Double-Huller Clover Is As Perfect As Can Be

A No. 4 Victor double-huller clover machine survives in fine original condition.


| October 2016



clover

This No. 4 Victor double-huller clover machine was manufactured in 1889 by Newark Machine Co., Columbus, Ohio.

Photo by Loretta Sorensen

The Barns in Marcus, Iowa – JR Pearson’s museum – is full of exceptional horse-drawn farm implements gathered during the past 30 years. But there’s always space for a new rare piece. His latest addition is a No. 4 Victor double-huller clover machine manufactured in 1889 by Newark Machine Co., Columbus, Ohio. The all-wood huller has original paint and pinstriping.

“There aren’t many clover hullers around. When I saw what good condition this one was in, I knew I wanted to include it in my museum,” JR says. “And because it’s smaller than most threshing machines, it fits inside the museum much better.”

After bringing it home, JR used water to clean accumulated dust and dirt off the huller. He then applied a penetrating urethane clear coat to help preserve the wood and enhance the machine’s original color and striping.

“The clear coat gives the wood a gloss look that makes it easier to read any lettering on it and makes pinstriping stand out,” JR says. “If you take an old sign and wet it with water, you’ll be able to see the wording much better, until it dries out again. The clear coat retains that gloss.”

Key part of crop rotation

JR dates the huller by the original operator’s manual that came with the machine. According to the manual, which is dated 1889, the No. 4 was the largest of Newark Machine Co.’s line of four hullers. The original sale price of $475 (the rough equivalent of $12,000 today) included the huller, a wagon, wagon brake, neck yoke, double and single trees, stacker and Grube’s new patent seed cleaner. If a customer wanted just the huller, the price of the additional items was deducted.

“Our machine for the 1889 trade is about as near perfect as it can be made,” the manual proclaims. “This machine has been manufactured by ourselves and our predecessors for the past 26 years and during that time valuable improvements were continually made.”