Well, At Least There Ain't No Dust!


| June/July 1995



Rumely trucks

One of three known surviving Rumely trucks, 1918 half ton four cylinder model.

Rumely Collector's News 12109 Mennonite Church Road Tremont, Illinois 61568

One thing I've learned through years of attending antique farm machinery shows, is that the folks there tend to look at the bright side of things. The people who attended Rumely Collector's EXPO II in Canandaigua, New York, were no exception. Standing in the exhibitor's tent during one of the frequent downpours, packed elbow to elbow with other soggy show-goers, one fella summed up the general mood when he said, 'Well, at least there ain't no dust!'

Dust was one scarce commodity alright, but the show was no rainout either. There were enough breaks in the drizzle for Expo-goers to take in what might be a once in a lifetime collection of some of the rarest pieces of Rumely machinery in one place! On Friday, the one rainless day, a 15-30 model F OilPull kicked things off with a plowing demonstration. How many times have you seen that? And a walk around machinery row encircling the big Expo tent was like the feeling archaeologists must have had when they opened King Tut's tomb!

Some of the treasures included one of the two surviving (of only two manufactured) Rumely Line Drive tractors. The experimental Line Drive was Rumely's brief entry into the 'woo-'em away from horses by sellin' a tractor that drives with reins' business, and it sure wowed the crowd by backing up, snaking around OilPulls and turning on a dime. The Rumely 8-16 Ideal-Pull All-Purpose tractor also got its share of stares. This odd looking three-wheeler sported a swiveling driver's seat and gear lever so it could be driven from either direction! One of three known Rumely trucks, a 1918 1 ton model, navigated the muddy roads, reminding the old timers of trips down the wagon-rutted lanes to town on Saturday morning with a load of egg crates and milk cans.

A 12-20 OilPull with chain drive was another rare bird thought to be the result of an after-the-sale factory add-on. Perhaps the rarest of all was the 15-30 Model F OilPull road roller! This tractor was specially converted with a roller attachment to do work in the LaPorte factory yards. A 20 HP Rumely-Falk engine and 18 HP Rumely-Olds engine harkened back to Rumely's attempt to expand their line ala International Harvester. A rare Rumely Gas Pull, a former Advance-Thresher Co. product, drove over the grounds at a stately two MPH.

A bit more common, but rare pieces in their own right, were almost 50 Rumely OilPulls, '6's and Do-Alls that crowded the grounds! On hand were seven 25-40 Xs; three 30-50 Ys; two 40-60 Zs; two 20-40 Gs; six 20-30 Ws; two 15-25 Ls; three 25-45 Rs; one 30-60 S; one 20-35 M; two Rumely 6s; two Rumely Do-Alls; one 14-28 H; six 16-30 Hs; one 25-45 B; one 30-60 E; one 15-30 F; one 18-35 F; one 15-30 F Roller; three 12-20s; one 12-20 chain drive; and one 25-40 Oil Turn skid engine.