This 1928 Cletrac Model K was restored almost 20 years ago with the help of my parents, Henry and Georgia Borgaro. We worked on the tractor most Saturdays, and the restoration took two years. I belong to the California Oliver Cletrac Club and show this crawler several times a year.
The big outing for the tractor is the Tulare show. It’s the largest antique machinery show in California and is a must-see event for anyone who visits California.
The Cletrac stands next to my 1937 8-foot Aermotor windmill in my parent’s front yard. I needed a windmill for myself, so one was found, restored and now sits on top of a homemade 20-foot redwood tower.
I would like to thank my mom, Georgia, for helping me on all of my antique machinery restorations. We seldom thank the ladies out there for the help and moral support they provide.
My mom cooked the lunches every Saturday for Dad and me. She washed the greasy coveralls and put bandages on skinned knuckles. She answered the telephone when we were out in the shop and wrote the checks to the people who had parts to sell to complete the project. She sewed me a new leather gearshift boot and hand-painted the word ‘Cletrac’ on the radiator. She also said the right things at the right time. ‘You guys will get it running next weekend,’ she’d say.
Most of all, my mom took pictures every weekend to document our labor of love for this old crawler tractor. Then she gave me the photo album that I will cherish for all time.
Let’s all remember to thank the moms, wives and girlfriends for making it possible for us guys to have this great hobby.
– Richard Borgaro, 11578 Sutton Way # 114, Grass Valley, CA 95945
Can’t forget that smell
Just received my October 2003 Farm Collector and had to laugh about the ‘Snap, Crackle & Pop’ article since I have this great picture of my 10-year-old son at his granny’s house one crisp fall weekend for hog-butchering day.
It was the only butchering I ever attended, and I remember the kids loved the boiling, cutting, grinding and running in and out with snacks for the men. Meanwhile, I was stuck in the house with trimming and wrapping duties. The smell was absolutely atrocious. That old, nasty pig’s head was used for head cheese.
That year I remember I didn’t eat any pork – I just couldn’t stand the smell. That experience gives me a great respect for those who butcher pigs like that every day for their whole life.
Oh, I forgot one thing … that boy in the picture is my son, Jason Harmon, editor of Farm Collector.
– Karen Donaldson 3448 N. Smallin Road, Ozark, MO 65271
Twist and shout
I feel compelled to point out that the caption of the threshing photo on page 22 of the October Farm Collector is not quite accurate. It says the belt is twisted to prevent the wind from blowing it off the pulley. If you look, the belt has only a half twist because the tractor has a counter-clockwise rotation. This twist is necessary to get the correct rotation on the thresher.
– Harold Anderson 2514 15th Awe., Lindsborg, KS 67456
Stumped by the double pump
This pump was on my wife’s grandparents’ farm when they purchased the land in the early 1900s. The casting reads ‘Pat. July 9, 1889 MFC by Hayes Pump & Planter Co., Galva, III.’ Does anyone have information on the operation of the two rods?
– John Milligan 30464 E. Highway MM, Cilman City, MO 64642; (660) 876-5878
Editor’s note: The November 2003 Farm Collector article, ‘Pumped about pumps,’ contains the answer to your question. Your pump is a double-cylinder model, which literally doubled the amount of water pumped with each stroke as compared to the single-cylinder pump variety.
Fully functional, but for what?
We are trying to find out any information about this item. We just purchased it in California. There are no markings, plates, brand names, models, serial numbers or any other type of markings that I can find. It’s yellow and appears to be fully functional. All the parts move when the crank is turned.
– Scott Rose 2370 Alvarado St., San Leandro St., CA 94577; (510)352-1560, ext. 16; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Threshing show remembered
We drove out to the Frank Fisher ranch on July 27, 2003, for a day of threshing and all the other things that go with it at the Ponca Valley Threshing Show.
The bundle racks were loaded by hand with the help of neighbors and friends. They started threshing with a 22-inch John Deere machine – everything on this place was John Deere. Grain was hauled away with a steel-wheeled John Deere wagon. Later, the straw was baled with a stationary baler. As afternoon progressed, some alfalfa was loaded on a hayrack with an old loader that pulls behind the hayrack, I just don’t see too many of them at any threshing bees.
After that, the corn was shelled with an old spring sheller also made by John Deere. An old John Deere enclosed elevator was used for the grain. This was from the days of the railroad when they loaded grain cars from the outside when farmers brought grain to town, weighed it and loaded it directly on the grain cars.
This threshing event was pretty much a one-man show, and there are others of this kind around. They need support since there is no gate fee. These people are kind enough to feed everybody supper with the help of neighbors and friends.
The farm is located 2 miles north and 2 miles east of Lynch, Neb. There’s some pretty rough country since you’re close to the Missouri River. Next year there will be a Lewis and Clark celebration in honor of their passage up the river.
-James Wagner 52341 875 Road, Winnetoon, NE 68789
Big ‘beast’ sighting
My uncle was an adventurous sort in his early years. In the early 1900s (1900-1925), he ventured out on the northern plains from Wisconsin and drove some of the large tractor/plow combinations that were used for breaking the prairie sod. He talked of running large rigs that pulled 16-bottom plows, which had a gangplank for the plow operator to raise and lower each bottom at the headlands prior to turning around.
He was an avid photographer and took numerous pictures that were sent to his relatives (including my Dad) in the form of picture postcards. On one postcard, he wrote, ‘Just a glance at me and the old horse that I was driving this past spring. Notice the school in the background.’
I recall him talking about some experimental tractors, which were sent out by manufacturers that he had seen operating (or he had operated). This may be one of them, however, on this picture no notations were written. It certainly looks like a cumbersome beast. I had the postcard photos computer enhanced and enlarged since age and the sepia-type print has faded over the years. I hope someone can shed some light on this mystery.
– Larry Ketteler Box 2018, Battle Ground, WA 98604