Category Archives: Plows

A 1954 Case Model SC with Foot Clutch and Eagle-Hitch Options Farming in York County, Pennsylvania

A Case Model SC Tractor Bearing the Serial Number and with the Optional Foot Clutch and the Optional Eagle-Hitch

by

Brian Wayne Wells

This article remains under construction. Periodically new  blocks of text and media may appear and/or the present blocks of text will be modified or corrected.

York County, Pennsylvania, is located on the southern boundary of the State of Pennsylvania is sandwiched between two other better-known counties, both also located on the southern Pennsylvania border. Adjacent to York County on the east, along the southern border of Pennsylvania is Landcaster County. The Susquehanna River forms the eastern border of York County with Landcaster County.

Lancaster County is the traditional “Pennsylvania Dutch” area of the state and has traditionally been the home of the largest historically Amish and Mennonite colonies in the United States of America. Adjacent to the west side of York County, along the southern boundary of Pennsylvania is Adams County. The county seat of Adams County is the small city of Gettysburg, location of the famous 1863 battle of the United States Civil War. Indeed the Battle of Gettysburg was the famous turning point battle of the United States Civil War (1861 through 1865).

Both Lancaster and Adams Counties are much better known to the general public than York County because of the great number of tourists who visit both Gettysburg and the Pennsylvania Dutch area. In comparison, York County, has few if any comparable tourist attractions like its two neighboring counties.

McCormick-Deering Model 33A Tractor-Mounted Power Loader

McCormick-Deering Model 33A

Tractor-Mounted Power Loader

by

Brian Wayne Wells

  This article remains under construction.  Periodically, new blocks of text will appear in the article and/or  current blocks of text will be corrected.

The Farmall Model 300 which bears the Serial Number 22368 is the subject of another article in this website called “The Farmall Model 300 Tractor.” As noted at the end of that article No. 22368 when the tractor was sold to Wells Family Tractors in the Spring of 2018, the tractor was sold to with the a McCormick-Deering Model 33A power loader mounted on the tractor. This Model 33A loader is the subject of the present article.

As noted, in another article on this website called “The 1955 Farmall Model 300 Tractor bearing the Serial Number 22368,” when this Model 300 tractor was sold to Wells Family Tractors Inc. in the spring of 2018, No. 22368  was fitted with a mounted McCormick-Deering Model 33A tractor loader.  This loader probably was not mounted on the tractor at the time of its initial purchase in 1955 from the International Harvester Company dealership in Chaska, Minnesota.  Rather, the loader must have been purchased and mounted on the No. 22368 at a later date.  The loader mounted on No. 22368 is identified by decals on the lifting arms as a Model 33A loader. 

The original factory installed decals on the McCormick-Deering Model 33A loader mounted on No. 22368.

Some time prior to the introduction of the Model 33A power loader, the International Harvester Company had manufactured an earlier power tractor loader called the Model 33 tractor-mounted power loader.  The hydraulic controlled tractor mounted power loader had really only come into its own in the period of time since the Second World War. technological Farm equipment manufacturers were just leaning about the However, the Model 33 was not successful in field operations because it was an extremely light loader–too light for most of the jobs that farmers found for the loader on their farms.

and was not a successful power loader looked nothing like the loader shown on the cover of the the piece of advertising literature shown below.  The loader pictured on the cover is much improved over the Model 33.  Indeed it is an exact duplicate of the heavier, more rugged  Model 33A loader.  The fact that the loader is mounted on a Farmall Model 350 wide-front tractor, suggests that the Model 33A loader must have replaced the Model 33 at a time concurrent with introduction of the Farmall Model 350 and Model 450 tractors.

The advertising booklet pictured above purports to feature the “Model 33” loader. However, the loader pictured is actually a Model 33A which was introduced to replace the much lighter Model 33 loader.  The Model 33 looked much different than the 33A.  Rather than being a piece of literature advertising the Model 33, it seems that this is a piece of literature is introducing the Model 33A loader to the farming public.  It just seems that McCormick-Deering was intending on introducing the new loader pictured here as a “new improved” Model 33 loader and only later decided to designate the new  model loader as the Model 33A  to avoid confusion because of the great number changes between the Model 33 and the Model 33A.  This piece of literature supports the thought that the Model 33A loader was introduced during the short production run of the 350 and 450 tractors from the late fall of 1956 until the late summer of 1958.   

