Who Knows What?

Blacksmith shop

Clifford A. Caron

Content Tools

Lucht Athens, Illinois 62613

I certainly do enjoy reading the Gas Engine Magazine and since I am especially interested in the history of tractors, I wonder if any reader has a Minneapolis 39-57 tractor? There is a Nebraska test report on this tractor in the 1929 'Red Tractor Book', but no picture of it.

Since I started collecting tractor literature in the spring of 1939, I have catalogs on some tractors that would be rather scarce today. I was a pastor in North Dakota for two years and while I was out there, I saw tractors such as Mc-Cormick-Deering W-40 and WD-40, Minneapolis Moline FTA and UTS, Oliver 90 and 99 and John Deere 15-27. If any reader owns these makes, I would like to see pictures of them.

There are two tractors that have always fascinated me and if any reader owns either one, I would like to correspond with them. The engines are the 'Huber' HK Special and Eagle 6A.

When I was a boy on a farm near La Valle, Wisconsin, our neighbor used an 18-32 Case tractor for threshing. I was not able to find a picture of it to send in for publication, but I would like to hear from anyone that owns one.

Another tractor that was used for threshing was the 'Coop' No. 3 which was assembled by the Farmers Union Central Exchange in St. Paul, Minnesota. Here again, I do not own a picture so if anyone has one, send it in for publication.

Another tractor that I have never seen is the Allis-Chalmers Model 'A', which took the place of the Model 'E'.

From 1937-1942, I worked around a Massey-Harris model '25' tractor in our threshing run. This, my in opinion, was a very excellent tractor and I would like to hear from anyone who owns one of these today.

When I was a boy, I saw a Rock Island 18-35 tractor in a dealer's shed in Reedsburg, Wisconsin but never saw one in use. Here again, I would like to hear Rock Island tractor owners.

New Way Vertical Model A, Number 1808 patented December 6, 1904. 3 to 3% Hp. Regular speed 400 with variable speed from 200 to 600 rpm. Bore 414 stroke 6 built by the New Way Motor Company, Lansing, Michigan who had this to say about their product--'The New Way Goes and Goes Right!'- Owned by Don Hardin, Keokuk, Iowa. Photo by Harry Hall.

So far, there have not been many pictures of Crawler tractors in GEM. In the summer of 1932, when Highway 58 was rebuilt near our farm, I used to watch the Caterpillar 'Sixty' and 'Sixty-Five' tractors pull 5 yard 'Highway' wheel scrapers. At that time, this was considered large equipment. One day an Allis-Chalmers dealer brought out a new Model 'L' Crawler for a demonstration. This had an electric starter which was quite different than the bar in flywheel method of cranking that was used on 'Caterpillar' tractors. Here again, I would like to see pictures of Caterpillar, Cletrac, Allic-Chalmers,McCormick-Deer-ing, Internationa and Bates steel mule tractors in the GEM.

When I was a boy, my father owned a 7 Hp. 'Galloway' Gas Engine which was used for sawing wood. This engine was shipped to La Valley, Wisconsin in 1921 and was used until 1936. In 1925, we had our well drilled deeper and the man who did the drilling used a 14 HP. Stover Engine. This was probably the largest gas engine I saw.

In those years (1925-1940) the village of LaValle owned a large 60 HP. 'St. Marys' oil engine to run the generator for their light plant. Does anyone have literature on this particular engine?

Since there were so many makes of tractors manufactured in this country from 1916-1925, it would be interesting to get people in the various states to tract down the firms who were at one time engaged in building or assembling tractors. I wonder if anyone has ever compiled a list of all the tractors that were ever built? I have done this and have come up with 250 manufacturers. However, I have not always been successful in varifying the years in which some of these firms were in existence. If anyone is interested in finding out when a particular firm was in business, you can some-times get this information by writing to the Secretary of State in which state the the firm was located.

I have also been able to obtain information by writing to the Chamber of Commerce of the City in which the firm was located.

If anyone has interests along similar lines, I would like to hear from them. I am also willing to help anyone find information in any particular make of tractor from 1926 to the present time.

I am finally getting the story together concerning the Avery Tractor and blacksmith shop. This blacksmith shop is located in the former village of Prarrie-ville, Minnesota, about 15 miles south of Northfield. When Jessie James came from the south on his way to rob the Northfield Bank he is said to have had his horse shod here, and to have slept in the hotel which was located across the street. I was told this by many 'old timers'.

The Avery tractor was purchased by George Durland in 1918. The radiator was put on in the 1920's. It cost $400, and the holes were drilled with a hand-breast drill. Mr. Durland started threshing with a neighbor with a horse power machine. His first steamer was a Minnesota Giant. He had about three Avery outfits, a couple of Minneapolis and a couple of Nicholas & Shepard threshers.

There is one story I heard concerning Mr. Durland and the tractor. He was moving a house in the city of Faribault, Minnesota. He had moved out onto the road when a policeman stopped and told him he couldn't move the house on that road. Mr. Durland immediately proceeded to unhitch the tractor and the policeman soon decided that it would be alright to proceed.

The tractor is now owned by Thomas Larish of Route 1, Faribualt, Minnesota.

Here is something a little different! Two cylinder La Crosse Tractor with Buggy. It was built by the LaCrosse Tractor Company of La Crosse, Wisconsin. Builder's Number 92 and it develops from 7 to 12 Hp. The operator sits in the buggy and drives with 'Lines' from the tractor to the operator. Cultivator plows were attached to the under frame of the tractor. Owner unknown.

This is my Witte engine. No. 57143, Hp. 6, but I would like to know more information on this engine as to the year and anything else the readers could tell me.

Pictured is Bernard J. Schmitz, 1529 Tessa.Ave., Sacramento, California 95815 and his collection of gas engines.

From left to right is a 1? Hp. Baker-Monitor with water well pump. Model B-J, about a 1901 model. Next a is Cushman Special Cub 3 Hp. Manufactured about 1930. It runs like a clock, hits every time. Next is a jot Deere, Type e, 1? Hp. manufactured date not known. Next is a twin, opposed, kick starter, maytag engine, manufactured dated unknown.

In addition to rebuilding these engines, windmills also have a fascination to Bernard and currently he is rebuilding a wooden van bladed windmill. It has a 10 foot diameter fan blade. His occupation is electrical engineer at McClellan AFB, California.