A letter expressing thanks from one of our Gas Engine Magazine readers.
Thanks to our Gas Engine Magazine readers, here's one of our recent letters.
We have just returned from a trip to Southern Delaware where we visited our three sons and two grandsons. While there, had made plans for an outing in your state-visit at Kinzers, and my old friend Leroy Ebersol up at Leola, then swing over to Enola, visit the Ritzman Museum, and perhaps get acquainted with the staff of the Album, and G. E. M. However, our friend the weatherman had other ideas so it rained both days we had made plans to come — but maybe next year! On our way home, we went by way of Washington D.C. and spent a very pleasant two hours with Mr. Frank McGuffin and his good wife. We traveled north from D.C. and, in spite of the weatherman, we did enjoy the beautiful colors of the foliage on the Maryland and Pennsylvania hills.
I enjoyed very much Mr. R. F. Somerville's article on the Fordson Tractor (September-October G.E.M.) as it brought back many memories. Some, however, I would rather forget. But the fact remains, the old Fordson did for the farmer and the tractor industry what the Model T Ford did for the automobile industry. Namely make available a low cost piece of equipment to the average man and the small farm; and in its day was as economical and as dependable as any on the market. At the time the Fordson first made its appearance on the scene most of the oil tractor manufacturers were still holding to the big heavy plow engines, designed mostly for the same type of work which had formerly been done by the steam tractor engine. Some had experimented with various types of smaller engines most of which had proved unsuccessful; and it wasn't until the Fordson appeared on the farm that power farming really caught on and the Farmer said "This is it. Old Dobbin must go!" And here is where the industry took over and concentrated on building more efficient, dependable, smaller engines that could readily be applied to most any job on the farm from going after the mail to gathering the eggs.
A 30-60 Aultman-Taylor, nice shape, (see letter.)
Pioneer Tractor. I am standing by the front wheel. I'm 5 foot 7 inches. The rear wheels are 98 feet diameter, 4 cylinder opposed, bore 7 foot stroke 8 foot. When it misses a fire you save a quart of gas.
An old Hart Parr gas tractor with Mr. Fleeger sitting on the back holding part of his watch fob collection. Picture was taken at Charles Burgh's Agriculture Implement on U.S. Route 19 in Middle Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
This picture was taken by the photographer of the Menomonee Falls Newspaper. This is my scale Rumely Oil Pull known as Joe's Little Bang, riding in the October Festival Parade of Germantown, Wisconsin.
I spent 7 years working on a farm in Bottineau County, Northern North Dakota. We had always done all our work with horses. Then in the spring of 1927 my boss purchased a new Fordson Tractor and it was my job and also delight to run the tractor. So for three years-from early April until November — I was on this tractor every day when weather permitted from putting in the crop through summer then harvest and fall plowing. As a comparison, in this section of the country we would us 8 horses on a triple gang plow and would plan normally to plow eight acres per day, while the Fordson would pull a 2 bottom plow and turn over 10 acres per day. Naturally the tractor spent more time in the field but work day really was not any longer considering time spent caring for horses.
Due to some circumstances which I won't mention at this time we harvested 840 acres of crop in 1927 with the Fordson tractor and one 8 foot cut John Deere binder. Many old timers will no doubt question this statement so I will mention a few reasons why we were able to accomplish this. First, long hours . 7 days a week. Second, a variety of crops-rye, wheat, oats, barley, and flax. All these grains ripening at different times made it possible to harvest the crop with one outfit.
This 3 hp McCormick-Deering engine with Dodge car rear axle, clutch and transmission. Clutch is hand operated. It was built by C. O. Myers, Besides the 3 hp. McDeering engine on the home-made, tractor, I also have 2 -1 1/2 hp McCormick Deering engines and a 1912 Jackson V/t hp H. & M. with M. & B. ignition.
Albert with his watch fob collection sitting on an Allis Chalmers tractor.
Foos Model S electric lighting engine #40380, 8 hp., 6 by 10, 330 rpm, 48 foot wheels. Engines for electric lighting service were furnished with extra large flywheels to avoid a pulsation of the lights as the engine compresses and fires. The rims were widened and machined with a crown to permit running the belt right on the flywheel in order to get the generator up to speed. This engine runs on natural gas and is governed by a balanced spool throttle valve. Ignition is by low tension rotary mag and a continuously rotating wiper type igniter. A vane on the rotating igniter shaft comes in contact with the end of a long leaf spring inside the cylinder, cocks it, and then slips off the end. The are is drawn between these two parts, the wiping action serving to keep the contant area clean and bright. This one has a disk crank and was built by the Fans Gas Engine Co., Springfield, Ohio, about 1915. Collection of John P. Wilcox, Columbus, Ohio.
This picture of me with my model corn picker was taken at the 1963 Flandreau, South Dakota Threshing Meet.
I could relate many experiences — some amusing, some not, some we would like to relive, some not. So, in closing, I would like to make one more observation. Had it not been for the Fordson tractor, power farming might have been retarded 5 to 10 years.
Am enclosing snaps of a couple of large old engines. The 30-60 Aultman Taylor which was a popular engine and is still seen at most every show in the Midwest. The other is a Pioneer 30-60 which is quite rare; built about 1910. It has a totally enclosed cab with red plush upholstered seat and back rest rear wheels 98 foot diameter 4 cylinder horizontally opposed engine 7 foot bore, 8 foot stroke, 600 RPM, 3 speed transmission with high about 6 miles per hour.