 

In addition to being independent hydraulic cylinders on either side of the Model 33A loader controlled by the inside lever of the three hydraulic control levers on the right side of the dash board on the operator’s platform.  The hydraulic cylinders were also “two-way” cylinders.  This means that the cylinders on the arms of the loader can apply pressure and power in both directions–when contracting as well as when extending.  Lifting the loader is effected by pulling back on the “inside” hydraulic ed, above, when purchased in the spring of 2018, No. 22368  was fitted with a mounted McCormick-Deering Model 33A tractor loader.  This loader probably was not mounted on the tractor at the time of its initial purchase in 1955 from the International Harvester Company dealership in Chaska, Minnesota.  Rather, the loader must have been was mounted on the No. 22368 at a later date.  The loader mounted on No. 22368 is identified by decals on the lifting arms as a Model 33A loader. 

 

 

 

There was a Model 33 tractor-mounted power loader.  However, the Model 33 was an extremely light loader and looked nothing like the loader shown on the cover of the the piece of advertising literature shown below.  The loader pictured on the cover is much improved over the Model 33.  Indeed it is an exact duplicate of the heavier, more rugged  Model 33A loader.  The fact that the loader is mounted on a Farmall Model 350 wide-front tractor, suggests that the Model 33A loader must have replaced the Model 33 at a time concurrent with introduction of the Farmall Model 350 and Model 450 tractors.       

 

 

The advertising booklet pictured above purports to feature the “Model 33” loader. However, the loader pictured is actually a Model 33A which was introduced to replace the much lighter Model 33 loader.  The Model 33 looked much different than the 33A.  Rather than being a piece of literature advertising the Model 33, it seems that this is a piece of literature is introducing the Model 33A loader to the farming public.  It just seems that McCormick-Deering was intending on introducing the new loader pictured here as a “new improved” Model 33 loader and only later decided to designate the new  model loader as the Model 33A  to avoid confusion because of the great number changes between the Model 33 and the Model 33A.  This piece of literature supports the thought that the Model 33A loader was introduced during the short production run of the 350 and 450 tractors from the late fall of 1956 until the late summer of 1958.   

 

 

 

Once the Model 33A loader was introduced, International Harvester continued to make improvements to the loader in a never ending attempt to strengthen the loader.  One of the features of the early style Model 33A  In  particular, while the early style of Model 33A had a segmented arrangement of supports between the upper rail and the lower rail of each arm on the loader.  The loader pictured on the cover of the advertising literature shown above, has the segmented reinforcement between the upper and lower rails on the arms of the loader arms.  Clearly this is a very early version of the Model 33A power loader.  Later versions of the Model 33A had a single piece reinforcement over the whole space between the upper and lower rails of the loader arms, rather than just intermittent segments of reinforcement.  

 

 

The late style Model 33a loader featuring the single piece reinforcement of the entire space between the upper and lower beams on the arms on either side of the loader..

 

The style of Model 33A loader mounted on No. 22368 was one these later manufactured 33A loaders which featured the single piece reinforcement over the whole space between the upper and lower rails of the arms on each side of the loader.  This single piece reinforcement of the entire space between the upper and lower beams on the arms of the loader appears to be a feature that distinguishes the later 33A loaders from the earlier Model 33A loaders with the segemented style of reinforcement.  .  

 

 

The upper and lower support bars on the arms of the McCormick Deering Model 33A power loader are connected with a single piecwe of metal–indicating that this loader mounted on No. 22368 is a late styled Model 33A power. loader. .

 

The advertising picture below shows a brand new McCormick-Deering Model 201 manure spreader being loader with manure for the first time.  The manure spreader is hitched to a Model 350 Farmall tractor.  Loading the manure into the spreader is a Model 450 Farmall tractor with a early style Model 33A loader with the segmented form of reinforcement between the upper and lower rails on the arms of the loader.  This is further evidence of the  contention that the Model 33A loader was introduced during the production run of the Model 350 and Model 450 tractors, between the late autumn of 1956 and the late summer of 1958.

