A tractor used in Robert Red-ford's move, 'The Natural', can be seen by visitors to the Tired Iron Tractor Museum operated by Wayne 'Bump' Hamilton and his family at Cuylerville, NY, three miles west of Geneseo.
The tractor is a 1924 International 8-16, with a grey body. If you haven't seen the movie, catch it when you read the next ad for it. If you miss the movie, you can see the tractor and a lot more at the Hamilton showplace.
'Bump' is obviously a collector, and the collection grew so big that it needed special housing. We visited it when there were no other guests, so we were able to receive a conducted tour and see it all. Every collector should see it.
Bob Feller, the retired big league pitching great, had been there the day before we arrived, so we felt we were walking in large footsteps.
A 1919 Fiat tractor, the only complete one in the world, shares top billing with the engine from 'The Natural'. It was made in Torino. Hamilton notes that the company later merged with Hesston in Kansas.
A total of ninety antique tractors is shown in an array that is probably one of the largest privately owned groups in the East. 'Bump' is a big admirer of Oscar Cooke, who owns Oscar's Dreamland in Montana, and told us he enjoyed the article we wrote about Oscar.
In addition to tractors, you can see a 1930 Model A Ford truck, a 1925 American LaFrance fire truck and a 1937 Linn half track.
Hamilton reminisces that Barney Old field was given a ticket for exceeding the speed limit in a small Indiana town. 'He was probably going ten or fifteen miles an hour,' Hamilton estimates. 'He raced tractors at forty MPH.'
Unusual items include a foot pedal milking machine of 1885; an 1875 wooden water pipe made in Geneseo, and an apparatus for oiling a pig's stomach.
There are 400 old wrenches, twenty-five pieces of horse-drawn equipment, 180 farm toys (some old and some new), ninety cast iron seats, gas pumps, gas and oil cans, lots of signs and many other souvenirs of days gone by.
Mrs. Hamilton (Katherine) helped prepare and assemble the kitchen exhibition, which reminds the ladies how much time they're saving today with modern equipment and appliances. On exhibit are two bath tubs that long preceded the fancy arrangements of today; a sewing machine, a stove and a wringer/washer.
Roger and Randy, the couple's sons, and daughter Sandra assist with museum work. Sandy paints names on radiators.
Many of the things shown are puzzlers. One of these looks like something drawn by a horse, and has two seats on a platform. 'Bump' points to a blade and notes, 'This was a corn cutter, with two guys on the seats'.
'Bump' started the collection in 1960, and in 1974 erected a barn to keep the engines under cover. Everything continues to expand. The museum is open every Sunday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. from May through October, or by appointment. Their telephone number is (716)382-3110.