Spirit River and District Museum
Steam engine tractors were relatively new and expensive. The first Case steam engine was built in 1904, had 150 HP, and was considered an experimental engine. This steam tractor dates from roughly 1915, and had a similar operation to that of a steam locomotive. Fuel, such as coal or wood, would be burned in a boiler to produce steam, which drove a reciprocating cylinder acting on a flywheel, thus transferring power to the giant drive wheels via a transmission. Although heavy and slow moving, having the flywheel meant that these beasts could power threshing machines or portable saw mills. This tractor belonged to Joseph Labreque, who farmed in the Spirit River District.