 

This picture of a brand new manure spreader being loaded with manure for the first time is clearly a promotional picture taken by the International Harvester Company.  The picture is important because it shows the early style Model 33A tractor loader mounted on a new Farmall Model 450 tractor. This suggests that the Model 33A tractor loader was introduced during the production run of the Model 450 and Model 350 tractors from the late autumn of 1956 through the,late summer of 1958.

Installation of the Model 33A loader on No. 22368 well after the tractor’s initial purchase in 1955, suggests that the tractor was being prepared for a career as a loader tractor.  However, neither the tractor nor the loader bear any signs of excess wear or even normal use.

No. 22368 appears to be a tractor that has hardly been used by the time the tractor was later purchased in about 2000 by David Falk of Waconia, Minnesota. When No, 22368 was sold to Brian     of  LeSueur, Minnesota.  As noted above, Wells Family Tractors, purchased No. 22368 from Wayne Schwartz in the summer of 2018 complete with its McCormick-Deering Model 33A tractor power loader.  The intent was to use No. 22368 and its mounted farm loader, as a utility tractor around the Wells Family Tractor warehouse located in LeSueur, Minnesota, for, among other tasks, loading steel-wheeled plows and other heavy steel-wheeled farm machinery on a trailer to be transported to the LeSueur Pioneer Power in rural LeSueur community.  For this type of large scale fork lift type of work a hydraulically powered loader bucket was a requirement.  However, the particular Model 33A power loader mounted on No. 22368 was fitted with a “dump-style” bucket intended for cleaning manure from a barn and dumping it into a manure spreader.

Research by Mark Wells revealed that a hydraulic cylinder,  supports and hydraulic hoses were available as part of an optional power bucket for the Model 33A farm tractor loader.  Further, research by Mark Wells on Craig’s List found that another Model 33A tractor power loader with the optional power bucket was for sale at a location on the shore of Mille Lac Lake, near the small town of Isle, Minnesota.  This loader was owned by David Steve Martin of Champlin, Minnesota (2010 pop. 23,089).  Although living in Champlin, Minnesota David had a piece of land on the shores of Mille Lacs Lake near Isle, Minnesota (2010 pop. 751).  On this property David  kept several Farmall tractors including quite a few Famall H’s.  Nearly all of these Farmalls are in running order as David proved by starting nearlt akl of them quite easily during the short amount of time that the current author was in on his property. 

To pickup the loader and bring it back to LeSueur, the current author determined that it would be most easily done by taking the 1951 Farmall H’s owned by Wells Family Tractors to David’s property in Isle and partially mounting the loader on the rear axle housings of that tractor and then backing the tractor around toward the and then pulling the tractor and loader up on to the bed-over wheels trailer with the winch on the trailor towed behind the current author’s pickup truck.

 

 

 

Accordingly, one July day in 2018, the current author hitched up the trailer to his pickup truck and loaded up the 1951 Famall H bearing the serial number 375596 onto the trailer.  The current author got off early in the morning and found David and was guided to his property by periodic conversations over the cell phone. Arriving early in the town of Isle, the author found that the cloudy weather and periodic breezes while threating rain did keep the July day rather coolish considering the month. 

 

The early style Model 33A McCormick-Deering tractor tractor loader on the ground of the property of David Steve Martin located in Isle, Minnesota on the shore of Mille Lac Lake. The hydraulic cylinder attached to the bucket of the loader can easily be seen in this picture.  Although one of the early style loaders this particular loader is, nonetheless, fitted with the optional hydraulic cylinder on the bucket.  It was this feature that attracted Mark Wells and the current author to this loader. They wished to move the bucket cylinder to the later style 33A tractor loader that they already had purchased along with No.     

   

The author was able to get the loader attached to the rear axles housings of the Farmall H bearing the serial number 375596. after pulling the  After talking with David Steve Martin over the phone the current author drove to Mille Lacing not fitted with a hydraulically powered for this ther heavy tfor  In from    ,

The Farmall Super C which bears the Serial Number

by

Brian Wayne Wells

           This article remains under construction.  Periodically, new blocks of text will appear in the article and/or  current blocks of text will be corrected.

The Super C purchased by late Ambrose Holicky is seen being driven by his son, Howard Holicky. Howard restored the Super C that was first and fitted the tractor with the same number of wheel weights that were mounted on the Super C which was tested at the University of Nebraska on and with the , e here plowing the field behind 764 South Elmwood in the City of LeSueur, Minnesota.

