Letters: Running gear from WWII anti-aircraft searchlight trailer

Farm Collector helps answer questions about mystery running gear

| June 2011

We wrote to Farm Collector in 2009 about buying an old running gear with GE hubcaps. It had been such a curiosity that we wanted to try to figure out where they came from. It was what had saved it from the scrap yard.

We received a very informational packet from Logan E. Jackson Jr. in Arizona, who identified the wheels and hubcaps as part of a World War II-era GE anti-aircraft searchlight trailer. We have since received a call from Canada confirming that, and offering to buy at least the hubcaps if not the wheels too for a GE searchlight restoration project.

We surmise that the wagon gear we have was made of salvaged parts. We have since located a 1946 agricultural textbook (Farm Mechanics, Text and Handbook; Cook, Scranton, McColly) that tells how to make “rubber-tired wagons.” It explains how to reuse parts to make such wagons.

As a family project headed by my father-in-law visiting from New York, the running gear became our new hay wagon 18 months ago. The unusual origin of part of it and the history make it more interesting. We appreciate the help your magazine was in solving our mystery: Thank you!