Field Notes


Remembering the Blacksmith Shop

 blacksmith-tools
Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Thomas_Zsebok_Images

I enjoyed the blacksmith story in the October 2018 issue of Farm Collector. I was born in 1930, so I remember the blacksmith shop very well. When growing up, I wanted to become a blacksmith, but by the time I was of age, blacksmithing was no more. Our local smith was named Petersen. Give him a rough sketch of what you needed, he would say, “I will have it done in a couple of days.” He drew out plow points, tampered chisels and shoed horses. He could repair, or make, most anything. When I went to his shop with my father, Mr. Petersen would always make me a horseshoe ring. Wish I had kept some of them. In my barn, I have the walls covered with hand-wrought tools for blacksmithing, plus many items made by blacksmiths.

When hammering out a piece of iron on the anvil, the blacksmith told his helper, “When I nod my head, you hit it.” The funeral was the next day.

John R. Heath, Sullivan, Ohio


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.

Seeing the Snow Cruiser in Person

RI-Snow--Cruiser-Hiway-Patrol_Media
Photo courtesy of Farm Collector archives

My son in Missouri saw Sam Moore’s column about the fateful episode of the Snow Cruiser in 1939 (Farm Collector, September 2018). As a boy, I saw the Snow Cruiser in the ditch along Route 30. It was between Gomer and Cairo, Ohio. We had waited along Route 30 for it to pass. When we heard it was in the ditch, we went to see it. It did not get on its way again until the next morning. It was travelling about 15 mph along Route 30. What a hunk of iron. It took all summer to drive it across the country. What a waste of money. I was 9 years old at the time.

Robert Riegle, Greenbrier, Arkansas


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.

Vintage Fordson Tractor and Grain Binder Photo

Fordson-tractor-grain-binder
Photo courtesy of Wayne Cooper

I was given this photo by my pastor friend. It shows his grandfather with the Fordson tractor pulling a grain binder. The photo was taken near Barkeyville, Pennsylvania, about 60 miles north of Pittsburgh, in the 1930s.

I am impressed with the grain (oats?). My grandfather lived in Mantua, Ohio, and told of oats yields during the 1930s that were nearly 4 feet tall and averaged 45-inch branches on each stalk.

I would be happy to hear comments from old-timers on this photo. FC

Wayne Cooper, 388 Pine Run Rd., Fombell, PA 16123


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

Debut of the Fuel-Efficient Goat Engine

goatmobile
Photo courtesy of Chuck Struthers

I enjoy your magazine every month and thought your readers would enjoy this photo of “the goatmobile.” It is from Henry Field’s Seed Sense, March 1946.

A caption describes the machine: “Mr. Z.B. Wiggs of Denton, Texas, and his gasoline- and tire-saving vehicle: a goatmobile, which is ‘horsepowered’ by goat power. Also note that there is a cage for a spare goat. On an uphill climb, he puts the other goat there and has a two-goat power machine.”  FC

Chuck Struthers, Collins, Iowa


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.

First-Hand Look at a Salesman’s Sample Collection

 Salesmans-Sample
Photo by Loretta Sorensen

The December 2016 issue of Farm Collector featured an article by Loretta Sorensen about salesman’s samples. We saved the article and just recently returned from northeast Indiana. One of the highlights of our time there was seeing Ervin Chupp’s amazing collection on display at E&S Sales in Shipshewana. What a way to shop for produce and take in a “museum" tour! It was even more than we anticipated. In retirement, we enjoy seeing more of these United States. There are so many hidden treasures and wonderful people. Thank you, Farm Collector, for so many interesting articles. FC

Vince and Louise Bogard, Tillamook, Oregon


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 

Eyewitness to Snow Cruiser's Cross-Country Trek

snow cruiser

I really enjoyed Sam Moore's column on the Snow Cruiser. With the route mentioned in the column, I knew immediately that it had passed through my hometown of Alexander, New York.

My mother, Stella Peck, grew up in Alexander, where she still lives. She is 91. I sent the article to my brother, who lives near Alexander, and asked him to show Mom. She had indeed seen this machine.

In 1939, she was in seventh or eighth grade. She attended school in Alexander's Cobblestone School (today that building is on the National Register of Historic Places). She said the whole class walked out to the highway, about one-half mile, and were able to look at the machine. Apparently the cruiser stopped in small towns to show off the wonder. Mom said Route 20 was a new highway back then and the machine did pretty much fill the road.

— Dave Peck 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.

International Harvester Manure Spreader Model?

Harvester Manure Spreader

I have previously identified my treasure as an International Harvester manure spreader built about 1913. I am hopeful to restore it by 2020 for use as a July 4 parade float filled with political candidates.

My research suggests it is an International Harvester product, but I can't tell if it's a Low Cloverleaf or Low Corn King model. I know that IHC bought the Cloverleaf company in 1905, but I don't know the origin of the Corn King name. Their paint is completely different, with the Cloverleaf being primarily green and the Corn King being red. Both have yellow iron wheels, though I've seen sales brochures showing black iron wheels.

I'd appreciate any assistance in determining which model this is, so I can restore it correctly.

Erick Egger, 42360 CR 46, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487;
(970) 879-5128; email: eegger@colostate.edu


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.







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