Courtesy of Emerson E. Downs, Milston, Ontario, Canada
1102 West River Road Battle Creek, Michigan 49017
The March-April issue of GEM rec'd and will say I find it to be more interesting as time goes on. Floyd Cook's article, very much so. Also want to thank T. H. Krueger for all the info on the Port Huron tractor. I have had a very interesting letter from Douglas A. McConnell of Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, Canada. They at one time had two of them, and liked them quite well, did a lot of work with them. Alex Edgar of Ayr, Ont. says he has never seen one of them, though he has a book which lists them. McConnells had an Erd motor, I notice in later models they used a Chief. I may have been mistaken about the one I saw using a Waukesha. After all that was a long time ago and I never saw but the one tractor, may have confused it with the Heider, which did use Waukesha; a mistake like that after all these years should be excusable. Regarding the Auto Gas Power attachment which he tells of on Page 30, I recall a number of companies which built similar attachments. A couple of them were the Shaw Mfg. Co., Galesburg, Kansas, also the Geneva Tractor Co., Geneva, Ohio.
Taken at the 1966 STEAM-ERA at Milton, Ont., shows the same tractor after restoration. With me on the tractor is my 4?-year old grandson, Mark. This Type 'R' No. 62, 25-45 Rumely Oil Pull Tractor was bought new in 1925 by my father and was used by my father and myself for threshing, sawmill work, logging, grinding grain, crushing stone, etc. for 19 years, then sold it. For the next ten years it was used locally for land work and threshing. In about 1950 it was bought to drive a sawmill in Northern Ontario and after a few years was abandoned for more modern power, and the tractor was left to rust and settle into the earth.
In 1964, after much searching, I located the tractor in Northern Ontario and bought it back. I spent some 8 months restoring it to its original condition. At the. 1966 STEAM-ERA held in Milton in September it was awarded the trophy for 'Best Restored Tractor' among some 40-odd machines shown, of which I am very proud.
Also, there was on the market an attachment for the front end of the Model T consisting of a belt pulley and set of bevel gears so you could use the motor for belt work. Another type had a pair of pulleys on a long shaft, and the Ford was to be jacked up and these pulleys put into contact with the rear tires, a sort of a friction drive and belt power taken off this shaft. Also, there was a system using a pulley which could be attached to one rear wheel, which was jacked up. The wheel under these condition would run twice as fast as normally and the step up in speed being achieved thru the differential. I would imagine it would be a bit rough on the differential if much power was taken off. Several that I knew of cut off the Model T frame back of the transmission; used only the front axle which was set back under about the center of the motor and had the rear end of the drive-shaft threaded to take a saw mandrel. A pillow block was provided here for a bearing and about a 30 inch cut-off saw mounted here for sawing up cordwood. Speed regulation was accomplished by means of a Foot-accelerator set up where it would be handy for the man who operated the swinging saw table. That Ford drive-shaft always looked a bit frail to hold those 30 inch saws to me. However, we never had an accident of any sort. Another thing; I've heard somewhere that it was illegal and dangerous to use a saw direct connected like that. Still I don't believe it would be much different than using a belt driver saw with a 90 to 120 pound flywheel mounted on the shaft. All the moving parts of a Model T motor certainly would not weigh more than the fly wheel. (What do those of you who have done custom cord-wood sawing think about this ?) In those days I recall that some Dodge 4 cylinder, also one Willys-Knight sleeve valve motors were used for sawing that. One of the best I remember used a 2 cylinder motor from an old Maxwell (Built in Tarrytown, N. Y.) an old one indeed. These all were quite successful and gave satisfactory results.
This snap taken in November 1964, shows my 1925 25-45 Rumely Oil Pull tractor before restoration.
I know of cases where a Model T motor drove a 6 inch burr feed grinder, and while fairly successful with direct drive I believe better results could have been had if there was about a 2 to 1 speed reduction from motor to grinder.
Back about the time of the depression, there was a regular epedemic of what we called doodle-bugs. They would take an old car, remove body, install another transmission behind the regular one so as to have more speed reduction as well as more torque, weight the rear end down, install tire chains on rear wheels and use same for a tractor. While some of the motors were rated at as much as 60 hp or more, none that I ever saw were able to pull more than a 3 or 4 horse load continuously and they had all sorts of trouble besides overheating. I dare say most of those converted cars were about ready for the junk pile and don't think the motors and transmissions were ever intended for continuous heavy pulling.
