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Steam Threshers Reunion book brings back memories of combines

Painting by Dorothea Paul

By Roger Engstrom

Dorothea Paul of Morton, Minn., painted “Massey-Harris Harvest Brigade” from photos the Lund Brothers took while they were combining wheat from Oklahoma to North Dakota in the mid-1940s.

Dorothea wrote the explanation for this photo. It is being used with her permission.

The World War II effort from 1941-45 required a tremendous amount of food to feed the people on the home front, the troops fighting overseas, and the people in Europe. Anyone who lived during that era remembers that many items we take for granted today; like coffee, sugar, gasoline, tires along with other items, were rationed or in very short supply.

When I asked one World War II veteran what items were rationed he replied, “Everything!”

World War II opened the era of modern farming. In early 1944, Joe Tucker, vice president and sales manager of Massey-Harris in the United States, saw an opportunity for his company.

With Joe’s familiarity with the workings of the War Production Board (WPD), he convinced them to grant his company enough rationed material so Massey-Harris could build 500 more self-propelled combines than their quota allowed.

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