Horse-Drawn Equipment Key to Collection

Mowers, cultivators and plows are just a few of the horse drawn implements in Dave Bromenshenkel's collection

| September 2008

  • Dave Bromenshenkel, sitting on a J.I. Case Triumph 1-bottom plow
    Dave Bromenshenkel, sitting on a J.I. Case Triumph 1-bottom plow, surrounded by pieces in his collection of antique farm machinery. He plans to restore some of the John Deere pieces, once he clears the deck of other projects.
  • Rock pan
    Rock pans were used to weigh down the disc on hard or lump ground so it would penetrate better.
  • John Deere No. 3 and 4 mowers had a hubcap over the wheel axle
    John Deere No. 3 and 4 mowers had a hubcap over the wheel axle; earlier models No. 1 and 2 did not.
  • Dave's Dain mower
    Dave's Dain mower.
  • A chain drive was an unusual feature of the Milwaukee mower.
    A chain drive was an unusual feature of the Milwaukee mower.
  • Front view of a horse-drawn 20-disc implement
    Front view of a horse-drawn 20-disc implement. The piece has no markings identifying the manufacturer but Dave thinks it might be John Deere.
  • The Milwaukee No. 6 mower, manufactured by Milwaukee Harvester Co.
    The Milwaukee No. 6 mower, manufactured by Milwaukee Harvester Co.
  • Dave with his John Deere No. 4 horse-drawn mower
    Dave with his John Deere No. 4 horse-drawn mower, referred to as the "Big Four," because it has a 5-foot bar instead of the usual 4-foot bar. Wheel lugs differed from company to company and machine to machine.
  • The John Deere No. 3 mower blade.
    The John Deere No. 3 mower blade.
  • A disc with plates cut out to make it work in a potato field
    A disc with plates cut out to make it work in a potato field; manufacturer unknown.
  • Dave shows how adjustments were made by the driver on a John Deere 2-row horse-drawn cultivator.
    Dave shows how adjustments were made by the driver on a John Deere 2-row horse-drawn cultivator.
  • This New Deere gang plow, manufactured in the 1900s, was considered an improved design.
    This New Deere gang plow, manufactured in the 1900s, was considered an improved design.
  • The cultivator at left is a 2-row McCormick-Deering horse-drawn cultivator from the 1920s, a later brand name than the one at right, which is an earlier IHC Deering cultivator
    History in the making: The cultivator at left is a 2-row McCormick-Deering horse-drawn cultivator from the 1920s, a later brand name than the one at right, which is an earlier IHC Deering cultivator.

  • Dave Bromenshenkel, sitting on a J.I. Case Triumph 1-bottom plow
  • Rock pan
  • John Deere No. 3 and 4 mowers had a hubcap over the wheel axle
  • Dave's Dain mower
  • A chain drive was an unusual feature of the Milwaukee mower.
  • Front view of a horse-drawn 20-disc implement
  • The Milwaukee No. 6 mower, manufactured by Milwaukee Harvester Co.
  • Dave with his John Deere No. 4 horse-drawn mower
  • The John Deere No. 3 mower blade.
  • A disc with plates cut out to make it work in a potato field
  • Dave shows how adjustments were made by the driver on a John Deere 2-row horse-drawn cultivator.
  • This New Deere gang plow, manufactured in the 1900s, was considered an improved design.
  • The cultivator at left is a 2-row McCormick-Deering horse-drawn cultivator from the 1920s, a later brand name than the one at right, which is an earlier IHC Deering cultivator

The only time Dave Bromenshenkel ever drove a team of horses was when he was 6 years old. But that hasn't stopped him from collecting horse-drawn implements. "I've never driven horses or done any work with them," he says. "Dad had a team when I was real young, so the most I did was drive the team down the road when he was standing there with me."

As a young man, Dave's father used horses regularly, especially to haul manure during the winter. "He did that up into the 1950s," he says. "He used horses to mow, too." Some of that experience filtered down to Dave, who lives in rural Sauk Centre, Minn.

After graduating from high school, Dave collected gasoline engines until they became too expensive. Then he turned to tractors the family already owned and used on the farm, including an unstyled John Deere A and an unstyled John Deere B. "I started buying a few tractors and fixing them up," he says, "and from there I went to the implements."

His first love is John Deere, because his father and grandfather farmed with that line. "That got me interested in getting more, some of my own," he says, "and it snowballed from there." Today he has about 100 old implements, including a dozen that were horse-drawn.



Plowing new ground

Dave began by collecting 1- and 2-bottom plows and later started looking for mounted plows. "Those were the days you could get them for $15-30 each," he says. "One time I got a whole semi load of them for $150. Nowadays you'd have to pay that much just for one of them."

After getting a few old tractor implements, he decided he wanted some horse plows, especially those made by John Deere. "There were 2-way plows in our area, too, where you'd go down the field using the plow on one side, lift the bottom at the end, drop the other bottom and go back the same row using the plow on the other side," he says. "The advantage was in keeping the soil in place when plowing terrace contours, or maybe with a small plot."



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