Farm Collector


Farm Collector’s December 2003 ‘What-is-it?’ department caught my eye – in particular item B. I believe this is not a tool, but a part from a potato planter. I took these pictures of my own potato planter, which happens to include the ‘What-is-it?’ item in question.

– Ronald Taylor, 5310 Elizabeth St., Colon, Ml 49040

Remembering the ties that bind

When I was young I helped farmers cut silage. When I started farming, I couldn’t afford a silage chopper, so I used an old International Harvester Co. corn binder for several years.

International Harvester made binders in two sizes. One was for tall corn, and the other was a shorter model for short corn. The binders were the same except the knotter’s head was much higher on the tall corn binder. This was so the twine was close to the center of the corn bundle. I had to cut corn with the binder until I could buy an old corn chopper. Farming wasn’t easy during the 1950s.

That old binder had a poor memory. It would tie about 15 bundles and then forget how to tie a few. If balers and binders didn’t tie at all, a person could usually figure out why. But when they hit and missed, it was hard to pinpoint the problem. Thank heaven for modern implements.

– Jack Spithoven, Box 156, Savage, MT 59262

No idea about New Idea

I just purchased a one-row corn puller. The only information on it says, ‘AVCO New Idea.’ I’d like to know who made it, are parts still available for it and what are the original paint colors. Thanks.

– Palmer Smith,1984 Highway 51 S., Covington, TN 38019;(901)476-6133

As rare as gold

The ‘Fully functional, but for what?’ of the December 2003 issue may well be what is called a ‘dry washer.’ Much off California’s gold was derived from the sand and gravels of streams using a variety of pans, rockers, sluice boxes – and later – dredges. But those who prospected in the dry California desert regions used air to separate the heavy gold from the lighter sand and gravel.

This ‘dry washer’ blew air up through a screen on which the gold-bearing material was spread. The heavy gold remained behind. The handles allowed it to be moved from one place to another. Sometimes these areas were known as ‘dry diggings’ to distinguish them from the usual wet areas along streams. Quite a few dry washers were used in California’s Mojave Desert in the first half of the 20th century, especially during the Great Depression.

Of course this item could be something else completely, but the ‘dry washer’ sure comes to mind.

– R. H. Chamberlain, P.O. Box 2320,Flournoy, CA 96029

Strange garden tractor

Does anyone know what we have or anything else about this particular model?

– Anita Karen Evans, 840 Delaware St., Mt Hope, WV 25880

Corny conversation

This corn planter’s been around my place for quite a while. I don’t know where it came from, but it appears two different kinds of seeds can be planted at the same time – maybe boy and girl! It’s quite different than those eight-row toolbar planters I’ve seen back in my home state of Nebraska. And, of course, I enjoyed Sam Moore’s article, ‘Sowin’ Seeds,’ in the December 2003 issue.

– Don Foster,3942 P-10 Lane, Paonia, CO 81428;(970) 527-3696

What about this ‘cracklin’ squeezer?’

After reading the article, ‘Snap, Crackle & Pop,’ in the October 2003 Farm Collector about killing and rendering hogs, I had to send a picture of our ‘cracklin’ squeezer.’ In our part of Texas, we didn’t worry about our cholesterol. The pigskin and chunks of fat were boiled, then put in a cheesecloth sack, and the remaining grease was squashed out.

Two old men who worked for my dad always worked about 5 minutes on hog-killing day before they left for my grandmother’s house. They took the pig brains, she scrambled them with eggs, and they all ate them within 5 minutes. They always tried to get me to eat some, but to no avail.

After the hog killing, the prepared meat and sausage were hung in the smokehouse. One time, my dad noticed that rats had dug holes into and under the large timbers around the bottom of the smokehouse walls. He decided a gasoline bath would get the critters out. When the gasoline bath didn’t work, he decided that the magic of a lighted match might do the trick. The next thing he knew, flaming rats were everywhere in the rafters and on the walls of the smokehouse. He was finally able to put out the fires.

Mom says the neighbors didn’t partake in meals at our house for a long period afterward. Instead of hickory-smoked hams, ours were rat-smoked!

– Chuck Carlock, 201 Main St., Ste. 2300,Fort Worth, TX 76102

Cat caption correction

On the December 2003 Farm Collector, a caption says the tractor is a Caterpillar 60. Actually, it’s not a 60 at all, it’s a 75. The Cat 75 was the only one that had a steering wheel as well as steering clutches.

I really enjoy your magazine.

– Arthur Krytzer, HC 68, Box 194,Caulfield, MO 65626

‘Gleaning’ useful information

I saw this old Gleaner pull-type combine outside of a barn recently when my wife and I were out on a motorcycle ride. Of course I had to stop and look at it. I asked the people working on the house if I could look at it, and they said yes because it was for sale.

I’ve seen a lot of Allis-Chalmers pull combines, but I’ve never seen a Gleaner with a 5-foot-8-inch header. It’s Model 50S and serial no. 50S6353. Note the oversized milk house and washtub grain tank. You can unload the tank with an auger or into sacks. It has a manual lever to open a small door on the bottom and has a cylinder at the bottom of the throat just like the self propelled combines, then a beater and then three straw walkers.

The Gleaner label on the back tail is stamped into the metal, and my wife says it looks 3-D. This combine is in very good shape, and I’m going to restore it. I would like to see more of us saving the equipment that was pulled with the tractors we keep so that people can see what we used in the past to produce the food we eat.

– Frank Meredith, 12451 S. 200 W., Silver Lake, IN 46982;(260) 352-3267

Plow history is a mystery

I would also be very grateful if I could find out the plow’s original colors since I’d like to restore it as original as possible. I have handles for it and will have to get two large dowels for the upper part of the handles. ‘Gale’ is embossed on the top of the main beam.

– Arthur Henry, 844 N. Black River St., Soarta. Wl 54656

Fuel for thought

I found this fuel tank and have stored it in the barn for more than 25 years. It’s probably 50 years old. Can anyone identify it?

– Arthur Clarke, 43 Meadow Ave., Wakefield, Rl 02879


Stories to share? Whether reminiscing about a tractor, a piece of equipment or early farm practices – or maybe just showing off a restoration – your stories are important to Farm Collector! Submissions are always welcome. Compliments or suggestions? Ideas? Comments? Memories? Questions? We’ll print ’em all, as space allows.

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  • Published on Feb 1, 2004
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