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Looking Back

Radio Surprise

Sam MooreNinety years ago the new-fangled radio was found in few homes. The following account of an individual’s first encounter with a radio was written by a man named Fred Meeker and appeared in the September 1927 issue of The American Thresherman magazine.

“Probably many readers now own radio receiving sets; but there are probably many more who are looking forward to the time when they too will own one of these wonders.

“Several years ago I was invited to a friend’s home one evening, ‘To listen to the radio.’ It was some ten miles distant and the weather was cold, but we bundled the five children up well, climbed into the flivver and went to hear the voices and music out of the air. The first thing to attract my attention, when entering the house, was the loud speaker. Although I was offered a more comfortable chair across the room, I chose a straight-back one by the loud speaker, for I did not want to miss anything. I was very nervous and could hardly wait for the thing to be set going. My host remarked, ‘Oh, there’s nothing on the air right now; it will be fifteen minutes yet.’

“Would those fifteen minutes never pass? It seemed more like fifteen hours, but at last he announced, ‘KDKA is now on and we’ll try them.” I moved my chair right in front of the horn so I could see every move he made and hear all that might be said.

“My friend first pulled a switch which lighted some bulbs similar to electric light bulbs, and then slowly began to turn a knob. Suddenly, ‘Whee! O-o-o-o-w! whiz! bang!’ I nearly fell off my chair! I had expected to hear music or someone’s voice, but not such a screeching, whistling, howling racket as that. The ‘o-o-o-w, r-r-r-r-r-r, o-o-w-e-e’ kept up and the longer it went the louder it got. Was this radio? If so, it certainly wasn’t enjoyable, let alone entertaining. At last, after a half-hour of noise without one word or musical note from the blooming thing, my host, who was sweating like a butcher, said he’d have to give it up for a while. ‘That’s radio,’ said he; ‘just as soon as someone comes it always acts up, but when we are here alone it’s fine.’

“Finally he said, ‘Well, we’ll try Detroit, they’ll be on in five minutes and I know I can get them.’ Detroit is one hundred miles from here. In five minutes he put the set in operation again and with one little ‘wheek,’ a voice boomed right in my ear, ‘This is the Detroit News, station WWJ.’ I nearly toppled from my chair again. For, after a half-hour of ear-splitting racket, to hear a voice as realistic as if right in the horn was some surprise.

“It seemed only a short time when I looked at my watch and saw to my utter surprise that it was ten o’clock, and we had ten miles to drive through the cold. But it was worth it! I had heard a radio! On the way home my wife remarked, ‘Well, it was wonderful after he got it tamed, but it sure was some squealer in the wild state.’”

Mr. Meeker tells how, after this initial encounter, he “had the fever and accordingly bought all the books and read all the magazines which had any articles bearing on the subject of radio.” He also experimented with many radio sets then on the market and built several himself, becoming quite an expert on radio.

He explains many of the technical aspects of the technology then current and concludes with, “If you are thinking of getting a radio and want the best to be had at any price without paying out of reason, then either build or buy a two-stage tuned neutralized radio frequency stage set; and for some time to come you will have a satisfaction in radio which is second to none.”

– Sam Moore

A family gathered around the radio

A farm family gathered around the radio to hear the latest news. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

The Case Model CC Tractor

Sam MooreAnother Case story for this 175th anniversary year of the founding of the J.I. Case Threshing Machine Company.

The International Harvester Company came out with a motorized 2-row cultivator about 1916. The machine wasn’t a success, but it began a long period of experimentation by IHC that led to the introduction of the Farmall in 1924. Generally acknowledged to be the first true row-crop tractor in America, the popularity of the revolutionary Farmall soon had other tractor manufacturers scrambling to build a row-crop tractor of their own.

At the time the Farmall came out, Case was still selling cross motor tractors, a design that was not only outdated, but totally incompatible with row-crop design. Case badly needed a new tractor and the 3 to 4-plow Model L, introduced in February of 1929, was an immediate success. At the same time as the Model L was being developed, Case was thinking about a smaller row-crop machine.

A smaller 2 to 3-plow version of the Model L, designated the Model C, was introduced to the public in August 1929, and this was to be the basis for Case’s row-crop tractor as well. A prototype was built with a single front wheel and rear wheels that slid in and out on the exposed rear axles. Dubbed the Model CC, the tractors were ready for testing in March, 1929.

