Bygone agricultural tools and practices can still be found at the Dillon farm museum.
Above: It is hard to imagine using a glass canning jar as a fuel tank, but that is exactly what this 1918 Maytag engine was designed for. Collector Chuck Stewart notes such pieces are particularly rare because they were made only a relatively short time before being recalled because of safety issues.
Left: Sparks fly on impact, as Dave Merceruio works a piece of steel, transitioning it from a round-sectioned taper to a square-sectioned shank.
Above: This aged orchard sprayer points the way to the L. Norman Dillon Farm Museum.
Left: Wooden wheelbarrows were once commonplace on Apple Pie Ridge.
Upper left: W.P. Miller of Swan Pond, W.Va., built this wagon box, one of several schooner-style wagons in the museum’s collection.
Above: Portable apple graders were once prevalent on orchards in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle. Boxes of freshly picked fruit were dumped in the hopper at the top, and individual apples either dropped through openings in the chain-like conveyor, or were conveyed to the platform at the bottom.
Left: In the first station, the smallest apples dropped through the conveyor and onto the slatted chute below, which deposited them into a suitably positioned box or bucket. Apples deemed large enough were delivered to the conveyor at the second station, which had holes larger than the first. Medium-size apples fell through this second set of holes and into a container below. The largest apples rode the second conveyor to the end and were hand-packed to prevent bruising.
Above: Close inspection of the apple grader’s conveyor links show an ingenious shape and connection that created grading loops in the spaces between the links, as well as in the links themselves. Note also the pyramidal cogs on the conveyor’s drive mechanism.
Right: With a helper turning the crank, the Stewart sheep shearing machine made shorter work of that chore than more primitive scissor-type hand shears.
Left: The museum’s Farmall Model H and McCormick-Deering No. 2 steel husker shredder look perfectly at home from this vantage point on Apple Pie Ridge.
Below: Detail of the Stewart Ball Bearing No. 9 sheep shearing machine’s driveshaft connections. These specially shaped gears allowed the shear operator plenty of flexibility and prevented binding.
Below: Volunteer blacksmiths forged this hasp and staple. Diamond-head nails were also handmade for the project.