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The tomato planter
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Warren PaulsonAntique rowing machine
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Corkscrew turns by lifting the catch
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Museum Piece Resembles Thresher engine

I would like to know what this piece of equipment is, and just how it worked. When I bought it, they told me it was a tomato planter, but didn’t know anything else.

The operators rode backward. It has storage bins, apparently to hold the plants. The barrel must be for water, as it has some sort of injector connected to the barrel that must open a stopper when lifted by a lug on the drive chain.

The levers raise and lower a set of wheels in the center that, when in the down position, must cover the trench that the plants are some how set in. The levers also operate a chain with fingers attached that goes from top to bottom, and then to the ground.

It appears to be factory built, but as of yet I am unable to find any name or number on it. If it is a tomato planter, I would like to know how the plants were inserted into the machine.

-Richard Hak, 2260 Weigl Rd., Saginaw, Ml 48609; (517) 781-3005


This picture is from a 1925 Farm Mechanics magazine of a tractor that was introduced at that time. I thought you might be interested in using it for a mystery picture. Keep up the good work.

-John Kelly, 4504 10th Ave., Armstrong, lA 50514


As a supporter of our local Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), I wish to hear from anyone who knows about the operation of the hay press. It was usually used near a navigable river for transporting the huge bales and was in a permanent structure such as a barn built for this purpose. Our Indiana DNR has been given a hay press, which they have dismantled piece by piece. They intend to put it back together and use it for a working demonstration. Research shows that this piece was patented in the early 1840s and there are only five known in existence. Thank you in advance for your help.

-Hugh Jackson, 3765 Totten Ford Rd.NW, Depauw, IN 47115-8252


I have collected farm equipment for more than 40 years, starting with fly wheel engines. I got my Hart-Parr in 1960, and am currently rebuilding a 1913 Frick 16 hp steam engine- every bolt is out of it and I am rebuilding it one piece at a time. I have my own machine shop, tool room, etc, and have worked 40 years in industrial machine repair. It is great to see someone actively promoting the equipment that was used with the tractors and engines. Shows come into their real purpose when equipment is demonstrated doing its intended work.-David Pence, 4761 S. Co. Home Rd., Bluffton, IN 46714


I purchased this tool at an auction, but no one knows what it was or what it was used for. There is no company name, with a patent date of 1860, maybe. The total height is 38-inches, the width is 11-inches. The corkscrew turns by lifting the catch.

-William McCormick, 4656 Howlett Hill Rd., Marcellus, NY 13108-9731


This photo was sent in by Warren Paulson. He would like help identifying this piece, its manufacturer and use. He can be contacted at 6910 Argyle Rd., Calendonia, IL 61011.


The picture of the piece of equipment in the February 2001 issue of Farm Collector (Unusual Museum Piece Resembles Thresher), is what is left of a combine dating from the twenties or thirties. It does resemble a thresher because that is the way many early combines were made. The opening on the front of the combine is where the header would deposit the cut grain into the threshing mechanism. The header could have been between ten and twenty feet in width, depending on the capacity of the threshing mechanism. There would have been a grain tank or bagging platform on the far side, under the spout. It looks like the rear separator part of the combine may be missing. There would have been an engine mounted over the single front wheel to power the machine. It would have been pulled around the field with a tractor. Some of the earlier combines were pulled in the field with a team of horses. I’m sending a picture of an early Case Combine and a 1925 Case 12-20 tractor I own that might be similiar to the combine in Oklahoma.

-Herb Wessel, 2200 Fairmount Rd., Hampstead, MD 21074-1308

Compliments? Complaints? Suggestions? Ideas? Comments? Memories? Questions? We’ll print ’em all, as space allows. Send letters to FARM COLLECTOR EDITORIAL, 1503 SW 42nd Street, Topeka, KS 66609-1266; FAX (785) 274-4305; email: editor@farmcollector.com

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