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Old Iron Questions

Looking for Information on Old Photos

Written on the photo: “Janousky Bros. threshing rice on Geo. W. Streets’ farm, Hazen, Ark.”

I came across a box of old pictures at my aunt’s house. She is 90 years old and doesn’t know much about them.

As for the rice harvest scene, I know that my grandma on my mother’s side was a Janousky, so I know it’s a family photo. Can anyone identify the thresher? It appears to be wooden. How about the steam engine at back right?

Written on the photo: “Layne Pump on W. Radican place, 3-1/2 miles south of Hazen, throwing 1,182 gallons per minute with a 25 horse engine. W.E. Bowler, driller.”

As for the water well photo, I checked with the Layne Arkansas well drilling company in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and their logbook showed this well was drilled in August 1907. The drilling rig is on the left and it says a 25hp engine is pulling it. Can anyone identify the engine? Is it the same one shown in the rice harvest photo? Maybe this is also a family photo.

Contact: Randy Skarda, 1106 East Jackson St., Hazen, AR 72064; (870) 830-2888

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

Can Anyone Help with Corn Shock Tyer Technique?


I know what this is, but I don’t remember how to use it. It is used to pull a shock of corn tight, and then you tie the shock with twine. It is handmade from a piece of oak measuring 2 by 2 inches; it is 15 inches long.

A rope is attached long enough to reach around a shock of corn. You throw it in such a way that the gizmo swings around the shock and you catch it. Then you tighten the shock with the gizmo. Then twine is tied around the shock to keep it from coming apart.

As a teenager in the early 1950s, I only used it two years before we got a corn picker.

Editor’s note: Our expert believes the wood piece is used as a rope lock once the rope is in place around the shock. The wood arm may have been used to help squeeze the shock. When it was squeezed to the limit, perhaps the rope was placed into the end slot and wedged into the side groove to keep the rope tight. When the twine is secured, holding the shock tight, the rope tyer is removed and used on the next shock. Readers, can you help?  FC

P.J. Ranck, email:

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


Do You Recognize This Manure Spreader?


I have a ground-driven manure spreader that I dug out of my grove. It is in working order, except the jack, after I replaced the wood. I am trying to figure out who made the spreader. It doesn't look like any of those produced by leading manufacturers, so I am wondering if maybe there were regional manufacturers in northwest Iowa, northeast Nebraska or southwest South Dakota who produced this spreader. Karl Seggerman, email:



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

Explain a Garden Cultivator’s Wheel

Several years ago, I acquired a 2-wheel garden cultivator powered by a 1 hp engine. If was manufactured by Simplicity Co. and sold by Montgomery Ward & Co. in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

I have restored it to working condition, but I’m puzzled by the 13 studs that have been welded to the inside of the right side wheel. This is not a factory addition. The studs are 7/16-inch in diameter, 1 inch long and spaced at 1-3/4-inch intervals around the perimeter of the wheel rim.


What I would like to learn is, what did they do? How did it work? What did it work with? I would appreciate any information about this modification of this tractor.

Thanks for a great magazine.

Mike Weicht, 2684 S. 800 W., Swayzee, IN 46986 

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

Identifying a Mystery Corn Sheller

sheller sheller

I enjoy the many fine articles about rare collectibles in Farm Collector. I especially enjoyed the article on the hand corn sheller in the May 2017 issue of Farm Collector. I spent much time as a young child shelling corn for the chickens on my father’s 160-acre farm.

Recently I acquired a John Deere Model No. 1B. On a trip to Minnesota’s North Shore Drive, we stopped at an architectural antique shop in Two Harbors. I was surprised to find an old wooden corn sheller tucked away in one corner. I asked the owner about it and he did not know any history about it or really care. That sheller was miles away from corn country and intrigued me so much that, a month later, I called the store, found that they still had it, and last weekend we drove 275 miles back there and bought it.

As the photo shows, all the joints in the wood framing were mortise and tenon. All joints were fastened with wood dowels. The lettering on the front reads: Manufactured for George Worthington & Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Lettering on the cob outlet reads No. 63; on the front casing, No. 69 and on the back casing, No. 39.

I called Jake Rens in Orange City, Iowa, recently and we discussed the sheller but he could not identify it either. I am wondering if any Farm Collector readers could identify the manufacturer, history and age of this sheller. An internet search turned up nothing. It would really ice the cake if I could find a crank for it.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Bob Christensen, c/o The Gallery on 1st,
403 North 1st St., Montevideo, MN 56265;
(320) 269-5518 (work); (320) 226-1020 (cell);

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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