A clock worker's morticing machine; a paint pigment grinder
It was interesting to see on the cover of your May issue the picture of a Flint and Walling windmill. We have a Flint and Walling windmill that pumps our water. It was installed in 1916 and has been in operation since then. There is a yellow star on the blade along with the name: R.R. Howell & Co., Minneapolis, Mn. There is also some other wording, too small to read from the ground, and I haven't climbed the tower recently. I think it is patent numbers.
Allen Menter, Faith, SD
Paint Grinder and Mortice Machine Keeping Company
I purchased a grinder like the one pictured in the Letters page in the April issue of Farm Collector. My wife found an article in Early American Life that describes it as a paint pigment grinder. I enclosed a picture of my grinder, along with another rare item: a clock worker's morticing machine.
Bryan Clothier, 351 County Rt. 24, Corinth, NY 12822
WORKING IN TANDEM
During the period after World War II, from the late 1940s to the early 1960s, farmers in midwest needed tractors with more power. Some solved the problem by taking two tractors - such as two John Deere D's, or two Case L's, or two IH W-9's - and hooking them in tandem, first with self-steering drawbars, and then by removing the front axle of the back tractor, and mounting it on the drawbar of the front tractor. Controls and gauges were mounted where they could be operated from the front tractor. That way, one man could operate two plows at a time, and normally at one gear higher, increasing output.
At the turn of the century, few tandems remain in operation. In recent years, a pair of Minneapolis-Moline U's was shown at Winfield, Kan. William Steinke of Nebraska has restored a pair of International W-9's that will be shown locally. The last time I heard of a tandem being used was 1986: John Heater in Elk County, Kan., used a pair of Massey 98's.
This pair of Massey-Harris 55 diesels hooked in articulating tandem is shown each year at the Bird City, Kan., show. The tandem was built by Ernst Bressler, a local Massey dealer and farmer. In some situations, it was a little tricky to drive, but it served the needs of the farmer until the manufacturers learned what big tractors were.
Shorty Flater, PO Box 3141, Salina, KS, 67402-3141.
A GEM OF A FIND
Recently, while cleaning out my barn loft, I found this interesting piece of equipment. I cleaned it off and found the lettering that says Gem Grain Grader. I tried to find some information on the Internet, but was unsuccessful. Can anyone enlighten me on its use and possible value?