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A clock worker's morticing machine; a paint pigment grinder
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Two Masseys, working together.
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An old grain grader with the manufacturer clearly identified,
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Ahead of its time: Oddball tractor allowed one-man cutting job
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Minneapolis Moline, circaHenry F. Aschbrenner shown here on a binder, driving a different tractor
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This early cotton picker was manufactured by Ben Pearson, Inc.,
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This early cotton picker was manufactured by Ben Pearson, Inc.,

It was interesting to see on the cover of your May issue the picture of a Flint and Walling windmill. We have a Flint and Walling windmill that pumps our water. It was installed in 1916 and has been in operation since then. There is a yellow star on the blade along with the name: R.R. Howell & Co., Minneapolis, Mn. There is also some other wording, too small to read from the ground, and I haven’t climbed the tower recently. I think it is patent numbers.

Allen Menter, Faith, SD

Paint Grinder and Mortice Machine Keeping Company

I purchased a grinder like the one pictured in the Letters page in the April issue of Farm Collector. My wife found an article in Early American Life that describes it as a paint pigment grinder. I enclosed a picture of my grinder, along with another rare item: a clock worker’s morticing machine.

Bryan Clothier,  351 County Rt. 24, Corinth, NY 12822


During the period after World War II, from the late 1940s to the early 1960s, farmers in midwest needed tractors with more power. Some solved the problem by taking two tractors – such as two John Deere D’s, or two Case L’s, or two IH W-9’s – and hooking them in tandem, first with self-steering drawbars, and then by removing the front axle of the back tractor, and mounting it on the drawbar of the front tractor. Controls and gauges were mounted where they could be operated from the front tractor. That way, one man could operate two plows at a time, and normally at one gear higher, increasing output.

At the turn of the century, few tandems remain in operation. In recent years, a pair of Minneapolis-Moline U’s was shown at Winfield, Kan. William Steinke of Nebraska has restored a pair of International W-9’s that will be shown locally. The last time I heard of a tandem being used was 1986: John Heater in Elk County, Kan., used a pair of Massey 98’s.

This pair of Massey-Harris 55 diesels hooked in articulating tandem is shown each year at the Bird City, Kan., show. The tandem was built by Ernst Bressler, a local Massey dealer and farmer. In some situations, it was a little tricky to drive, but it served the needs of the farmer until the manufacturers learned what big tractors were.

Shorty Flater, PO Box 3141, Salina, KS, 67402-3141.


Recently, while cleaning out my barn loft, I found this interesting piece of equipment. I cleaned it off and found the lettering that says Gem Grain Grader. I tried to find some information on the Internet, but was unsuccessful. Can anyone enlighten me on its use and possible value?

Tom Moon, 10 Mary Lane,’ Riverton, IL 62561; eMail: tmoon59101@aol.com


Enclosed are some pictures of a tractor my dad had when he farmed. He died in 1926, but was farming until 1923 or ’24, so he must have bought the tractor in 1919 or the early 20s. This tractor was ahead of its time: It had an attachment for hooking it up to an oats binder so one man could cut oats alone. Does any one know what kind of tractor this is, and what color it was? Also, has anyone restored a tractor like this?

Henry R. Aschbrenner, 800 Pleasant St., Sumner, IA 50674


The saw pictured on the Letters page of the May issue is a folding machine saw. It was made by Folding Sawing Co., 94-66 S. Clinton St., Chicago, Ill., and was patented Oct. 31, 1882. The saw could be folded and carried on a man’s shoulder. By turning it sideways, it could be used for felling trees. We have one of these at the New Jersey Museum of Agriculture.Coles Roberts, curator, New Jersey Museum of Agriculture


Recently I came across a Model gas engine catalog which included photographs of both a Hackney auto plow and Sageng combination gasoline threshing machine. Both were equipped with four-cylinder Model engines. This proves that the Hackney and Sagent used water-cooled Model engines, not Twin City air-cooled. I have never seen a Twin City air-cooled engine. Twin City engines were used in their tractors, as well as Reeves 40-80 and 25-50, power plants and sawmills.

Gary J. Oechsner, 39 Reid Terrace, Apt. 14, Fond Du Lac, WI 54935


While in south Texas last winter, I observed this early cotton picker in an old fence row. The unit was one row, and appears to have been mounted on a row crop tractor. The unique picking system was not a drum, but a wide belting with spring tines mounted in rows. The belt moved around through a track, and then through a stripping area where the cotton was sucked and blown into the basket in the back. This was certainly a different design than I had ever seen. Does anyone know the history on this machine? Was it brought out by John Deere or I.H.?

Wilfrid Vittetoe, 1122 S. Airport Rd., Washington, IA 52353-1375

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