There were problems. The front of the CC was light and would rare up during a hard pull. When the front came crashing back to the ground, the front gooseneck casting and the cast iron front wheels would often break. There were oiling and steering troubles as well. Finally, early in 1930, Case announced the new CC tractor.

The Models C and CC were powered by a 4-cylinder overhead valve engine with 3 7/8 by 5 1/2 inch bore and stroke, that turned 22.7 HP on the drawbar and nearly 29 on the belt. On steel wheels, the CC weighed about 3,600 pounds and had a 3-speed transmission with speeds of 2.63, 3.75 and 5.14 MPH.

Described by Case as “two tractors in one,” the Model CC’s rear wheel tread could be adjusted from a narrow 48 inches for plowing to a wide 84 inches for cultivating. Wheel tread adjustments were accomplished by the use of 2, 10 and 12-inch spool-type spacers and reversible wheels.

Leon Clausen, who was president of Case at the time, insisted that purpose built implements be designed to go with the new Model CC tractor. He wrote to his engineering manager in 1929: “It is obvious that the Case Company is going into the general purpose tractor field and that they must be able to supply the attachments that go along with the CC tractor, so the farmer can do the things he wants to do and so we will be on a competitive basis with International and John Deere. We can’t do this by furnishing the tractor alone or by having one or two attachments.”

1936 Case CC

1936 Case CC and a mounted lister-planter owned by Lyle E. Lannon of Sydney, Illinois. (Photo by Sam Moore at the Half Century of Progress Show, Rantoul, Illinois, in 2009)

The Case engineers designed two and four-row planters and cultivators, listers, middle busters and a rear-mounted mower to fit the CC. These implements were lifted by either the “armstrong” method, or an optional power lift. At first the power lift was chain driven from a sprocket on the right rear axle, but about 1933, a PTO-driven lift was mounted on the differential housing.

Leon Clausen was vice president of manufacturing for Deere & Company in 1924, when he was made president of the J.I. Case Threshing Machine Company. When he first came to Case, he seemed to have a vision for the future and was responsible for many improvements. He recognized that Case’s automobile line wasn’t adding to the bottom line and got rid of it. He said later: “When I came to Racine, Case’s tractor line was obsolete, both in appearance and performance.” He pushed for a new tractor line and the Models L and C were the happy result.

The Case L, C and CC tractors sold well. During their ten-year run, 1929 to 1939, Case built 34,000 Model Ls, and almost 53,000 series C tractors, of which nearly 30,000 were row-crop Model CCs. They were up to date machines in their day and were powerful, reliable and difficult to break.

However, it seemed that once he had pushed through these successful models, Clausen thought nothing could be improved upon and he became very resistant to change. Although the gray Case tractors were modernized in 1939 and 1940 with new sheet metal and flambeau red paint, underneath they retained the 1929 design. No tractor development was undertaken at Case until well after World War II, putting them far behind the competition. When his branch managers and salesmen complained about the lack of updated equipment, Clausen would retort: “Don’t listen to what they want! Just tell ’em what you have to sell.”

Clausen stepped down as president in 1948, but by that time it was too late. During the early 1930s, Case had sold about one third of all tractors sold in the U.S. By 1950, that figure was less than ten percent.

So, it appears that, like their competitor International Harvester, Case was the victim of bad management and poor business decisions. It’s ironic that the remnants of both companies are now married as Case-IH under the vast umbrella of CNH Global.

– Sam Moore

Old-Time Threshing

Sam MooreAnd now, here are a couple of tales of old-time threshing that I lifted from the pages of a 1927 copy of The American Thresherman.

Three men, their clothes covered with black grease and dirt that told of their vocation as threshermen, drove their tired teams as they laboriously climbed the “Hog-back” that led into Sugar Tree Bend.

The darkness of night was closing over the greasy trio as they turned into the big bend of the Pecatonica River on this late October evening.

Big Chris Swanson was in the lead with his high tail Case separator and following him was Long Chris Norslie with the two-wheeled Dingee-Woodbury horse power. Bringing up the rear was Little Cooney Doring driving the trap wagon, loaded with the odds and ends of tumbling rods and sweeps, along with the straw carrier.

Eventually they reached a little clearing in which stood a cabin surrounded by a rail fence. In another enclosure were four small stacks of wheat and a log stable with a straw thatched roof. Inside the little home an evening meal was fixed and waiting to fill the stomachs of the tired, hungry men. The meal consisted of sizzling sow belly, potatoes boiled in their natural habiliments and corn dodgers, to be washed down with a combination beverage of coffee, toasted rye kernels and chicory.

