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Dad's Collection

| July/August 1998

  • McCormick-Deering corn binder

  • McCormick-Deering corn binder

522 East North Street Brandon, Wisconsin 53919

The sun beamed warm on my back, but the occasional snowflake that fluttered down was a sign from Mother Nature that it was time to neatly pack them away for another year. A feeling of disappointment seemed to linger in the air as Dad drained the water out of each relic. To an outsider they appear to be piles of steel, but to Harris Ferch they are relics of the past transformed by pride and hard work into shining productive machinery prepared to meet any task presented them.

In the 20 x 30 foot shed cowers a tiny 1945 Farmall A. It is in good condition since all parts and paint are original. Harris bought the Farmall A in 1958 to handle the three acre plot of land which he and his wife had just acquired. The A might have looked small to some, but it was ideal for the task at hand; it could handle a one-row cultivator, a disk, a quack-digger, or a single row plow.

Next to the tiny A towers the big burly 1937 Farmall 10-20. This was Dad's first real adventure at restoration. It had been painted red, white, and blue for America's Bicentennial. The tires were leaking fluid, and the fenders had a million dents in them. With sandpaper, time, and love, Dad brought that 10-20 back to life. He even used hair spray to make the tires shine like new. He has always treated this as his baby, his pet, even though it just about jiggles him to death each time he drives it in a parade.

Next to it proudly stands the 1938 F-20. When Dad found this tractor the color scheme was at least right, or was that red color really just rust. Well I can assure you, there is no rust on it anymore. His love and imagination renovated that tractor into a raving beauty ready for a date with any four-bottom plow, or supplying the horsepower (guts) it takes to run the McCormick-Deering threshing machine which is carefully tucked away in another shed.

Squeezed into the north corner is the 1954 Super W-6. Dad spotted this tractor in 1991, hidden from sight behind a barn near Brandon. Aided by his wife and his grandson Mike, he carefully restored that Super W-6 to showroom quality. Because of the time and love involved in this project, the Super W-6 holds a special place in the hearts of all the family. The tractor was even entered in the local 4-H fair as a restoration project and received a blue ribbon.


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