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Roger Byrne

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About Roger Byrne

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  • Location
    Racine, Minnesota
  • Interests
    Antique tractors, trucks, cars, steam engines, gas engines, pre-1922 IHC machinery, 1/8 scale models and all early 1900's technology.

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  1. Anson, Gary says those "High Compression Pistons" are on back order . . . that's probably a good thing. Those can add a lot of stress to older machinery and unless it's in very good condition, can cause a lot of problems . . . come to think of it, they have been known to create difficulties for some of newer equipment too.
  2. Anson's back . . . HOT DAMN, we're back in business now!
  3. As previously stated, Fred is right about the maker of that thrashing machine. Wood Brothers separators are considered one of the better machines and were popular in the Midwest. Below are a couple photos of the one that was restored by a museum. I'm surprised OBG didn't mention that they also built steam traction engines. They are a very stout, heavy built engine and while they didn't have high production numbers, a fair number of them survived. Below is a link with a bunch of photos and videos showing several Wood Brothers engines . . 20HP - 22HP - 30HP. http://www.stubert.info/p-w-brothers.html
  4. Anson, PLEASE don't desert this thread/blog of Gary's!! I need to see your postings and comments, they are often the best part of my day. It can be your humorous anecdotes, knowledge of the things you've experienced . . . and even some of that Blue Smoke you send my way. As far as the comments you made back on that other post, I see nothing wrong with your very appropriate comments on that thread. I'm personally a little surprised you managed to stay so politically correct with your comments . . . I don't know if I would have. Besides Anson, how in heII am I going to keep Gary in line without your help!?!?
  5. Gary and I are both old iron history guys and we want to relay the correct information. I have to make a correction in OBG's Budenski post above, I think he mislabeled a photo I sent him years ago. That photo is not of a Budenski Brothers outfit but it is a 25HP Russell steam engine (with a universal boiler) pulling a 36" Minneapolis separator and the outfit was owned by the Pleasant Grove Threshing Co. The engineer on the right is Carton Denny and the man on the left is Roy York. These are both men I knew back in the 60's & 70's and I later owned that Minneapolis separator from 1975 until 1986. The photo was taken during the last run for the thrashing ring in 1956 because Hwy 30 was blacktopped and they couldn't access some of the members of the ring on the new "improved" road. The photo has nothing to do with the Budenski Brothers who lived about 50 miles out of our area. The Budenski/Trelstad family did not own a Russell steamer until a few years ago and they were partial to Minneapolis, Advance, Port Huron, and Case engines. Below is a photo of that same Minneapolis separator when it was part of my thrashing outfit during the 70's and 80's.
  6. I regret to inform you that Bud Budenski died Monday, just one day short of his 102 birthday. Those that are regulars here have seen many posts about him by Gary and I. He spent his entire life working with steam engines and was the last of the well know "Budenski Brothers" that hosted one of the early thrashing shows in southern Minnesota during the 1950's & 60's. He remained an active farmer and was happy that he could get his plowing done this fall before the ground froze up. Bud was a great friend . . . he will be greatly missed.
  7. Going back to the previous page's discussion about the seat on some of the early steam engines, I agree with Gary's comment about some jurisdictions requiring them to be guided by horses in the late 1800's. There is also another reason and that's so they could be pulled by horses from one location to another WITHOUT being steamed up. Most of these very early engines were not that big compared to the one you see at steam shows today. In many cases it would be easier to just pull it with horses instead of steaming it up, carrying water/fuel, along with all the wear and tear on the engine. On many of these early steamers, it was easy to unhook the steering chains, pull a pin or two disconnecting the traction gearing and pull it to the work location like a portable engine. Now as to what woods were used for the boiler lagging, the only one I ever removed from an engine appeared to be oak. Considering oak is common in the southern part on Minnesota, I'd guess that may be what was used on the Stillwater built engines.
  8. I"m not sure now, but I think there may just be a bit of Blue Smoke in that last post of Anson's . . . .
