In late 1957, Bob Chambers sold Magna to Yuba Consolidated Industries. It wasn't long after that with Chambers' persistence that Yuba chairman John Magarra approached Dad to buy Weber Engineered Products. Weber was finally sold in May 1958 and merged with Magna to be known as Yuba Power Products, Inc. I left the firm in January 1960.
One of the points made in the article was that Sears returned a massive amount of tillers and parts to Weber. This was not ever the case, and even after the merger with Magna under the Yuba umbrella, sales of the Roto-Spader remained strong through 1959. I cannot comment about what happened after that.
- L Lodge Weber, P.O. Box 44220, Columbus, OH 43204
Thunderstorm ends in wild ride across hay field
I grew up on a 100-acre farm near Ashburn, Va., about 50 miles south of Washington, D.C. During the summer months, I assisted my father in making hay. We farmed with three tractors: a Massy-Ferguson 165, a Farmall M and a John Deere 4230.
My duty was to rake the hay. The Farmall M was hitched to a single New Holland hay rake. I was so small that in order to push the heavy clutch in, I would grab two of the steering wheel spokes and push the clutch in with both feet, lifting myself out of the seat while doing so. This was rarely a problem since the tractor would not travel much faster than walking speed and the terrain in northern Virginia was mostly flat. My father would assist me with the clutch when it came time to stop for lunch or at the end of the day.
One hot, muggy day in late June, my father and I were attempting to finish a hay field before nightfall. Without warning, a thunderstorm erupted. Being the ripe, old age of 8, I was terrified of thunderstorms. I maintained my cool for as long as I possibly could, but as luck would have it, I was at the furthest point away from the barn when Mother Nature sent a bolt of lightning ripping across the sky. It was so long it forked four times, and the clap of thunder that immediately followed completely unnerved me.
'That's it!' I said out loud. 'The rest of the field will just have to get rained on.' I immediately disengaged the clutch with both feet and held my weight with one hand, which was wrapped almost permanently around the heavy spoke of the steering wheel. With my free hand, I reached down and shoved the transmission into fifth gear - a gear I was forbidden to use by my father. That didn't matter to me at that point.