Editors note: The 'wax melter pictured in the January 2001 issue of Farm Collector sparked much comment. Here is just one of the letters we received:
About that 'wax melter' on page 4 of the January 2001 issue of Farm Collector. I bet it would work fine for that, if you're into candles or any kind of wax works, only I think it's a glue pot. I used, one like it, right down to the copper-colored jacket and the bar', across the top to rest your brash on, in a woodworking shop in the early 1940s. An old 'Sligo Iron Store' catalogue from about 1930 lists a similar one, made by Black and Decker: capacity two quarts; temperature, 150 degrees; 110 or 220 volts; price, $27.
That kind of hot glue, known as 'animal glue' or 'hide glue', was state-of-the-art from the beginning of time until about World War II. Most all antique furniture and the like were put together with it. Noah didn't use it on the ark, because it isn't very waterproof.
It came in sheets or flakes, and had to be broken up and soaked overnight in a measured amount of water, and then heated. The work had to be assembled quickly, before the glue cooled, and then clamped for 24 hours. All in all, it was a pesky nuisance to use, but it was the best there was, at the time.
On the same page again, Mr. Hutsell appears to be right about the wrench pictured in the November 2000 issue of Farm Collector. It does seem to be a well-drill wrench. That is, he's right, unless you can pick the thing up with one hand, in which case, it would be too small for what we are thinking. Although then it might be for the wood or metal sucker rod pumps used in water wells, all of which bring up this suggestion: when taking a picture to be used for identification, always include something (pencil, yardstick, someone's hand, a dead cow, anything) to give us an idea of the size of the thing.
Bob Good, 11572 Hwy,43 S., Harrison, AR 72601
An article in the February issue of Farm Collector on the Topeka Hi Way Mower jogged a memory for a Kansas man. Dean Fechter, Belleville, says his cousin, 'Shorty' Meinhardt, built 30 or 40 such mowers in the late 1930s.
'The first one they built, he took it out on the highway and mowed with it, and it tipped over and he broke his back,' he recalls.
'That was the first mower blade that would stick straight up like that, for mowing banks,' he says. 'He also built oil well pumps, and a big break to bend heavy iron.'
The builder died in 1998 at age 96, but his business lives on: Meinholt Machine and Welding is now run by Shorty's grandson in Topeka, Kan., and a great-grandson works at the shop.
For information contact Dean Fechter, (785) 456-7622.
Would it be possible to publish this picture to see if anyone knows what it is? Note the left side looks like a handle would be in it, and the right side is sharp, as if it might cut wood.
Dimensions: 2 Â¬? inches by 14 inches.
Lewis Schleter, RR 2, Box 123, Princeton, IN 47670
In regard to the question and photo in the January issue of Farm Collector, 'Letters to the Editor': the item pictured appears to be much like a device used to secure the large milk cans on farm conveyor systems. We happen to have two of these iron holders: one hand-forged with three pieces; the second is more similar to the unit pictured, where the can grabbers are a separate, linked piece, so the entire unit is five pieces.
The book Primitives: Our American Heritage refers to something similar as 'trammel hooks,' but I believe that to be an incorrect guess.
Love your magazine! I'm a collector of old farm hand tools, small equipment, wrenches, spark plugs, barbed wire, check-row wire, husking hooks, pegs and more.
I picked up something the other day that I need some help on. I think it is a watch fob, and would like to know some history on it. It is 1Â¬? inches in diameter, and has a cowboy on a bucking horse on the front. The back says: 'International Harvester Company' around the outer edge. In the middle is a list of the different things they sold, such as engines, manure spreaders, etc. Thank you.
Corky Pals, 6074 Leonard Rd. Cooperville, MI 49404
Here is a picture of a Moline two-row corn planter I own. Can anyone tell me the year it was manufactured?
Mike Bridwell, Box 10056 St. Hwy. B, Rogersville, MO 65742
Regarding an article on collectible wrenches in the January issue of Farm Collector. The collector, Don Lux, suggests that a Ferguson combination wrench was used to measure fuel in a gas tank. However, because of the chance of sparking, you'd never want to put a metal wrench in a gas tank. I believe the wrench he's referring to was a plow wrench, used to measure the depth of a furrow.
John Grant, Webberville, Mich.