Letters to the Editor


Content Tools

Planter restored for posterity

This planter has "1919" on the wheel, but the manufacturer's name rubbed off many years ago. This planter was found in a barn where it had been stored for more than 50 years. I restored it to its present condition and made a new handle for it. It and an old syrup mill retrieved from deep in the woods are now located in the Round Oak (Ga.) Memory Gardens, a project of two people - myself and Mary Mussleman - who love history and the area where we live.

- Ronnie Crutchfield
Hillsboro, Ga.

Finding treasures along the roadside

In the June 2005 issue, the cartoon "Memories of a Former Kid," the scene depicted still goes on today, and fits me to a "T." I stop to pick up found items on the road all the time. I missed a chain binder once: By the time I got swung around, someone else was putting it in his car.

I've found all kinds of tools and parts on the road. I guess a 20-ton hydraulic jack is the grand prize so far. It was half-buried in the snow and I thought it was a tomato can (it was red!).

One does have to be careful and be aware of traffic coming from behind.

- Harold Rossow
Weston, Idaho

How it all measures up; land measures explained

The following comments are related to the two letters to the editor in the October 2005 issue of Farm Collector pertaining to the chain and pole used in land surveying. Both systems were used well into the 20th century.

Both related directly to the "rod," which is 16-1/2 feet in length. There are four rods in a chain (66 feet) and one rod in a pole. The rod also has the following relationship to other land measures:

- Furlong: 40 rods (or 1/8 mile). Originally the furlong was defined as the distance a horse could pull a plow without having to stop to rest.

- 1/4 mile: 80 rods (1,320 feet)

- 1/2 mile: 160 rods (2,640 feet)

- 1 mile: 320 rods (5,280 feet)

- 1 acre: one chain wide and 10 chains long (43,560 square feet). The area represented by one rod wide and 1/2 mile long also equals 43,650 feet. Thus, there are 160 acres in a quarter section of land, and 640 acres in a section one mile square.

With the chain (66 feet), each link is .66-foot, which boils down to every 25 links equaling one rod (16-1/2 feet). There are four rods in a chain.

The main problem with the chain was that it was not accurate for precise survey work. When pulled tight, the connector links would stretch and, with time, wear. The first step to help eliminate these problems was the steel ribbon tape. I have a 66-foot long steel tape.

As a civil engineer, I grew up with the 100-foot steel tape and transit, both of which have now been eliminated with electronic surveying devices.

- Ivan L. Pfalser
Caney, Kan.

Editor's note

All images for the Auto Tractor article (Farm Collector, November 2005, page 40) were courtesy of the University of Illinois Archives.

Is there a museum of Sears equipment?

My husband has an old Sears tractor and would like to know if Sears has a museum anywhere. He's also interested in learning the value of this piece. The manual lists it as a 1939 Sears Riding Handiman RT riding tractor, and it also has disc harrows, plow and cultivator (with rubber tires). Any information would be greatly appreciated.

- Mrs. Charles Gagnon
1163 Old Fall River Road
Dartmouth, MA 02747-1157
(508) 674-5994


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