  9. This was on the SHORPY photo blog today: September 1941. Waterloo, Nebraska. "George Leaver, president; Don Shinaut, treasurer; Russell Smith, director; Henry Wollen and Jay Rowell, board of directors of Two River (FSA) Non-Stock Cooperative, looking at demonstration of Farmall 'M' tractor." This shot is what I remember as a young guy working on area farms. Many farmers wore the striped cap that OBG calls a "Cho-Cho" cap but for many in the midwest, it was just the normal thing to cover your head with and had nothing to do with steam engines. I do notice that there isn't a polka-dot in sight!
  10. The 1898 McCormick Auto-Mower still exists and is displayed at the Stonefield Historic Site in Cassville Wisconsin. I saw it there a few years ago when we made a trip down to see the Wisconsin State Historical Museum there. As for the other tractor, I've seen that photo many times and there has never been any "real" information on it. The conjecture is that it was an experimental tractor for hauling freight and not intended for field work.
  11. Like Gary, I've been enamored with Model Ts since I was a kid but didn't get my first one until I was in my mid-20s. Below are photos of the ones I have now. The first is the 1914 Touring which we have owned for over 35 years. This is the first year of the moving assembly line. This one is a 1927 Touring that we've owned for nearly 30 years. This is the one that gets driven the most because it's not that fancy and spends most of it's miles on back-country gravel roads. 1927 was the last year for the Model T . . . in 1928 Ford built the Model A. This car is a 1911 Torpedo Open Runabout which is a rare Model T body style being only built for one year. It was the "Sporty" version of the standard Ford with a number of modifications. Promoted by Edsel Ford, Henry only allowed it to be built for one year because of all the special parts needed in it's production. This is basically a show car which isn't really my style and to be honest, I don't enjoy it that much. It will likely be sold to a new caretaker in the near future. I also have enough parts to build a couple more Model Ts but the one I'll probably get to is a Speedster that I've been saving parts for since the 1980s. Below are a few of the body parts that show its basic layout. Speedsters were modified by guys that wanted more speed and more style than the standard, run-of-the-mill Model T . . . aka a hot rod.
  12. As 12_Guy stated, that photo is of a Rumely Gas Pull and was rated as a 20-40 . . . however, there is a lot more to it than that. That tractor was first built in 1909 by the Universal Tractor Company in Stillwater, Minnesota. The company built the tractor but sold rights to several companies to market the tractor under their own names. This tractor was sold by Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co. calling it a "Universal", the Union Iron Works called it a "Skibo", Rumely called it a "Gas Pull", American-Abell of Canada called it a "Universal Farm Motor", and the Universal Tractor Company (later merged with the Northwest Thresher Co.) called it the "Universal Tractor". In 1912, Rumely bought the rights to the tractor, moved production to their plant during 1913 and continued to sell them under their name until 1915. The tractor has a two cylinder opposed engine with a 7.5" bore and 8" stroke running at 600RPM. It had a two speed transmission 2MPH & 3.5MPH and was a very heavy built engine with a crankshaft 3.5" in diameter. I worked on a Minneapolis version a number of years ago and found for a 1909 designed tractor, it had some very advanced engineering. That tractor is now in the Jerred Ruble collection.
  13. Gary you said "I think you'd probably make your Type A two speed IHC shiny red, like the new ones" . . . I wouldn't be so sure of that. After all, my Autowagon still wears its original paint job and by the way, you didn't seem to have any objections (notice his big grin!) to its condition when you were tooling around the Minnesota countryside.
  14. The other Aultman-Taylor is also a 30-60 but they don't have the canopy on it that like the way it came from the factory . . . maybe they just haven't finished working on it. The big Cross Motor Case is a 40-72, a super rare tractor with few being built during its 2 year production run ending in 1925. The 40-80 and 45-65 Averys are the same tractor. The early ones had the round radiator and the later versions used the modern type. The re-rating was due to the Nebraska test showing that the belt horsepower was way less than advertised. The Type A Internationals were originally mostly RED . . . but IF I had one like the one above, I think that rust color is just perfect the way it is!
  15. THANKS Sledgehammer for the great photos. There are a couple tractors that a know a bit about. I'm pretty sure the square radiator Aultman-Taylor was original restored by Fay Orr back in the late 1960's. In about 1978, he knew that I had a 30-60 A&T and I met him when he made a trip to the Mayo clinic. You also took a photo of what was always my dream tractor, that Type A, 2-speed International.
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