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Reeves are Sweet!

G Willikers

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Last Subscription Date
05/01/2019
Gang - Have come across a bit of Reeves stuff that some may enjoy. The first few are from 1907 period and all from Western Canada. No data on first image but second is of the Henry Brothers outfit at Claresholm, Alberta. Third is pulling Cockshutt gang plow, location unknown. More to come.
G.
 

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G Willikers

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Last Subscription Date
05/01/2019
Re: Reeves Are Sweet!

Here are some letters from Reeves owners:
- RB Aldous, Lorlie, Sask, Feb 16,1907 - ...I have used my outfit one season and mostly on wild prairie. I broke from 25 to 28 acres per day with two tons of Galt coal, it would depend on the footing. I used a 32 hp cross compound Reeves engine and Cockshutt gang plow ... which gave good satisfaction with ten 14 inch plows. It takes one man and team to haul water and one man with team to draw coal and three men to run the outfit, and the cost would be without wear and taer and shear sharpening about $1.35 per acre; but it may cost more this year as coal is much higher in price.

- FC Bauer, Weyburn, Sask, Jan 18, 1907 - ... I am the owner of a 32 hp Reeves engine and a ten plow Cockshutt engine gang which I operated in the season of 1906 and although getting started rather late in the spring I broke over 1000 acres. I used it mainly on wild prairie employing five men. I used about 120 pounds of steam coal per acre and averages from 25 to 32 acres per day at a cost of about $1.50 per acre.

Man, I wish I was there:(
G.
 

G Willikers

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Last Subscription Date
05/01/2019
Re: Reeves Are Sweet!

More testimonials:

- Walter Gratias, Saskatoon, Jan 23, 1907 - I own and operate a 32 hp compound Reeves engine. I use three four bottom John Deere plows, or 12 - 14 inch plows. I have run this outfit for one year on both old ground and new prairie. I use five men, engineer, fireman, plowman, waterman and one man to haul coal; two teams, one for water and one for coal. I average 30 acres per day, although I have had as high as 42. It takes about 1 & 1/2 tons of coal per day or for 30 acres. I use the same coal as used by the railways at $7.00 per ton and it is fine coal. The cost of operating is about $1.50 per acre ... we charge $3.00 per acre.

- Miller and Carnahan, Osage, Sask, Jan 17, 1907 - We operated two steam plows for four months last season. We broke in all about 1900 acres; 1400 acres of prairie and 500 of stubble. We ran about the same in stubble as in prairie and the cost was about the same. With each oufit we had five men and two teams including coal and water haulers. We pulled ten 14 inch plows with the 32 Reeves engine and eight 14 inch plows with the 25 hp Case engine. We burned about two tons of Crows Nest coal per day. Our largest run was 33 acres and our average between 20 and 30 acres per day. We estimate the cost at about $1.00 per acre. We use the Cockshutt engine gangs and find them a perfect engine plow. (I believe this testimonial goes with the picture of the two engines plowing in the first post?)
G.
 

G Willikers

Sponsor
Last Subscription Date
05/01/2019
Re: Reeves Are Sweet!

FOR SALE.
The following and other second hand machinery:
One 20 hp Simple double cylinder straw burning engine, built by Reeves and Company and has seen 3 seasons service in threshing.
One 27 hp Robert Bell straw burning engine; run two seasons for threshing purposes only.
One 18 hp Waterous engine. This engine has seen several years service but is still in good running condition.
One 20 hp simple, double cylinder straw burner Reeves engine been used for threshing purposes only a little more than two years.
One 18 hp Battle Creek Advance engine which has seen about six years service.
One 30x60 Advance seperator with feeder, tall weigher and stiff stacker.
One 36x56 Battle Creek Advance seperator with Parson's Feeder, high weigher and stiff stacker.
We have the majority of the above machinery on hand in Winnipeg; the balance of it we expect to ship in very soon, and any of the above machines will be put in first-class condition; and service practically equal to that of a new machine may be gotten out of any of the machines above described.
Reeves and Company, Winnipeg, Manitoba, April 1907.
 

