First Things

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Memories Of A Former Kid
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We may live in a digital age, but the paperless
office remains a myth – at least in my case. A river of paper flows
across my desk; a steady stream of mail, printouts, newspaper
clippings and other scraps of paper. Today, a selection from that
flow:

If you have friends or relatives who see no value in the old
iron hobby, here’s a factoid you can trot out. In August, according
to a clipping sent by Dale Brumm, Sioux City, Iowa, a tractor was
sold at auction for $86,500. Be sure to lay it on rather thick that
the tractor (a 1920 John Deere Waterloo Boy) was no particular
record-breaker. Antique tractors have sold for lots more than
that.

Granted, most people who have an old tractor or two or 300 do
not have pieces of that value. Well, not that dollar
value. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The rusted old relic
Granddad bought new may be as common as dirt but remains, in the
owner’s mind, priceless.

What is noteworthy about that Waterloo Boy is this: Proceeds
from that sale, and the sale of six other tractors sold at a
Pender, Neb., auction, were donated to the Pender-Thurston
Education & Community Foundation. More than $100,000 was
generated for the foundation, which creates opportunities for local
residents. Tell me old tractors don’t have value!

For those of a green persuasion, the photo at the top left
corner of page 34 of this issue may cause your heart to skip a beat
or two. The John Deere sign shown there (which has no relevance to
the article) is a particularly rare and highly sought
collectible.

Farm Collector is in the business of celebrating the
preservation of vintage farm equipment. Good thing we limit
ourselves to that and don’t also tackle vintage childrearing. From
the Old Farmer’s Almanac of 1867: “Every farmer’s boy
should know how to dress himself, black his own shoes, cut his
brother’s hair, wind a watch, sew on a button, make a bed, and keep
all his clothes in perfect order and neatly in place; milk cows,
shear sheep and dress veal or mutton; harness a horse, grease a
wagon and drive a team.”

And finally, in an article in this issue on a Port Huron steam
engine, Robert Vonderau recalls the steamer consuming as much as
two tons of coal per day. It is a staggering number. Storage and
transport are one matter, but consider shoveling two tons of coal
into a boiler in one day. Makes the list of skills cited in the
Farmer’s Almanac seem like greasy kid stuff!

Leslie McManus, Editor
lmcmanus@ogdenpubs.com

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment