Can you remember the days when a farmer would go to a hardware store to buy or order a new piece of machinery? This sign is a remnant of that era.
The porcelain sign is believed to have been produced for International Harvester in 1905. It surfaced about 55 years ago in the upper level of Leonard’s Hardware Store in Wakarusa, Indiana. Robert Getz, a northern Indiana farmer, paid regular visits to the store, looking at many old items there. He would routinely ask the owner if he would sell any of them, but was rejected numerous times.
One day, while making a run for a pound of staples, Robert received a surprise invitation. The store owner suggested he go look around upstairs. Robert took that as a green light. He proceeded to load advertising signs and other items on the freight elevator. The owner priced each item and a deal was struck. “Bob came home looking like he had been hauling coal,” his wife, Dorothy, recalled later, “and his livestock truck was full.”
Robert and Dorothy owned the sign for more than 40 years before selling it at auction several years ago. Distinctly colored – blue instead of the more familiar red – the sign is in mint condition, and is a rare glimpse of the very earliest days of International Harvester. FC
Here at Farm Collector and Gas Engine Magazine, we’re looking to cap our summer show travel off with a visit to the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa – and we’re hoping you’ll stop by and say hello!
We’ll be set up at our regular spot, in a tent just across from the food pavilion on the show grounds. Staffers from both magazines – including Leslie McManus, Terri Keitel, Codi Spiker and Matt Petty – will be on hand at various times during the show. Also back for a return engagement: Bob and Linda Crowell from Batesville, Indiana, longtime representatives for our magazines.
New this year: The Corn Items Collectors Assn. will have a display at our tent. This is a great opportunity for show-goers to get acquainted with this organization and the vintage farm equipment its members collect and preserve.
Come see us and take advantage of show specials on subscriptions, renewals, books and magazines. We’ll also have drawings for prizes donated by these Farm Collector advertisers:
One pair of U.S.-made overalls from Klein Brothers Hardware, Malinta, Ohio;
• One pair of suspenders from St. Clair Suspenders, St. Clair, Minnesota;
• Massey-Harris scale model toy from SpecCast Toys, Dyersville, Iowa;
• New releases from Quarto Publishing, Minneapolis;
• New releases from Octane Press, Austin, Texas;
• One copy of Little Rumely Man by Beth Douglass Silcox, Westfield, Indiana;
• Surprise item from Nixon Auctioneers, Wakefield, Nebraska; and
• One set of horseless carriage plans from Jimmy Woods, Coker, Alabama.
I have received Farm Collector for two years. It is a wonderful and informative magazine that I read through front to back each month and then re-read many of the articles. I grew up on a small farm in Ohio; my parents sold it in 1960 when I was 12. We moved 575 miles south and no longer farmed. The older I get, the more my mind goes back to memories of my childhood days and the many wonderful times of family life on the farm. My mother has challenged me to record my memories in writing, which I plan to do. Too bad we did not take very many pictures. Many I see in Farm Collector bring back even more fond memories.
I do not have a collection of “old iron,” as it is impractical where I live now. My farm collection consists of a set of 1/12-scale tractors crafted expertly with great realism and detail, all in wood, with no plastic or metal used. The craftsman has produced six tractor models and I happily own one of each, all with low serial numbers. Three are John Deeres: a 1951 B, a 1951 BW and a 1936 BR (each dyed green and yellow, rather than painted, so the grain of the maple and walnut shows). Three are Fords: a 1947 2N, a 1950 8N and a 1953 Jubilee (in natural cherry and walnut). The Deeres are also available in a natural finish (with no dye). The detail, authenticity and craftsmanship are superb on each one.
My farm collection is probably complete, as the craftsman is not currently starting any more models, though I am holding out hope for a 1953 Minneapolis-Moline ZB. Thanks for your great publication.
Richard Streib via email
I thoroughly enjoy your magazine each month. I found the article “Double-take” (Farm Collector, May 2015) particularly interesting. My father sold farm equipment for more than 45 years. He took on the Massey-Harris line in 1956 just after the Massey-Harris triple series, the Massey-Harris 50 and the red and gray Ferguson 35 were introduced to Massey dealers.
