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Published September 03, 2012, 09:45 AM

Hundreds relive the days of old at Minnesota Steam Thresher's Reunion

Rollag, MN (WDAY TV) - It's a Labor Day tradition that's wildly popular in our area; the Steam Threshers Reunion. Hundreds are headed to Rollag, Minnesota this weekend with one thought on their mind, reliving the past.

Rollag, MN (WDAY TV) - It's a Labor Day tradition that's wildly popular in our area; the Steam Threshers Reunion. Hundreds are headed to Rollag, Minnesota this weekend with one thought on their mind - reliving the past.

Many wheat farmers have already been in their fields harvesting wheat. Today, most could never imagine thrashing wheat with this type of equipment.

Kevin Roth - Volunteer: “This is a 1911 Titan 45. It's got a hit and miss governor.:

Kevin Roth says this tractor is the power source for the thrashing machine. It takes a full crew of about 10 to 12 people just to complete one task. Nowadays it only takes one farmer to run a combine.

Kevin Roth: “Guys picking the bundles up in the field, throwing them on the rack, then they had a crew usually, a wagon box on both sides of the feeder house with two guys in each wagon throwing into the thrashing machine, then you usually had another guy that had to unload the wagons when they were full, and at that time it was all thrown into the grain bins by hand with a scoop shovel.”

The amount of work of farmers nowadays could get done in just one hour in a field like this would take farmers back then the entire day.

Kevin Roth: “This was much more time consuming, a lot more work because you ended up handling the grain 3 times where now we go through with the combine and with a big header and we cut it straight in one operation, and we have it in the truck, and heading down to the elevator.”

This Ridgeway Engine powered by steam was useful for smaller jobs, like blacksmithing, and today it's giving people souvenirs.

Jeff Nelson - Volunteer: “Started cutting these souvenir plaques, so we've kind of just kept up with it, and it gives the engine something to do, people can see it work and it gives somebody a souvenir that's very inexpensive.”

Jeff Nelson and a crew are slicing the wood, and branding them to give people a reminder of their step back in time, while other bigger engines are showing people how lucky we are for modern day technology.

The reunion is held every Labor Day weekend. It's been that way for the last 5 decades.

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