Box 42, Weston, Michigan 49289
Yup -- that is right. I am a fitting. I lilted yesterday, I am a fitting today, I will be a fitting tomorrow. I will be filling next week. too. It is a one plow outfit.
My pappy went over to see Mr. Sam Raymond, Going to buy a secondhand Fordson. You know - the one that growls in low gear, growls in second gear, even growls in high gear. Ah! well at least you can get to chow on time.
Well, guess what? Pappy came home with Mr. Raymond's contribution to agriculture. A three wheel tractor with a model 'T' engine, transmission, and differential. Guess the original was all model 'T' parts, with a cast iron rear end and cast iron wheels, fore and aft but this one has a steel front wheel.
I finally graduated from fitting and today I am learning to plow. Nothing to it, all you have to do is keep the front wheel out of the furrow. I finally had to get me a sixteen inch stick on the radiator so the front end would not wander all over.
Just tried to imitate the old man. You know - pull the plow out and turn the corner at the same time. No stick and no fence either. Tough tractor. Have both problems solved now. Have a block and tackle on the lift lever and plow hitch. Also run the front wheel in the first left wheel track from the furrow -simple. Have a seat belt too.
Am improving. Now, I can get across the field in two minutes flat.
'Hey Pa. I got stuck at the other end. How you going to plow out the dead furrow.'
'Nothing to it. Just keep the front wheel out of the furrow.'
'Hey Pa. I have been sitting on this end for live minutes now. You got time to see what is the trouble?'
Boy - did I get it. Stuck - axle on the sod. Each wheel in the furrow, turning, and left the engine running. I don't feel too bad today. I saw a big International in the same perdicament. And at the 1964 Michigan Corn Picking Contest Site too. Oh! Well! The tractor was out, also the dead furrow when I got home from school.
Rear View of Mr. Raymond's tractor. Photo by Adrian Camera Shop, Adrian, Michigan.
Left side view of Mr. Raymond's tractor. Photo by Adrian Camera Shop, Michigan.
Just wiped the sweat off my brow and inside my old straw hat. Crossed my fingers and here we go. This time I think I will keep the left rear wheel on the sod - period and to------with the front wheel and the rest. I am coming back now, this last trip gets the last furrow and it is nice and smooth and complete all the way across.
Today I have me a pot-belly stove. Sixteen rows in the center and on the ends and four rows of corn stalks at the other spots. The old man has just left the field. Nothing to it. So I am going across the field and up comes the plow, stone, log chain, wrenches, give up. Guess I will go back to the end and come back and cover the mess up. Plow point is okay. Now I have four rows of corn stalks. Out comes the center, then the other end and off to school. School is out and I still have a pot-belly stove. Don't know to this day how they got the minus rows out.
Later, I ran an Allis Chalmers WC and a UC. And these procedures work with these outfits. The WC and UC were nice outfits, snappy, big engines and governor.
A neighbor had me plow out a triangle piece of sod with an old John Deere 'D' and a three plow Oliver once. So I cut off the large end by crossing on the sod and each time crossing sooner. He never could figure out that dead furrow. The plow was run out of the furrow and onto the plowed ground sometimes but it would be run onto the plowed ground in the finish trip, and this way the last furrows don't receive all the packing and I didn't work up a sweat either.
Right side view of Mr. Raymond's tractor. Photo by Adrian Camera Shop, Adrian, Michigan.
Just got home from school again. The old man's tractor has the. rear wheel off, a pulley on the drive pinion and the grinder on the other end of the bell. Thought I had lost this job since the gas engine quit. Have the hopper full and am playing solitaire while wailing for the grinder to empty. Got two games played and made $54.00 - on paper anyway. Can I figure what the hold up is. Oh! yes he was around squawking about using so much gasoline, and turned the carburetor knob so now there is a red flame coming out the exhaust. I can see as it is dark now, so there. Guess I will turn the carburetor knob back to where it was. (ice it turned blue and now there is a white flicker coming off the exhaust. Boy listen to the grinder go - well, excuse me folks while I fill the hopper again. All done and it is not nine o'clock either.
Years later, this change in the flame helped me out. I was running the old 'Johnny Pop' again - fitting. Had a two day run. Started about 8- o'clock one morning and ran all day. Hot too in the afternoon. But it was nice after 5 o'clock. Alter supper, I says to myself 'It's nice and cool so here we go. Along about 8 p.m. it got dark so I jumped off and turned the high speed jet until I got a white flame about a half yard long. Turned the old 'I) ' around and finished up about midnight. Warmed up in a hot shower and went to bed. Went back out the next morning. Well the corn planter was working okay and that was the first corn field I ever saw planted by May 1st.
Just one more incident before I leave. It was 10 degrees below zero one winter and now it is spring and the old man is trying to start his tractor. Stiff I guess -so he jack up the rear wheel. Pow - right into the barn. Saved by the front wheel, it slicks out in front and you have to crank behind the front wheel. Been cranking model 'T's all his life too.
Well, after all is said and done, the best outfit I was ever on was an old Douglas B-18A. Yep - get up in the morning - drain the water out of the gasoline tanks, look for damage, turn the engines over five or six times, climb up into the cockpit, push the switch to start and listen to the starter whine then shove the switch to mesh and listen to. two thousand horsepower come lo life. Warm up the engines check the propellers out, also the magnetos. Then hunt up a couple pilots, a flight plan, and take off. Then curl up and go to sleep.
Sh! I am sleeping----------------------.
An old Case 10-20 three wheel tractor I had the good fortune of getting home this past summer. I am told it was bought new in about 1914. I don't know for sure so maybe someone of your readers would have some authentic information about these old 3-wheel tractors from the J. I. Case Company. As can be seen by the picture, the radiator is missing but the tractor part is in real good condition, although the motor is in rather sad condition. The engine number is 5577.