Still Working

| February/March 2003

In 1924/ the Frank Kaeser farm in Newtown, Conn., had two new additions - A son, Willy/ was born, and Frank bought a new McCormick-Deering 10-20 to help him work the family farm. Seventy-nine years later/ Frank is no longer alive, but Willy and the 10-20 are still getting along fine,

For 44 years, Frank Kaeser worked the 10-20, employing it in the daily routine of running his farm. When he died in 1968 his son, Willy, and his daughter, Chris, moved the tractor to Willy's farm in nearby New Fairfield, Conn. Willy has a large garden on his property, and 35 years later he's still using the 10-20, putting it to work every spring as he prepares for planting. When it's not in use, the 10-20 waits in a field, a canvas and log chain over the hood, the water drained from its radiator as it sits through the winter, waiting for the next spring.

Willy's 10-20 carries serial number KC 18399, a number Willy knows by heart. The color of the 10-20 is now mostly rust, but some red (on the gas tank) and gray can be found. The 10-20 has a Vortex air cleaner, Model 118, serial number 7640, showing patent dates July 18, 1922 and Aug. 15, 1922.

Years back, the belt pulley was leaking oil, so Willy removed the pulley and made a cap to replace it. He kept the pulley. Just last year, Willy had to replace the radiator, the original having finally deteriorated. The original radiator shell, complete with 'McCormick-Deering' cast into the top, survives. He also fashioned rubber boots for the transmission controls to keep water out of the gearbox - the transmission holds five gallons of oil.

Around 1974 Willy replaced the original, worn out steel front wheels with truck rims modified to fit, but he still has the original wheels. Willy also has a two-bottom plow, a harrow and a second McCormick-Deering 10-20 hidden in a pile of brush, waiting to supply parts when needed.

Contact engine enthusiast Ed Stoller at: 24 Candlewood Drive, New Fairfield, CT 06812, or e-mail:


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