131 Robin Road, Blackwell, Oklahoma 74631
Lyman Knapp's 30-60 E Oil Pull heads for the Oil Pull exposition at Pawnee next May. The ole gal will be in her work clothes, just like she wore in World War II. Not only did this 30-60 E No. 2372 turn the soil on the Knapp Farms in Kay County, Oklahoma during the war, she helped build a concentration camp at Tonkawa, Oklahoma, that housed German war prisoners.
In 1939, Bud and Lyman Knapp purchased number 2372 and a Rumely fuel wagon from a Mr. Babbs at Blackwell, Oklahoma. The tractor and fuel wagon were stored inside. Price was $90.00 for the tractor and $20.00 for the fuel wagon. This was cheap power and, I might add, economical power. This tractor is equipped with the middle speed gear and would walk right along with eight to ten plows. Knapp's fields were rather large, some being a mile long, so they made good use of a big plow outfit.
In our community, Bud and Lyman Knapp were referred to as the Knapp Boys- they farmed together. Their other farm power was a 25-40 Allis, Rock Island, E Allis, and a G.P. John Deere.
I grew up ? mile south of Bud and ? mile east of Lyman. As a teenage boy it was a great thrill for me to cut across the field and catch a ride on the 30-60 plow.
I don't remember the year, Lyman and his family left for Colorado in the 1932 Auburn on vacation. Bud was plowing with the Rumley in a field one mile long just east of my house. I rode three days with Bud. At that time they were pulling an eight bottom John Deere plow. The fuel was kerosene and water. No spiked up mix like some of you fellows use today.
Speaking of fuel, you Oil Pull owners know these tractors used about ? water and ? kerosene under maximum load. It seemed like once or twice a day the water line on Knapp's 30-60 would clog up and the water supply to the carburetor would stop. When this happened the black smoke would roll from the stack, just like a steamer with fresh fire. However, the power dropped off terrible. We were forced to stop and clean the water line.
Some of you older fellows may well remember people talking about having a hard time starting a Rumely when it was hot. We never did have any trouble starting this tractor, even when shutting it down, hot plowing to clean the water line.
My long time friend, Pete Rose from Garber, Oklahoma was a Rumely serviceman. Pete grew up in Indiana, and worked in the Rumely factory at LaPort, Indiana as a young man. Pete didn't like the factory work, so the Rumely Company sent him to Enid, Oklahoma as a serviceman. Pete has told me, many a time, the biggest problems he experienced with customers having problems starting the Oil Pulls was weak magnetos. Of course, the 30-60 E had make and break ignition, however, the Knapps converted this tractor to high tension magneto and spark plugs.
Pete Rose is now ninety years plus. Pete was the first president of Oklahoma Steam Threshers and Gas Engine Association. Pete will be honored as the honorary chairman of the Rumely Oil Pull Exposition next spring at Pawnee, Oklahoma.
I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the Rumely Oil Pull tractors. Dad did his last threshing in Grant and Kay Counties, Oklahoma with 20-35 Rumely. My first Rumely was a 25-40X. These are really snappy little tractors. Some Rumely experts say the 25-40X was the hottest of all Oil Pulls. I picked up a 20-40 G several years ago in Texas. A lot of old timers liked the heavy weights the best. I've always liked them both.
One year Lyman Knapp used my 25-40X threshing. Lyman was very impressed with the snap, governor action and power. So Lyman wanted a light weight to go with his 30-60 E. A few years ago he got a 20-30W in southern Oklahoma. The 20-30 was also a very snappy little tractor.
Dad sold a new 20-30 to a fellow at Pond Creek Oklahoma in 1929. In those days tractors required a license plate, like cars, in Oklahoma. When the tractor went out, the license plate wasn't on it. So in a day or so Dad went out with the new plate. He said, 'The farmer was pulling a 16 foot Prairie type Model P Case Combine.' The little 20-30 was really talking and taking the big combine right along.
Mr. Amos Rixman from Nashville, Illinois has developed an outstanding horsepower testing program. Many universities and colleges with engineering activities do not include this detailed type of testing of power and it's explanation as is done at the Pawnee show. Widespread interest is always shown for this exhibit. 1990 will be no exception with the detail testing of all Rumely Oil Pull tractors.
I am really excited about testing my 25-40X on both drawbar and brake horsepower test. The October, 1918 issue of Power Farming Dealer shows a picture of a 30-60 E Oil Pull setting the Prony brake on fire at the Salina, Kansas Tractor Manufacturers Show. So as not to destroy the Prony brake, the test was stopped. Lyman Knapp has sent notice to Amos Rixman that he had better have the cooling system in top order next spring, on the Prony brake. So look out, Amos! The ole gal in her work clothes will warm that brake up for you.
As Raymond Olney said in his article, 'Signs of Progress in the Tractor Field', October, 1918 issue of Power Farmer Dealer, probably more tractors used kerosene at Salina this year than any previous demonstration. I said, 'used' advisedly, because it would seem that more tractors used kerosene than actually burned it.'
What made the Rumely Oil Pull 'king' was their burning the fuel. The Knapp Boys put in many a long day with the 30-60. At night they were tired, but like Ed Larson, chairman of the Rumely Oil Pull Expo would say, 'It was a good tired.' By night fall, the ole gal had turned many an acre black. She was loyal, dependable and economical.