| January/February 1984

Route 1 Arthur, Iowa 51431

I have always been interested in engines and anything mechanical and as I grow older I still marvel at the wonderful things of the past...this is probably why I was put on the Antique Committee of the Centennial of our town. Even when electricity came to our farm, I just couldn't throw our little John Deere 1 HP model E in the junk heap, nor a model W.M. Briggs & Stratton. Also I had picked up a model Y Briggs & Stratton years ago that would possibly have been thrown away!

Now back to the Centennial project...I had this J.D. 1 HPI couldn't throw away. This little engine's main job was powering the washing machine, but our water was at that time pumped by a windmill which I still have! As we know, the wind didn't blow all the time so little John at times had to be removed from the wash house to pump up some water until the wind was of sufficient velocity to run the windmill once again.

And when it came oat seeding time, again little John was called to do the job of powering the fanning mill; also the little engine ran the emery wheel to keep our cultivator shovels and mower sickles sharp, along with many other tools.

One other job little John had was to charge the radio battery. I obtained a generator from a neighbor and made a small bench over the engine. Also I took some leather from our harness repairs and made a belt that would fit from flywheel to generator. Mother could wash and charge the radio battery at the same time!

I remember this engine came to our farm by my father and the running board of a model T Ford in 1927 and faithfully carried on the above-mentioned chores for twenty years. Throw it away...I couldn't! I always found room to store little John.


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