| November/December 1981

Greetings to all our Iron Men Album family as we head toward a new year here comes the November-December issue of 1981. Can it be possible? You mean another year is heading down the last miles. Have you ever noticed as you grow older, the times goes faster? Well, one thing as the saying goes, 'older is better', but I think that was for wine, or did that mean people too? They say we have more wisdom as we mature in years think so?? Oh well, on to some communications:

Our first letter comes from a man that needs help, but as yet is not a subscriber help him if you can. Perhaps he'll be one of our family before too long. This writing comes from MURTON W. PENNIE, Villard, Minnesota 56385 and he says: 'I am not a subscriber to the IMA because a close friend takes the magazine, but I am the 'inquirer.'

When I was a young lad, I remember seeing a bean thresher in operation, threshing navy beans. It was a small machine, I suppose it was 4 feet wide, 6 feet long and maybe 4 feet high and powered by a 4 or 5 HP gasoline engine. Now, this was 65 years ago and I have never seen a bean thresher since. I go to several thresher shows each year and I run an engine at the show at Dalton, Minnesota but no bean threshers. So, I thought that perhaps the IMA with its coverage might know where they used to be made or might be available. I suppose combines take care of the bean crops nowadays. One of those old small machines would be an attraction this day and age. I would like to hear from anyone that might know something about the old bean threshers.' (Hey fell as, let him hear from you. I know we have had bean threshers mentioned at different times, but I have no way to look up something like this. If you know of any stories in our magazine, please let us know. And I am wondering if there are any bean threshers at any of the shows. Let's hear from you.)

Following is a letter and some pictures from HERBERT REESE, SR., P.O. Box 38, Greenbush, Minnesota 56726. Herb used to send material quite often to our magazines. He would like to see this letter and pictures in IMA so here it is, as Herb says 'I am pushing 82 and may not be able to attend too many shows.' Herb was hoping this would be in the September-October issue as he mentions about being at that show, but I am sorry this information was not here soon enough. Following is Herb's letter as he tells of his experiences.

Herbert Reese (p. 12) by his newly restored Best Cat 30 with belt pulley. He used to own two of them from 1927 to 1934. In 1934 he sold one to Steve Forester at Manvel, North Dakota. Later he bought that one back and used it for a few more years pulling rollers and other lighter jobs on road construction. On page 42 of his book, '75 Years Blazing Trails' he shows them at work in the Spring of 1929 plowing up a new gravel pit. Maynard Peterson, left and Harold Grill right. Both of those fine men were Cat operators, and passed away some years ago.

The Best Company built the most durable Cats on the market. The Caterpillar Tractor Company was formed by Benjamin Holt and C. L. Best companies merging. That Caterpillar registered trademark was patented by Holt before the 20s and is still used by Caterpillar today. The Caterpillar Company got the patent rights from Rudolph Diesel in 1929 and built a few hundred Rudolph 65 Diesel engines. In 1930 those engines were put in Best Cat 60 chassis. Herb bought Serial #29, it being the 29th Diesel Cat in the United States.