JHFoster

Registered
Last Subscription Date
12/24/2013
Re: Reeves Are Sweet!

How would you get the plow back in the "gang" after it tripped off?
 
J

Jim Jake Templin

Guest
Re: Reeves Are Sweet!

Which came first, the Reeves 32, or the Case 32 (later 110)? It would be interesting to know who was chasing who, as these were both engines designed from the get go as heavy plow power.

Love this kinda stuff! Dontcha think being able to have gone to some of the old thresherman's conventions where the boys were getting redneck trying to outsell each other would have been one of life's greatest pleasures?
 
Last Subscription Date
11/13/2013
Re: Reeves Are Sweet!

Gee Whillikers, G. Willikers,
You've done struck a chord with this old Montana farm kid. I like everything you have placed here and keep it coming. It appears that Reeves was quite well liked up above the 49th too? Those old 32hp cc engines were built from the ground up to plow and keep on plowing.

RevJJ,
Son Mike has an ad he bought off of "that website" hanging in his shop at Helena, Montana. It shows a 32hp Reeves cross compound plowing in the spring of 1905. The 32 cc came out in 1904. The 32 double simple came out a year or two later.

I have an original 1906 J.I. Case catalog that shows that famous 1906 32hp (12" X 12") Case engine with the strap iron spokes in the rear drivers. (The engraving is actually of a Case Road Locomotive of the 14" X 14" size.) My guess is they "fence cornered" the Road Locomotive and placed their bets on the new 12X12 32hp and didn't have time to make a new engraving of their first 32hp, which did actually have round spokes, for this edition of their engine catalog?

JHFoster,
You've got me wondering about the plow beams and gettiing them back on. I guess they'd have to use the team from the water or coal wagon and gather all five of the crew to place them back on. I know Reeves and Case plows are very scarce today, in the steam lift variety.
Gary;)
 

LAKnox

Registered
Age
62
Last Subscription Date
01/15/2016
Re: Reeves Are Sweet!

G Willikers said:
Here are a few more showing Reeves "Flexible Frame Steam Lift Plow". One shot shows result after striking a rock and spring trip/release device kicked in! Saves that nasty feeling of the operator getting jerked into the backhead!
I have to chuckle a bit at these "beautiful" plow furrows. Man, they didn't even get below the root zone on the grasslands, did they? Looks like real nice sod; roll it up and put in on the truck! 'Course, I come from the irrigated deserts of AZ, where you have to plow 12 inches just to get anything turned under, and that after ripping to 20-24 inches =first= in many cases. Clods? Man, you haven't seen clods until you start plowing up caliche or clay when it's dry. I can remember back in high school, when we were still growing sugar beets, trying to disk a plowed field with a 4020 and a 12 foot IH offset disk. 4020 had a full ton of iron on the front rack, watered front tires, 18.4 x 38 duals on cast hubs, and fully watered, on the rear, and I could barely pull the disk on its wheels, let alone trying to work with it. Had to grab the 4620 with fully watered tires, duals, cast hubs and weights, on the same 12 foot disk to make any progress at all. Ended up disking most of that field probably 4 times and still had 6-8 inch clods. :)

Lyle
 

Ray Wangler

Registered
Last Subscription Date
02/07/2013
Re: Reeves Are Sweet!

Reeves are sweet............there is absolutely no debating that!! I have to tell you that I think the 32 CC is one fine engine, I'm building a 1/4 scale of one and I love it!! Here's the bad news: I, for the life of me, cannot understand why anyone would have bought that complicated bugger when they could have had a 32 Case. The Case is well built, simple, economical, reliable and must have cost 80% of the Reeves!! Do I think the Reeves is a fine engine? YES!! Would I have paid the premium in 1907 for that complicated machine? I doubt it. A BMW is a fine automobile and in 100 years will be still looked at that way, but I don't drive one because of the cost. Does anyone have a 1907 cost comparison? Also, I've seen literature about Case field support, (which was excellent!) and Rumley, which had it's share of challanges. Does anyone know how Reeves' were supported, and if the parts and service network was good or poor? It would be nice to know.