In 1954 Ambrose Holicky had been farming since he returned home to LeSueur County from the Second World War. As noted in an earlier article in this an earlier article, in 1953 he had purchased a new 1953 Super M Farmall from the Charles Clark Implement dealership in Cleveland, Minnesota. This was Ambrose Holicky’s main tractor on the farm. (See the article included in this website called “Charles Cook Implement Dealership in Cleveland, Minnesota: The 1953 Super M purchased by Ambrose Holicky.”)

By 1959, he had two sons that were now of age to help him on the farm and as a result he needed a a second tractor. Attending auctions in the LeSueur County area, he eventually found a 1952 Super C and bid on the tractor and ended up as the owner of the tractor.

The 1955 Model 300 Tractor Bearing the Serial No. 22368.

The 1955 Farmall Model 300 Tractor Bearing the Serial No. 22368.    

by

Brian Wayne Wells

      This article remains under construction.  Periodically, new blocks of text will appear in the article and/or  current blocks of text will be corrected.

 

The tricycle-style Farmall Model 300 tractor.  This tractor has the optional three hydraulic levers which are attached to the hood of the tractor behind the steering wheel on the operator’s platform.  From this angle the levers can be seen in this picture, just  just behind the headlight.  Two of these levers will control the hydraulic oil flow through the two hydraulic hoses, which are seen in this picture in front of the belt pulley.  These two hoses will led to hydraulic connectors on the rear of the tractor to be used for remote hydraulic cylinders on any farm equipmdnt that might be towed by the tractor.  The  third lever is probably for the fast hitch on the tractor.

 

The Farmall 300 bearing the serial number 22368 with the mounted McCormick-Deering Model 33A power loader was for sale during the 2018 Swap Meet on the grounds of the LeSueur County Pioneer Power Association.

 

Introduction of the  “letter-series” tractors actually began on June 21, 1939 with the full scale production of the Farmall Model A tractor at the company’s “Tractor Works” factory located at 24th Street and Western Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.  During the last half of 1939, the Tractor Works would turn out 6,243 Farmall Model A tractors and the next year–1940 (the first full year of production)–the Chicago  factory would manufacture 34,756 Farmall Model A tractors.

An advertisement of the introduction of the “letter-series” tractors in 1939. In July of 1939 only the Farmall Models M, H, and A were introduced. In December 1939 a fourth model–the Model B was introduced. ,

 However, the real action in Farmall tractor production was occurring across the State of Illinois on the Mississippi River at Rock, Island, Illinois.  In Rock Island, at the company’s “Farmall Works” facility the larger Farmall tractors which held the future of the company, were being produced.  The three-plow Farmall M, which was the largest of the row-crop tractors of all the letter series tractors, began production on July 15, 1939 at the huge “Farmall Works” factory.  The Farmall Model H tractor began production on its own assembly line within the Farmall Works.

The Farmall H assembly line at the Farmall Works factory in uRock Island, Illinois was always busy turning out the most popular of all Farmall letter series tractors–the Model H.

As noted in other articles at this website, when the two-plow Farmall H began production on July 21, 1939, the Model H quickly became the leading seller in the Farmall line of tractors,  immediately out-selling the  larger Farmall M.  (In 1939, 10,152 Farmall Model H’s were made and sold as opposed to only 6,739 Farmall M’s)  There were at multiple assembly lines in the large Farmall Works facility.  One of the assembly lines in the Farmall Works was dedicated to production of the Farmall H, while production of the Farmall M was performed on another assembly line in another part of the factory.

An aerial view of the Farmall Works factory in Rock Island, Illinois

Observers had long expected that the larger and more powerful three-plow tractor of the letter series, the Farmall Model M would outsell the two-bottom Model H.    However, from the very start of the production run of the letter series in the summer of 1939, the Farmall Model H proved to be the most popular selling tractor of the series.  With the exception of the single year of 1947, this would remain the situation until 1949.  

The Farmall Model H was the most popular selling tractor of the series.

During the years that followed the introduction of the letter-series tractors, production of the Farmall H continued to outstrip production of the Farmall M in the years that followed.  (41,734 Farmall H’s were made in the modelyear 1940 and 40,850 were made in 1941.  During the same years, production of the larger Farmall M was limited to only 18,131 in 1940 and 25,617 in 1941.)  These were the glory years of tractor production for the Farmall Model H.