By 4 the next morning, with the aid of the light from tallow candle lanterns, the men were setting and staking down the machinery that was to separate the golden wheat from the straw in the handbound bundles.

As the sun began to light the east, our little trio of threshermen got to work as the wheels began to hum. Across the valley surveyors could be seen staking out a new railroad which was later built.

The railroad is still there, but the cabins, the straw sheds and the old threshing machines are gone, disappeared forever.

Most of these old threshermen are gone too, sleeping the eternal sleep. A few are left who walk with halting steps and speak with faltering lips. Thus have passed some of the finest and most picturesque pioneers that our great country has ever known.

The above story was written by Frank W. Doring, son of one of the threshermen mentioned in the story, the piece is titled In Wisconsin Fifty Years Ago.

In the same issue, in the Women’s Department, is the following story titled: Cooking for a Western Crew.

Somewhere in the wheat region of eastern Washington, is a place called Badger’s Pocket. I used to wonder why, but during my time there as a cook for a threshing crew, I learned the reason.

My little daughter and I were on a cook wagon which either followed or preceded a Case thresher and steam engine around that country for about 50 days.

The cook wagon was drawn by two steady old mules driven by an old man of Scandinavian descent who helped me set up when we landed at a new “set.” We rose at 4 a.m. and it was around 10 p.m. before I retired, but I did not feel tired, as the air of that hot dry climate seemed exhilarating after living all my life on the coast.

One afternoon the thresher started for a new setting, but it was dusk before my cook house finally got started. I had baked several berry pies for the noon meal the next day and on our way through a stretch of sand we got off the road. One wheel went into a badger hole, causing the wagon to give a sudden lurch. My pies were loosed from their moorings and all but one fell on the floor. I was upset but the driver said, “I couldn’t help it. A badger hole.”

We then got down into a coulee and the mules couldn’t pull the wagon out. The driver hung a lantern high on the cook house to serve as a beacon. The crew came back to find us and were guided by the lantern.

After getting the cook house upon the road again and catching up with the thresher, the men were told about the loss of the pies. But they only laughed as they were too glad to see us to be very grouchy.

I then fixed coffee and sandwiches and it was after midnight before we were finally settled close to the thresher.

Those boys would not have left their “eats” out on the plain all night, even if they had to hunt till dawn. Neither would they have left their cook and her little girl. They were fine to us; I cooked good meals, and they surely appreciated it and showed it in their acts.

Flora Jackson, Elma, Washington.

Those were the Good Old Days, when men were men, and the women were just as tough.

– Sam Moore

Woodcut of a Case Eclipse separator

This 1878 woodcut shows the Case Eclipse “high-tailed” separator “eclipsing” all others in the universe. (Courtesy of the J.I. Case Co., Racine, Wis.)

Revisiting the Tongue Truck

Sam MooreI wonder how many of today’s farmers, if asked whether they knew what a tongue truck was, would answer yes. In the days of real horse power these farm implement accessories were common on most farms.

Tongue trucks were often used, not only with horse-drawn mowers and grain binders, but with disc harrows, corn planters, corn binders, potato diggers and even dump rakes. Most two-wheeled, horse-drawn machines are designed with the seat sticking out behind the axle, thus allowing the operator’s weight and the law of leverage to help offset the weight of the implement on the horse’s shoulders. Tongue trucks are also used to lessen this weight on the horses, but they have other important benefits as well.

Many of these implements require a specific and constant position in relation to the ground in order to do their best work. Once the machine is adjusted properly, a tongue truck that supports the front of the machine, maintains this critical operating position without regard to the natural movement of the team. A tongue truck also eliminates the variations in implement operating position caused by different sized teams, while the length of the traces, as well as the adjustment of the breast straps, can best be made to suit the load, without worrying about any effect on the implement’s optimum operating position.

On some implements with stiff poles, particularly those with considerable side draft, such as corn and grain binders and mowing machines, the use of a tongue truck eliminates the sore shoulders caused by the whipping of the tongue against the horses.

