Written by Jerry Engler Wednesday, 01 August 2007 07:39
Jim Wiens jokes there’s “a new baby” for people to see during Country Threshing Days at Goessel on Friday, Saturday and Sunday— and it weighed in at 34,500 pounds.
The “baby” is a big diesel engine that came out of the old power plant at Canton. Wiens said the 100-member Wheat Heritage Engine and Threshing Co. collectively had its eye on engine for some time.
At 16 feet, 4 inches long, 11 feet tall and 71⁄2 feet wide, it’s not hard to keep in view.
When the authorities at Canton told them to come and get it, members went over in October, partially took it apart, and transported it home on a semi-truck trailer.
About three or four engine club members have continued to work on it since then to get the engine set in place for visitors to view in the museum during this weekend’s Threshing Days celebration.
In another year, Wiens said it may actually be operated at a celebration, but that will take more dollars of rebar in the concrete holding it in place than the engine has ever been worth in its history.
“Getting it was the cheapest part we’ll ever have of owning it,” he said.
The Fairbanks Morris engine, made in the 1920s or 1930s by the same company that also became known for making scales, is a little bit strange in its outputs and needs compared to modern engines, Wiens said.
It is rated electrically at 150 kilowatts, three-phase, 2,400 volts generated from 240 horsepower output turning at 257 revolutions per minute.
Wiens said this means that at full throttle the engine is only turning as fast as a modern car will at idle.
The engine was made big, Wiens explained, in part because it had to be overhauled at 20,000 hours after only normal maintenance of lubrication and oil change in between.
The engine marked an era of small-town electrical generation that has ended—just as the era has ended for the other farm-power engines in the threshing show.
The Canton engine is one of numerous attractions offered for engine enthusiasts during Country Threshing Days.
Activites begin with threshing and demonstrations at noon Friday.
On Saturday, the parade featuring classic tractors and cars begins through downtown Goessel at 10 a.m., with more demonstrations and exhibits continuing through the day.
A“Tractor Parade of Power” is planned for 2 p.m. Saturday and 1:15 p.m. Sunday.
Buttons for admission are $4 in advance and $5 at the gate. Children under 12 years of age are admitted with no charge.