However, with the coming of the Second World War, the United States government began to restrict the use of raw materials and manufacturing capacity for anything but the war effort.  Civilian manufacturing was greatly curtailed during the war years.  Accordingly, in model year 1942,  production of the Farmall Model H at International Harvesters‘ Farmall Works in Rock Island, Illinois fell to 29,353.  In 1943, production of the Model H fell to 27,661 tractors.  In 1944, production rose again to 35,872, but still did not reach the pre-war production figures. Production in 1945 was  28,697 Farmall H’s.  Even with the end of the war, the number of Farmall Model H’s rolling off the Model H assembly line at the huge Rock Island Farmall Works facility in 1946, still was limited to 26,343 Farmall H’s.   (During these same immediate post-war years, production of the Farmall M lagged behind at 9,025 tractors in 1942; 7,413 Farmall Model M’s in 1943;  and 20,661 Model M’s in 1944; 17,479 in 1945; 17,259 in 1946 and 28,885 in 1947.)

Public appreciatioin of the benefits of the more powerful Farmall Model M would not make the Farmall M the best selling tractor in the Farmall line until 1949.

However, as the demand for bigger and more efficient farm equipment grew in the post-war years, farmers turned to buying larger farm tractors like the Farmall Model M.  As a result the sales gap between the Model H and the Model M sales narrowed and in 1947 sales of the Farmall M reached 28,885 tractors and actually surpassed sales of the Farmall H  (27,848 Farmall H’s in 1947)  for the first time.  After falling behind the Model H in sales for the year 1948, (31,885 Farmall Model H’s as opposed to 28,806 Model M’s were manufactured in 1948), the Model M once again took the lead in the sales and production again in 1949 with 33,065 Farmall M’s rolling  off  the Model M assembly line while only 27,099 Farmall H’s rolled off the Model H assembly line at the Farmall Works facility in Rock Island, Illinois.  This time the Model M would continue to lead the Farmall H in production figures for the remainder  of the production run of the letter-series tractors.  (In 1950, production of the Model M reached 33,939 tractors.  In 1951, a record, 43,405 Farmall M tractors were made and sold.

In 1952, the International Harvester Company replaced the Farmall Model M with the new Farmall Super M.  Early in the production year of 1952 the Farmall Works factory in Rock Island, Illinois made 7,295 Farmall M tractors before the factory was closed down for retooling and preparation for the production of the Super M.  International Harvester actually built 12,015 Super M’s at the Farmall Works in Rock Island, Illinois in the latter part of the 1952 production year.  (An additional 1,905 Super M’s built at the newly constructed factory located in Louisville, Kentucky.)

Meanwhile, on the Farmall H assembly line at the same Rock Island factory, 23,948 Farmall Model H’s rolled off the Model H assembly line in 1950; 23,938 followed in 1951 and an identical number of 23,938 were made in 1952.  Accordingly, after the first three years of production of the Farmall H–1939-1941, production of the Farmall Model H became much more consistent during  the 11 years from 1942 through 1952.  During these 11 years the average yearly production of Farmall Model H’s was 27,871 Model H’s per year, or 2,323 every month during this period of time. If we assume that the average month consists of 20 working days excluding weekends and holidays the daily production of Farmall H’s during this period was 116 tractors each work day.

Additionally, 727 Farmall H’s were made in 1953 bringing the total number of Farmall H’s manufactured during the entire production run from 1939 through 1953 to 391,227 individual tractors.  Of course, in 1953, the International Harvester Company replaced the Farmall Model H with a the Farmall Model Super H.  So after making the 727 Farmall H’s in the early part of the production year of 1953– the Farmall Works facility closed down for a retooling of the H assembly line.  Following the retooling of the H assembly line, the Farmall Works produced 21,707 individual Super H tractors in the latter part of 1953.

Adding the 1953 production of Farmall H’s with the 1953 production of Super H’s together,results in the combined production figure of  22,434 individual tractors that came off the Farmall H assembly line at the Rock Island Farmall Works in 1953.  This combined production figure for 1953 was only 5,437 less that the average yearly production of the Farmall H assembly line in the Farmall Works facility.   The loss of production time in 1953 from the average production year appears to be the equivalent of two-months and seven working days.  This was probably the amount of time that was needed for a skeleton crew of workers to retool the Farmall H assembly line at the Farmall Works to begin full production of the Super H.

