GEM STORIES

16 HP Witte - Hit and Miss

Courtesy of Houston L. Herndon, Box 5363, Sarasota, Florida 33579

Houston L. Herndon

Content Tools

1102 West River Road, Battle Creek, Michigan 49017

A neighbor of ours found the crank-case oil in his model T to below, and not having any other available, he added a couple quarts of boiled linseed oil, thinking it would be all right. He started for town and before he had driven a half mile found out that it wasn't all right, the old Ford suddenly set up, sliding the rear wheels and folded him right over the steering wheel.

At about the same time another neighbor bought a mule at a farm auction. He had a sulky plow and made up a three horse evener to use with the mule and a pair of horses that he already had to pull the plow. Apparently he had very little knowledge of the basic principles involved. So, when he finished it, he had the double-tree hitched to the long end of the evener, and the single-tree to the short end. One morning soon after, he started his spring plowing, and hitched the mule to the single-tree, so (of course not as intended) that the poor mule had to pull twice as much as the two horses. He flailed the packing out of the mule and used up his entire stock of mule-drivers language. Said he had never seen such a lazy, balky mule, Still, he did plow after a fashion for half a day, and when he quit at noon the mule was sick (something which seldom happens).

12 HP Hercules - Hit and Miss Governing. Restored and owned by Houston L. Herndon, Sarasota, Florida. Will be running at the Florida American Royal Gas and Steam Engine ROUND-UP in February 1968.

Will be running at the Florida American Royal Gas and Steam Engine ROUND-UP to be held at the Sarasota-Bradenton Speedway February 10th and 11th, 1968.

16 HP Witte - Hit and Miss Governing S/n 34498 Owner Houston L. Herndon standing in front of picture. Will be running at the Florida American Royal Gas and Steam ROUND-UP February 10th and 11th, 1968.

An old fellow (a widower), about the stingiest person in the county, called on the local automobile dealer and asked about buying a used car. The dealer knew him quite well and figured he had lots of money. He said to him 'What are you going to do with all your money? You can't take it with you when you die'. The old fellow did not have any family to leave it to. He said 'I presume that those good for nothing nephews of mine will have it all spent for new cars before my grave is covered'. The dealer said 'Why don't you buy a new car yourself and beat them to it?' The old fellows face took on an impish look, and he brought his right fist forcibly down into his left palm and said 'By cracky I believe I will'. The dealer wasn't expecting anything like that and could hardly believe his ears.

A friend of mine was plowing one spring with a John Deere Model B. A hard spring rain came up and he headed for the house and came to a land gate which he had to open to get through. He disengaged the clutch bringing the tractor to a stop, and being in a hurry did not dismount in the normal fashion, but jumped off over the belt pulley. He was wearing a raincoat at the time and the tail of it caught on the clutch lever engaging it with a jerk. The tractor which had been left idling at full speed started moving forward with a jerk and demolished the gate before it could be stopped. How he escaped serious injury was hard to understand, for he must have landed directly in front of the right hand rear wheel.

April 1949 the Union City grist and flour mill burned. It was a large multistory building. Water power was used there. Union City is located at the junction of the Coldwater and St. Joe rivers thus it's name. The building was heated by steam supplied by an old Reeves threshing engine boiler. There was no fire in the boiler at the time and hadn't been for a couple of weeks. Still when the building was nearly all burned down the boiler had accumulated a full head of steam and the safety valve was blowing off continuously. After the fire someone opened the fire-box door and inside was a lot of waste paper etc. which was not even scorched. The mill had two turbines (water wheels) and one of them was in operation at the time and continued to run all through the fire. When it was all over though the bearings were all melted out it was still running. The horizontal shaft and belt pulley were not warped and both still ran as true as a die. The shaft and pulley run by the one that was shut down were hopelessly warped beyond recovery. The fire was so hot that at the last end the water in the mill race was boiling.

COLTON HP S/n 87 2 cycle hit and miss governing. Also known as a COLUMBIA engine. Restored by Houston L. Herndon, Sarasota, Florida. Will be running at the Florida American Royal Gas and Steam ROUND-UP February 10 and 11 February 1968.

Fairbanks Morse Type T, 2 HP Special Electric S/n 149693 coupled to Fairbanks Morse Direct Current Dynamo Type TR S/n 16293Z 9/10 KW 45 Volt 21.4 Amp. Restored and owned by Houston L. Herndon, Sarasota, Florida. Will be running at the Florida American Royal Gas and Steam Round-Up in February 1968.

One cold morning a neighbor's hired man started to crank his Olds 1? hp. engine to pump some water. He was wearing mittens at the time and his right mitten was caught in the folding crank of the engine (similar to the John Deere crank). The engine suddenly started and dislocated his shoulder.

A relative took his family for a Sunday afternoon ride. After driving the old Model T several miles he chanced to run through a flock of chickens that true to form took a notion to cross the road at the wrong time. As near as he could tell he hadn't hit any of them. However, when he arrived home and drove in his yard and stopped, one of them which apparently rode on the brake rods or some other place under the Ford, jumped down and ran out from under it. So without knowing it at the time he had with the help of his Ford stolen a chicken.

A farmer in our neighborhood was filling silo and the ensilage cutter broke down. He made a hurried trip into town for repair parts. Of course it was just his luck to get caught by the local constable and pinched for speeding. Be was taken before the local justice of the peace who set the fine at ten dollars. He threw down a twenty dollar bill and said here's twenty dollars, Judge, I'm going right back just as fast as I came.