Spreading a little holiday joy? Whether you’re shopping for yourself or for a special someone, you’ll find a great assortment of gift ideas here. Books, calendars and puzzles fill out this bag of goodies! Each is designed exclusively for one niche or another of the old iron hobby: You won’t find these gems anywhere else!
Puzzles & more
Need something to focus on during long winter evenings? Why not a classic tractor jigsaw puzzle? Fun for all ages and featuring an assortment of old iron, Putt-Putt Puzzles offer a different spin on a classic American pasttime. And for those of a “red” bent, a book capturing the best of International Harvester tractor ads from 1963 to 1984. More than 160 pages of full color IH ads sure to bring back memories!
Red Power: IH Tractor Ads 1963-1984, compiled by Tim Putt, 2012, The Herald Inc., and collectible tractor jigsaw puzzles, both available from selected retailers. Contact Putt-Putt Puzzles for more information.
Looking for a comprehensive book on crawlers and dozers? You can’t beat Classic Vintage Crawlers & Dozers, Vol. 2. Crawlers, wheel dozers, bulldozer blade manufacturers and attachments are all here. Terrific photos and vintage advertising trace the evolution of the bulldozer. Makes and models, horsepower, weights and more — like rarely seen historic photos.
Classic Vintage Crawlers & Dozers, Vol. 2, by Roger V. Amato & Donald J. Heimburger, 2011, Heimburger House Publishing Co., softcover 11 by 10 inches, full color, 256 pages, $36.95; Classic Vintage Crawlers and Dozers.
Start ‘em out early
Shopping for a grandkid? Check out Little Rumely Man. Perfect for grades 3-6, this book invites children to consider where a dream might take them. Old iron rarely finds its way into children’s literature, but author Beth Douglass-Silcox has woven a charming and authentic tale (based on memories of her grandfather, a Rumely enthusiast) that any child will warm to. A fun book to share with the youngster on your list.
Little Rumely Man, by Beth Douglass-Silcox with illustrations by Darcy Peters, 2012, Gypsy Heart Press, softcover, full color, 32 pages, $12 (S/H included). Available from Beth Douglass-Silcox, PO Box 42, Westfield, IN 46074; (317) 758-1237.
All in one book
There is no shortage of books on John Deere, but if you only have space on your shelf for one, you can’t go wrong with John Deere Tractor Legacy: The Complete Illustrated History from Tractors and Machinery to Deere’s Role in Farm Life, 1937 to Today. A reissue of a 2003 release, this richly illustrated softcover is a fun look at a storied company. Renowned historian Don Macmillan keeps a firm grip on the wheel as he spins through tractors, plows, implements, combines, cars, snowmobiles, lawn and garden tractors, and bicycles. A detailed timeline is especially helpful in lending perspective.
John Deere Tractor Legacy: The Complete Illustrated History from Tractors and Machinery to Deere’s Role in Farm Life, 1937 to Today, edited by Don Macmillan, 2011, Voyageur Press, softcover reissue, 9 by 12 inches, full color, 254 pages, $24.99; John Deere Tractor Legacy.
Save the date
Making New Year’s resolutions? Resolve to start out fresh with this snappy wall calendar celebrating old iron. It offers a baker’s dozen of classic tractors showcased in handsome photography by Mike Hood; snippets of information on manufacturers round out the package. Garden tractor collectors, there’s one for you too, with high-quality photography of rare and desirable garden tractors!
John Harvey’s Classic Farm Tractors 2013 wall calendar, $10; call toll-free (800) 888-8979; Classic Tractor Fever.
Pairing pulleys and carriers
What good is an Oreo without milk? Chips without dip? It is the essential dilemma faced by collectors of hay carriers and pulleys. Rarely found together, one depends on the other. In Pairing Pulley and Carrier, collector Barry Merenoff (owner of more than 2,000 pulleys) has done the heavy lifting, pairing pulleys and carriers in beautifully executed drawings. By the numbers: The book references more than 200 pulleys, 400 hay carriers, 60 manufacturers and contains 1,000 sketches created over a period of 15 years. Essential for the collector of hay equipment!
Pairing Pulley and Carrier, Barry Merenoff, 2012, 330 pages, $60 plus S/H; order from Barry Merenoff, PO Box 480338, New Haven, MI 48048; (586) 749-3557.
A book that would shine on any coffee table, Borrowed Time covers a fascinating chapter of Americana: the era of horse-drawn vehicles. Author David Sneed is a renowned authority on antique wagons and has built a vast research library containing hundreds of rare wagon catalogs, directories, ledgers, correspondence and promotional materials as well as literally thousands of period photos and illustrations. Meticulously researched, handsomely designed and lavishly illustrated; an unusually beautiful and informative book.
Borrowed Time: A Tribute to the Wheels that Built the American West, David Sneed, 2011, Wheels That Won The West® Publishing, hardback, 150 pages, $120 plus $10 S/H, Wheels That Won The West.
As warm and wry as the conversation around the general store’s potbelly stove, Barnyard Confidential takes the backroads through the wit and wisdom of farm country. Noted authors tackle topics ranging from alfalfa to electric fence, gopher hunting to threshing. A happy diversion from modern life, Barnyard Confidential is an apt reminder that the more things change, the more they don’t.
Barnyard Confidential: An A to Z Reader of Life Lessons, Tall Tales and Country Wisdom, edited by Melinda Keefe, 2012, Voyageur Press, hardback, 240 pages, $21.99; or visit Barnyard Confidential.