Bennie CampbellHighway Mower
In response to the letter about the sickle mower in the September 2000 Farm Collector, a triplet section on the outer end of the sickle will help the rivets. We just buy long rivets and cut them down, using a ball peen hammer to peen the rivets. Who knows, Frank might be a long-lost relation, as our name used to have an 'e' in it, too!
I was quite pleased to see the Topeka Highway Mower in the Farm Collector Feb. 2001 issue. I had not seen one after 1963, when my grandfather sold his to a neighbor when he quit farming. I don't how how he got it, but I do know I had many good times riding on it with my grandfather as he cut hay fields and road sides around the farm near Montrose, S.D. I'm sending a picture of my grandfather at the wheel of his mower, with my sister, brother and me. This was taken in 1955 or 1956. I can remember the battery was never charged, and Grandpa started it by letting it roll downhill. I can also remember going through a wet spot in the hay field, and the stripe of mud that covered the back of the seat and up and down grandpa's back - even his hat. We never got stuck though. Most of the time, I rode against the gas tank, holding onto the seat back. I'm sure it was to keep me out of the way of the cables and mechanics.
One other memory is still with me today. I am looking at a scar that runs from the end of my right index finger down to the middle. Grandpa was changing the knife and he was under the mower, pushing on it, trying to install the knife in the bar. The sections were catching, and I was trying to help by pushing on them. I got my finger caught and cut down to the bone. Grandma smeared it with Black Salve, bandaged it, and today I have full use of it - and a scar to remind me of a Topeka Highway Mower!
We have three tools we can't identify, or tell what they were used for. Can someone identify them for us?
Calvin Jorgenson, RD 2 Box 130, St. James MN 56081-9642
Regarding the Frazer two-plow tractor featured in the Farm Collector March 2001 issue, I guess I was fortunate to be one of your readers that had the opportunity to closely inspect the tractor. It was the summer of 1946 and I'd graduated from high school back in western New York state. I spent the summer working on the home dairy and crop farm in Allegany County. Sometime between haying and threshing that summer, one of my older brothers came home from the the Air Corps, with his new '46 Ford two-door. He offered to take me and my brother Gary to the Canadian National Exposition at Toronto, Canada. We hadn't been able to travel during the war years, and we jumped at the chance. Walking through the farm equipment display at the Exposition, we came upon a tractor we'd never heard of before. Bright yellow in color, with a full-louvered hood sides, it sparkled in the spotlights. We inspected it carefully, and one thing that I'll always remember was the engineering on the clutch and brake pedals. Dad had purchased a new Farmall H in early 1941, and I always appreciated the deep, diamond-shaped pattern in the face of the pedals - you didn't have to worry about your muddy boots slipping off those pedals! We laughed when we saw the Frazer. A two-inch wide strip of what appeared to be black sandpaper was glued to the smooth-surfaced pedals. I often wondered why we never saw any of these tractors on farms in the later years. Now, thanks to your article, I know why.
In response to the April 2001 letter about the grinder- it is a bone grinder. In the very early 1900s, farmers would grind bones to feed to their chickens to produce a thicker-shelled egg. By the early 20s, with train freight, it was very inexpensive to bring oyster shells to the Heartland, and the need for the bone grinder rapidly disappeared.
Bob Cook, N3954 Hample Rd., Black Creek, WI 54106
I have a McCormick Deering cream separator, maroon, with all the attachments, an electric motor and a hand-crank. Is there a way to find its value?
Bennie Craves, 2701 S. 41st. St, Abilene, TX 79065; (915) 698-7564 begra@worldnet. att. net
I have an item that I don't know what it is. You can see the crank, and the handle to hold it. Down on the bottom is a bell housing with a steel spring, which latches to the housing. All it has is a stamped patent for Dec. 15, 1914.
Ray Clay, Rt 1, Box 39, Reydon, OK 73660
We are in the process of restoring this implement, but we don't know anything about it. It has International Harvester stamped on it in a couple of different locations. If anyone could shed a little light on this implement: what it is, what it was used for, age, and anything else that might be helpful, it would be appreciated. Please email the responses to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org