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Farm Collector

Farm Collector

August 2020

Farm Collector is a monthly publication celebrating vintage farm equipment. Since 1998, Farm Collector has featured unique collections, extensive renovation projects, early farm practices and related attractions. Enthusiasts also turn to Farm Collector for previews of notable shows and auctions, and extensive classified advertising

United States
Ogden Publications, Inc.
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6 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
random summer ramblings

My body may be parked at a desk, but my mind has gone to the beach. Suddenly untethered by the arrival of summer, the old brain ambles down random paths, stops to smell roses, lazily wonders at things past and things yet to come. Like the whisk broom. Time was, there was a whisk broom in every car. Decades have passed since I last saw one. Same with the ball compass, once a standard after-market feature on the dash of the family sedan. I was not of driving age when the ball compass was all the rage, so I have no skin in the game — but what was that all about, anyway? It seems like overkill, as if the driver was setting out on an Arctic expedition rather than just…

4 min.
letters to the editor

And mom was grateful! In the November 2019 issue of Farm Collector, Sam Moore’s column brought back some memories. When my parents moved to the farm where I grew up, the owner had a Ford Ferguson tractor. The only tools that went with it were a rear-mounted 2-bottom plow and a cultivator. Everything else was horse-drawn, with the tongues cut off. The hay fields weren’t square. When Dad mowed them, Mom would ride the mower to raise the bar in certain places so it wouldn’t bunch the hay. Sometimes if Mom wasn’t aware and the mower hit a rock, it would throw her off. The farm owner noticed that one day and went to the local Ford dealer and bought one like the one pictured here. It was a real improvement, but like…

6 min.
wanted: gadgets, gizmos & contraptions august mystery tools

The genius of pioneer inventors can confound us. Countless contraptions that revolutionized farming in the 19th and early 20th centuries have become contemporary curiosities, or even mysteries. Here are six sent in by readers. Do you know what they are? Answers to the August 2020 items will appear in the Octorber 2020 issue. Answers for new items in this issue must be received by Aug. 7, 2020. A. Tool measures about 6 inches long. Metal parts are not sharp. B. V in this tool is at 72 degrees, rather than 90 degrees, so would not be used on its own to make a perfect corner. Head measures about 10 inches wide. C. Tool measures 13-1/2 inches long; piece on the side swivels. D. Handles measure 5 inches long; metal piece measures about 4-3/4 inches wide. E.…

5 min.
building on a solid foundation

When the tractor testing program began at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 1920, about 160 companies were building tractors in the U.S. That first year, 69 machines were tested, a figure that hasn’t been matched since. The 1920 tests included such names as Allwork, Coleman, Dart, Emerson-Brantingham, Frick, Gray, Heider, LaCrosse (the only “line-drive” tractor ever tested), Monarch, Parrett, Samson, Square Turn, Townsend, Uncle Sam and Wisconsin, as well as more familiar marques of Case, Fordson, Huber, International and Rumely. Any manufacturer who wanted a tractor tested at Nebraska had to make application, pay a $500 fee, and wait until the test could be scheduled before shipping the machine to the university. Upon arrival of the equipment, a representative of the manufacturer unloaded the tractor, made sure it was…

11 min.
an appreciation for aermotor

Steve Oswald of Wauzeka, Wisconsin, started working with gasoline engines at a tender age. “Being a farm boy, I was always around machinery, and I liked it,” he says. At age 8, he tore into a Briggs & Stratton 3hp engine, completely dismantling the engine and then reassembling it, returning it to running order. “I put it to good use on my bicycle,” he recalls. “I had a heck of a time getting it lined up, but once I did, it worked fine. It went pretty fast, too fast, really, for gravel roads.” His next project was a 1936 unstyled John Deere Model B tractor given to him by a neighbor. “It wasn’t stuck,” he says, “so I cleaned the carburetor, put in new gear-lube, points, condenser, spark plugs, added tires…

10 min.
century-old hayrack gets new lease on life

Hayracks were an essential part of farming and ranching operations until combines replaced threshing machines and hay was switched to bales. The tall ladder-like ends and low sides are designed for ease of loading by hand and large volume capacity. A hayrack saw nearly constant duty. In mid-summer, it was used to transport hay from field to barn. By later summer, it carried grain bundles from field to thresher. Throughout the winter. it carried hay from storage to winter pasture to feed cattle. The Marsden hayrack was likely built in the early 20th century and was used in various forms until the mid-60’s. It wasn’t glamorous, so few pictures exist. One from 1953 shows it in the farm yard; it still had its original wood wheels and running gear. By the 1990’s,…