Field Notes

Cartoon Sparks Childhood Memory


The "Memories of a Former Kid" cartoon in the October issue of Farm Collector reminded me of one of my earliest memories of riding in a car with my dad. He had a Model A Ford coupe and I couldn't have been more than 3 or 4 years old. We were going somewhere, just the two of us I believe, and as he drove down the main street of our town, the front wheels began to shimmy violently. Dad became very upset: I'm not sure if he was embarrassed or what, but he was mad! Funny how that brief memory has stuck in my mind for more than 80 years! Probably because Dad so rarely ever became angry with anyone or anything.

— Sam Moore, Salem, Ohio

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

Wowed by September Issue of Farm Collector

September 2018 Farm Collector coverI am a relatively new subscriber to your great magazine, so after reading the September 2018 issue I felt I had to write in to give the authors, staff and editors some deserved kudos.

It all started with the front cover photo and title "One of a Kind" Minneapolis-Moline UDLX Comfortractor article. I grew up on a farm in Nebraska in the 1950s and was quite familiar with, and enjoyed driving, our 1948 IH Model H tractor at only 9 years of age (don't worry, Mom didn't know I was driving the tractor) but when I saw the Comfortractor photo, I knew Dad missed out on this one. By the way, great article, Robert N. Pripps.

Then I was fascinated with Sam Moore's column on the Snow Cruiser built for Byrd's third Antarctic expedition. Another well-written and well-researched article that was both educational and interesting. Thanks, Sam Moore.

Bill Vossler wrote about a tremendous trio of Ford Industrial tractors that I had no clue existed: Nice job, Bill. And now we know where the idea of the combine came from, after reading the "Stubborn Genius" article by Leslie C. McManus, lots of investigative work went into that informative article. Thanks for the hard work, Leslie. And to top if off, what can you say about the beautiful Welsh horses! Wow.

I look forward to the next issue and the opportunity to keep learning about things from the past.
— Bill Kolm, editor, The Gristmill, a publication of Mid-West Tool Collectors Assn.

Editor's note: Thanks for your kind words, Bill. Farm Collector is fortunate to have a great team of writers — and readers. I would be remiss not to acknowledge, again, the contributions of longtime subscriber Richard Stout and his granddaughter, Ashley, who did the heavy lifting in researching the inventions of George W. White, the "stubborn genius" at the heart of an article in the September issue.

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

Get Those Show Photos Ready!

best of show

Don't miss your chance to share your photography with the readers of Farm Collector! Deadline for our annual show photo issue is Nov. 1. Send your favorite photos from the past show season: We'll print as many as we have space for in our February 2019 issue.

With each photo, please send as much detailed information as possible, including make and model of equipment; names of identifiable people; name, date and location of the show. Please include a phone number and email address so we can contact you if we have questions. Photos of children under age 18 can be published only if accompanied by a release signed by the child's parent; contact us if you need a release form.

Need more information? Please call us at (800) 682-4704. Send good quality prints (no photos from home printers will be accepted) to Farm Collector Show Photos, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609. Email high-resolution digital images to

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

Photo Caption Misidentified General Tractor

I enjoyed very much the story featuring Robert Lefever in the August issue of Farm Collector. There is, however, an error that others may have already pointed out. Below the inset about the Hoke tractor is a picture of a General tractor made by the Cleveland Tractor Co. It apparently has no relevance to the Hoke tractor but admittedly there are similarities. The General is a 2-cylinder tractor and was featured in the February 2003 issue of Farm Collector.

— Garrison "Doc" Brown, Eastville, Virginia

Editor's note: Thanks for the note, Doc! You are correct: The photo was misidentified. Here's an image of a Hoke, easily identified by the letter "H" on the gas tank.

Misidentified tractor

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

Farm Collector Cover Subjects Relish 15 Minutes of Fame

Farm Collector February 2018 cover

Last fall, I submitted a couple of photographs for your annual reader submission contest. One was chosen for the cover of the February 2018 issue. The two men in my photograph, George Eddy and Jon Dorman, have had a lot of fun with their picture being on the cover of Farm Collector, and their newfound "fame" has created a running joke among their friends and fellow collectors.

