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Field Notes

Potato Digger Has Familiar Name

gear cover 

potato digger

After reading Sam Moore’s column on the Ransomes crawler in the January 2017 issue of Farm Collector, I knew that Ransomes, Sims & Jeffries sounded familiar. I couldn’t recall exactly where or when I had seen that company name until I began looking in my vast empire of implements of the past. I found an old horse-drawn potato digger beautifully cast with the name “Ransomes, Sims & Jeffries” on the gear cover. On the casting that covers the driveshaft is a casting that reads “Ransomes Digger.”

I purchased this digger about 35 years ago from Brickajlik Bros. used farm equipment in Sellersville, Pa. It is ground-driven and in very good condition.


Garrison Brown,
Eastville, Virginia

Send letters to: Farm Collector Editorial, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609 FAX: (785) 274-4385 email: editor@farmcollector.com; online at: www.farmcollector.com

Remembering Raymond Loewy’s Influence on Cockshutt Tractors

cockshutt tractor 

cockshutt tractor ad

I enjoyed the “Style Makers” article by Robert Pripps in the January 2017 issue of Farm Collector outlining the contributions of several designers, including one who was perhaps the father of industrial design, Raymond Loewy. It should be noted that, in addition to the significant work Loewy did for International Harvester in the late 1930s and into the ’40s, he is also recognized for his design of Canada’s Cockshutt line of 500 series tractors that premiered in 1958.

As the 1950s came to a close, it was evident the streamlined effect of round noses and sleek, narrow detailing had run its course with the public. For Cockshutt, Loewy chose to emphasize a new standard of modern styling. His sheet metal design for the 500 tractors reflected a new “wide-body” approach with bolder, square-type grilles and a side molding that accented the name and model. This move would be followed by many tractor manufacturers in the near future as the new standard. Loewy was awarded first prize for this work in a U.S. industrial design competition.


Dennis McGrew, Lawrence, Michigan

Send letters to: Farm Collector Editorial, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609 FAX: (785) 274-4385 email: editor@farmcollector.com; online at: www.farmcollector.com

Remembering Steam Engines

Torske

Henry Torske, Conrad, Mont., breaking sod on the Oscar Torske farm east of Ledger, Mont., with his 110 Case converted to burn oil. The farm is now owned by Lawrence (Torske) Lippf.

I have enclosed a photo of a gear similar to others shown in Farm Collector. During World War II, my dad junked out the steam engine this gear came from and sold it for scrap iron. He used this gear for a base for a mailbox stand. That’s how it was preserved.

Steam engine gear

Before they scrapped the engine, they used it to smoke meat. When they butchered, they hung the bacon and hams in front, and burned wood to smoke the meat. They would hang the country hams on a chain upstairs and my brother would use his jack knife to cut a chunk off the ham when he wanted a chew of ham.

As boys, my brother and I took the engine’s brass pieces to school and donated them to the war effort. I still have the engine’s original state inspector’s certificate; it was dated 1918. It was a 1901 Gaar-Scott steam engine.

Lawrence Torske, McIntosh, Minnesota


Send letters to: Farm Collector Editorial, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609 FAX: (785) 274-4385 email: editor@farmcollector.com; online at: www.farmcollector.com

Monarch Name May Have Been Used Into the 1930s

monarch 

I am writing in regard to a statement on Page 22 of the November 2016 issue of Farm Collector. The article states that, “the Monarch name was retained for a time, but in 1929 the name was dropped and the characteristic Monarch steering wheel was replaced by steering levers.” I believe this is incorrect. The Monarch name was used through 1931, which was the last year for the Model 75. My Monarch 75 is a 1930 model, and has the steering wheel. Thanks for your time. I love the magazine!


Dan Jacobs, Darien, Wisconsin

Send letters to: Farm Collector Editorial, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609 FAX: (785) 274-4385 email: editor@farmcollector.com; online at: www.farmcollector.com

 

Manure Spreader Might be a New Idea/Nisco

Nisco 

The unidentified manure spreader shown in the November 2016 issue of Farm Collector might be a New Idea/Nisco. I am enclosing a picture from an original owner’s manual that came with the spreader my grandfather purchased in 1923.

We used it into the 1970s. It was later traded to a man who was working a team. He completely restored it. One day when he was using it, the team spooked, ran through a fence and jumped a ditch, wrecking the spreader.


Bob Kohlhagen, Casco, Michigan

Send letters to: Farm Collector Editorial, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609 FAX: (785) 274-4385 email: editor@farmcollector.com; online at: www.farmcollector.com

Farm Collector Connects Distant Relatives

Starkebaum Cousins 

Left to right: Richard Starkebaum, Wendell Starkebaum and Raymond Starkebaum.

On a cold December night in 2015, the phone rang at the home of Wendell Starkebaum in Higginsville, Mo. On the other end was an unfamiliar voice asking if this was Wendell Starkebaum. With a little hesitation, the answer was “yes.” The caller was Raymond Starkebaum, Choctaw, Oklahoma. He had seen Wendell’s name in Farm Collector magazine’s “What Is It” section several times, and he was just wondering who this Wendell Starkebaum was. They had a very lengthy, informative conversation and discovered that they shared a relative who came from Germany in 1830. A phone friendship developed from this conversation, and on Oct. 4, 2016, the two met face to face. Raymond, who is 90, made the long trip from Oklahoma with the help of his son, Richard, to visit Wendell’s farm in Higginsville.

In this age of technology, many family members are brought together to rekindle acquaintances. But sometimes that happens by unconventional means. Thanks, Farm Collector!


Wendell Starkebaum, Higginsville, Missouri

Send letters to: Farm Collector Editorial, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609 FAX: (785) 274-4385 email: editor@farmcollector.com; online at: www.farmcollector.com

Interesting Crescent Tool Co. Wrench

 

I saw the collection of wrenches in the June 2016 issue of Farm Collector. I am enclosing a photo of a wrench I have. One side is marked “6-8 m Crestoloy Steel made in U.S.A.” The other side is marked “Mfd by Crescent Tool Co. Jamestown N.Y.” I enjoy your magazine.


William Canary, Franklin, Indiana

Send letters to: Farm Collector Editorial, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609 FAX: (785) 274-4385 email: editor@farmcollector.com; online at: www.farmcollector.com