What was this Used For?

| 12/1/2020 2:32:00 PM

Photo by Gary Tennant

Photo by Gary Tennant

Photo by Gary Tennant

I am sending photos of machinery purchased at an auction 35 years ago in northern Michigan. No one I know has seen one before or knows exactly what it was used for. As best I could figure, it was some kind of clod buster but after trying it out, it worked poorly, which may explain its unworn condition. It came with big screw-down grease cups. The brass tag fastened to the frame almost appears hand-fabricated (note the irregular corners on the ends). A nice set of runners on the back suggests that it may have been skidded to the field and flipped over to use. If anyone knows what this was used for, please let me know.

Gary Tennant, Ortonville, Michigan

Editor’s note: What do you say, readers? Any of you recognize this piece? Drop us a line and let us know what you think!

1/7/2021 12:13:51 AM

Looks similar to what was called a "Go - Devil" when I was growing up. It was used to roll over the sandy soil where we lived to stop a field from blowing by turning the soil. A later implement was called a "Sandfighter". We loved running them because you got to drive the tractor fast! In 3rd gear full throttle, or even road head 4th or 5th if the field was level and smooth enough.

12/22/2020 9:59:27 PM

I'm going to take a stab at this. It is noted to be a "Roller Harrow" but I think this one was designed to be used in a hay field to aerate the ground much like golf shoes worn today to aerate the greens. It could also have been used to aerate the ground in a orchard. In California in the fifties and sixties we rented out a few hundred acres of alfalfa fields to sheep herders who brought their sheep in during the winter. The sheep did an excellent job of fertilizing and aerating the soil. I can attest to that buy the hours we spent in the summer cutting and bailing the hay. Several farmers in our area also grazed sheep on their hay fields during the winter.

Dianne Staricka
12/22/2020 7:02:34 PM

I still have my Dads "Tumble Bug" as he called it for making new land for farming. I think the original name was Rolling Harrow. It was used like a disk to work the fields. After plowing the field with walking plow and horses Dad would work the field with this 'tumble bug'. He would drive the horses while standing on the flat side, in between the runners, with the blades down in the dirt. Then for going to and from the field Dad flipped the tumble bug over, runners down and walked along side it to drive the team. Dick Thelander recalling his Dad, Eric Thelander working the fields with implement in the 1930's. side note Also sent this in an email to Farm Collector Editor Dick would really like that guys phone # to visit about it.


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