Introduction of the Farmall Super H occurred at the Minnesota State Fair in late August of 1952 which was the actual beginning of the 1953 “model year.”

This article has been referring to the term “production year.” If the “production year” coincided with the calendar year, it would logical to assume that the 1953 production of 727 Farmall H’s occurred over the first six days in January, 1953.  However, it is more likely that the 1953 production figures are not for the “calendar year” of 1953, but rather are for the “production or model year” of 1953.  Tractors did not change styling on an annual basis the way that automobiles were starting to do annually in the post-World War period, but tractors were starting follow a “model year” system like automobiles rather than following a traditional  calendar year system.  Under the model year system,new model automobiles were introduced in September of the previous year rather than on January 1st of the current year.  However, the model year in tractors would need to begin in August of each year, especially for model years that involved substantive changes in the model of tractor.  The reason was that State Fairs around the nation offered the best opportunity for tractor manufacturers to advertise their new tractors to the nation’s farming public.  State Fairs created a great deal of excitement and were an advertising opportunity that tractor manufacturers simply could not afford to miss.  Especially favored by tractor manufacturers was the nation’s largest agricultural fair–the Minnesota State Fair–which  was held over the last ten (10) days before Labor Day each year.the model year in tractors would need to begin in August of each year, especially for model years that involved substantive changes in the model of tractor.  The reason was that State Fairs around the nation offered the best opportunity for tractor manufacturers to advertise their new tractors to the nation’s farming public.  State Fairs created a great deal of excitement and were an advertising opportunity that tractor manufacturers simply could not afford to miss.  Especially favored by tractor manufacturers was the nation’s largest agricultural fair–the Minnesota State Fair–which  was held over the last ten (10) days before Labor Day each year.the model year in tractors would need to begin in August of each year, especially for model years that involved substantive changes in the model of tractor.  The reason was that State Fairs around the nation offered the best opportunity for tractor manufacturers to advertise their new tractors to the nation’s farming public.  State Fairs created a great deal of excitement and were an advertising opportunity that tractor manufacturers simply could not afford to miss.  Especially favored by tractor manufacturers was the nation’s largest agricultural fair–the Minnesota State Fair–which  was held over the last ten (10) days before Labor Day each year.  The reason was that State Fairs around the nation offered the best opportunity for tractor manufacturers to advertise their new tractors to the nation’s farming public.  State Fairs created a great deal of excitement and were an advertising opportunity that tractor manufacturers simply could not afford to miss.  Especially favored by tractor manufacturers was the nation’s largest agricultural fair–the Minnesota State Fair–which  was held over the last ten (10) days before Labor Day each year.  The reason was that State Fairs around the nation offered the best opportunity for tractor manufacturers to advertise their new tractors to the nation’s farming public.  State Fairs created a great deal of excitement and were an advertising opportunity that tractor manufacturers simply could not afford to miss.  Especially favored by tractor manufacturers was the nation’s largest agricultural fair–the Minnesota State Fair–which  was held over the last ten (10) days before Labor Day each year.s largest agricultural fair–the Minnesota State Fair–which  was held over the last ten (10) days before Labor Day each year.s largest agricultural fair–the Minnesota State Fair–which  was held over the last ten (10) days before Labor Day each year.

Accordingly, we might conclude that full production run of the Farmall Super H was begun in early August of 1952 to have sufficient time to get examples of the new Super H off the production line and shipped to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota “block house” (the International Harvester Company-owned distribution warehouse located at 2572 University Avenue in the midtown area between the two cities.  Ordinarily, the staff at the block house would be hurriedly re-shipping the tractors they received from the Farmall Works to the various dealerships around Minnesota who they served.  However, in this case the block house staff would be instructed to not ship any Super Hs out to their dealership until after the official introduction of the Super H at the large International Harvester tent on the State Fairgrounds on the first day of the State Fair.

Television in the early 1950 helped create even more excitement around the Minnesota State Fair.  Tractor Manufacturers could not pass up the advertising possibilities to reach the farming public available at the Minnesota State Fair.  Here KSTP Channel 9 television out of Minneapolis at the State Fair adds to the excitement and advertising possibilities of the State fair in the 1950s.