A tongue on a disc harrow makes discing very hard on the horses, due to the twisting and bucking of the implement which whips the pole against the team almost constantly. For this reason, disc harrows can be equipped with a tongue truck, thus relieving the team of neck weight and any side draft, as well as eliminating the necessity for the team to pry the machine around when turning. On a disc harrow, a front truck is often used without a tongue and the evener is attached to a clevis that steers the truck wheels. However, a tongue attached to the truck gives the team much more leverage for turning the disc at the corners.

Deering grain binder

A Deering grain binder with a tongue truck.

As can be seen from the attached illustrations, the tongue truck is bolted to the front end of a stub tongue so it supports the front of the implement. The pole is then attached to the truck in such a manner that it steers the wheels and guides the implement as the team turns. The eveners usually are attached directly to the truck itself, and the pole is used only to steer the device.

The tongue truck ordinarily consists of two 15 to 20-inch, steel wheels set fairly close together on a flexible frame that allows the wheels and axle to pivot horizontally as well as to swivel to the right or left. The horizontal pivot feature allows the wheels to follow the ground and keeps the truck steady and the implement tracking properly.

An important benefit of a tongue truck on a hay or grain cutting machine, such as a mower or a grain binder, is that the steerable truck allows easier square turns and full swaths at the corners.

Some seed planting implements where planting depth is critical, such as the John Deere No. 999 corn planter could be furnished with a single wheeled front truck. In this arrangement, the front wheel supports the front of the planter and the tongue is free to pivot up and down while the team negotiates uneven ground. This not only assures that the planter stays level for uniform planting depth and check pattern, but relieves the horses of neck weight as well The front planter wheel is mounted as a caster, allowing it to follow the machine as it is steered by the team.

This reminds me of a story, I think I may have told before.

An acquaintance named Melvin once told me of an experience he had as a young boy on his father’s farm. The father had been an active farmer until being badly enough injured in an accident that he gave up farming and went into a business where he needed a truck. He bought a used, early 1940s Ford 1-ton pickup that the family always referred to as “the ton truck.”

The father then advertised the no-longer-needed farm machinery, which included a grain binder, for sale. One day a farmer came to look at the grain binder, which led to Melvin’s embarrassing interlude. Melvin’s father wasn’t home but the boy, feeling quite important, undertook to show the machine to the prospective buyer. After a careful examination of the binder and a lot of questions, which Melvin endeavored to answer, the farmer, who intended to use the machine with horses, asked, “Do you have a tongue truck?”

Melvin had never heard of a tongue truck and heard the question as, “Do you have a ton truck?” “Yes!” He answered, and proudly led the way to a shed where he pointed to the Ford. After a bit of confusion on both sides, it turned out there was no tongue truck for the binder and the disappointed buyer left empty handed.

– Sam Moore

John Deere corn planter

A Deere 999 corn planter with a tongue truck.

Last of the Lazy Farmer: Air Conditioning and Fishing

I’ve plumbed the depths of my stash of old “Lazy Farmer” rhymes and these are the last two I can find.

The first is from May 15, 1954.

Sam MooreMirandy says she will not rest until I bow to her request
that I rush out and buy for her a fancy air conditioner.
She says she cannot stand to meet another stretch of summer heat,
and since there’s modern gadgets now to keep the sweat from off your brow,
she threatens if we don’t get one, that there’ll be no more housework done.
Those things, she says, will cool us down just like a restaurant in town;
and though one might cost a bit, she claims I’ll gain a lot from it
because she’ll feel more vigorous and also less cantankerous.

Those arguments sound mighty good, but still I can’t see why I should
spend money for a man-made breeze that might cause chills and make me sneeze.
I’ve never seen a summer yet when it wasn’t possible to set
beside a window where the air would gently ruffle through my hair
and cool me off much better than an artificial gadget can.
Besides, if we should get a thing like boughten air conditioning,
Mirandy might be tempted to stay in the house and never do
the outside work she must get done cause I’m allergic to the sun.

The last is from fifteen years earlier on May 30, 1939.

When corn is planted I can’t wait to dig me up some jucy bait
and hie me off down to the crick, where bass are hidin’, fat and thick,
a-waitin’ to be tempted by an angleworm a-floatin’ by.
I like to match wits with them fish, a-thinkin’ of the tasty dish
they’ll make when smokin’ on a plate when they meet their rendezvous with fate.
There ain’t a thing a feller lacks in life if he can just watch the cork a-floatin’ free,
a-waitin’ till some hungry fish will make a dive at it, and swish!
you land him on the bank beside, with water sparklin’ on his hide.

