WOODBUZZING EXPERIENCE

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A line up of my gasolene engines. They are from left to right, Fuller and Johnson, Ottawa, Galloway, John Deere, I.H.C., Cade, Iowa, Stever, Novo and a one flywheel Ottawa. I also have a John Deere 6 HP and a Galloway 6 HP which I bought after this photo

Kittlersville, Ohio

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.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
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