Field Notes

Everything Comes to He Who Waits

Photo by Jim Lacey

I spent an hour out here at our museum to get this photo. I had to climb the tower and push the mill around a couple of times, with the wind lightly blowing, so as to get the fan to “show right.”

We have several “new” pieces in our museum: a lady gave us an Arcade 25 coffee grinder, as well as a hand-powered washing machine (we now have six of these older ones, some electric, some hand-powered). A couple gave us his grandfather’s nickel-plated parlor furnace, all restored, that his granddad bought with his World War I severance check.

Jim Lacey, Dell Rapids, S.D.

Missouri “Go-Devil” Transplanted to Idaho

Have you ever heard of a horsedrawn “go-devil” corn cultivator? Not in Idaho, where I live, unless you came from the southeast part of the country. I was raised in Missouri and moved to Idaho in 1973 when my job took me there.

Photo by Bill Shields

I heard my uncle tell about riding a “go-devil” in Missouri. I didn’t know what one looked like until I went back to Missouri this summer. Still knowing a lot of people there, I went to the local convenience store where a lot of my old friends meet for coffee. Outside the store, a go-devil was being used for a yard display. Not sure if it was one, I asked “is that a go-devil out there?” I asked a friend, Keith Rumpf, if he might know where I might find one. He said John Wolfe might have one. I called John and he said he might part with it. I had bought some farm collectibles from him in the past. I brought it home, sandblasted it and painted it. I belong to a hit-and-miss engine club and plan to display it at shows and fairs. A good friend of mine, P.T. Rathbone from Marsing, Idaho, took the picture.

Bill Shields,
825 West Orchard, Nampa, ID 83651

Editor’s note: Farm Collector Columnist Delbert Trew wrote about go-devils in the January 2006 issue of Farm Collector.

Mail Call Day Brightener

Photo by Farm Collector Staff

From the editor: This was, hands down, the most fun thing to arrive in the editor’s mailbox in the last month – maybe even the last year! Stamps on this package went as far back as the 1930s (the 3-cent stamp was in use from 1932 to 1958). Three-centers shown here featured women’s suffrage champion Susan B. Anthony, Columbia University, the Defense Fund, industrialist and philanthropist Andrew W. Mellon, the International Red Cross, the mothers of America, the U.S. Naval Academy, Abraham Lincoln, the National Recovery Administration, the state of Hawaii and the 150th anniversary of the Pennsylvania Academy of The Fine Arts.

Tennessee statesman Cordell Hull and Charles Evan Hughes, 11th chief justice of the Supreme Court, made it onto 4-cent stamps shown here. Other stamps on this package featured athletes, pets, holidays, the American bicentennial, the Peace Corps and Voice of America, the country of Albania and a half-century of independence in Finland.

With a decent internet connection, this is the kind of rabbit hole I can spend HOURS in. Philately is a fascinating category. Does anyone collect stamps anymore?

Remembering a special restoration


Very impressed by the articles by Fred Hendricks and Sam Moore about Ohio (see Farm Collector, October 2020)! I believe every city in the north part of Ohio had something to do with the progress of the farm. I drive by the homestead of Isaac Hoover (inventor of the commercial potato digger) every day. So much history here, as my mother, Donna Dahs, was the local historian for the township for more than 60 years.

The picture of the Sandusky tractor (Farm Collector, October 2020) caught my eye as my father, Eugene Dahs, and others (not me, too many bosses) restored that Sandusky tractor in his farm shop. I would help Dad load it up to take to shows in northern Ohio. I drove it in a few parades and helped him start it when needed. He would spend more time tinkering on that tractor than he would on his farm tractors.

Enclosed is a picture of my son Christopher and Dad in 2004, set up in the Sandusky Mall. I would like to hear from anyone about the Sandusky tractor.            

Robert Dahs, Bellevue, Ohio, phone (419) 656-4569 EST

“Silo too tall or ladder too short”


Bruce Spoche, a friend of mine, found this picture of his dad, Albert, painting the cornice on our silo. The silo was too tall or the ladder was too short, so they put the ladder in a box wagon. It does not look too safe. Dad is waving his straw hat out of the window that the blower pipe went through while filling the silo. The silo was 30 feet tall and 10 feet in diameter.

Rollan Schnitker, Hoyleton, Illinois

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

Remembering the glory days of the Vermont syrup equipment production


Item C in the July 2020 issue of Farm Collector shows the end of the evolution of sap spout development, and one of the very last designs by George Soule Evaporator Co., St. Albans, Vermont.

This company was bought out by Leader Evaporator, Burlington, Vermont, in 1964. They now are in Swanton, and the only such company left in Vermont.

Ninety years ago, we had five evaporator companies in Vermont: G.H. Grimm Co., Rutland; Leader, Burlington; Lightning Evaporator Co., Richford; Soule, St. Albans; and Vermont Evaporator, initially of North Clarendon, Vermont, but later located in Ogdensburg, New York Leader bought all of them!

There have been at least 100 different designs for spouts; some were total disasters. Hale Mattoon, Chelsea, Vermont, has written a book about spouts. He has a collection of nearly 100 unique pieces.

I have used many of them and still have some of the Soule spouts. We started sugaring in 1942, when I was 5 years old. Syrup sold for $2.50 per gallon at that time.

Everett W. Demeritt, 223 Demeritt Rd., Walcott, VT 05680; (802) 888-4617

Editor’s note: For more information on traditional maple syrup production and producers of equipment used in maple syrup production, visit here for a rich overview of the category.

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

Making hayfork lesson fun for a new generation


Regarding Ken Bolton’s article in the July 2020 issue of Farm Collector on hayfork pulley systems: I am 88 years old, and can remember the hayfork quite well. We never baled hay at any time. I had enough of bales as a teenager, helping a gentleman with a stationary baler, doing custom work baling straw.

We used a hayfork most of the time, just occasionally using slings. If there was no one in the mow to holler “trip,” it was up to the person on the wagon to judge when to pull the rope. Some farmers, I believe, tied knots in the rope as a guide. We never did; you got so you could judge as the trip rope played out when to trip the load, usually with good success. The trip rope was used to pull the hayfork back out of the mow, making sure while the fork came down not to be right under it.

Later, we bought an Allis-Chalmers forage harvester with a pickup head. We built two forage wagons with covers. By using the harvester and picking up the hay right from the windrow, it saved a lot of time and labor. By setting the blower up at one end of the barn and using silo pipes, we could fill the mow from one end to the other. The hay was much easier to pitch from the mow, and the cattle and other livestock did not waste as much. We used the same idea for the straw mow. In the fall, we purchased a corn head for the harvester. Later, I did custom work, filling silos.

We are members of Niagara Antique Power Assn. (NAPA). Several years ago, as a teaching moment, we made a frame from 1-inch square tubing fastened with bolts and pins. We made it to represent the upper part of a barn or the haymow. It was complete with a section of steel hay track, hay fork, hay rope and pulleys. We used half a bale of hay as our loose hay. The children would be the horses and pull the “load” of hay up into the barn. When the fork hit the track, the hay car and load would move along the track. A child or adult would be holding the trip rope, and when I said, “Trip,” they would pull the rope and trip the fork, releasing the load of hay. That was the fun part.

Many articles bring back so many memories. We appreciate all who contribute articles. Leslie McManus does such a super job of introducing us to each issue. Many times it’s hard to decide which articles to read first. The “Memories of a Former Kid” cartoon makes one think, “been there, done that, just the other day.” Such a great job by everyone.

Ellis Moore, St. Anns, Ontario, Canada

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


Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

Save Even More Money with our SQUARE-DEAL Plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our SQUARE-DEAL automatic renewal savings plan. You'll get 12 issues of Farm Collector for only $29.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of Farm Collector for just $34.95.

Facebook Pinterest YouTube