2000 - Volume #24, Issue #6, Page #22
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One Of First Combines Ever Built Restored T "Mint Condition"

Antique machinery collectors like to find and restore anything that's considered the "first of its kind". Tony Trenkamp of Spearville, Kan., restored one of the first commercial self-propelled combines ever built. What was really significant to Trenkamp was that the combine was built by his great-uncle, M.J. Hines.
  Hines started making harvesters in the 1910's. Trenkamp got hold of a 1917 model. It had three chain-driven forward speeds which were changed by switching to a different sprocket. However, there was no reverse gear, at least not on the first machines. "Dad said he remembered being told that if you didn't get it turned soon enough in a corner, you'd have to go get a team of horses to pull it out," says Tony Trenkamp, Jr.
  The header had a sickle with two short canvases on either end. The canvases fed the crop into a third canvas that took it up into a 36-in. cylinder. The separator and driving units ran separately. That allowed the separator to build up adequate speed before wheat was delivered to it by the elevator. The combine was powered by an air-cooled, 80 hp Twin City engine.
  Hines made the combines for 20 years, building a total of 63 units. He couldn't keep up with demand so he sold out in the 1930's to a Wichita, Kansas company. They predicted that within five years they'd be turning out 5,000 machines per year. It didn't happen, however, because of start-up problems and the drought and Depression that followed. The Hines combine was never manufactured again.
  Trenkamp recently passed away but his wife Dorothy still has the combine.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dorothy Trenkamp, Box 54, Spearville, Kan. 67876 (ph 316 385-2828).

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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #6