Belle City 22-40 Threshing Machine - Hythe, Alberta
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 55° 17.667 W 119° 31.766
11U E 339401 N 6130474
Quick Description: Rather rare in Northern Alberta, this Belle City Threshing Machine could be the only one bearing the Belle City name within many miles.
Location: Alberta, Canada
Date Posted: 7/2/2021 8:49:15 PM
Waymark Code: WM14G3R
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member rjmcdonough1
Views: 1

Long Description:
Belle City Logo Manufactured by the Belle City Manufacturing Company of Racine, Wisconsin, this thresher is branded by stenciling beneath the cylinder as a 22-40 machine, meaning that it was built with a 22" cylinder and a 40" separator. We happened upon it alongside Highway 43 about 4 kilometres south of the Hamlet of Hythe, AB. Hythe, by the way, was a village until July 1, 2021, at which time it became a hamlet.

Very likely manufactured in the 1930s, this steel wheeled thresher was likely sold under the sales and marketing umbrella of the tractor division of the Ford Motor Company.

This thresher is equipped with a Hart Grain Weigher which allows for easy filling of all grain sacks to the same weight. Manufactured by the Hart Carter Company of Peoria, Illinois, it sent grain down the chute in premeasured amounts allowing the filling of grain sacks one at a time. The grain weigher is the tiltable basket above the hopper above the grain output chute which can be swung out away from the body of the thresher. The thresher is also equipped with a Hart Carter feeder, which feeds the bundles into the cylinder at the front of the thresher. Also standard equipment was a Farmers Friend windstacker which stacked the straw via a blower. All three are add-ons which were used by many thresher manufacturers. The Hart Carter grain weigher bears serial number 926719. No serial number could be found on the feeder.

Belle City Manufacturing Company
In 1882, the David Lawton Company merged with the Racine Brake Company to become the Belle City Manufacturing Company, formed under the corporate laws of Wisconsin, with $30,000.00 in capital. The Company established their factory at 346 North Wisconsin Street in Racine where they made a line of farm implements including carts, feed cutters and wagon brakes. When Belle City began production of grain threshers in 1893, they did so with the small, stationary “Columbia” thresher. The company could have entered the market producing large threshers or they could have produced a full line of threshers of all sizes. However, Belle City confined itself to the small thresher market. Following the 1893 decision to start making threshers, Belle City relocated its factory site to an 11-acre site bordered by DeKoven Avenue, Racine Street, 17th Avenue and Junction Street in Racine.

In 1909, the International Harvester Company (IHC), who did not have a thresher of its own, entered the thresher market for the first time by purchasing the rights to sell Belle City threshers. In 1910, Belle City manufactured five different sizes of threshers (20x32, 24x40, 32x52, 36x52 and 36x56) under the brand name of New Racine.

Belle City continued to improve its threshers: First, they added the Farmers Friend windstacker. In this improvement, Belle City was not alone. The Farmers Friend windstacker had been developed by the Indiana Manufacturing Company. After developing the air-blown, tube straw discharge system for threshers, the Indiana Manufacturing Company then licensed its new product to other thresher manufacturers. Being a substantial improvement over the straw elevator for stacking straw behind the threshing machines, the Farmers Friend windstacker soon became universal on threshers of all makes for the remainder of the threshing era. Secondly, Belle City added Hart Carter self-feeders to their threshers. Prior to self-feeders, threshers were fitted with platforms near the mouth of the thresher where the operator would stand and receive bundles one at a time from the person on the wagon or on the stack. The operator would then cut the twine on the bundle and hand-feed the bundle into the thresher. Self-feeders would automatically cut the twine on the bundles and regulate the rate at which the bundles were fed into the thresher.

The Hart Company also manufactured the third improvement in thresher design that became universalized on all threshers of whatever manufacture. Grain weighers were clam shell devices that sat atop the vertical clean grain elevator. The clean grain elevator would pour clean threshed grain into the clam shell bucket until a half-bushel had been weighed out. When the proper weight for the half-bushel had been reached, the clam shell would open and allow the grain to fall into the wagon elevator or the bagging attachment. Belle City followed suit in this trend also, and began installing the Hart grain weigher on all its threshers. Thus, by 1911, Belle City threshers sold to the public by IHC under the New Racine name were offered complete with the Farmer’s Friend windstacker, the Hart self-feeder and the Hart grain weigher. In 1926, Belle City went to all-steel construction of all their threshers. Also in 1926, IHC decided to manufacture its own line of threshers consisting of three models – 20" x 28", 22" x 36" and 28" x 42". Then the International Harvester Company (IHC) notified the Belle City Company that they would not be renewing the contract to purchase Belle City threshers as they had been doing since 1909.

However, now with the termination of the IHC contract, Belle City sought to double down on their efforts to get into a closer relationship with Ford. This effort proved successful and ... all through the 1930s, the Belle City Company enjoyed access to the farm equipment market through the distribution and dealership network of the tractor division of the Ford Motor Company. Consequently, by 1939, when the company had to go it alone as far as advertising, sales, and distribution, Belle City had already succeeded in becoming somewhat of a household name with farmers in the upper midwest.

...almost as [World War II] was ending, Belle City ceased production of its entire line of threshers. The company then purchased a design for a one-row, pull-type, tractor-powered cornpicker from a third party and began manufacture of the Model ES (snapping) picker and the Model EH (husking) picker. Both of these new model corn pickers were “modern”...
From Wellsouth
Photo goes Here
Use or Purpose of Equipment: Threshing grain

Approximate age: 80-90 years

Manufacturer and model: Bell City Manufacturing Company Model 22-40

Still in Use?: No

East side of Highway 43, less than 4 km. south of Hythe, AB.

Fee for Access: no

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