Dairyland Driftings

By Gil

At this writing, Spring has sprung and a man’s fancy turns
to field work. (Oh Yeah?) At any rate, we are now engaged in
pursuit of a grain crop. My ‘Little Genius’ plow has been
giving my old I-H 10-20 a rough time. Disheartening to think in all
probability, I plowed up some Horned Lark or Field Sparrow nests,
insomuch as their presence seemed to protest my procedure. Unlike
the Killdeer, whose unyielding attitude permits one to locate his
nest and thusly avoid its’ destruction. I recall driving thru
the Red River Valley one fall, a farmer, plowing close to the
highway using a M-M tractor. He was almost obscured by hundreds of
Gulls circling him and evidently feeding on some morsels turned up
by his plow. What a thrill it must have been to him and to me, it
was a chance to take some movies. Was consoling my Case 50 the
other day-says I, ‘The Lord willing, we’ll give you the
pleasure of the belt-work lined up to the 28 X 50, come
August.’ It’s got to a point where the demand for
by-products exceed that of a product. My ‘Combining’ naber
was paying 65 cents a bale for threshed straw-whereas I bought
excellent 2nd crop alfalfa at 50 cents a bale. Likewise, timber
by-products were in great demand. Although, at most mills, sawdust
was for free, if you are lucky enough to find it. Shavings run as
high as 12 dollars a truckload (delivered, of course). Hardwood
slabs were moving at a dollar a pick-up load and on up. Perhaps,
the lumbering enterprise hasn’t made rich operators, but some
of their disposal problems were solved, at least, temporarily.

HARRY SCHELL, from Blue River, Wisconsin stopped in while making
the rounds in the interest of the many saw-mills throughout Dairy
land and into upper Michigan. Hammering mill-saws and selling
supplies keeps him and his helper, HARVEY HENDRICHSON, on-the-ball.
We were busy sawing lumber (in effigy), when Alice bothered us with
pie and coffee. Come again Harry, I’ll have the
‘roll-away’ ready for another ‘setting’.

Was over to Birchwood recently to the Veneer Factory. To my sad
surprise, their stationary slide valve 85 hp. Erie (13 X 16) engine
set idle, though still belted up, it was covered with a plastic.
Seems with kiln drying and using steam for power, they were forced
to buy coal for fuel, so are now operating with high-line energy!
The attendant was telling me the concern recently installed some
new equipment, which had to be operated very slowly in making
proper adjustments and there the ‘wire-winding-power’ was
out, so the steamer had taken over for that crucial moment. Bought
a Fairmont gas engine over at Rice Lake and I decided to stop at
the Excelsior plant where steam still rolls the works. Using a
chain drive off a Lentz poppit valve engine, 19 X 21, 350 hp. I was
told at the office, absolutely no visitors and there were numerous
signs on the premises to that effect. ‘Well I just wanted to
see the steamer run’. By thus limiting my intrusion to the
engine and boiler room, the Boss man flipped a switch and very
shortly I was escorted and even permitted*to take pictures.

HARDY LINDBLAD was over to Medford on a business trip and hoped
to visit the steam-powered furniture factory, but he said they were
very reluctant to any visitors there, too. Precautions, is a big
word for industries. Hardy, who owns that superheated 60 Case, was
telling me he has a project to build a low pressure boiler for the
bakery in Frederic. Steam heat and sterilizing, puts a boiler in a
rather unique position. We visited one evening with ARVID ANDERSON,
another steam fan; has a live toy steam model in his basement,
where his ‘would be T-V time’ is spent. Aside from the
space for the furnace, he has wall to wall miniature railroading.
Arvid has a park-size locomotive under construction at this time
and his ambition knows no bounds. Showing him a copy of IMA, he
lost no time tossing out a couple bucks and says-Put me down. Come
the last Sunday in April, we were forced, more or less, by
legislation to go on Daylight-Saving Time, which only adds, to the
already confusion of hectic modern day schedule. Being adjacent to
the Minnesota border and the Twin Cities, where standard time
prevails two months more than Wisconsin, crossing the border, be it
radio, T-V or auto, one gets continually disconcerted. How can we
expect nations to agree, when even joining states set up such
unnecessary problems? If time is to be tampered with, let it be on
a national basis, or not at all.

A fellow casually approached his neighbor, ‘You should buy
shades for your windows’. ‘Why so?’ ‘Well, I saw
you kissing your wife last night’. ‘Ha! That’s a joke
on you, I wasn’t even home last night’.

For some time, I’ve had correspondence with RODNEY PITTS
from Can-by, Oregon. Must say it puts me to task, in effort to
answer his con glam-oration of witty paraphrasing. By the way Rod
bears the Title of Chaplain of W.S.F. I have it in writing that we
are invited to his Ranch, perchance we are world-fair minded, and
since I have a sister in Seattle, (Mercer Island) we may just
finally venture that far, we hope. Puts me in mind of JENS HANSEN,
a stern ole bachelor, at a county fair some years ago-said he was
tempted to go into a girlie side show-gazing around to make sure no
acquaintance would see him-then after getting inside the tent, much
to his surprise, there were his neighbor too.

Got word that WILLARD LUNDE, who operates a tire shop and gas
station in St. Croix Falls, Wis. is a gas engine fan. Musta got the
bug from restoring several engines for nearby collectors. In his
own collection, he has restored a Wollery, a Stover and an air-cool
Associated.

The latter seems to be his pet and if anybody stops for a look
at it, he clips on the battery, a couple jerks of the flywheels and
it’s off like new. The Woolery was salvaged from a swamp and
gave him quite a tussle, but it too is now all painted and among
the living-showed Willard a copy of IMA and the minute he saw
Sparks from Old Plugs, he hands me a couple frog-leaves, before I
got my order book out. From there, I visited perhaps one of the
early antique collectors in this region, DENNIE MAGNUSON, Center
City, Minn. He has almost completed restoration of eight engines
this past winter-a 6 hp Bloomer, 4 hp horizontal R & V, a 2 hp
F.M., 1 hp Ideal, 2 hp Assoc-a 2 hp Alpha, 3 hp Economy and a 3 hp
Sandow. Surprising, what you find, he says-that R & V, I
believe it was, has 5 piston rings, one of which encircles the
piston pin. Dennie is secretary of our Branch No. 1. Had a very
interesting letter recently from MARCUS LEONARD, Salina, Kansas,
who celebrated his 90th birthday, April 18. He has contributed many
interesting factual articles from his long experience. His
penmanship, like that of FRANK STE-BRITZ, Algona, Iowa, simply
amazes me. Both these steam men greatly appreciate any letters from
steam fans, do write them.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
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