| March/April 1986

  • John Deere Dain Motor Press

  • John Deere Dain Motor Press

804 Bergdahl Court, Mt. Pleasant, IA 52641

One of the many crowd pleasing demonstrations at the 1985 Old Threshers Reunion held August 29th through September 2nd in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, was my John Deere Dain Motor Press.

While I (David) was visiting a fellow tractor collector, I mentioned my desire to own an old hay press with eccentric gears like the one my grandfather used. I felt the shifting gears would make a very interesting exhibit for the Old Threshers Reunion visitors. The man happened to have traded for a 1937 John Deere Dain Hay Press and was undecided as to his need for the machine. Eventually I bought the press, which I found two states away in Arkansas, but it was manufactured only two towns away by the former Dain Manufacturing Company, now the John Deere Ottumwa Works in Ottumwa, Iowa.

The hay press was paraded in the Calvalcade of Power at Old Threshers in 1981. It became a working exhibit at the 1982 Reunion. The eccentric gears were a feature of both the Dain Hay Press and the early John Deere presses. It was a welcome exhibit, as the only other baling previously done on the grounds was the horse powered demonstrations. The hay press has also helped to take care of the problem of what to do with the accumulation of straw from the threshing exhibit.

The John Deere Dain Motor Press being demonstrated at the Old threshers Reunion held in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Dropping the blocks and tying the bale of straw are Rob Swailes, mark Crull and Bob Diamond. Using the hay fork to pitch the straw into the hay press is David Timmerman, owner of the machine. Shown at the end of the press is one of the blocks used to guide the wires between the bales.

One's first question may be why haven't I said hay baler instead of strange words like hay press. All literature I've seen, no matter what brand, called these tools presses, sometimes baling presses. My interpretation is that their main function was to press the hay and nothing more. They were hand fed and only pressed the hay tight while a worker installed the wires or bale ties around the hay, thus forming a man made bale. They were not true baling machines until complete bales could be formed without man.