The Good Old Days??

By Staff

719 Park Avenue San Carlos, California 94070

My brother, Paul, collects old postal envelopes and cards which carry early agricultural logos and advertising. Recently he purchased an envelope carrying a print of a walking plow and the following message:

‘J. W. Murkland, Founder and Machinist, Manufacturer of the Celebrated Hubbell Swivel Plow, Barton, Vermont.’

Upon arriving home, Paul discovered that this envelope still contained the original letter. While this letter admittedly has nothing to do with gas engines, we thought that readers of GEM might enjoy this amusing look back into the life and times that we are all interested in. The envelope is addressed to Mr. M.R. Hubbell, Wolcot, Vermont. The text of the letter is as follows:

Barton, Vermont, May 24, 1884 ‘Friend Hubbell,’

‘Yours of the 22nd is at hand. I will send you a number 6H plow Monday or Tuesday next (26th or 27th). I found one yesterday that had been tried a little, just enough to help the run of standard and mouldboard. But I have got to put a new beam in it and will put in a pair of real white oak handles (if I have them downstairs, and I think I have), and will try and give him a good job. I am hard at work but do very little. Geony (sp?-GRC) has gone into the hen business, and has the ‘hen fever’ bad, and I should think I had some kind of a fever, for the first ‘fever’ spelled was the third time trying and then had to ask George (God help us) after failing to find it in the dictionary. Don’t you think I am pretty far gone? Perhaps it was the result of an accident I had yesterday. I was coming home from W. Charleston and saw ahead of me a rough place and pulled up, but not in time. Up I went, and out came the king bolt, and the next thing I knew I was on my face and belly on the ground, and reaching out to get hold of the reins. Just got hold of the ends, but not enough to hang on, and Bill, the Dad-, looked around as much as to say, ‘If you cannot behave yourself better than that, I won’t stay with you, I am going to leave. I want to be with folks that know something.’ And with a look of disgust, he left. He went just far enough to knock the breath out of me, for about ? mile, and then went to eating grass beside the road. I took him back to where the wagon was and found the plow in the back of the wagon had demolished the seat, and my knees had taken the front end almost out of the wagon, so much so that I have got to put a whole new front end in. I got out with the loss of a little skin, and that has not been made up yet. But perhaps time will make up all loss. Perhaps there is more due me, and it may already be paid, but that matter is like a good many more of my matters. I have not time to look it up just now. But if I look it up and find any due I think I will go to Wolcot to try and collect.

‘Yours fraternally,’ John W. Murkland

‘Mrs. Flanders is dead and buried. But this has not any connection at all, with what has been said above.’

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