Letters to the Editor

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In the past, I have run requests in Farm Collector and
its sister publication, Gas Engine Magazine, regarding
information on an unknown machine (February 2004, What Is It, item
B) a friend of mine found. He knew I enjoyed working with old
machines and gave it to me. The articles and a query to C.H. Wendel
provided no answer as to what the machine was or was used for.
Recently I contacted Farm Collector columnist Sam Moore;
he didn’t have a clue as to what the machine was. He contacted the
local library in Wichita, Kan., and found out more than I had been
able to find. They had no information on the machine, but had some
record of a Bert E. Maxwell – who seemed to fit into the time
frame. Sam suggested I try the historical society and Wichita State
University.

WSU had more information regarding Maxwell, but nothing on the
machine. Then, the Midwest Historical & Genealogy Society in
Wichita solved the mystery. They came up with a copy of what
appears to be a patent application produced by Maxwell. The
information identifies the unit as a skiving machine. Skiving is
the process of tapering leather or other material back from the end
for splicing, such as harness straps or endless flat belts. Maxwell
must have been an inventive person. It appears he saw a need and
designed a machine to fulfill the need.

I thought I would pass the information on to Farm
Collector
. It appears that none of the readers knew anything
about the machine. It has been enjoyable for me to finally learn
something about the machine. I thought I had hit a dead end, but
the Midwest Genealogical Society solved the mystery. I will make an
attempt to put it in a museum.

I enjoy the magazine very much; keep up the good work.

Ralph R. Look
8006 Watson Lane
Wichita, KS 67207

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