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Robert T. ValentineRetiring the tractors
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Farmall F-16
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Farmall Super H-TA
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Stirring up the Pot
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Potato Conveyer

This picture is of some of my recent exhibits at the New York Steam Engine Assn.’s 44th Annual Pageant of Steam in Canandaigua, N.Y., Aug. 12-15, 2004. Many ‘old farmers’ who have worked with hay carriers and corn shellers are glad to see these farm tools of the 1800s.

I read Farm Collector cover-to-cover as it arrives. Jim Moffet sure keeps up with ‘What Is It.’

– Ron Bennett 1870 Strong Road Victor, NY 14564-9134

Retiring the tractors

I am 83 years old, and owned and operated a farm near Leola, S.D., before retiring at age 70. I have owned and seen many different models of tractors.

There was a tractor sold by Co-op that carried the Co-op name. It also was assembled using Dodge truck parts. I can remember talking to a farmer in the Mina, S.D., area who had recently bought a new one. He praised how well it handled, the amount of power it had and that he pulled his grain drill eight miles an hour. The framework on the tractors was built with an enormous amount of 3/8-inch steel plate. As for the Co-op tractors, I saw a custom haying outfit, with a fleet of them that they used to pull their side delivery rakes. I suppose they found them ideal for fast moves from job to job.

I remember one tractor, Grey, that never shows up in any of the old tractor publications. It didn’t have separate rear wheels; instead, it had a big drum extending all the way across the rear.

– Robert T. Valentine Rural Route 2, Box 2 417 Commercial Awe. S. W. Wolsey, SD 57384-2203

No, not a Farmall F-16

I have an answer to John Lad’s question in the Farm Collector September 2004 issue, about the existence of a Farmall F-16 he saw at an antique thresher show.

I have photographed the Farmall F-16 in question and found that no such tractor was ever produced by International Harvester Co. The tractor in question appears to be a Farmall H engine, transmission and rear end combined with the front end and sheet metal from an F-12 or F-14 Farmall. The owner (creator?) has a convincing paint job and decal set.

This is similar to the Farmall Super H-TA commissioned by Jon Kinzenbaw of Kinze Mfg., Williamsburg, Iowa, that uses a late Super H transmission and rear end combined with an early Farmall 300 engine and torque amplifier assembly. The idea is to make it a ‘convincing-as-possible’ (matching casting numbers) Super H-TA.
– Stephen McCoy 3318 Harbor Ave. Newton, IA 50208

Firing up the stove

The stove remains found by Leonard Schmaltz, Farm Collector, September 2004, are cut iron portions of a parlor heater – the round part is the firebox. Any portion above that was customarily sheet metal, 18-to-22 inches high, which may have been a cast iron dome for the smoke pipe. Ornamentation of some fashion, about 4 inches wide, usually hung on the two ears. The grate lever extension appears at the opening and the ash pan was a simple sheet metal pan made to fit in the opening.

A stove foundry at New Athens, III., made many stoves for Sears, Roebuck & Co.
– John Schneider 5301 Blank Road Smithton, II 62285-2521

Stirring up the pot

I bought this item many years ago at an old southern plantation estate sale. The object at the end of the handle is some sort of stone. I have yet to find anyone who can tell me what it is or was used for.

I sure enjoy the magazine and look forward to each issue.

– Edward E. Hancock 331 County Road 46 P.O. Box 664 Selma, AL 36701


Farm Collector occasionally prints answers to readers’ questions when information is available from knowledgeable sources.

Letter from the August 2004 issue of Farm Collector.

What is missing on the front end of this Dahlman potato picker used to pick up potatoes?

– Lee Davison Rural Route 1, Box 128 Denton, NE 68339 (402) 797-3695


Nothing is missing on Lee Davison’s potato conveyer. I grew up on a muck farm between Mishawaka and Bremen, Ind., and peppermint and potatoes were the crops grown in the muck.

I spent many days riding a potato conveyer. The conveyer was pulled behind the digger. Our operation needed five people – a tractor driver, three on the sides and one on the rear platform. The digger dropped potatoes on the front of the conveyer. As potatoes went up the web, the three people on the sides -two on one side and one on the other -threw off vines, weeds, dirt clumps and an occasional road apple (horse manure). The side with one person was required to throw their pickings between the two on the other side. Every once in a while, a clump of muck would (accidentally) misfire and hit someone in the face. It was war! The war ended quickly when we heard the hand clutch on the John Deere snap -we didn’t like to see dad get off the tractor, as we knew who lost this war.

The man on the rear platform – it took a real man – fastened two sacks to a receiver with a divider board. When a sack was full of potatoes, he carried it to a small trailer pulled behind the conveyer and hooked on a new sack. By that time, the other sack would be full. When the trailer was full, he and dad loaded them on a truck – break time for us kids. When the truck was full, we headed off to the barn where the potatoes were run through a brusher grader. The no. 3 potatoes went to the hogs, no. 2 potatoes were for personal use or seed, and no. 1 potatoes were bagged in 102-pound sacks to be sold. Why 1027 Some grocery stores pre-bagged them in 20-pound bags, and they expected 100 pounds of potatoes, not 98 pounds and a two-pound sack. Dad always expected the sack back, because during World War II, sacks were hard to get.

The years have changed the hard work into great memories.

– Ed Sheets 63550 Madison Trail Mishawaka, IN 46544

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