The amazing thing about all the threshing shows whether big or small is that each one comes up with some equipment not found at other shows. Such was the show at Beldenville, Wisconsin in September 1966. The Case dealer, Norman Finstad of Ellsworth had found and restored a 1916, 12-24 LaCrosse 'Happy Farmer' tractor. It was belted to a handfeed Case 'Eclipse' apron thresher of 1886 and it's a safe bet threshers like that are few and far between. This thresher was purchased at Ferryville, Wisconsin by Dan Booth and Norman Finstad several years ago when modern equipment got priority on shed room. This machine required considerable restoration but is now in good workable condition and does nice work. Pictured is Norman by his tractor with the thresher in the background.
Here is a picture of my 4 HP Ottawa drag saw outfit, purchased from Robert Winkler of Sidney, Iowa. Serial No. TE 11067 Speed 550 RPM. This engine had not been run for 30 years.
John Deere Standard Tread G. P. Serial No. 224553. Tractor in like new condition. Restored and painted by Wes Retzloff of Afolkey, Illinois owned by F.M. Eberhardt. I am a gas engine buff in general and a John Deere collector in particular. Have eleven of the old two lungers, all in field working condition and ranging from years 1929 to 1946.
About the best thing of this sort 'To Expect the best of life to occur when you are past seventy is a hopeless wish, in my opinion.'
'There's Nothing nicer than doing business with a customer who pays his bill with a smile.'
I ever saw was the David Bradley outfit, sold by Sears & Roebuck, which was most of a tractor, except the motor (which you provided a Model A Ford for) and as far as I know these worked out fairly well. (Has anyone ever owned or used one of these?) I think the Olin that Mr. Krueger tells of, or other similar set ups would be much better than the Doodle-bugs that I've mentioned.
I have been rather amused at some of the farm wagons that I've seen in the past that were built from old cars. They would turn the front axle around the tie rod in front, and pull it backwards. Then, when turning a corner the wheel on the outside would turn the shortest (just the opposite of the way it would have done if the axle were not turned around) and both front wheels would be slid sideways getting around the corner.
A neighbor built a trailer from a Model T Ford front axle, he turned it around and used the radius rod (wish bone), fastening the ball on the end of it to the frame. Now these particular cars had the axles threaded full length and the front wheel inner cone bearings were screwed on, one right and the other left hand thread. As they were used on the car originally moving forward these cones could only back up against the tongued washer which could not turn as the tongue fit into a groove in the axle. However under prolonged running with the axle turned around backward they loosened and tightened up sliding the wheels of the trailer.
I have an advertisement of the Sieverkrop Gasoline Engines in a Farm Mechanics Magazine, (July 1926) and it says now built by the Chas. H. Stehling Company, 401 Fourth St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, so I would guess sometime after 1913 the Racine company must have changed hands. In regard to the 'What is it engine?' Page 33 Current issue GEM, one place they were used was on the Burton-Page Milker (Mfgd. by Burton-Page Co., 537 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, 111.) This was a portable type of milker mounted on trucks, and had two pumps supplying vacuum for 4 milker units. The teat cups did not have any rubber liners, only rubber caps and the action was similar to the old style Hinman, Ford's and Burrell, Lawrence and Kennedy, BLK which I understand was the first to control milker action by means of a pulsator. The Burton-Page advertisement I have is in the February 1929 issue of Dairy Farmer Magazine. The car pictured on page 34 I would say is a Saxon 4 cylinder these were somewhat smaller and lighter than the model T Fords, I remember two of these in particular, one was owned by my grandfather and the other was driven to high school by a girl from the country. Does anyone have a Rock Island tractor? They were introduced in 1927 after the Heider friction drive models were discontinued.
1933 John Deere Wide Tread G.P. Serial No . 404159. Owner, F.M. Eberhardt, standing by rear wheel. Mechanic was Wes Retzloff, on platform, who overhauled tractor. I have never operated a steam engine and probably never will. Like many others I enjoy watching one. run, especially when belted to a sawmill My grandfather, the late Urias Divan, was a stationary steam engineer at the Franklin sawmill in Green Co., Wisconsin, many years go. His oldest son, my uncle Lewis Divan operated large steam threshing and plowing rigs in the Dakota's and Canada from 1900 to the. advent of the combine.