Thanks
Ray
 
Last Subscription Date
11/13/2013
Re: Reeves Are Sweet!

LAKnox,
If you went that deep in Montana's Judith Basin and much of our nation's wheat country, you'd ruin it. It was all shallow plowed ground and that is one reason most in the basin used disk plows instead of moldboard plows. There is a yellow clay below the shallow topsoil and when you brought that up, you may as well subdivide and build condos, as it is worthless for growing anything. While I'm sure ground was plowed with steam for smaller crops; when you are talking 32 Reeves or 32 Case engines plowing sections of land at a time, or thousands of acres a summer, they weren't planting lentels, they were growing wheat (and barley & oats, here in Montana).

Ray,
I can't speak for other areas, but Reeves had two depots in Montana and had Agents spread all over the state. I'll bet I could still drive over to the Ben Hollenback Ranch (Reeves agent), still owned by his daughter Judith McNulty, there and find Reeves parts scattered around. I don't have a 1907 Reeves price list. I think the oldest I have is 1909. I think my other list is 1912? I'll try to look that up tonight, but I have a busy evening coming.

G. Willikers...Now we can stir things up...! Max Tyler used to say, "You could buy a 32hp US Reeves for the same price as a (32) 110hp Case, but for additional money you could get a Canadian Special 32 and have a superior engine." I do know people like the Tylers and others in the basin really preferred a double engine and were willing to put up with a "complicated bugger." Once you understand one, they are not that complicated. They do have to be in good shape and well maintained, but that goes with any engine.

(Now before you grab your keyboard and throw it, guys, PLEASE notice the dam quotation marks I put up there.)
Gary;)
 
Last edited:
Last Subscription Date
11/13/2013
Re: Reeves Are Sweet!

LAKnox,
I don't have the photo at work, with a man's hand sticking up into the air, while hidden in the furrow. I believe this is the same time and place, just taken of the man and his cap behind the plow, without his hand in the air. They were Reeves factory photos and I have high resolution copy photos of them.
Gary;)

 

G Willikers

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Last Subscription Date
05/01/2019
Re: Reeves Are Sweet!

Yes, I guess you would have to yank that plow bottom back into place with the four legged hp; or else, show off your backing up skills. Any way you look at it, such an event would throw your acres per hour average all to hell and likely invoke a certain style of language that could set even fellows like Highwheeler or Craig Anderson to blushing:eek:
As far as price comparisons, I don't have any prices for Reeves fob Regina branch house. But, and this is just my confused thinking, look at it this way - is it maybe the same as today buying either a diesel or gas pickup, or a V8, V10 or Hemi, etc.? See what I mean? They all get you down the road, but everyone has their own views. Or the lowly grease monkey buying snap-on or mac tools rather than the Canadian Tire ones? Yes they cost more, but if you have to work with them every day and make a living with them, well??? Same back in the day and the farm press was full of articles about the advantages of compound engines or double cylinder engines over singles. So people sometimes bought into those ideas. It would be a pleasure to set into a field with 10 bottoms and a 110 Case, 115 Sawyer or 28 Abell; but if you were doing it for a living and every day, a nice double or compound Reeves or Gaar-Scott might be a lot nicer to operate?
G.
 

G Willikers

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Last Subscription Date
05/01/2019
Re: Reeves Are Sweet!

Had a few more Reeves pix to add to the last post, but this rotten son of a ..... of a stinking computer is being extra fussy tonight. It may end up out the window and in the middle of the highway before the night is through (threw!!).
Wanted to add that aside from their branch house in Regina, Reeves was also handled by the Tudhope-Anderson Co. Their factory was in Orillia, Ontario and they made everyting from cars to manure spreaders and handled Reeves and Emerson-Brantingham goods in Western Canada and had a major branch house in Winnipeg.
Lyle Walker wrote regular articles on old iron for Grainews paper in Western Canada - under the heading "The Old Ones". He wrote of Reeves - "Every community in Western Canada had at least one 32 Reeves, back in the sod breaking era. And that Reeves pulled the plows, you can be sure. Tough sod, the wiry roots of buffalo grass or buckbrush, or a quarter section of pure gumbo, might make her bark a bit sharper at the stack, but those big old wheels always turned. Probably took more water and coal than a Case, although there is disagreement in some quarters.".
G.
 

