Your magazine is my favorite. I left a small farm in south-central Nebraska when I went into the Army in 1967.
I found this picture at the flea market in San Francisco, Calif., and thought it might be appropriate for your 'Letters to the Editor' page. Maybe some readers can answer the following questions: make and model of the car; weary driver's name; names of the horses; name of the proud team owner. I do hope I find at least one answer to my questions. Marvin L. Honeycutt, 1303 Minna St., San Francisco, CA 94103, (415) 861-5066; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I would like to hear from anyone who worked for the Rock Island Plow Co. in the manufacturing of the Heider Model C tractor. I need information on the making of the fiber friction drive. I believe it was made by laminating paper, but don't know the type of adhesive used or how the ring was formed or cut to fit the fly wheel. Any information would be much appreciated. Thurman R. King, 1728 Andover Dr., Cheyenne, WY 82001
Mr. McCormick's unidentified tool in the May 2001 issue is Paul Bunyan's corkscrew. He used it to uncork his wine bottles. No - really it is a hay fork used in unloading hay at the barn. Ralph Arnold, 20755 Fir Ave., Keosauqua, IA 52565-8048
The comments in the Editor's column in the April 2001 issue of Farm Collector set me to thinking about why I am interested in old machinery. Growing up, I lived on a sort of farm at the edge of the city where we raised a few head of cattle and some feed. As a lad, I became a pretty good Model T Ford mechanic and have been tinkering ever since. To get to the point, technology has always fascinated me. I can understand and appreciate the amazing variety and ingenuity of the people who designed and built equipment that is displayed at the various shows each year. As I try to keep up with as much of the new technology as I can, my respect for those early developers increases. Most of what they came up with was from their own ideas. They didn't even have the Internet. Stuart L. Faber, Cincinnati, Ohio
In the December 2000 issue of Farm Collector, there was a photo of a hay press, powered by horses. The man who owned the hay press, Mr. Olin Pryor, wanted to know if anyone knew who built his press. There were a number of companies that built that type of hay press. They are shown in a 1908 issue of American Threshermen magazine: International Harvester and others - pretty hard to tell which is which, as they were built about the same time. Names put on when they were built would be long gone by now. Some companies used letters on castings with numbers. These machines were built before I was born, which was Feb. 2, 1917. Back in the forties, I threshed and filled silos, using steam engines for power. I still have the engines. I bought a Buffalo Pitts back in 1936 and a Port Huron in 1940. I paid $40 for the Pitts and $135 for the Port Huron.
About the man restoring the corn husker, there were many companies building them also. Without letter castings and numbers, it would be very hard to tell who built his. Carlton Johnson
On page 4 of the May 2001 issue, there is a reader challenge I can answer. It's no challenge for me, as I am a real Townsend fan. The tractor is a 10-20 single cylinder Townsend tractor. As far as is known (never say never) none exist. I have had the pleasure of working on a 25-50 Townsend tractor in a private collection (I should really say, I've had the pleasure of playing with it). We are currently working on a two-cylinder Townsend power unit of about 20 horsepower. It is presumed to be the only Townsend power unit in existence. The only history on it is that it was originally mounted on a threshing machine and used in Canada. Its radiator consists of Fairbanks Morse cooling sections, as used in the Fairbanks tractors. I enjoy your magazine! Craig Anderson, PO Box 85, Rosholt, WI54473; (715) 677-4737
In a July 1879 issue of the American Agriculturalist, I spotted an article on a safety halter. I wonder if it might correspond to the piece shown on page 4 of the January 2001 issue.
'The habit of pulling at and breaking the halter is frequent with horses, both in the stable and when tied to the hitching post. It is not difficult to cure this habit by using a halter made expressly for this purpose...the two chins straps are connected with a strong iron ring. The tie-strap is passed through this ring, as shown...the nose band is tightened in proportion to the force with which the tie strap is pulled [by the horse]...the horse is soon obliged to abandon his efforts to break the fasting.' From the American Agriculturalist, 1879, pg. 263 Arnold Unbefunde, 7746 SW 29th Rd., Cortland, NE, 68331; (402) 673-3734
In regards to the picture in the May 2001 issue, the transplanter shown is used to set out plants. I have been using one like it for the last 50 years. I have about four of them around the farm. In Ohio and Kentucky, we use them for planting peppers, tomatoes, cabbage and all transplantable plants. The company went out of business and no parts are available. Victor Pacura, 5616 Middletown Rd. E., New Middletown, OH 44442