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Old Iron Questions

Looking for Information on Pump Jack


Looking for information on a pump jack

I have a pump jack that looks like a Kuhlman pump jack. Can anyone help me identify it or tell me anything about it? I have the drive pulley and line shaft driver also with three gears and idle clutch. The casting reads “S.A. Machine & Supply Co., San Antonio, Texas.”

Jim Adams,



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

Looking for Information on Early Corn Sheller


Can anyone help with information regarding a corn sheller I recently bought to restore? Lettering on the side panel reads “Manf. for Rhea, Elton & Thielens, Peoria, Ill.” I have found references to this firm as an implement dealer in Peoria dating to 1900, give or take a few years. I would like to know who the manufacturer was. I found yellow paint with black (or maybe blue) pinstripes, and 5/16-inch-wide red edges.

Harry Roland, 320 Willis Ave,
Rochelle, IL 61068; (815) 561-1682

Editor’s note:

It would appear that Rhea, Elton & Thielens worked with several manufacturers. From a listing in Farm Implement News, Vol. 16, 1895: “Rhea, Elton & Thielens, Peoria, Ill., R.I. Rhea, O. Elton and A.B. Thielens in charge, assisted by Levi Nealson, H.E. Woolsey, J.M. Brown, L. Selby, C.T. Davis and “Baby” Bliss. Full line of goods made by the Stoddard Mfg. Co., Dayton, Ohio; J.I. Case Plow Works, Racine, Wis.; Milburn Wagon Co., Toledo, Ohio; Sechler & Co., Cincinnati, Ohio; Selby, Starr & Co., Peoria, Ill.; Miamisburg Twine & Cordage Co., Miamisburg, Ohio; International Mfg. Co., Chicago, Ill., (manufacturers of the American bicycle); and H.N. Fredericks & Sons, Peoria, Ill.”



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

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:

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:

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:



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