Rt. 1, Box 149-B, Mathias, West Virginia 26812
We were so pleased with a previous article in GEM (July 1991, pages 12-13) that we started another one but never really got it together. Instead, these pieces and pictures seem to be handy and worthy of sharing with you.
All of the pictures were taken in front of our shop except the Tiger, the white tractor in the bed of leaves. I was fortunate to get a Tiger tractor, as they were built in Keyser, West Virginia. I went to college there in 1952-1954 and remember walking by the factory many times and viewing the plant operations though not being terribly interested anymore than most farm boys. Some fine Keyser people have started the 'Tiger Club' and have taken a big hand in the Apple Harvest Festival at nearby Burlington, West Virginia, which features an impressive car, truck, tractor, and excellent craft exhibit with the benefits going to the Burlington Children's Home. The Keyser Tiger Club has had an article in GEM. At any rate, every worthy West Virginia collector has to have a Tiger in his collection, and we now have ours. My uncle owned one in the late Fifties and called it the poorest tractor ever. Wait till you see our Gravely Model D produced at Dunbar, West Virginia, another fine West Virginia tractor, or our Bear Cat, produced by Ellinwood Industries at Huntington, West Virginia.
Another tractor pictured is the Endless Tred. Ours is the Sam A. Beechy and Sons Model 8-R6-100 produced in Salisbury, Pennsylvania. I mention this here because just across the Potomac River from Keyser in Cumberland, Maryland, a worthy Endless Tred machine was built for some years. I was pleasantly surprised to find a newly built Endless Tred garden tractor in 1993 back in West Virginia at a very large extensive country hardware store. The tractor was so covered over with other hardware items and surrounded by stoves that it was difficult to see. It carried a $499.95 price tag, but I couldn't determine the builder.
The Jari is still manufactured today and I have seen some recent literature of their present models. Ours has the nice width cultivator and frankly, in the junk pile where we found it, I thought it was a snow blower. We also have a reel mower pictured with it. It was manufactured by Jari Products, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota. It's unfortunate, but while it has a brief listing in the Baas & King garden tractor books, no pictures at all.
The Yard Hand is pictured on page 52 of Baas's book. It was at Redwood City, California, and sold at least for some time by the Sears and Roebuck mail order catalog company. I have always thought that way too much of the Yard Hand's being was caught up in its extreme and aerodynamic body style. I'm in agreement with Mr. Baasnot much is known of this little rider.
The sickle-bar Yazoo is a nice type bar mower tractor. Not many of them in this area, and in many respects not real well known. I have the King & Baas books and I don't believe either of them mention the Yazoo. I was heartbroken when I didn't get to buy this mower from the antique jobber-peddler one season, but entirely pleased to get it next season at a reduced price. He didn't remember his having it at Berryville the previous season, but I did.
The J. C. Penney reel mower is a nice little thing to play with. It runs extremely well and does a good enough job cutting grass. Like a number of our restorations, Andy had to do little other than the usual gas, oil, electrical, to get it running. It simply got a little touchup paint around the mower housing.
The small crawler is one that I admired so much as a high school student. It was advertised in Popular Mechanics magazine as an assemble-it-yourself kit or complete unit.
It was produced by the Struck Corporation located in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. They still produce a crawler model which is larger and called Magnatrac. As I recall, the model pictured was called 'Mitie Mite' and was labeled in an oval decal above the leg-foot rests on each front side. I was not successful in corresponding with the Struck Corporation relative to any information on this model. I did, however, receive lots of material on their present one. Often we take pictures before securing decals or doing a completely finished job, as the extras can be added later and- we are eager to free up our shop for needed farm repairs.
You don't see a lot of tractors like the last one the Gibson with the steering wheel a previous owner's added extra which worked so well we didn't have the heart to change it. We even came up with our own extras a nice, neat little dash which is barely visible, and more visible, our silo guard motor/grill guard which swings to the side for easy rope crank starting.
We like pictures because, like all tractor collectors, they don't lie too much, and pictures tell the story so much easier. We have lots of others to share with you. Bless you, till we meet!