City Point docks

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AndyHall

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Yes, portable steam engines that could be moved (with mules or oxen) to wherever they might be needed to power a sawmill or lots of other mechanical stuff. The wheel at top would be linked by a belt to whatever other piece of machinery it was to run.

Here is a similar engine, from Bernard Kempinski's USMRR blog:

SteamEngine01572v.jpg


And here's a modern image of a similar engine running a (threshing?) machine (notice the belt, almost edge-on to the camera):
20100911_MX_3_030.jpg
 
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Patrick H

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Before too long, there were steam engines capable of being driven to the job site--somewhat like a locomotive without the tracks. There's a huge steam engine gathering and exhibition each September here in Boonville. Working, restored engines thrash, they run sawmills, they shell corn and they do a host of other heavy chores.
Here's a link to some information: http://www.mrvsea.com/index.htm

There's nice scene in the movie "The Great Northfield, Minnesota Raid" in which a local farmer drives a steam engine down the street. One of the robbers has never seen anything like that in Missouri. He panics and yells to Cole Younger: "That locomotive has jumped the tracks, Cole!" Cole takes a drag on his pipe and says: "Ain't that a wonderment?!"

...or something like that. I haven't seen the movie in about 30 years.

Thanks for the nice photo!
 

ole

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Fond memories of threshing. Six or seven neighbors would take turns helping each other "thrash." Each would bring a hay wagon. One of the neighbors would provide the thrashing machine. (I suspect he got a percentage of the grain for the use of his thrasher.)

And all the kids in the area would drive the tractors (for the princely sum of, maybe, 50 cents a day). The adults and older boys would fill the hay wagon by pitching (think of pitchforks) bundles over the sides. When the wagon was full, it would be pulled up next to the thresher where the bundles would be pitched off, into the thresher.

The threshing machine would beat and shake the grain off the straw and separate the two. The grain went into a wagon (or bag, as in the picture), and the straw went into a pile (to be burned or used as bedding for animals).

And then there was NOON. All the ladies had been busy all morning getting ready for NOON. Pies, cakes, coffee, fried chicken, mashed potatoes .... All made on wood stoves.

It was as much a social event as it was work.

Changing gears, when The Dad was growing up, they did use self-propelled steam engines. Same social event, same labor, except they used horses. He told a story about one neighbor's team which, when the steam engine made a loud noise, paniicked and kicked out the front of his wagon. Of course, everyone thought that was funny.

Dragging on. If you don't know a bundle from a shock, and a pitchfork from a manure fork, I can go on and on, but not now.
 

Patrick H

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Fond memories of threshing. Six or seven neighbors would take turns helping each other "thrash." Each would bring a hay wagon. One of the neighbors would provide the thrashing machine. (I suspect he got a percentage of the grain for the use of his thrasher.)

And all the kids in the area would drive the tractors (for the princely sum of, maybe, 50 cents a day). The adults and older boys would fill the hay wagon by pitching (think of pitchforks) bundles over the sides. When the wagon was full, it would be pulled up next to the thresher where the bundles would be pitched off, into the thresher.

The threshing machine would beat and shake the grain off the straw and separate the two. The grain went into a wagon (or bag, as in the picture), and the straw went into a pile (to be burned or used as bedding for animals).

And then there was NOON. All the ladies had been busy all morning getting ready for NOON. Pies, cakes, coffee, fried chicken, mashed potatoes .... All made on wood stoves.

It was as much a social event as it was work.

Changing gears, when The Dad was growing up, they did use self-propelled steam engines. Same social event, same labor, except they used horses. He told a story about one neighbor's team which, when the steam engine made a loud noise, paniicked and kicked out the front of his wagon. Of course, everyone thought that was funny.

Dragging on. If you don't know a bundle from a shock, and a pitchfork from a manure fork, I can go on and on, but not now.
Ole,
I think I PROBABLY know a bundle from a shock. I definitely know a pitch fork from a manure fork, and I have both types hanging on my garage wall as I write this. I use both of them all the time. But quite a bit of this knowledge is handed down by friends because I did NOT naturally inherit the knowledge. Yes, I inherited the tools. They were hanging in a barn on property my dad bought just before I was born. I like these old tools. When my pitch fork and manure forks broke or burned up in a fire, I replaced them because I can still buy such a thing at the hardware store and because nothing else does the job so well. I might not be forking manure around, but there are things that work very well with that fork!

And while I'm on my stump here, let's not forget the humble scythe (mine is probably well over 100 years old, and I'm good with it. I could mow the lawn with it and I did, once (although my forearms sure were sore after that!) Let's not forget the humble clamshell post hole digger, either. I can't even estimate how many planting holes I have dug with that thing!

I NEVER had a steam engine to do the grunt work for me!
 
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ole

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Patrick H. Missouri, right?? Not that much different than South Dakota. You did the same stuff.
 

Patrick H

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Patrick H. Missouri, right?? Not that much different than South Dakota. You did the same stuff.
Yes, indeed, Ole. I grew up in Boonville, Missouri, which is still only slightly bigger than it was during the Civil War. I grew up on farm ground, which was shortly to be developed into residential land. I never was a farm boy, but I learned to use farm tools and I still have them and love them and use them from time to time.

Patrick

PS: Unrelated, but I might add that, during the Civil War, Boonville was bigger than Kansas City, but not as big as Independence.........for whatever that is worth to you folks.
 

ole

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Yes, indeed, Ole. I grew up in Boonville, Missouri, which is still only slightly bigger than it was during the Civil War. I grew up on farm ground, which was shortly to be developed into residential land. I never was a farm boy, but I learned to use farm tools and I still have them and love them and use them from time to time.

Patrick

PS: Unrelated, but I might add that, during the Civil War, Boonville was bigger than Kansas City, but not as big as Independence.........for whatever that is worth to you folks.
Then you might know where O'Fallon is. Lived there for a few years back in the 60's.
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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Hate to take the conversation away from the steam engine- I 'think' that's the Sanitary Commission barge. There are several other images of it ( once erroneously tagged in various archives as Red Rover although I think that's been corrected. ) at City Point.
 
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