Also at that time, the Ferguson 40 was added to appease Ferguson dealers who needed something to compete with the Massey-Harris 50. I own a Massey-Harris 50 that my father sold new to a neighbor; it came with the farm when I bought it. A point of correction to Mr. Vossler’s excellent article: The engine used in the M-H 50, Ferguson 40 and the Ferguson 35 was the Continental Z-134, not the B-134. This could have been a typo or just a misunderstanding.
Another interesting point is that the 35, 40 and 50 were all mechanically exactly the same with the 35 using the same style front axle, hood and dash used on Ferguson 30. The hood, grille and dash used on the Ferguson 40 were essentially the same as those used on the Massey Ferguson 50s and 65s built in England.
Keep up the good work with your magazine.
134 State Rte. 36,
Editor’s note: You are exactly right, Fred: Our ears played tricks with us on that engine identification. And thanks for the extra detail: very interesting!
I can’t tell you how much I loved Sam Moore’s column (Farm Collector, December 2014) on the old Whizzer! As a kid in the mid-1960s, I had the same feelings of freedom and flight on my bike. I was in grade school and already working for a man down the block from my home. He sold candy and cigarettes to stores and I packed boxes and kept the truck loaded for him. He had an extensive mechanical background and I was learning fast. He told me about the Whizzer from years past and I wanted one in the worst way!
Dad was a working man with five boys, so no one was buying me anything anytime soon. I could never save enough to buy one or anything like it. It was funny, my parents loved to see me work, but seldom let me take any money for said work. So it was time to build my own machine, sort of.
Somehow I scrounged an old bike frame that had a mount for an engine of some sort. I got an old lawn mower engine and I figured I was home free: Not so much. I had no idea for control or how to get power to the wheel. A big problem was the elusive centrifugal clutch. It was the linchpin of the whole project. Sure, I could buy one, if I’d had the money and someone inclined to drive me to a store to get one, but I had neither.
So that project sat as I moved on to steady income from paper routes and more responsible work and pay from the guy down the block. I finally got a small, used motorcycle and never looked back.
My project disappeared from the basement at some point, but I never forgot the feeling I had that I was so close to success with my first attempt at self-built powered transportation. The victory would have been sweetened by the fact that I would have built it “sort of” by myself.
I got over it, but never forgot about it. They say you never forget your first one. I guess that was it for me. So it was with great delight that I read Sam Moore’s column on the Whizzer and its history. I still have the fond memories of the one I never really had.
Mike Medora via email
This is a photo of my display at a show I exhibited at last summer. This is an update of the photo and story you did on my collection (Farm Collector, May 2007). As you can see, the display has grown some. I now have and display about 150 pieces. My girlfriend shows about the same number of hammers.
David Johnson, Falconer, New York
Editor’s reply: Great job, David! Your collection of axes and hatchets has really grown since that display back at the New York Steam Engine Assn. show in Canandaigua, New York, in 2006!
I am the fourth generation to live on the 160-acre Hamman Homestead Farm. In 1905, my grandfather built a 60 foot- by 30-foot hog barn. It had two stories with an earth bank at the south end. It had corncribs the full length of each side on the upper level. My grandfather, father and I fed ear corn to the hogs in the bottom level. In 1996, the building was in bad shape so my wife and I tore it down.
Sometime after 1932, when I was still a kid, I climbed the ladder to the attic of the hog barn and saw a tank there for the first time. It remained there until we tore down the hog barn. We then moved the tank to our garage.
The oval-shaped tank is made of steel. It measures 10-3/4 inches wide by 31 inches long by 19 inches high. The cast brass filler port has a hinged, oval-shaped lid measuring 1-1/2 by 3-1/2 inches. The lid has a knob with a threaded stem that clamps the lid down against a gasket. On the other end of the tank is a glass tube. The fittings at the top and bottom are brass with a small petcock at the bottom for drainage. The fitting in the bottom of the tank is cast steel with a drainage hole in the bottom and a side port with a 3/8-inch female pipe thread to hook a line to. The mounting brackets on the bottom of the tank are brass held onto the tank by metal straps. The brackets still have two 3/8- by 2-1/4-inch hex head bolts (out of probably four) to bolt it down.
After all these years, I think it is amazing that the glass tube on the end has not been broken. I continue to wonder how this tank was used, but I feel that it has to be a water tank of some sort. Maybe a Farm Collector reader will recognize it.
Max W. Hamman, 948 Co. Rd. 35, Ashley, IN 46705-9744