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In times like these our hobbies become lifesavers. At GAS ENGINE MAGAZINE and FARM COLLECTOR, we have been tracking down the most interesting and rare vintage farm machines and collections for more than 80 years combined! That includes researching and sourcing the best books on collectibles available anywhere. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-866-624-9388 or by email. Stay safe!


| May 2004

  • FC_V6_I10_May_2004_02-1.jpg
    Fanning mill
  • FC_V6_I10_May_2004_02-2.jpg
    Dry washer

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Occasionally Farm Collector will print answers to readers' questions when information is available from knowledgeable sources.

Letter from the February 2004 issue of Farm Collector:

The 'Fully functional, but for what?' item on page 5 of the December 2003 issue may well be what is called a 'dry washer.' Much of California's gold was derived from the sand and gravels of streams using a variety of pans, rockers, sluice boxes - and later - dredges. But those who prospected in the dry California desert regions used air to separate the heavy gold from the lighter sand and gravel.

This 'dry washer' blew air up through a screen on which the gold-bearing material was spread. The heavy gold remained behind. The handles allowed it to be moved from one place to another. Sometimes these areas were known as 'dry diggings' to distinguish them from the usual wet areas along streams. Quite a few dry washers were used in California's Mojave Desert in the first half of the 20th century, especially during the Great Depression.

Of course this item could be some thing else completely, but the 'dry washer' sure comes to mind.

- R.H. Chamberlain P.O. Box 2320 Flournoy, CA 96029

'In the February issue, you published my letter tentatively identifying a device as a 'dry washer' for mining gold. Now, we have a correct identification from a reader. His letter and picture are as follows:'


Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

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