Prince Albert Tin Memories and Vintage Ad

Readers share prince albert tin memories and more responses to a popular May letter.

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by Tonya Olson

A sweetly aromatic memory

Another Prince Albert tin can story. Back in the 1960s, my brother gave me an unusual “lion” bracelet. One lion was holding onto the lion in front by holding his tail in his mouth. There were probably 10 lions in the bracelet altogether. I loved this bracelet. My brother is 13 months younger than me and always doing something different: He used a Prince Albert can to “wrap” my present that Christmas. I still have the can! Every time I wore that bracelet, I could smell the tobacco odor. Anyway, those cans served a lot of purposes.

I sure enjoy your magazine.

Mary Jane Richards,
Morgantown, Indiana

Still call them burrs

In reading the article about blacksmith-made bolts in the June 2022 issue of Farm Collector, I noticed the reference to “burrs” as an old term for what we now call “nuts.”

My dad called them burrs, and so do I.

I believe that the name carries over from copper rivets used to repair harness. If you do a web search for “rivets and burrs,” you will see that the little washer that is used with the rivet on the open end is still called a burr.

Thanks for keeping heritage alive!

Howard Raymond via email

What’s good for the farm is good for the community

Randy Denney, Paris, Ontario, Canada, sent this vintage J.I. Case advertising sheet designed to show the connection between good farm practices (presumably made possible by Case farm equipment) and a prosperous community. The piece is believed to date to about 1946.

Firsthand experience with silo work

old photo of two young men on the side of a silo with a donkey

In regard to the picture [of a donkey in a silo] on Page 4 of the May 2022 issue of Farm Collector: I am 93 years old and have memories of things back to 1935. In the 1930s and ’40s, I remember tales of animals in silos. I never heard of any proof. If it had happened, it would have had to be a wooden silo. Doors on a concrete silo would have been too small for an animal to pass through. A wood silo could have a large door at the bottom. If it is true, the animal would have to be in there to keep the sileage level by walking to compress it.

As a sidenote, farmers in that time period would put enclosed pipes from the goose-neck down to the bottom. That was done to keep the sileage level. Someone would walk around with the pipe and as the sileage rose, they would would remove 3-foot sections. I personally have done that job.

Richard Stuenkel,
Monee, Illinois

Would’ve done the same thing back then

I am 62 years old so I cannot take any credit for being an original source for the information on the donkey suspended from the top of the silo.

I am a country boy at heart. When I was young, my cousins lived in the country, I lived in the city and they called me a “city slicker.” Now they live in Los Angeles and my family and I live in the country on a dirt road. Our three boys and three girls have known what it is like to take care of multiple milk goats, innumerable chickens, at times more than 100 geese, ducks, many dogs, cats and honeybees.

We make our own wine from our Concord grapes. We have always had a large garden and my wife preserves food by canning, freezing and drying. I own two indispensable Ford tractors: a 1953 NAA Jubilee and a 1949 8N, and I handle all the repairs and restoration work. My friends tell me I was born 100 years too late and I agree.

I was stumped by the photo of the donkey and the silo and had to know what, how and why. I asked my son-in-law, a farmer in North Dakota, but neither he nor his father knew anything about it. Now of course we know the answer. If I had been a farmer in the 1920s and ’30s, I’d probably been one of those who used his donkey to pack the sileage.

Jerry Brown, Fife Lake, Michigan

He figured he’d cover more ground with shorter rows

The “Memories of a Former Kid” cartoon in the May 2022 issue of Farm Collector reminded me of stories I heard about of similar farming incidents in a simpler time. This story was told to me by our neighbor, John, of when he was farming in the 1930s.

The concept of electric fence had been perfected and he was putting an insulated wire around his cow pasture. His old neighbor, Clyde, who lived across the field, saw him and walked over to talk and visit. After finishing the installation and turning it on, John tested the fence by holding a clump of green grass on it. That gave only a slight tingle. With old Clyde following, the two walked to the far side of the field to test the wire. There was no tingle, so he figured there must be a short. Old Clyde, with no concept of electricity, said “John, maybe it hasn’t got around here yet.”

Another story, this one about the farmer who hired an old guy to help put in crops. One morning he had him discing a long triangle-shaped field starting on the long side. When the hired man came in for dinner, the farmer asked how he got along. “Well, I didn’t get much done this morning, but this afternoon when I get on them short rows, I’ll get a lot done,” he said.

Wilfrid Vittetoe, Washington, Iowa

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