Can anybody explain what this wheel was used for? I was told it came out of a brickyard. It stands 6 feet 5 inches tall, steel outside rings are 2 inches apart and are made of 1/2-by-2-inch flat steel. My nephew put the new spokes in it for me.
I saw another wheel at a museum that is like this one but it is only 6 feet tall. The man in charge of the museum has no idea what it was used for either. I’ll be waiting to hear from the readers of this great magazine.
21097 Hickory Rd.,
Batesville, IN 47006;
This is a road drag from Harney in eastern Oregon. This drag is probably more than 100 years old; I have had it about 65 years. I would like to know if anybody has any information as to who built it, when or/and where. Does anyone know if it was once the property of the county road department? Any information would be greatly appreciated.
David Reed, (541) 493-2380;
Jim Lacey’s article, Tales of a Three-Legged Tilting Tower, in the December 2013 issue of Farm Collector sent me down windmiller’s memorabilia lane. He mentioned the torsion-style vertical spring governor on the U.S. Ace windmill. It had a vane hinge pin inside of the spring. This was a carryover from the earlier open-geared U.S. Model B. It worked like the spring on a mousetrap. After The Ace, the following Model F used the horizontal stretch-spring governor. It worked like the spring on an old-fashioned screen door.
The torsion-type spring was used on the original Aermotor, the open-geared Ideal and Samson mills made by Stover, the prewar Woodmanse and others. One drawback: This type of spring was hard to replace without removing the vane.
Jim mentioned that the Ace was faster on the downstroke than the upstroke. Most pumping mills had this feature. It was usually accomplished by having the pitmans more near the vertical on the upstroke. This gave them more leverage. Because of the angularity of the pitmans, the downstroke was faster. However, one of the features touted by U.S. was that the Ace had no pitmans.
The Ace’s pumping action was achieved by a horizontal slot in the rocker arm. A crank pin fit into this slot. As the crank pin revolved around the shaft, the pin moved back and forth in the slot. This gave up-and-down pumping action to the rocker arm. The angularity of the rocker arm and the proximity of the sliding pin to the rocker arm’s fulcrum provided a faster downstroke.
This idea was not unique to the U.S. Ace. It was used several decades before by Decorah Windmill Co. The 4-foot Hercules that I wrote about in a May 2011 letter to Farm Collector also had this feature. However, the motion was accomplished by a vertical crosshead slide with a horizontal slot for the pin. It was the easiest running windmill I ever saw. However, a windmill that small needed all the power it could get.
Jim mentioned the merits of a three-legged tower. Then why were so many more four-post towers built? Four-post towers were more stable at ground level. I once saw an Aermotor on a three-post tower in a pasture. The ground was apparently soft, and the tower was a precarious 20 degrees out of plumb.
The Ace was probably a replacement head for the mill in Jim’s article. One fault with the tilting tower was that if a gust of wind hit while the tower was in a horizontal position, it would tend to “weather vane” and twist the tower.
The main thing is that Jim and the others saved an Ace windmill. Kudos to them!
A. Clyde Eide,
Apt. 3205, 3801 E. Crest Dr.,
Bryan, TX 77802
Recently I acquired the grain grinder shown in these photos. It is similar to a Letz and is green in color. It is missing some important pieces. I really need help identifying it. I’m new to the corn grinder world. I can find no identifying marks. I found four sets of numbers cast into various parts: X 33, X 37, N 57 and MN 43. The top of the hopper measures 18 inches by 18 inches and it is 18 inches deep and tapers to 14-1/2 inches wide at the bottom. Overall height is 51-1/2 inches, base width measures 30-1/4 inches and overall length is 51-1/2 inches. If I can identify the piece, then I can begin working on finding some parts; I’d really like to use it. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Joe Lohnes, Greeley, Colo.; (970) 371-3765; email: email@example.com
The double rake shown in What's the Purpose of this Unusual Rake?, from the January 2014 issue of Farm Collector is a self-cleaning lawn rake. Not a garden rake; they are usually metal toothed. When it is pulled backward the back set of teeth clean the front set so the operator never needs to stop raking to clean the rake. It was offered in 26-, 38- and 52-tooth rakes for 90 cents, $1 and $2, respectively. It is listed in the 1898 Peter Henderson Co. catalog of tools and implements for the garden, farm, greenhouse, lawn, orchard, poultry yard, stable and household.
George Wanamaker, Macomb, Ill.
Editor’s note: Keith Moe of Iowa also correctly identified the rake.
This drive unit could have been driven by air or steam. It measures about 16 inches long and 10 inches wide. It has a small chain sprocket. There are no markings of any kind. I am interested in any information on it.
37 Pennington Ave. SW,
Huron, SD 57350
This cast iron seat has been donated to the Eastern Washington Agricultural Museum. Does anyone know what tractor or implement it came from? There are two casting numbers on the basic unit: W 718 and W 717. W 554 is cast on the bottom of the seat. The foot is cast with No. 5.
David Ruark, Eastern Washington Agricultural Museum