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Badlands: 1937

Badlands: 1937

September 1937. "Old threshing machine on Herman Gerling's farm near Wheelock, North Dakota. There have been no crops for eight years." Photo by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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B. F. Avery gas tractor

This is (was) a B. F. Avery gas tractor.

Old video of one running:

The fenders are from a car or truck, unrelated to the tractor.

Have I got a deal for you!

This looks like something Mr Haney would have sold to Oliver Douglas.

Woodn't I love to have it now?

The thresher isn't a Case, because it's predominantly wood. Case extolled the virtues of a metal thresher early on. Having participated in a couple threshing bees at Five Points in Ohio, I'd love to have that one to take with me. I wonder if anyone can ID what model it is?

Nice Piece of Equipment

But I don't think it is going to work because the left handed throtlever is missing from the tamping wampole.

This could be...

...the result of Rube Goldberg doing a tad bit too much acid.

Lost prosperity

My great grandfather owned such a machine at about this time, and he'd enjoyed a fair amount of prosperity taking it to all of his neighbors. All that was gone after a few years of the Depression--the sale of his farm basically covered his debts and burial for him and his wife.

Rage Against the Machine?

I wonder if Gertrude lost her arm in this contraption, causing the family to abandon and/or destroy it. Very sad, in any event.

Junk I.D.

The junk is the remains of a steam driven tractor, the likes of which would have pulled this thresher.

A Lot More There

Not just a threshing machine, which appears to fairly intact. There is a pretty substantial pile of random junk in front of it. A number of vehicle fenders, maybe an axle or two, a couple of fence posts, etc.

High Plains Twister

This doesn't look like normal deterioration due to neglect, it looks like a tornado rolled it a few times.

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