Steam-Powered Threshing and a Barn


Steam-Powered Threshing and a Barn


A steam tractor engine (left) powers a belt that drives a threshing machine (right, behind hay wagon). This photograph was taken circa 1910-1914 north of Forest Grove, Oregon, possibly at or near the property now found at 42440 Purdin Road. The ridgeline in the background of the photograph closely matches the modern view looking southwest from that location.

The men standing on the wagon are loading harvested grain - perhaps oats or wheat - into the thresher, which is separating the grain from the chaff. The grain is coming out of a chute that descends from the lower right side of the thresher. The chaff, or straw, is shooting out of the thresher into the barn on the right. A field with many tree stumps and wildflowers appears in the foreground. The Coast Range, farms and groves of oak stand in the background. For a similar image by the same photographer, see Image PUA_MS154_026.

This is one image from a set of glass plate negatives created by William Alonso Clapshaw. Clapshaw was a clerk and shopkeeper who lived near Forest Grove, Oregon for most of his life. He was born in 1880, probably at the family's home in the Hillside neighborhood of Forest Grove, on what is now Clapshaw Hill Road east of Gales Creek. Around 1910-1914, William took an interest in photography and created a set of glass plate negatives documenting scenes near his family's lands as well as images of himself, his friends and family members. He most likely used a silver gelatin dry plate process. The photographs were donated to the Pacific University Archives in 2023.


Clapshaw, William Alonso, 1880-2000

Date: Display

circa 1910-1914




Agricultural laborers
Agricultural machinery
Threshing machines


Forest Grove, Oregon
Banks, Oregon


Gelatin silver negatives



Pacific University Archives