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Farm Collector Readers to the Rescue

culitvator

culitvator

I am a collector and restorer of antique horse-drawn farm machinery. I recently restored a 1912 corn surface cultivator manufactured by J.D. Tower & Sons Co., Mendota, Illinois (see photos). During the restoration, I needed information about original paint colors for the machine. I wrote a letter to the editor of Farm Collector, asking for information on factory paint colors. The letter appeared in the July 2016 issue.

I am pleased to report I received many letters and phone calls from Farm Collector readers. I would like to thank the following who supplied me with much-needed information: Nic Papenburg, Shipshewana, Indiana; Don Copa, Little Falls, Minnesota; Robert (Butch) Hansen Jr., a Duluth, Minnesota machinist, who made the many missing parts; and others who helped on this project.

One of my next projects will be another early horse-drawn cultivator, an Adams made by Marseilles Mfg. Co., Marseilles, Illinois. This machine has been outside for more than 100 years and I will need the original paint colors on it also. If anyone has that information, please call or write to me.

Wesley Ahlberg, 5253 Lavaque Jct. Rd., Hermantown, MN 55811;
(218) 591-6721


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

Unique Oliver 70 Row Crop Restoration Salutes Veterans

tractor 

I grew up on a farm in Iowa. My father always farmed with Olivers. We had an Oliver 70 Row Crop like this one when I was growing up and starting to help with field chores.

My dad, Oscar, was a WW II veteran. He started farming the family land as soon as he came home from the war. I wanted to honor my dad’s service and the service of all those who fought for our country. So, voilà! The idea of a patriotic Oliver 70 Row Crop popped into my mind. Luckily, this tractor was sitting alongside the road, for sale, on the route I took to work every day. I bought it with the intention of turning the Oliver green into the red, white and blue, and boy, oh boy, did I ever take a lot of ribbing about it. The seller – the president of our local steam engine club – was not too happy about this idea, but quickly changed his mind when he saw the finished product.

I completely restored this tractor (every nut and bolt) and painted it the red and blue. The detail work (stars and stripes) was done by Getz Automotive in Hampshire, Illinois, and they did the tractor proud!

For the unveiling at our local steam and tractor show in August 2015, our whole family was present for the parade on the first day. They made quite a showing in their “Honor Our Veterans” T-shirts in the bleachers.

Rod Miller, 128 Schmidt Dr.,
Hampshire, IL 60140; (847) 778-8805


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

Restoring Vintage Plows

vintage plow

True Blue Blount vintage plow. Photo courtesy Robert R. Barnes

vintage plow

vintage plow

My wife and I got these plows from an 86-year-old friend. We took them apart and used a DeWalt with a wire brush and sanding disc to clean them up. We used all the original nuts and bolts to put them back together. We researched colors and tried to match them up as best we could, considering the age of the plows. The blue one is a True Blue Blount, the white is a Vulcan and the red is a B.F. Avery. My wife used a fine brush to paint the raised lettering yellow on the backside of the Avery. We are going to start an antique tractor/implement restoration business so we can bring history back to life.

Robert R. Barnes

Salem/Congo, Arkansas


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

Never Throw Anything Away

tool 

While attending an auction last year, I purchased a miscellaneous box of eight or nine old boxes of hog rings, hog ear notchers new in the box and other miscellaneous items along with this pointed tool. I had no idea what the pointed tool was. The sleeve (or vent tube) was not on the shafted tool. Not knowing what it was, I put the vent tube into my junk box along with other odds and ends. After reading the mystery tool article in the February 2017 issue of Farm Collector, I found the tube in my junk box while looking for something else. So don’t ever throw anything away!

Carl C. Friesch,
Sullivan, 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

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