Letters: Walter A. Wood Company

Walter A. Wood mowing machine

Walter A. Wood mowing machine

David L. Dickinson

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Walter A. Wood Company Mower Turns Up in Wales

Recently, I received a telephone call from a gentleman in southern England. He was keenly interested in the U.S.-founded Walter A. Wood Company of Hoosick Falls, N.Y. Walter A. Wood Company manufactured a line of mowers and other harvesting equipment for field and grain crops. The company had an early controversy with the McCormick-Deering Company, which challenged Walter A. Wood's patents. Wood hired a rather unlikely lawyer named Abraham Lincoln to thwart the onslaught of McCormick-Deering's legal counsel.

Walter A. Wood Company also established itself in England and in other countries in the British Commonwealth. Mr. Wheeler, living near London, has retained his interest in the Walter A. Wood Company where he was apprenticed in 1942 and for whom he worked many years. During World War II, he was assigned air raid duty to guard the roof of Wood's London factory from fires set by German incendiary bombs. More than once, the factory was strafed by German ME 109's. Recently, Mr. Wheeler traveled to nearby Wales to acquire a genuine Walter A. Wood mowing machine made, he presumed, in England. Much to his surprise, the old horse-drawn mowing machine was made in Hoosick Falls, NY. The old mowing machine now sits in Mr. Wheeler's yard as a monument to his employer's genius.

Mr. Wheeler has enlisted my help in compiling an informal history of the old American company. I would ask that anyone with old photographs of Walter A. Wood factories or machinery, or samples of Walter A. Wood sales literature, please contact me. Photocopies of such materials or any other information about Walter A. Wood Company of Hoosick Falls, N.Y would be most appreciated.

David L. Dickinson, 6190 Keller Avenue, Newfane, NY 14108; email: friendengine@juno.com.

AH, FOR THE ONES THAT GOT AWAY...

I may be wrong, but I believe that the picture on the cover of your June '99 issue was a side-view of a John Deere grain binder, not a corn binder, as stated. However, I could be mistaken, but I do not feel as such.

I recently subscribed to your magazine, and I am enjoying it very much. From the late sixties to the early eighties, I made a good portion of my living by hauling horse-drawn machinery to the Amish of various settlements in the U.S. That was the most fun I have ever had making money. I wish I would have purchased all of the fine antique pieces I passed over, thinking they were too old to be used by the Amish. If I knew those pieces were going to be so highly wanted today, I would have never passed on a couple that I did. I did, however, buy all of the hit-and-miss engines, cast iron seats and old wrenches I ran across. I now have a decent collection.

I really enjoy your magazine. Keep up the good work.

Johnny Spezia Jr., Leonard, MI

Editor's Note: That one slipped through: Thanks for the friendly correction!