So my friend Ed and I went on several road trips this summer. One of these took us to North Battleford, where I was hoping to get pictures of the psychiatric hospital where Tom Sukanen spent his final days (OOOOH SPOILERS - said hospital remains largely unchanged since it was built in the 1900s - at least from the outside). Unfortunately, I didn’t do that, but we did go to the museum, and I collected plenty of other reference there.
On the way back, we came across this old broken down threshing machine by the side of the road. Here’s a picture of me gazing in wonder at it. Can’t you just see this thing re-purposed as an armoured assault vehicle in a steampunk story? I can’t believe no one’s ever done that (or have they…?) You’d have to find some way to incorporate an engine into it, though - the engine was always separate. And just as enormous as the thresher itself. Which was just one reason why you needed at least a dozen people in a threshing crew.
Before threshers, people had to flail grain (i.e. beat it with a stick) to separate it from straw and husks. Which sounds like great fun, for 5 minutes - imagine having to do it all day…
(By the way, I’ll try to have some art up here again soon…I’m drawing like crazy lately, I just can’t show you any of it yet)