Quote” Russ’s steam-driven creation is an unusual machine to see at a farm show (or anywhere, really). A homemade device cobbled together with disparate parts, it uses the frame of a Model T auto, wheels from a Ford Falcon (adapted to make the rims fit), front and rear Model T axles (cut and narrowed), a jackshaft to reduce the speed of the 1935 Plymouth transmission, a Rockford twin-disc clutch off a 4-cylinder Wisconsin engine, a Model T steering wheel and emergency cable handbrake, and a Little Giant steam boiler (serial no. 1244), manufactured by C.H. Dutton Co., Kalamazoo, Mich., dating to about 1925.
“That came from a hat company in Minneapolis that used steam to make hats to fit or shape them to size,” Gene says. “The pulley came from a steam engine that ran cream separators at a creamery in Elk River, Minn.” The Case plate attached to the side? Probably just for looks, Gene says.
The result is an odd-looking machine that careens around the occasional Minnesota tractor show at about 2 mph. “You can only drive it for 500-600 feet before you have to wait to get the steam back up,” Gene says. “But if you just sit there and idle, it makes a heck of a nice display.”
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