Steam Threshing Rig


This threshing machine is being operated with the power from a steam engine. There were very few other tractors at that time. This grain threshing is being done on the Olof Person Farm near Lake John, in South Dakota, USA. Through the license plate on the car, I managed to trace the year to 1912. This is a very good picture of an old-time threshing rig. The bundles were all being hauled with horses.

You can see by the basket size they had a good coffee break, usually one at mid-morning, then a heavy noon meal and lunch, coffee again in mid-afternoon. The lady with the lunch basket no doubt brought the person with the camera out to the field.

I think most of the people in the picture are from the Person family, any help identifying them would be appreciated. I zoomed in on two that I think might be Erik Grape and Charlie Wayrynen.

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3 thoughts on “Steam Threshing Rig

  1. I remember riding along when my mom took lunch, which we called dinner, out to the men. It was a full meal of a hearty main dish like stew, salad, bread and pie along with a big thermos of unsweetened ice tea. This even in the hot summer. Later, my dad would take the men all in to town to a restaurant, but for a number of years, my mom was the main lunch lady.


    • In these parts, they had coffee, sandwiches, cake, donuts, whatever at mid-morning and afternoon, but at noon they shut down and everyone went to the farm house where the women had tables with more food than anyone could begin to think of eating. All cooked on a HOT cook stove! Very few had a summer kitchen.


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