Harsch or known him before August of last year, I found him to be an honest man and very pleasant to deal with. One excerpt from his letters tells about his first chance at running a 25 HP Titan.

'I was 17 years old when the water had frozen in the horizontal pipe to the cooling tank. This had to be thawed out in order to get the water to circulate. I suppose I was strutting around the outfit like a smart aleck at 17 years of age. I expect I thought I knew it all. I suppose I kept yapping until the owner turned to me and said, 'Damn it, then you run it.' I didn't need a second invite, so I took right over then and there and finished out the threshing with no problems. Later I bought a 25 HP Titan, used it for a while and then sold it in 1936 or so.'

Mr. Harsch also informed me that when he got the tractor, it was in relatively good condition, but there were a few parts that were broken. John Tysse of Crosby, North Dakota, kindly loaned parts that he had so that Mr. Harsch could have new parts made. Joe Richardson of Orofina, Idaho, made new clutch blocks. Without the help of these two gentlemen, it would have been much harder to restore the tractor. And Mr. Harsch asked me to express his thanks for all their help. I kept all the correspondence I received from Mr. Harsch because I enjoy reading his stories.