Preserving the Walking Plow
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Other plows in the collection include a Baker plow made by blacksmith Ira Baker in Canton, Ill., in the 1830s. Held together with wooden pins, the plow features a cast iron upright, share and moldboard. Harold also owns “A” and “B” versions of the Malta gate-latch hillside plow manufactured by the Brown-Manly Plow Co., Malta, Ohio, featuring a Bessemer steel moldboard. An early predecessor to the hillside plow, the piece dates to the early 1800s.
The Malta plow features a hook that could be attached to either the right or left side of the moldboard, allowing the user to switch the plow direction at the start of a new furrow. The “A” version referred to a one-horse plow, the “B” version to a two-horse plow.
Harold bought the bluegrass plow in his collection at a farm auction in Jefferson City, Mo. “This plow was made to cut strips of bluegrass about 2-1/2 to 3 inches thick, and when it hit the fingers, they shook the dirt loose,” he says. “The farmers would turn the strip roots side up so it could dry, and then come back and plow it under. I replaced all the wood, but the metal parts are all cast iron, and I’d guess it goes back to the 1820s or ’30s.”
One plow in Harold’s collection has never been used. It’s a cast-iron Oliver plow with the manufacturer’s wrench still attached. “My daughter bought it at a sale down in southwest Missouri,” Harold says. “There’s one broken part on it that probably broke when it was shipped from the factory. Rather than ship it back, they just stored it in the loft of an old store.” FC
For more information: Vintage plows, wire fence and broom-making equipment, haying equipment and other farm implements will be on display at the the Mid-Missouri Antique Power Show, Saline County Fairgrounds, Marshall, Mo., Oct. 14-15. Contact Harold Eddy, 26780 Thompson Lane, Slater, MO 65349; e-mail: email@example.com.
Jerry Schleicher is a country humorist and cowboy poet. He grew up on a crop and cattle operation in western Nebraska, and now lives in Missouri. Contact him at 8515 Lakeview Dr., Parkville, MO 64152; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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