In these photos, sent by Larry Mack, Milan, Illinois, a farmer performed field work with what appears to be a Moline Universal tractor (built 1918-'23). The land roller (below) is one of the earliest and most enduring forms of tillage equipment; the disc harrow (shown above weighted with a log) became commercially available in the 1880s.
I always enjoy Clell Ballard’s articles and the Un-Identical Twins (Farm Collector, May 2014) gave me a real lift. And then that picture — a man standing in front of a rare army truck — caught my eye. Seen that picture before. No, surely not; couldn’t have. Dug a little anyway and sure enough, here it is. Almost surely the same IHC model, only this one appears to be four-wheel drive.
In September 1945, the 260th Signal Corps heavy construction company went to Tokyo to build telephone lines and the like. I was a mechanic in that outfit. We had seven or eight kinds and models of trucks to keep up but this one wasn’t one of them. In the photo, the man on the left was our motor sergeant, Rodney Fuller. On the right was a friend of his who came by to visit him, driving that truck. He was from a quartermaster outfit. Never saw that truck again, and fifth wheel tractors were quite rare in that area, most hauling being done with 6x6s.
One more thing. As Ballard noted, there were very few military trucks at that time rated over 5 tons. We had one, a 6x6 Ward LaFrance wrecker. Arthur Coy poses with it in the other photo. Rated 10 tons. Now, does that qualify to make the twins triplets? Or maybe cousins?
Bob Good, Harrison, Arkansas
The dates for the 40th annual Mid Michigan Old Gas Tractor Assn. Inc. show were incorrectly listed in the July and August 2014 issues of Farm Collector. The correct days for this spectacular show are Aug. 15 through the 17. Gates open at 7 a.m. each day. Donations are $10 for adults, $5 for students 18 and under, and children under 12 are free when accompanied by a parent or guardian. Seniors will be admitted for $5 on Friday.
The feature is Huber tractors and equipment. The MMOGTA show is known for being a working tractor show. There will be Saturday night fireworks and good food can be found on the show grounds. Other things to check out at the show include live harvesting and tilling demonstrations, a tractor raffle, bingo, a blacksmith shop, a handle mill, veneer mill, steam engines, sawmill with 80 hp Fairbanks Upright, tractor pulls, good security, flea markets, arts and crafts, and specialty crop exhibits.
The show grounds are located at the corner of Brennan and Ferden Roads: 17180 W. Ferden Rd., Oakley, MI 48649. Travel 10 miles north of Owosso, Michigan, on M-52 to Oakley, then 4 miles west and 1 mile north. Primitive camping is available.
For more information contact Bill Koski (989) 723-2369; Frank Young (989) 865-9020; Don Hart (989) 845-7221; Flea market contact Brad Lab (989) 723-5546. Visit them online at www.mmogta.org.
We apologize to the Mid Michigan Old Gas Tractor Assn. Inc. for the error.
I found the article on restoring threshing machines very interesting.
As a youngster, I always looked forward to the arrival of the threshing machine. What an event! By the mid-1950s I could drive a tractor for loading grain bundles. My favorite was a nearly new John Deere Model 50. It even had power steering!
At the end of the 1950s, threshing days were just a memory, and remained so for many years. In about 1990, a group of area folks with similar interests organized the Old Time Farmfest Lions. It is now an annual event. I am a member of the threshing crew. So, after more than 30 years, threshing days are here again.
Twelve years ago I purchased my first threshing machine. I dismantled it for repairs and painted it. Since then I’ve repeated that procedure on two more threshing machines. At this time, three more are awaiting restoration.
What unusual finds there are in old threshing machines. McCormick-Deering no. 28-4357C had a wood toolbox on top, covered with oil and grease. Inside were the usual tools and shipping papers. The thresher was shipped by rail on May 15, 1929, to Prairie du Sac, Wis.
On another thresher, Case no. 78902, some kind of rodents packed the interior with bushels of walnuts. The only knives that would turn were the knives on the feeder.
