Letters to the Editor

Restored cotton planter is a family heirloom


| March 2006



Cotton planter

Cotton planter

This old cotton planter was found in a barn on my father-in-law's farm. It has a wooden wheel that is about 2-1/2 inches thick and beveled on the surface that contacts the ground. The wheel drives a sprocket and flat chain that turns the toothed wheel inside the wood box. The metal wheel inside the box is about 9 inches in diameter and has nine triangular teeth. A metal frame in the bottom of the box contains two rectangular metal plates. These plates can be adjusted to change the size of the center opening.

Relatives say this type of planter was used during the time when seed cotton contained lint. For that reason, the piece appears to be useful only for cotton planting. We believe the planter to be about 80 years old. After 50 years of neglect, the planter was in sad condition. About half of one curved handle was split off and missing. A 3-inch-by-8-inch section of the wood wheel was badly deteriorated and was replaced. One side of the wood box had received a serious blow and was split and damaged. Amazingly, the nuts and bolts were not severely rusted or damaged.

This was an enjoyable restoration project and now our family has a special family keepsake to display. I would appreciate receiving additional information about the history and manufacturer of the planter.

- Marvin K. McCullough
102 Shepard Road
Opp, AL 36467