464 S. Fifth St., Sebewaing, MI 48759
All new hullers are now equipped with new style recleaner, and
belted up as shown here. Recleaner is driven direct from pulley on
raddle belt shaft and lower auger or conveyor is chain driven.
The first machine Dad let me run was a No. 9 Birdsell clover
huller and it was run with a 30 Hart Parr. The old 30 was a little
short on power for the Birdsell and the tractor had to work so hard
that the radiator would boil all day long. It would keep me busy
carrying water all day.
We ran the 30 for three years and then Dad traded it for a used
18 x 36 Hart Parr. The 18 x 36 was given a complete overhaul after
we bought it and we ran it to the end when there was no more
thrashing done. We also used the 18 x 36 for corn shredding and my
uncle used to say that the old 18 x 36 seemed to be able to see
those corn bundles going in the shredder as the governor would open
up so quick.
I was pulling the old Birdsell up a steep bank barn one time
with a pulley, block and chain, (as the 30 Hart Parr was too light
to push the big No. 9 Birdsell up a steep bank barn). About
3/4 of the way up the bank, in front of the
barn, the chain broke. The two guys steering the tongue, and
another that was supposed to put a big wood block under the wheels,
all took off like a big bird when the chain broke! Luck was with me
that day! The tongue stayed straight in front of the machine and
the machine rolled down the bank and out into a field without
I helped Dad put new rasps on the rasp cylinder one time. Boy
what a job that was! Small stones would get in the rasp cylinder
and chew the rasp up on the rasp cylinder, and rasp concave, when
you were thrashing clover, sometimes.
Dad bought the No. 9 Birdsell new in 1928. It was shipped to
Sebewaing from the factory in South Bend, Indiana. We unloaded it
from a railroad flat car and hauled it home with a team of
The Birdsell was one of the best looking machines we ever had.
It reminded me of a Barnum and Bailey circus wagon, with all the
different colors and striping including the big, heavy, wide, wood
The old No. 9 Birdsell had a sad ending. A local antique dealer
bought it and also an old hand feed straw-carry grain separator at
my Dad and Mother’s estate sale. He left them both sit outside
his antique store for a few years. Then one day he pushed them side
by side and set them on fire! All that was left was the cast iron
and steel. A very sad ending for the old No. 9 Birdsell.