Volunteer restorer gives helping hand to Maryland museums by restoring old farm equipment
A New Idea spreader restored by Howard Waterworth.
Howard Waterworth was raised on a Wisconsin family dairy farm, where he used farm implements like those he has since restored for farm museums in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.
This John Deere grain binder, powered by a three-horse team, cut cereal crops such as wheat and oats. It then delivered the cut grain to a mechanism that compacted the stems and tied a string around the center of the bundle before dropping it into a basket-like bundle carrier. “I spent many hours on a grain binder in the 1950s,” Howard recalls. “When six to 10 bundles were loaded onto the carrier, the operator dropped them in the field as a group, where they were later stood up as shocks to finish drying before they were hauled to a threshing machine.”
The potato digger, before restoration.
This PTO-driven John Deere potato digger dates to the early 1950s. “As the tractor pulled the digger forward, it forced the potatoes and dirt onto a chain belt, which knocked off the dirt and dropped the potatoes onto the ground to be picked up by hand,” Howard explains. “While this is a tractor-powered model, my grandfather still used a horse-drawn potato digger when I was an adolescent in the 1950s.”
This International Harvester hay tedder was pulled by two horses.
Good as new: Howard restored this McCormick-Deering corn binder.
The binder before restoration.
This mechanical fruit sorter, part of the Sandy Spring Farm Museum collection, came from a West Virginia apple orchard. As an operator turned a hand crank, buckets of tree fruit were dumped on a moving belt equipped with various sized holes to grade the fruit by size.