Courtesy of LeRoy W. Blaker, Alvordton, Ohio 43501

LeRoy W. Blaker

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Alvordton, Ohio 43501

I am enclosing a photograph of two of my gas tractors that I still use in my farming operations. The first one is a 15-30 gear drive McCormick-Deering that I bought new on November 4th, 1927. Besides lots of belt work, it plowed 5,000 acres of ground the first 10 years I owned it. In 1935, I installed new larger pistons and sleeves (4? inches in diam.) that made it the 22-36 hp. size. I had a fight with the I.H.C. Co. when I did this, as they said the guarantee was all off the two ball bearing crankshaft, but it proved all right and gave me about five more horsepower.

Also put their new variable speed governor on it, which was a great improvement in doing all kinds of belt work. About that time both front wheel spindles broke down just one day apart when driving it fast on a hard gravel road nearly eight miles per hour. The next year - 1936, it was put on rubber, and has its second set now. In all of hundreds of barnyards and thousands of miles travel doing belt work, it has never had a flat tire. I estimate it has done 30,000 hours of work.

In February 1947, I installed a new 6 cyl. 250 cubic inch (piston displacment) Dodge truck engine with electric starter. This engine would not pull as much on a heavy load as the original, but would do more work as it was speedier. At 1800 R.P.M., it developed 50 horsepower.

After 17 years use, this engine was still in pretty good condition. I installed a used Chrysler 'Spitfire' 6 cyl. 265 cu. in. engine with higher compression that has proved very satisfactory. This tractor has been used a lot every year since it was new 41 years ago, or a little over half of my life time.

This photo was taken May 2nd, 1968 when plowing a 16 acre field for soybeans that yielded 40 bushels per acre when combined in October.

The second tractor in the photo is a 22-36 McCormick-Deering that was used before I bought it nearly 20 years ago.

My two tractors plowing in May of 1968. See story (Old Tractors Going Strong).

A close friend of mine, Charlie Harrison, of near Fredericktown, Ohio found a nearly new International 6 cyl. 450 cu. in. Red Diamond truck engine that had been condemned, in a junkyard and sold it cheap to me. I repaired the engine and installed it in that 22-36 tractor 14 years ago, and it has proved very good and powefrul.

At the National Threshers Reunion at Wauseon, Ohio, two years ago last June, it developed seven HP. more than a new John Deere 4020 deisel, and at only 1700 R.P.M. It was put on dual rear tires six years ago and is used about 50 days each year.

I also have three other tractors that I use in my farming operations. An International W 40 that has a 6 cyl. 198 cu. in. engine with high road gear. An International H. for light work and cultivating, and a home assembled (doodlebug) from an International truck frame and four cyl. Int. motor that I made in 1937, or nearly 32 years ago, In 1948, a new 236 cu. in. Dodge truck engine was installed in this doodlebug, and is used quite a lot each year for drilling small grain and soybeans.

I like these old tractors with their large roomy low down platforms, and protective fenders, and wide front ends for easy guiding. Some of the new tractors are so high up they could be called 'Apple Pickers'.

6 Hp. Fairbanks Morse with 36' diameter flywheels as I found it in Missouri this past summer. I have it running now.

Prairie Village when one is coming from the West. Big 4 Gas Tractor owned by Milton and Roger Ayers of Madison, South Dakota. Shingle Mill in operation at Thresher's Jamboree. Owned by Milton and Roger Ayers.