Letters to the Editor

Have you seen the phantom pump jack?

| July 2005

I always enjoy reading Farm Collector. With the variety of subjects covered, there is always something new and interesting. When looking through the April 2005 issue, I got real excited when I saw an article on a Waterloo pump jack. I found one a number of years ago in a neighbor's pasture while looking in a brush patch for a missing calf. After some begging from me, the neighbor said I could have the pump jack but he wanted the pump left on the well. Within a half hour, it had a new home.

It came with a set of channel iron mounting brackets that fastened under both the pump jack and a gasoline engine. The pump jack would be mounted off the side of the engine, and hooked directly to the end of the crankshaft and flywheel of the engine with a special coupler so it didn't need a flat belt to be driven. When it was mounted to an engine on a cart, it would make the whole unit portable and easily moved from well to well. I could not find any old paint on it and not being able to come up with any information from anyone on what color it should be, I painted it red like a Waterloo Boy gas engine.

After talking to several people at shows and auctions, I have been told there were four different pump jacks made that looked exactly alike but with different brand names on the castings of the two side flywheels. I have in my collection three of those four. They are Waterloo Gasoline Engine Co., Waterloo, Iowa; John Deere Tractor Co., Waterloo, Iowa; and Dain Manufacturing Co., Ottumwa, Iowa (Dain was also bought out by Deere & Co.). The one I do not have is said to have no name or markings on the flywheels.

After a number of years of looking, I have seen a few Dain and John Deere pump jacks, but I have not seen or heard of any of the unmarked ones, or any other Waterloos. I would be interested to know if anyone has or knows of an unmarked one (I need one to fill my collection), or if there are any other Waterloos around.

- Tim Maves
E. 3558 County Road P
Menomonie, WI 54751