Farm Collector cover subjects

Along those lines, on July 4 the two staged an "autograph signing" of their magazine cover at the same show where I took the cover photograph. I took a picture of their autograph booth, which could be accompanied by the following caption:

With crickets chirping in the background at the annual 4th of July celebration at Exline, Iowa, George Eddy and Jon Dorman patiently wait for the throngs of fans clamoring for their autographs after appearing on the cover of the February 2018 issue of Farm Collector magazine. After about 15 minutes, it became apparent that everyone forgot to bring their copy of the magazine to be autographed (myself included), so George and Jon quietly went back to tending their engine displays. Just before taking this photograph, George's brother Jamie commented, "See what you've started?" As the one who took the original photograph that ended up on the cover of Farm Collector, I do feel some responsibility for boosting their egos, only to watch them deflate after the unsuccessful autograph signing.

Charles Wise, Sedalia, Missouri

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

Empty Fuel Can Threw a Wrench in the Works

Jolly Thresherman

If you wanted to embarrass and discredit yourself with the threshing gang, toss your pitchfork along with the grain bundle into the machine. The resulting clatter was the thresher trying to thresh the pitchfork. If it was a private rig, you had to face the wrath of the owner. This bungle could end the day's threshing activities while repairs were made. More rare was a crisis when the machine was started up for the day.

Charley was a custom thresher in northern Illinois during the 1930s. He was meticulous about having his equipment in top-notch condition. He took into consideration where the farmer wanted his straw pile, wind direction and wagon traffic. Using a carpenter's level, he made sure the machine was set exactly right. If a wheel was high, he dug a narrow trench ahead of it. He then rolled the machine into the trench. The process was repeated until everything was precisely correct.

Charley was equally careful about getting the drive belt lined up with the tractor. When all seemed to be in order, he would slowly release the clutch on the belt pulley until full rpm was reached. But on this particular day, there was a loud noise of something inside the late model Case separator.

He quickly shut down the Case tractor and ran to see what had happened. Looking into the machine, everything seemed to be okay. But when he looked on the ground under the blower pipe hood, he was startled to find the shredded remains of what used to be a fuel can.

Unfortunately for this ever-vigilant man, he had stored his empty fuel can inside the access door to the blower fan. With apologies to Aultman & Taylor, Charley was not the "Jolly Thresherman" that morning!

Clyde Eide, Bryan, Texas

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

Making Deliveries with Dad in a Divco Truck

Divco truck

Regarding the article on the Divco truck in the May 2018 issue of Farm Collector: The article brought back many memories for me, and I am sure for others as well. My father drove a similar truck and was delivering milk in the late 1960s and early '70s for the dairy farm where he worked at that time.

Originally called a Model U (for Universal), the later Divcos of that size were called the Model 100 (that stood for the 100 cases of milk that could be hauled in the back). He later drove a Model 154 when one became available (154 referred to the number of cases it could haul). I believe the "100" was discontinued in 1967. Both trucks were built in the late 1950s or early '60s.

Neither truck had the "stand to drive" feature. Both had the original Continental engines, but these were later replaced with 6-cylinder Ford engines. The Ford 6-cylinder raised the truck's top speeds to about 45 mph.

I went with my father on days I was not in school, usually Saturdays or during long school breaks over the summer. By that time, deliveries were made only every other day and the majority of milk was packaged in plastic jugs or the classic paper cartons.

What my dad liked about Divco trucks was the electric windshield wipers that worked at a constant speed regardless of how hard the engine was working. When not delivering milk, he was working on that farm or the bottling plant, depending on where he was needed. It was hard work, but he did what he had to do to provide for our family. Both trucks were still in service when the business shut down in late 1973.

Timothy W. Sarver, Greensburg, Pennsylvania

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!

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