Brief Word

| June/July 1998

As we assemble this column in early April, we've just sent another section of our Standard Catalog of Farm Tractors off to the publisher. Even though we've been writing books about tractors since 1970, we're amazed at the number of different tractors that have hit the market since the Charter of 1889. Tractor design for decades to come ranged anywhere from the ridiculous to the sublime and everything between.

Most people attempting to build tractors, as well as gas engines, went into the venture with a lack of capital, and even with a good design, a shortage of funds led to their undoing. Speaking of capital, there were also a few 'tractor builders' who were nothing more than paper companies that wheedled lots of money from folks through the sale of worthless, or nearly worthless stock. A few of these people spent some time in jail as a result of their misdeeds. Of course by then, the money was long gone.

We were just on the Internet. At the present time, there are literally thousands of entries that come up when you type 'Antique Gas Engines' into the 'Search' line. There's no doubt about it ... the Internet is fast emerging as a new way of bringing people closer together within a specific hobby.

As the 1998 show season approaches, we offer our annual caveat to be careful in moving and operating your engines and equipment. Accidents can and will happen, but there's no point in helping things along by being careless, or sometimes, just plain ignorant. All of us can recall some bonehead foolishness we did at some time or other. It's more fun to recall these boners when we didn't get hurt too badly, but not so great when there was serious injury. If you're not too worried about getting yourself bunged up, at least think about the spectators ... no use causing injury to a bystander, even if you do no more than injure their dignity by splattering oil on them.

Our first query this month is:

33/6/1 Stover Grinding Mill Q. See the photos of a Stover No. 40 grinding mill. J would like to know the size and pattern of the wooden hopper used on this mill. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also see my want ad in this issue. Don Upham, 723 Ryan Road, Florence, MA01062.