About 140 years ago when I was a student, one of my professors lectured on the importance of incorporating a “Hey, Maude” passage in every story. A sea of blank faces greeted this pronouncement. Patiently, the professor described the scenario of the man at the breakfast table, reading the morning paper. Suddenly he comes across a gem so good that he’s compelled to break the groggy pre-dawn silence. “Hey, Maude,” he says to his wife, “listen to this…”
“Hey, Maudes” are not, it should be noted, a dime a dozen. But in this issue of Farm Collector, we enjoy an embarrassment of riches. Back in the dark ages, these juicy little nuggets would rest quietly in the body of an article, waiting for you, gentle reader, to find them. In this brave new world of 24/7 news feed and marketing, however, I would be remiss if I failed to call them to your attention. Plus, I just can’t stand it: These things are too good not to crow about!
In this issue, we launch the first installment of a three-part piece on the life and times of Harry Ferguson. Written by Jane Brooks, the piece delivers an in-depth look at the genius inventor. It’s terrific reading, but also terrific viewing: The photo of the famous Ford Ferguson “handshake agreement” gives an amazing look at a singular moment. Hey, Maude!
We also get down on the ground for an up-close look at a pumpjack. Pumpjacks are generally well in the background of farm collectibles, but this one shows off astonishing mechanical ingenuity. If you ever get a chance to see one in action, soak it up: It’s a one-of-a-kind! And in the same collection, a pumpjack with ties to the Waterloo Boy tractor: Hey, Maude!
Then there’s the bonanza farms, and the first tractor used to maintain links at a famed western resort, and a third-generation windmill back in business, and a remarkable piece of early advertising for the Aspinwall Co. – by now poor old Maude will have pulled up a chair and is reading over your shoulder.
Need a break from summer heat? From wrenching and body work? From modern life and times? Take a break from the ordinary with this issue of Farm Collector!