REFLECTIONS

A Brief Word


| September/October 1992



Fordson crane

27/9/B

There are always some interesting and fascinating things happening in this great hobby of ours. For instance, a year ago I was attending a printer's convention in St. Louis. At their annual swap meet, someone had several different Fordson tractor photographs. Some of these were rather ordinary, but then a few are of some extraordinary models. We bought the photos, and have waited, to these many months for the opportunity to use them. Photo 27/9/A illustrates a Fordson Industrial model pulling two large loads of material. A placard is mounted over the hood of the Fordson, but it is illegible. Photo 27/9/B shows a heavy duty crane attached to a Fordson industrial model. Note the drive system operated from the pulley output housing. The buzz saw outfit in 27/9/C sure wasn't a Fordson original, but it does demonstrate one of the practical uses for the Fordson. This outfit must have been owned by a commercial sawyer... it is equipped with headlights for night (or early morning) travel, and also carries a license plate.

We have no idea of where these photos were taken of course, but 27/9/D illustrates the front of the Fordson Industrial model. The hard rubber tires, especially the rears, show a lot of wear, and the heavy-duty grille was probably essential in this particular factory. The large cast iron rear wheels provided extra traction for the Fordson Industrial model of 27/9/E, but the most mysterious photo of the lot is the following one: 27/9/F. We would guess this to be a special high-clearance model, as evidenced by the large diameter rear wheels. Perhaps some of the Fordson tractor folks can shed more light on this series.

Thirty years ago, all of us who were, then in the hobby thought that within a few years, we'd have all the essential data gathered, and there wouldn't be a whole lot to write about. In fact, when we completed our first book some twenty years back, it seemed incredible to suppose that we would be writing books on engines and tractors in 1992, much less having numerous projects sitting on the back burner, awaiting their turn.

There's no doubt that the computer age has been a catalyst in the so-called information revolution, even as it applies to our hobby. For instance, when it comes to indexing and similar duties that once required many, many hours of work, it's now as simple as keying in the information and letting the computer do the work of sorting and alphabetizing the information. All this works fine until the computer hangs up. Like that favorite engine that runs fine at home, and turns up balky at a show, so also with the computer. Every so often they cough, and just like our vintage engines and tractors, it takes some tender care to get things going again. Thus it was, as we sat down to compile this particular column in early July. For reasons unknown, some files got messed up, and after spending several hours (days) at the machine, it was a tiny problem that took about thirty seconds to cure.

We recently acquired another copy of the Road Builder's Directory ... this one of 1927 vintage. These books are most interesting, particularly in the early years. However, like most of the older literature, the prices always seem to be sufficiently high . ..

By the time this copy is in your hands, we'll be at the peak of the annual show season. We're hoping to see you at a few of them yet this year. And our final word ... we're working on the possibilities of an 'engine tour' of England for 1993. It's too early to know yet what can be done, how much it will cost, or even whether the tour will be limited to a certain number of persons. However, if any of you would have a definite interest in an 'engine tour' of England, we'll be' glad to hear from you. Our questions this month begin with: