Northwest Thresher Co.

In 1903, Northwest Thresher Company announced a New Giant engine, which was a successor to the Giant steam engine. It claimed to be the most durable boiler on the market. There was now jacketing on the engine and the company did not charge any extra. The jacketing was made of Russia iron, and this made it indestructible and gave it a fine finish. It also prevented the condensation of steam in cold weather and added to the overall durability of the boiler. Each of Northwest Thresher Company’s engines were state tested. They would be steamed up for four days while the boiler inspector checked them.

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Northwest Thresher Company and Universal Tractor Company both of Stillwater, consolidated in early 1911. Universal had its roots with F. O. Espe and had moved to Stillwater from Crookston about a year before. Northwest Thresher Company dated back to 1874, succeeding the Minnesota Thresher Manufacturing Company. F. E. Kenaston, president of Minneapolis Threshing Machine Company, was a majority stockholder of Northwest Thresher Company. Realizing this, it is easier to understand the arrangement whereby Universal tractors were marketed by Minneapolis Threshing Machine Company. This firm also owned a half-interest in American-Abell Engine & Thresher Company in Toronto, Ontario. Again, realizing that Kenaston was involved with all three companies, either as a majority stockholder or an executing officer, it becomes obvious why Universal tractors were sold by all three firms. Northwest Thresher Company, along with the previously merged Universal Tractor Company, was purchased by Eastern parties in early 1912, On October 1 of that year, M. Rumely Company, La Porte, Indiana, bought out the Stillwater operation, From this plant, the Universal tractor reappeared as the Rumely GasPull. Six months later, Rumely was turning out six GasPull tractors a day. Rumely closed down the Stillwater plant in June 1913, but GasPull advertising appeared as late as 1915, about the time Rumely went under. After a receiver was appointed for the Rumely affairs, the Stillwater plant was sold. Twin City Forge & Foundry Company took over the vacant buildings in 1917.


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