Our part of the country was a timberland country. Every farmer had a woods and everybody used wood as fuel so it kept us busy buzzing wood all through the winter. It was some life, getting around in the woods with a steam engine, getting mired down and stuck and every thin g always freezing up. You had to work like heck to keep up steam with all kinds of green wood.
In 19101 was the first in our territory to buy a gasoline engine, a 12 HP United Engine which I mounted on a high wheel farm wagon and the saw buck on a two wheel trailer hooked up back of the engine. Now we were really set to buzz wood and we could go anywhere if two horses wouldn't get us there, four would. There were no water tanks to drag around, no water to haul, no more pipes, pumps and hose to freeze up, our troubles were not all over yet. You didn't have a Chevrolet or a Ford to run home in every night. You stayed with the farmer all week. There were no modern homes with hot air furnaces. The best they had was a cook stove and wood heating stove and most farmers had their spare beds up in the attic under the rafters. You didn't have deluxe inner spring mattresses to lay on, you slept in a straw sack filled with straw or corn husks, ach do leber strosack. You covered up with a feather bed or feather tick as they were called. On those darned feather ticks many a night I slept with my overcoat on and woke up with a layer of snow on my bed.
My gas engine was with a make and break ignition, run off four dry cells. On cold mornings the spark would not be too strong so we would heat the carburetor and manifold. We would really get warmed up swinging the flywheels, until it would finally take off. By this time I found out that ether was highly explosive and if you gave the engine a slug of it. it would go or else; so I got me a bottle of ether. The next morningl did not know how much to use so I gave it a big slug, turned on the switch and gave the fly wheels a twist. BANG, BOOM, it took off with a bang loud enough to be heard in the country. Man, now we had starting troubles whipped.
I heard that this ether was the same stuff they used on people to put them to sleep when they wanted to work on them. Why, I thought, won't that work for me to put me to sleep in these cold beds. So I took my bottle of ether up to bed and got everything ready to dive right into bed. I took a half dozen or so good whiffs of the bottle, jammed the cork back on, took a dive into bed, pulled the covers over - 1, 3, 5, 6 gone. Oh, what a beautiful nights sleep. Now I had my sleeping troubles whipped.
I did not have to worry that I would not wake up early enough in the morning because the farmer would take care of that. He would be there at 4:30 to get you out. When you got up you went out and gave your face an ice water shampoo, took 3, 4 or more slugs of whiskey, light your pipe and sit by the heating stove till the good farmer's wife called you to a good breakfast of saw belly buckwheat cakes with molasses and good hot coffee as thick as syrup. Next, light your pipe, go to the woods, give her a slug of ether, give the flywheels a twist and BANG, you were off for another day of buzzing wood.
If you can't sleep, here is a remedy that works, but if you want to say your prayers be sure to say them first because you will not have time after you have taken your whiffs.