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1907 Avery steam traction engine Running a Thresher


1907 Avery 22 hp “Contractors Special” This “Contractors Special” Avery steam traction engine was built in 1907. It is a 22 horsepower, 2 cylinder undermounted engine. It is owned by descendants of Jerome DeBacker. This engine was used around Mead, Co. until 1915 when it was purchased by Jerome DeBacker for use in threshing and plowing in the Boulder area. It was in considerable disrepair when purchased. Jerome completed many mechanical repairs before putting the engine in service. He also added some touches of his own including a Union Pacific bell and several whistles. After repairs, it was used for threshing with an Avery 36 x 60 in. “Yellow Fellow” wooden separator around the East Boulder area until being retired around 1945. It was also used for plowing in the Bennett, Co. area, pulling a 12 bottom 14 inch plow. Jerome always regretted the fact that the plow was cut up for scrap during the war. We still have the separator. It was last used on the Stuart Anderson farm in 1976 to thresh wheat. During its time the Avery also ran a sawmill, pulled a scarifier for state road work, and provided steam for a chemical company near Valmont Butte. In 1955 a group of steam enthusiasts in the Boulder- Denver area convinced Jerome to bring the engine out of retirement. It was cleaned up and minor repairs were made to get the engine operational. The boiler was retubed in 1957. In 1959 the lugs were removed from drive wheels and it was driven into Boulder for the Colorado Centennial