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G Willikers

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Last Subscription Date
05/01/2019
Re: Reeves Are Sweet!

Here are a couple more Reeves shots though not sure of the scource. They are both in Alberta and the second one is at Birch Lake. You did what you had to do to get the plowing done!
A bit more from Lyle Walker's article:
"Reeves engines didn't use a clutch. Their designers considered the usual toggle and shoes to be an uneccessary complication, hung there in the flywheel. A double cylinder engine could always be started gently with the throttle. It never stopped on dead center and a clutch wasn't necessary for plowing anyway.
Cylinder diameters were 8 &1/2 and 14 inches with a 14 inch stroke. The flywheel was 44 inches, 230 rpm, 150 lbs pressure. A Reeves crankshaft was forged from the solid, with throws set between the main bearings. No disk and pin for these gentlemen.
The valve gear was also a point of great pride. They had a young engineer named Harry C. Clay, who patented and assigned a system whereby he compensated for the uneven motion of the piston through its inner dead center as compared to the outer center. This was no small accomplishment, especially when one considers that the valve gear must hook up for a shorter admission under light load, and be reversible at the same time."
 

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Last Subscription Date
11/13/2013
Re: Reeves Are Sweet!

G. Willikers,
My 1909 Reeves pricing information shows a new 32hp simple or compound coal burner costing $3000 and a 32hp straw burner in either configuration would cost $3065. I assume this was FOB Columbus, IN?

Their prices were the same in 1914 as the above US engines. A new 32hp Canadian Special in either configuration was $3450. A new 40cc was $4815. A 32 straw burner in a Canadian Special, either configuration cost $3515.

My neighbor and friend in the Judith Basin of Montana, John M. Otten, is still living. He told me his dad bought their new 32hp Canadian Special cross compound in 1914 for, "A hundred dollars a horsepower." His dad, Herman Otten and my uncle Frank J. Yaeger were brothers in-law with Ben Hollenback, Reeves Agent and owner of the Montana Plow Company, near Buffalo, Montana. My guess is Hollenback was generous with Herman, in this sale. This photo is of Herman Otten's pretty new Reeves 32hp cc CS, when plowing on what is now the Lewistown, Montana airport site.



This is a photo of a young Ben Hollenback, Reeves Agent. I'm young enough to only remember Ben as an older man.



This is a picture of Ben Hollenback on the fireman's deck of an early 32hp cc Canadian Special engine, seeding near Moore, Montana, as part owner and "field boss" of the Montana Plowing Company. This could conceivably be Beth's family's engine, Reeves #6269, as it had been one of this fleet of 32 Reeves cc CS engines.



Well, I'm going to jump into the Model T Coupe and head down to "Dave's" (Wendy's) for some chili and a baked potato. It's supposed to get cold tomorrow and I don't abuse her any more than I have to. She's never been out in the dew, nor in the rain, since her restoration a couple of years ago.
Gary;)
 
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G Willikers

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Last Subscription Date
05/01/2019
Re: Reeves Are Sweet!

Mr. Highwheeler - Thanks for the photos - great stuff as usual. That seed drilling operation is a regular thing of beauty:cool: As I have said before, oh what fun it would be to be there and help those boys out!
Now don't abuse your chili eating privileges - you know what the aftermath of that could lead to? Got into a feed of white beans and bacon yesterday and it ain't pretty around here tonight, trust me. Even the coyotes are howling in misery outside my window!
G.
 
Last Subscription Date
11/13/2013
Re: Reeves Are Sweet!

G.
Thanks for the kind words Mr. Willikers. I always liked the seeding operations. The finished product is kind of like finding a new friend... a great feeling of accomplishment. I'm sending along another photo of Charles C. Colwell's 32 Reeves cc CS seeding near Ross Fork, in the Judith Basin.



G. Willikers... a friend told me to eat chili at Dave's and take the Model T to save gas.:eek: :uhoh:
Gary;)
 
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