My neighbor works from sun to sun and never has no time for fun;
he thinks that fishin’s a waste of time, he doesn’t have no taste
for sittin’ with his soul at peace, he’s thinkin’ of more land he’ll lease
next year to grow a bigger crop, he ain’t got sense enough to stop,
that feller makes a lot of noise, but misses most of lifetime’s joys.
I don’t mind work if I can unload it onto the hired man,
but what’s the use of livin’ if you just grow old and sour and stiff
without no days to look back to when you did just what you like to do?
The neighbor thinks that I’m a fool for wastin’ time beside the pool,
a day of fishin; brings my youth right back to me, and that’s the truth!

I’ve tried to discover the identity of the real person behind the “Lazy Farmer,” but have never been successful. Whoever the author his skirmishes with “Mirandy,” while trying to avoid a lick of work, are always entertaining as is the drawing that accompanies each rhyme.

– Sam Moore

The Lazy Farmer fishing

The Lazy Farmer illustration from May 30, 1939, Michigan Farmer.

The John Deere Model Y Tractor

Sam MooreBy 1920 most tractor builders had gotten away from the big, heavy and awkward tractors that were the norm during the first two decades of the 20th century. Still, except for the Fordson and a handful of others, most tractors sold were in the three to four plow classes. Tractors were expensive, and there were tens of thousands of farmers with 100 acres or less who felt that the purchase of these larger machines couldn’t be justified for their small acreage.

By 1930, tractor dealers east of the Mississippi River, where the bulk of these smaller farms were concentrated, were besieging their home offices with requests for a small, inexpensive tractor to replace the one team of horses on these farms. One of the earliest was the 14 HP Farmall F-12, introduced in 1933, followed by the little Plymouth (soon renamed Silver King) in 1934.

Deere and Co. brought out the 14 hp Model “B”, an extremely popular tractor that replaced many a team of horses on small farms (as did the Farmall F-12). Still, there was a clamor from the field for an even smaller and lower-priced machine, so the engineers at the Waterloo Tractor Works, and the John Deere Wagon Works in Dubuque began work.

The Dubuque group, under Max Slovsky won the race, and in 1936 more than 20 Model “Y” tractors were built and tested. Looking nothing at all like the Waterloo built tractors, the Model “Y” used mostly off-the-shelf components to hold down costs. Management had specified that the engine of the new tractor must be 2-cylinder, so a Novo C-66 engine was used. The Novo was indeed 2-cylinder, although it was (gasp) upright instead of following the Waterloo tradition of horizontal engines! The transmission and steering gear on the Y were the same as that of the Model A Ford car, while the frame consisted of two heavy steel tubes. The Model Y weighed 1340 pounds, had a cushioned seat with a canvas back on a wire frame, and the rear fenders had curved, flat tops over the tires.

John Deere Model Y replica

A replica of the Deere Model Y that was put together by the late Jack Kreeger, who showed it at Tipton, Indiana, in 1993 where I photographed it. (Photo by Sam Moore)

During field trials, the Model Y performed well and it generated a lot of interest among farmers when demonstrated at fairs that summer. The only problem was with the Novo engine, which was designed for stationary use and didn’t have enough oil sump capacity to keep the bearings lubricated while working on hillsides. Apparently, at least some of the Novo engines were replaced by a Hercules 2-cylinder, L-head engine that was basically one half of their 4-cylinder engine with a bore and stroke of 3 x 4 inches, 56 cubic inches, and put out about 8 horsepower. Hercules records show that 20 of these engines were sold to Deere in 1936.

It seems the Model Y was advertised briefly at a cost of $532.50, but most accounts say that none were actually sold and that all 20-some tractors were recalled to the factory and scrapped. Deere was convinced the little Dubuque tractor was a keeper, however, and Slovsky and his crew set out to improve the design. The result was the Model 62, which made its debut in 1937.

The Model 62 was powered by the same 2-cylinder Hercules engine that was successful in the Model Y, although there were many differences from the earlier effort. The cast front and rear wheels are different and the fenders are more rounded, while the transmission is mounted to the front of the rear axle instead of the rear of the engine. Another feature that appears only on the Model 62 is the large, combined JD logo that’s cast into the rear axle housing and the cast shield below the radiator in front. The few lucky collectors who own Model 62 tractors (probably fewer than 80 were built) delight in painting these logos yellow to make them stand out, although they were green on the originals.