Richard E. Ruben, W482 County Rd. P, Fountain City, WI 54629
Ben Goossen and his brothers Abe and Walter of Rosenort, Manitoba, Canada, built a “jigger” in 1946 for odd jobs around the farm, such as hauling fuel, spraying fields, mowing and even firefighting. Some might call it a “run-about” or compare it to the modern go-kart or an ATV.
The Goossen “jigger” was constructed from an Overland car frame (1920s vintage) and the front and rear axles of a Model A Ford. It featured a double transmission with 10 speeds forward and four reverse to compensate for its lower-power engines.
The first engine was a 2 hp Wisconsin. The Goossen engineering team found that the jigger was under-powered and replaced the first engine with a larger one. Over time, the jigger had four engines, each one growing in size, according to Ben Goossen. The vehicle currently uses a 14 hp Wisconsin.
The jigger is now owned by a grandson in southwest Kansas and the great-grandchildren have a great time riding in it.
An interesting story about Ben and Abe Goossen that would make all “accumulators” envious: They owned a bomber. After World War II, the Goossens (like many farmers) were buying surplus bombers for the same as scrap. These seven-passenger planes had two 7-cylinder engines. The wingspan measured 42 feet; the plane was 32 feet, 9 inches long. It had a steel tube fuselage faired with spruce and covered with fabric. Built by Cessna, painted bright yellow and used for training, the planes were often nicknamed “the crane” or “the bamboo bomber” by airmen.
To get these planes home, farmers unbolted the wings, put the tail in the back of a grain truck and pulled them down the highway. Back home, some would even get brave. They’d bolt the wings back on, start the engines and taxi around their fields. In the end, the planes were dismantled. Some remains were left in fence corners for years.
Richard Stout, 3105 Larch Ave., Washington, IA 52353
When I opened the December 2013 issue of Farm Collector (see John Deere at Kalamazoo Valley Antique Engine and Machinery Show), I couldn’t believe my eyes. In the front row of a photo on the table of contents I saw a John Deere 530 and an early styled John Deere Model G. The 530 belongs to Levi and Noah Wenger, two of 11 grandsons. The tractor belonged to Levi and Noah’s granddad on the other side of the house.
When I was 13, near the end of World War II, my dad and uncle bought a new John Deere Model GM. After Dad and Uncle Joe did the paperwork with the John Deere dealer, Dad turned to me and said, “I guess you had better drive it home.” I was the biggest 13-year-old in Kent County. I waved at everyone I could see on that 10-mile drive.
Over the years my dad and uncle farmed with a 1932 GP, the GM and a John Deere 730 Diesel. My brother has Dad’s 730; I have the other two tractors. I didn’t get interested in old iron until I was in my 60s and I saw a 1928 John Deere GP for sale. My wife said maybe I should buy it for our anniversary. I bought it before she changed her mind.
Then I found a 1947 John Deere Model G for sale 2 miles from home. I looked at it and told the owner that it looked like the GM that my dad used to have. About the same time Two-Cylinder magazine had a story on John Deere G and GM tractors. From January to May of 1947, John Deere apparently used up GM parts. The tractors in that time period were called early styled Model G’s. My Model G falls into that time frame.
So I have a Model G that is the same as Dad’s Model GM. My brother and I each have a picture on our sheds of the three tractors with us standing in front, and wording that reads, “We’ve been farming too long.” Thanks for the picture in your great magazine.
Bob Wenger, Middleville, Mich.
I operated a dairy farm here in the Finger Lakes region of New York for 35 years. After selling in 1979, I had more time for my lifetime hobby of woodworking. I now have more than 300 models of farm machinery, trucks and trains. When I received the November 2013 issue of Farm Collector with a Minneapolis-Moline tractor on the front cover, I saw that I didn’t have one of that model in my collection. This photo shows what I ended up with. It took about 14 hours to complete. Wayne Gunsolus must have had a great time rebuilding that machine; he sure did a great job.
Norm Riley, Auburn, N.Y.