LETTERS TO THE EDITOR


| December 2001



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June Marquis

The tools shown on page 4 of the October issue, I believe, are fencing tools. However, the 'circle' one is only a portion of a complete tool that makes net fencing. The other one is to tighten a wire line. Hope the pictures help. They are taken from 'The Fencin' Tool Bible' by Bill Marquis. I enjoy your magazine!

Bob Spencer, 501 Harvard Ave., Stanton, IA 51573

Editor's note: 'The Fencin' Tool Bible,' published in 1976, with illustrations by June Marquis, is available by mail for $10, plus $3 S&H, from Bill Marquis, 6621 FM 2622, Ponder, TX 76259.

FRESNO SCRAPER LINKED TO CALIFORNIA

In response to Ivan Pfalser's inquiry in the October 'Farm Collector,' the Fresno Scraper is named after the city of Fresno, Calif. This improved scraper was invented by Abijah McCall around 1885. The improved scraper was needed to provide for increased efficiency in excavating irrigation ditches that were being constructed near the present city of Fresno in the San Joaquin Valley. The patent for the scraper was obtained by Abijah McCall and Frank Dusy on June 16, 1885, and listed as Patent No. 320,055. The scraper became so successful in ditch excavation in the San Joaquin Valley that it became common in excavation throughout the United States. The standard Fresno Scraper was 5 feet wide and was used behind a four-horse team.

David Dulitz, Springville, CA

A SAFETY CONCERN

On page 12 and 13 in your September 2001 issue, you have an article on the Rollag's (Minn.) College of Steam Traction Engineering. I would like to point out something on page 1 3. The professor is instructing the students about the water column. I see no one on the engine. The reversing lever is in gear. If the engine is steamed up, and should the throttle have a leak, the engine could start. If the clutch is engaged, the engine would roll backwards. My father always taught me to place the reverse lever in neutral when you leave the engine. As a locomotive engineer on the Fremont and Elkhorn Railroad, I always make sure the reverse is in neutral when I leave the engineer seat. Thank you. You have a great magazine and we really enjoy it.