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who recognizes this sawmill?

I would like to get some input on this sawmill. It is now in pieces, but other than the wood and rails that it used to run on, it is pretty much complete. With some research we have found out that it was moved from Waynesville, North Carolina, to Arkansas at the turn of the last century. Just found out this week that my great-great-grandfather operated this mill in Amity, Arkansas, and had a contract to provide milled wood to F.T. Smith Rim & Bow Co., Ft. Smith, Arkansas.

From the research I have done in the last few days, it looks to be a Frick or American, but I have not had a chance to look for manufacturing marks on the main unit. There is a manufacturer’s name on the saw that cuts the timber into widths, but I cannot make it out.

Ken Peacock, Springdale, Arkansas; (479) 841-1526


New Holland SP166 Baler

I am trying to find the owner of this NH SP166 pictured in the December/January 1985 issue of Gas Engine Magazine. My friend Robert Bowersmith and I have a similar baler. We are building a list of current owners of these balers. We would appreciate any information on the owner of this one.

James B. Cassel, Radcliff, Ky.;
(270) 351-5258; email: 


the McCormick Deering thresher

I recently purchased a model of a McCormick-Deering thresher at an estate auction. The original Arcade Co. toys were made of cast iron. The model I purchased is made of galvanized steel. It has many red plastic pulleys and knobs mounted to the exterior. At the discharge end, there is a chaining I-link conveyor with wooden treads.

I believe this might be a salesman’s sample, as a cast iron model would be extremely heavy. The galvanized metal makes it easy to carry. Also, the detail in the pulley system is extensive. Does anyone have any information on this piece or recognize it?

the McCormick Deering thresher

Michael P. Pappas via email:


F1094 red wheel

Does anyone recognize this wheel? I found this in my dad’s barn and have not been able to find one like it. It is wood with a cast iron hub and measures 48 inches by 3 inches. The hub appears to have had some sort of a gear mechanism in it. Stamped on it is “F1094.” The hub measures 6 inches by 2-1/2 inches deep.

Axle Spokes

Pam Smith via email:

Tags: equipment

Wheel Used For?

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.

Denis Schrank
21097 Hickory Rd.,
Batesville, IN 47006;
(812) 934-3696


100 year old road drag

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;

Tags: windmills

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

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