Remembering the A.D. Baker Company
(Page 5 of 5)
In the fall of 1944, I bought two used 32-100 HP Port Huron steam engines, one a portable, and the other a traction. The traction had a sprung crankshaft, so I sawed the 3' shaft off at the crank disc that was 29' in diameter and took the 300 pound disc to the Baker Company for a new shaft. I drove down there a few days later, and as I neared the office door I saw the disc just outside. I over heard Abner Baker tell his Indiana salesman, Fred McClure, that he did not think Blaker's 32 HP Port Huron could put out 100 HP, as he had measured the disc, and it had only a 10' stroke. Well that engine put out 115 HP for me.
Abner's brother-in-law, C. Berkebile, did the machine work on the new 3' crankshaft, and the company charged me $105.00, and I furnished all the material.
Abner Baker loaned me their Prony brake for my first gathering of steam friends here on my farm June 30, 1945. Several years later, Abner gave me that Prony brake, and I turned it over to the National Threshers Association when they organized.
According to my records, the last Baker steam engine was a 23-90 HP, no. 17992 built in 1929.
Abner Baker was born near Fredericktown, Ohio on March 17, 1861, and married Ella Berkebile in 1888. Their son, Louis, was born in 1891. Mr. Abner Baker was a widower many years before he passed away June 16, 1953 at the age of 92 years.
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