Farm Collector Blogs > First Things

Learn something every day

by Leslie McManus


Tags: April 2011,

As a firm believer in the “learn something every day” school of thought, I was bowled over by several tasty little nuggets in this issue of Farm Collector. Food for thought? Heck, in this issue we provide a veritable banquet.

Take the horse-powered freezer (Let’s Talk Rusty Iron, page 10). Horse powers remain alive and well among Amish communities. The leap in technology from a tread power to a freezer is enough to make your head spin – though probably not fast enough to grind coffee beans, which the horse power’s lineshaft will also do.

Then there’s the Great Hinckley Fire of 1894 (Tractor Collection Becomes Tractor Show, page 14), a natural phenomenon that was news to me. The fire is little more than an interesting detail in this article by Bill Vossler but it is a detail worth a bit of research if you’re not familiar with the incident. In four hours, the blaze covered more than 400 square miles, destroyed six Minnesota towns and killed more than 400. Some survived by seeking shelter in wells, ponds and rivers.

An article detailing early production of peanuts from planting to harvest (Peanuts in the Wiregrass, page 20) still has me shaking my head. The vision demonstrated by the small town banker who singlehandedly spurred a massive and lasting shift in a region’s crop production renewed my appreciation for the kind of person who makes things happen. Then there’s the crop itself. In the days before mechanized equipment was widely available, peanuts had to have been one of the most labor intensive crops around.

And we’re just getting started! In this issue, look for two Huber Light Four tractors – one built in the factory, one hand-crafted from 21 varieties of wood … glorious commercial art from the 1880s promoting threshing machinery of the day … and a snake that’ll make you smile. Learn something every day? Exceed your quota with this issue of Farm Collector! FC