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Emerson-Brantingham “Reeves 25HP” Steam Traction Engine (1917)

Reeves 2010 Parade

Common Engineers at the Museum: Lee Godin, Bruce Eberling, Travis Kennedy.

Reeves & Co. of Columbus, Indiana was established in 1874, and began building steam engines in 1895. They built some of the largest steam traction engines in North America, with the biggest being a huge 40-140 horsepower machine. Reeves used twin-cylinder engines on its traction engines, of both the cross-compound and double-simple type. Reeves Canadian Special engines were built for sale on the Canadian Prairies, having both the boiler and steam dome fully jacketed to better cope with cold weather. The company was purchased by Emerson-Brantingham in 1912, but the Reeves Works continued in operation and the Reeves name was retained on the traction engines until production ceased in 1925.


The Manitoba Agricultural Museum’s engine is a 25HP model, and is one of the largest Reeves traction engines still in existence. It produces a rated 25 boiler horsepower and 75 brake (belt) horsepower. It has a cross-compound double cylinder engine, wet-bottom boiler, and uses a pin for the clutch. Bearing serial number 7173, it was built in 1917, turning a century old this year. It was donated to the Museum in 1956 by the Parrott Brothers of Grandview, MB.  As with most engines of this age, it no longer has the insulated jacketing on the boiler and dome due to corrosion of the thin sheet metal covering the wooden lagging. During the Manitoba Threshermen’s Reunion & Stampede it can be seen at the Souris Mill where it provides the steam necessary to operate the Mill engine.

It is thought to be the only operational 25HP cross-compound Canadian Special Reeves in the world.

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