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Homemade Jigger Still Runs

A homemade jigger

Ben Goossen and his brothers Abe and Walter of Rosenort, Manitoba, Canada, built a “jigger” in 1946 for odd jobs around the farm, such as hauling fuel, spraying fields, mowing and even firefighting. Some might call it a “run-about” or compare it to the modern go-kart or an ATV.

The Goossen “jigger” was constructed from an Overland car frame (1920s vintage) and the front and rear axles of a Model A Ford. It featured a double transmission with 10 speeds forward and four reverse to compensate for its lower-power engines.

The first engine was a 2 hp Wisconsin. The Goossen engineering team found that the jigger was under-powered and replaced the first engine with a larger one. Over time, the jigger had four engines, each one growing in size, according to Ben Goossen. The vehicle currently uses a 14 hp Wisconsin.

The jigger is now owned by a grandson in southwest Kansas and the great-grandchildren have a great time riding in it.

An interesting story about Ben and Abe Goossen that would make all “accumulators” envious: They owned a bomber. After World War II, the Goossens (like many farmers) were buying surplus bombers for the same as scrap. These seven-passenger planes had two 7-cylinder engines. The wingspan measured 42 feet; the plane was 32 feet, 9 inches long. It had a steel tube fuselage faired with spruce and covered with fabric. Built by Cessna, painted bright yellow and used for training, the planes were often nicknamed “the crane” or “the bamboo bomber” by airmen.

To get these planes home, farmers unbolted the wings, put the tail in the back of a grain truck and pulled them down the highway. Back home, some would even get brave. They’d bolt the wings back on, start the engines and taxi around their fields. In the end, the planes were dismantled. Some remains were left in fence corners for years.

Richard Stout, 3105 Larch Ave., Washington, IA 52353