A Brief Word

| August/September 1998

As we prepare this copy in early June, the show season is well upon us once again, with every show being better than the last one, except of course for the rainy year we have had in many parts of the country. Like we've told you so many times before, work safely, and play safely as well. There's no point in spoiling a weekend mashing a finger when it could have been avoided.

We continue typing away on our Standard Catalog of Tractors, and we must admit this is a detailed and complicated project. Tractors literally seem to come out of the woodwork! This is especially true for the small garden tractors of the late 1940s and early 1950s. Fortunately for us, the cutoff date of this book is approximately 1960. Without establishing a cutoff date before we ever began, we have serious doubts we would ever see it to completion! But we plug away, and eventually, we'll be able to see it in print.

Just recently, the Voyageur Press has released This Old Tractor. It is a treasury of vintage tractors and family farm memories. Numerous writers are featured in the book, including Roger Welsch and ye olde Reflector. It was a joy for us to do our part in the book, and we hope that tractor enthusiasts will enjoy it.

Ye olde Reflector has also been asked to submit an article for the upcoming Encyclopedia of Chicago History, under the auspices of The Newbery Library in Chicago. Our section will cover the Fraser & Chalmers and Allis-Chalmers firms as related to their quarrying and mining equipment.

It's also confirmed that we will be speaking at South Dakota State University on October 11. We'll be at the State Agricultural Heritage Museum, and we look forward to meeting all our friends in that part of the world!

We had hoped to get our Hallett diesel engine ready for some of the fall shows, but since we'll be on the tour to Germany and other places during July, it's not looking like there will be enough time. Our understanding is that this engine has never done a day's work except to operate a few hours at shows. It has such high compression that it's pretty tough for ye olde Reflector to crank it over. Perhaps it is time to rig up some kind of starting device that isn't obvious after the engine is running! Has anyone come up with something like this, perhaps using an old automotive starter? Our thought is to somehow make a friction pulley, or perhaps something out of rubber (like a piece of an old rubber roll from a printing press), or something of that sort. Maybe some of our readers have already handled this problem and can offer some advice.