Noel, Missouri, 64854.
Some time ago I found parts of an old hand and foot powered hay baler. There were no numbers, markings or names on the castings to indicate where or by what company it was made. The castings, brackets and fittings clearly indicate it was a factory made baler.
This old baler was mounted on skids. It had a rack and pinion for the compressing force with a wheel on the pinion shaft about four feet in diameter, with a one inch rim made from a three-fourths inch pipe and the one-half inch pipe spokes, cast into the hub, were riveted to the rim. The rim was used for hand power and the spokes for foot power.
The frame structure and compression chamber were made from wood, painted red, and the compression chamber was lined with one-eighth by three inch band iron material. Cast iron dogs were used to hold the bale while it was tied. I was told that one man could make approximately one-hundred bales per day. I believe the bale size was thirteen by seventeen inches. The compression chamber was adjustable for variation in compaction.
Too many parts were lost or missing, making it impossible to rebuild or reconstruct this old baler to its original state.
Mixed in with the baler parts we found an old pitchfork with short tines especially made for feeding the old baler.
It may be possible that a reader of the Iron-Men Album has seen or knows the where-about of one of these old balers. If so, send a picture and information to this magazine. Or, send the picture and information to me and I will write a second article.
We have been searching everywhere, for ten years, trying to find the missing parts, to reconstruct this old baler. It would be a real antique for the magazine. It would be over one hundred years old.
The unusual or very rare antiques make the magazine of more interest to the readers. So many old antiques in fence corners have been long forgotten and middle aged men and the younger generation do not know what they are. A-74