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Field Notes


A Face Only a Mother Could Love

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In the May 2020 issue of Farm Collector is an article titled, “Going Head to Head.” In the article is a picture of a tractor that I have tried to forget: the International 7488. If there is ever a contest for the ugliest tractor, this tractor has to win. It may have power, but to describe it as really, really ugly is to pay it a compliment. 

Robert Wiseman via email


Send letters to: Farm Collector Editorial, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609 • fax: (785) 274-4385 • email: editor@farmcollector.com • online at: www.farmcollector.com

Model Maker’s Work Stands Out from the Rest

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Robert Stickel’s hand-crafted 1936 John Deere Model D tractor.

I have read your magazine almost from the beginning and have really enjoyed it and all the pieces you and your writers have done. However, “The Model Prisoner” in your April 2020 issue was over the top. I have always enjoyed seeing the skill of model makers, but Robert Stickel’s work is unbelievable.

To think of those models being made from paper, and in a prison cell, is just beyond belief. The pictures are so realistic you think you are looking at a picture of the real machine. I would love to see his models in person but the pictures are truly great. As I said, I have visited many truly great model makers over the years, but have not seen any whose work was as unique as Robert’s. Thank you for finding him and reporting on his work.

Jerry Wright, Trivoli, Illinois


Send letters to: Farm Collector Editorial, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609 • fax: (785) 274-4385 • email: editor@farmcollector.com • online here

Turbocharged 1955 Model A

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I just finished modifying and restoring our 1950 Model A tractor that has been in the family since we bought it new. The high point of this restoration is that this tractor is now turbocharged. It runs great and now has the whine of the turbo with every stroke of the 2-cylinder. Sounds great! You have to look closely to see the turbo, which is in front of the valve cover, where the small tool box was originally located. All exhaust piping is constructed of stainless steel and the exhaust manifold and turbo are ceramic-coated. 

John Strepek, Delavan, Wisconsin


Send letters to: Farm Collector Editorial, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609 • fax: (785) 274-4385 • email: editor@farmcollector.com • online at: www.farmcollector.com

Transporting the Hercules Mill

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The British Hercules.

It was the 2005 Windmiller’s Trade Fair in Kendallville, Indiana. I had decided it would be easier to transport a mill for exhibit by not knocking it down, except for removing the vane. The mill was a British Hercules and was mounted to an exhibit (stub) tower. I had tied the wheel down so it would not try to spin in the back of the pickup. The mill fit perfectly in the back of my little Chevy S10 and I left my home in Columbus, Ohio, for Kendallville, thinking all would be well.

Little did I realize that, heading down the interstate, every time an 18-wheeler flew past me, my truck would rock and roll in a very scary fashion. I had white knuckles from holding on to the steering wheel by the time I exited the interstate. I was very glad to arrive at the fair safely and unload my cargo. I put the thought of the return trip in the back of my mind and set about enjoying the fair.

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The mill after arrival at the trade fair, before it was unloaded and displayed.

By the time the fair was over, I remembered the drive in and quickly decided to disassemble the mill. It took a little more time, but my return trip was much more tranquil. For more information on how this mill found its way to the U.S., see here.

Clyde Eide, Bryan, Texas


Send letters to: Farm Collector Editorial, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609 • fax: (785) 274-4385 • email: editor@farmcollector.com • online at: www.farmcollector.com

Documentary Brings 1919 Tractor to Life

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The 1919 Walla Walla Tractor Show documentary tells the story of the biggest agricultural exposition west of the Mississippi. Nearly 49,000 people attended the three-day event showcasing agricultural innovations of the time. Production of the tractor show (and associated Blue Mountain Music Festival) was an extraordinary feat, one that doubled the size of Walla Walla for a few days.

Created by Linda Herbert and Daniel Biggs and produced by Blue Mountain Land Trust, the video may be viewed on the Blue Mountain Land Trust’s website: www.bmlt.org. A companion book, The 1919 Walla Walla Tractor Show, is available through the Blue Mountain Land Trust website at www.bmlt.org/store. All proceeds go to Land Trust programs.

Grandfather and Gaar-Scott Steam Engine

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After a hard day’s work

This Photo was taken in Nebraska where my grandfather, Charlie Livgren (right), lived before moving to Kansas. The Photo shows a Gaar-Scott steam engine and what looks like a weary crew. My Grandfather worked on many of those old threshing machines. I do not know the date the photo was taken.


Kerry Livgren, Berryton, Kansas







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