1911-1977 (Bill) & 1917-2006 (Fred)

Inducted in: 2018
Nominated by: Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame Board of Directors
Streich, Bill & Fred

Brothers William (top) and Frederick (bottom) Streich were born to Adolphe and Otillie Streich in 1911 and 1917 respectively. The boys grew up on a farm near Clandeboye, Manitoba. While raising his two sons and training them in farming practises, Adolph gave Bill and Fred two choices: They could receive wages or Adolph would bank and save the money for the future purchase of their own farms. The boys opted for the second option and would go on to raise their own spending money through their music. Fred played both the saxophone and clarinet and Bill played the banjo and guitar in a local band called ‘The Clandeboyes” which they formed with friends.

Bill married Meta (Mae) Drewlo in 1935 and had three sons (James, Garry and Herb) and Fred married Freda Sanderson in 1941 and had two sons and a daughter (Ron, Dale and Karen).

Both Bill and Fred acquired exceptional carpentry and mechanical skills over the years and helped with many construction projects at churches, barns, local houses and the curling rink.

It was these skills that would serve them well as they worked tirelessly to come up with changes and improvements to the way combines operated. The brothers combined efforts to test, retest and modify led to the improvement of the early models of the Rotary combines. The first prototype combine they built was a pull type model and their second model was self-propelled. Along the way they made many modifications and worked hard to seek out investors’ interest in their inventions and prototypes.

While their unwavering belief in their vision of a more efficient adaptation of the conventional combine consumed more than a quarter century of their lives, the eventual lack of investor funding and competition from big companies finally ended the pair’s efforts and their patents eventually expired.

A lifetime of effort made by Bill and Fred changed the way that full-line machinery manufacturers design combines for current markets all over the world.

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