Made for less than a year, the Model 62 was replaced in late 1937 by the un-styled Model L, again similar to its predecessor, only different. But that’s a story for another day.

– Sam Moore

The History of the Harrow

Sam MooreBack in the day when every farmer worth his salt believed that a well-tilled field was essential to growing a good crop, a harrow was an essential implement. First the ground would be plowed, and then the turned furrows were worked down with a couple of passes with a disc harrow that sliced up clods and did the initial smoothing. Lastly a harrow, an open frame with several rows of either spike or spring teeth and sometimes called a smoothing, or drag harrow, was run over the field until the soil was in good tilth for planting.

When seeds were commonly sowed by broadcasting, or scattering them evenly on the field, rather than by drilling them into the soil, a harrow was used to cover the seeds. After the planted seeds and the weeds were just peeking through the ground, a spike tooth harrow was commonly run over the field. The tender young weeds would be uprooted, while the deeper rooted crop plants would survive.

Harrows are mentioned in the Bible and are as ancient as the plow. The first such implements were nothing more than a carefully selected tree trunk or limb with protruding branches, that scratched the soil when pulled along by hand or behind an animal. England's Parliament felt it necessary, in 1664, to abolish “as being cruel and injurious to the animals,” the practice of tying, with a rawhide cord, the brushy limb of a tree to a horse's tail for use as a harrow.

Early American farmers made an A-harrow that consisted of timbers (or a forked log), through which wooden or iron pegs were driven. Especially useful on just cleared fields that often were full of stumps and rocks, the A-harrow was strong and would slide around obstructions rather than get caught on them. By the 1850s, square harrows, made of wood with wrought or cast iron teeth were popular. However, the iron teeth often snapped off when a rock or other obstruction was struck. Finally, after the War Between the States, manufacturers began to use steel teeth and iron frames, and added levers to change the angle of the teeth. These spike tooth harrows changed very little from then on.

Of course, the way a harrow is usually used requires the operator to walk either behind, or to one side of the machine. These many miles of walking in soft, mellow soil is very tiresome. Not only that, but harrows don’t do much good in heavy, wet soil, so the ground is usually dry. An old Zane Grey book, titled The Desert of Wheat, gives an account of a man harrowing with four horses in a Washington wheat field. “Driving west, he faced a wind laden with dust as dry as powder. At every sheeted cloud, whipping back from the hoofs of the horses and the steel spikes of the harrow, he had to bat his eyes to keep from being blinded. The smell of dust clogged his nostrils. As soon as he began to sweat under the hot sun the dust caked his face, itching, stinging, burning. There was dust between his teeth.”

To make things a little easier on the harrow operator, ingenious inventors began to patent wheeled, or sulky harrows, where the harrow itself was suspended under a frame that was supported by two wheels. None of these devices seems to have caught on, probably because they were heavy, awkward and, undoubtedly expensive. However, lightweight riding attachments were developed that had some success. Some of these have survived and occasionally one is seen in a suburban lawn as an ornament.

The 1939 International Harvester catalog lists a harrow cart with the following comment: “No man who has tramped all day back and forth across a plowed field behind a peg-tooth harrow can fail to appreciate the value of a harrow cart.” The 1928 John Deere catalog describes their No. 4 harrow cart as “A popular drudgery-saver,” and goes on to list the advantages. The two “drawbars are crossed, making cart trail harrow in turning.” An automatic lock “Prevents the cart from swaying and holds it straight in hillside work. Automatically unlocks in turning.” There was “no danger of tipping over on hillsides,” and the 36-inch wheels gave a light draft. The final selling point was the high seat described thus: “Because of large wheels and long seat spring, operator sits high, away from the dust.” While I doubt the operator escaped much dust, there’s no question that riding beat the stuffing out of walking in loose dirt.

As can be seen from the illustrations, the two drawbar arms bolted directly to the wooden harrow drawbar. The carts themselves were lightweight, with the IH model weighing 121 pounds, while the John Deere No. 4  was a little heavier at 135 pounds. The light weight of the cart, plus the weight of the operator that balanced any additional weight on the drawbar, along with the large diameter wheels added very little to the draft of the harrow.

– Sam Moore

John Deere No. 4 harrow cart

The John Deere No. 4 harrow cart. (Illustration from a 1928 John Deere catalog in the author’s collection)