Farm Collector

A Mystery Piece, a Corn Cutter, and a Lasting Impression

Letters to the editor regarding harrowing hands-on experience, a museum corn cutter, and possible identities of a mystery piece.

Unidentified piece “definitely not a waffle iron”

Regarding Steve Lubar’s letter to the editor, November 2021 issue of Farm Collector: How about a meat tenderizer for dinosaur steaks used by Alley Oop’s woman?

Seriously: The item shown on Page 5 would have been used as a soil compactor (tamper) when constructing a stone (or rock) sidewalk or a foundation of rock or stone when building a corncrib, barn or house. The first two-story country homes we lived in in the late 1930s, ’40s and ’50s had rock foundations with no mortar.

Jack Fulghum, Fredonia, Kansas

Editor’s note: Ron Gasser, Sterling, Ohio, says the piece was used to pack loose soil before pouring concrete. J. Mike Bozich, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, believes it is a hand tamper used in compacting a sewer ditch.

Or, maybe it was used in planting

It appears to me that this tool was made to mark holes in a flat of soil to transplant small seedlings or place seeds into each hole. The weight would firm the soil as well as make holes for planting. It was probably used in a greenhouse.

Bill Rankin, Spring Grove, Pennsylvania

Still bringing them up right

young boy and girl sitting on a lawn mower

This year we continued the Grandkid Farm Value Training with lessons on a Ford 9N and a couple of John Deeres. The copilot/twin sister wishes John Deere had a purple option.

Bill Fish, Amsterdam, New York

Spreader inspired memorable words of wisdom

I enjoyed the article on manure spreaders (Farm Collector, October 2021). Growing up, we had a McCormick wood box spreader that my dad converted to be tractor-pulled rather than horse-pulled. The article made me think of a saying an old farmer told me: “Son, there’s only three things that will go away if you ignore them: your wife, your teeth, and your manure spreader.” Wise words!

Hal Spence, Dallas, Oregon

Looking for information on De Laval separator

I’ve been working to clean up my family’s old model 16 separator. It’s been in our old milking parlor for at least the last 90 years, I think.  I’m not sure if it’s my grandfather’s or great-grandfather’s separator and I was wondering if you could give me some idea of what years De Laval was producing the model 16.

Matthew Funk, (435) 258-2819;

Editor’s note: What do you say, readers? Can anyone help Matthew with this?

Thrilled to see article on Funk conversion

As a 27-year employee of Funk Mfg. (now John Deere Coffeyville Works), I was more than pleased to see the article on the Ford Funk conversion in the December 2021 Issue of Farm Collector. This is the first time that I have seen the conversion on the 9N. I once found pricing sheets for the conversion kits but in the course of office moves and changes in job responsibilities, I lost track of them. The production of these kits and the concern they caused led to a long-term business relationship. Over many years, Funk produced a lot of power transmission products for Ford.

Chuck McFate, Coffeyville, Kansas

French collector looking for a Titan crank

I live in France, near Bordeaux. I’m looking for a crank (or its dimensions so that I can reproduce it) to help me start my 1916 IHC Titan. A big thank you in advance to anyone who can help me!

Francois Ker;

Harrowing hands-on experience left lasting impression

The “Memories of a Former Kid” cartoon in the October 2021 issue of Farm Collector brought back memories of my own. I had to do something similar. We moved to a farm with a silo in 1957, when I was in the seventh grade.

During the summer between my seventh and eighth grade years, Dad and my uncle decided that I would be the one to feed the rope that raised the fill pipe to the top of the silo. Dad climbed up the ladder behind me and tied a small rope around my waist, probably looped together with twine, and I also had a coil of another small rope.

The pulley used to raise the silo filling pipe was opposite the chute. We did not use a board as in the cartoon, so I had to straddle the cement staves, 2 inches thick, one leg in and one leg out, and scoot around to where the pulley was. I fed my rope through the pulley and lowered it to the ground so they could tie it to a bigger rope and pull it up and through to tie it to the silo pipe to pull that up. I probably also had to feed the bigger rope through the pulley and then scoot backward to the ladder and back down.

I had to do the same thing the next year, after a whole year to think about it. But I only remember having to do that twice. Either they thought of some other solution or there is some memory suppression thing going on.

Things like that, along with chores like cleaning calf pens and building fence, made me realize that farming was not for me. I went into the Air Force right after high school and stayed completely away from farming until I bought an acreage and my wife bought my dad’s milk cows, but that’s another story.

Niles Boehmler, Hawkeye, Iowa

Two-row corn cutter turns up in Missouri museum collection

a green and red two row corn cutter

I had never seen a corn cutter sled before reading the December 2021 issue of Farm Collector. In the 1950s, my dad cut corn and cane for cattle feed with a John Deere corn binder that we pulled with the tractor. That was my exposure to cutting, binding and shocking corn.

Recently we toured the College of the Ozarks in Branson, Missouri. They have an Ag Museum with many restored tractors and pieces of farm equipment.  I have enclosed a photo of the two-row corn cutter on display there.

Roger Pavlis, Hudson, Wisconsin

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Farm Collector Editorial, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609; fax: (785) 274-4385; email:; online at:

  • Published on Jan 2, 2022
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