A Brief Word

| January/February 1999

As we assemble this column in early November, a touch of snow has descended upon us here in the midwest, namely, Iowa. We'll grant that you won't see this copy until early December, but if you haven't already, be sure to check those engines and tractors to be sure they are drained. Don't forget little things like the petcock on the bottom of the waterpump.

We're continuing to work on our Standard Catalog of American Tractors, and once again ran across our file on the Ford Tractor Company at Minneapolis. Rated as an 8-16, the Ford of 1915 sold for $350. By 1917 it was rated as a 10-20. Only a few were built, and they were never considered to be a roaring success.

The main problem with the Ford Tractor Company was that newspapers, and eventually the courts, found it to be not quite so reputable as it might have been.

Unfortunately, this situation occurred numerous times in the early days of the tractor industry. Due to the heavy demand for tractors, it was relatively easy to set up shop as a tractor manufacturer, and for those unscrupulous enough to do so, it was also easy to set up one of those pie-in-the-sky companies that offered its prospective stockholders fantastic returns on their money. In these situations, the brokers took most of the money, a little of it went toward the 'factory' and the investors saw no more of their money. By the time anyone got around to complain to the authorities, the money had vanished, as did the perpetrators.

Plans are moving forward on a tour to England for next summer. Right now, it looks like we'll leave somewhere around June 20 for about 15 days. We'll plan on attending the Tatton Park 1000 Engine Rally, and hope to also attend the Banbury Rally. In addition, we'll visit various collections, museums, and other sites. By the time this copy is in your hands in early December, we should have our itinerary well under way. We will only be taking one coach on this and future tours, and that limits us to a maximum of 46 people. How ever, this has its advantages--one of them being that it is a lot easier for ye olde Reflector as the tour host. We'll keep you informed as things come together.

34/1/1 Chain Belt Company Q. I have a small 1? inch centrifugal pump with a one-cylinder air-cooled engine directly attached. The pump has a 'Chain Belt Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin nametag, 3000 gph, and s/n B4027. The pump casting has 'Speed Prime Pump' and 'Rex cast beneath it. Can anyone provide further information on this unit, such as its age, probable use, and the like? Any information would be appreciated. Paul C. Van Sickle, 3672 Porterville Hill Rd., East Aurora, NY 14052. Email. FLOBBLE@GATEWAY.NET


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