Letters to the Editor

| September 2005

Waterloo pump jacks and engines, continued

I really enjoy the Farm Collector. It is amazing all the things that were made and invented to make life easier. Some were amazing for the times they were made; some are even revived and improved for use today.

I am writing in regards to an article in the April 2005 issue of Farm Collector on the Waterloo pump jack. I am a collector of old stationary engines and machines as well as anything from the past, including bottles and license plates, to name a few. I also have a couple of John Deere GP tractors, one of which (a wide-tread) was my dad's. I grew up on that tractor and have many fond memories of it and my dad.

Back to the pump jack: I was fortunate to come across an engine and pump jack coupled together. As you can see from the photos, this is what the pair looks like when hooked together. I have taken it to a few shows, and many people have never seen one like it. I have also been to the big John Deere show in Waterloo, Iowa, and have never seen a set-up like it.

The article in the April issue showed a photo of a pump jack-driving disc with "Waterloo Gasoline Engine Co. Waterloo, Iowa" cast into it. I have pump jacks cast with "John Deere," "John Deere Tractor Company, Waterloo Iowa USA," and "Dain Mfg. Co., Ottumwa, Iowa USA." I have others stashed someplace, but I don't know what the castings on those are.

I know John Deere took over the Dain Manufacturing Co. Dain made an overshot hay stacker that was bought out by them, so I assume they did the same with the pump jack. The parts book I have is dated January 1927, so I'm assuming they took it over shortly before that. In fact, my parts book has a hand-written notation on the page pertaining to the pump jack: "See Dain price list." Also, notice the change in the main housing. I don't know when they did this, but it looks like a good improvement.

- Norman Osnes
541 N. Green St.
Valentine, NE 69201-1622