KMSP Channel 9 television out of Minneapolis at the State Fair in the 1950s.

It was well advertised that the Model Super H had more horse power (hp.) than the regular Farmall Model H.  (Testing in Nebraska had shown the new Super H to turn out 30.68 hp. at the drawbar and 33.40 hp. at the belt pulley.  While the regular Model H had created only 24.17 hp. at the drawbar and 26.40 at the belt pulley.)  However, one small difference that probably went unnoticed at the State Fair, was the fact that the wheel base of the Super H was about an inch longer that the regular H.  (89.25 inches for the Super H and 88.325 inches for the regular H)  a single inch added to the wheel base would hardly be noticeable to anyone.  This was a sign that the addition of live hydaulics as an option to the Super H had made space along the top of the power train and inside the transmission case extremely limited.  The H needed to be totally redesigned in the near future.  Thus, it was no surprise that for the model year 1955,International Harvester Company replaced the Farmall Super H in their line of farm tractors with the Farmall Model 300 tractor. 

 Once again the “model year” of 1955 actually began in 1954.   A book written by Guy Fay and Andy Kraushaar called Original Farmall Hundred Series 1954-1958 reveals that  IHC records show that production of the Farmall 300 began in November of 1954.  During November and December of 1954 the records in the Fay and Kraushaar book have 1,182 Model 300 tractors built in November and 1,677 Model 300 tractors built in December of 1954.  Like the Model Super H, production of the Farmall 300 was also short lived. Clearly, in this case, no Model 300 tractors were available for the 1954 Minnesota State Fair.  The introduction of the Farmall Model 300 to the Minnesota State Fair had to wait until August of 1955.

(Coincidentally, the current author attended this fair as a six year old child.  along with his parents, the late Wayne A. Wells, Marilyn (Hanks) Wells, four year old brother, Mark Wells, and and three-year old sister, Eileen Wells.  Also attending was the current author’s Uncle John Hanks and his Aunt Hildreth Hanks and the family’s good friend Rhona Fitzpatrick.  A good time was had by all!! For the current author and his siblings it was a marvelous adventure.  brother The family slept out in a series of camping tents in the campground at the State Fair.  One of the first exhibits the family saw was the early show at the International Harvester tent.  It was quite a show as the Fast-Hitch 300 tractor was shown hitching and unhitching rapidly to the music of a square dance.  Later years at the big International Harvester tent would have the would have Farmall tractors driven through their famous square dance without the Fast Hitch implements, but 1955 was different.  The Fast Hitch on the 300 had to be demonstrated for the farming public in attendance.  The visit to the State Fair was repeated again in 1956 and threatened to become an annual event.  However, in 1957, Uncle John went into the United States Army and the current author’s immediate family rode a passenger train to Elyria, Ohio to see Aunt Hildreth and pick up a new 1957 Plymouth station wagon.  In 1958 the family took the new car on an extensive trip to Seattle , Washington, and back.   The family would not see the State Fair again until 1959.  By this time the Farmall tractors had changed appearance dramatically and the big top tent at the International Harvester exhibit now featured International Model 340 crawlers doing the famous square dance.) 

While the production run of the Model 300 continued for the entire twelve months of 1955 and continued into 1956, production of the 300 ceased in August of 1956.  As a result, the production run of the successor to the Farmall 300 (the Farmall Model 350) did not—according to Fay and Kraushaar’s beautiful book–begin until the November of 1956. 

The model year of 1955, saw the introduction of the whole line of the “Hundred Series” tractors by the  International Harvester Company.  The Hundred Series line of tractors included the larger Model 400 and the smaller Model 200 and Model 100 tractor in addition to the Model 300.  

The production figures of the Farmall Super H and the Farmall 300 are confusing because both Super H and the 300 were produced for only one entire model year each–1952 and 1954, respectively.  Every year has 250 working days excluding Saturday and Sunday of each of 52 weeks in the year.  By using the serial numbers index we can determine how many tractors can be built in a single day at the Rock Island Tractor Works.  Whether the tractor was the Farmall H or the Farmall Super H or the Farmall 300,  the average daily production figure was 85 tractors per day.  As noted above, instead of the January to January, calendar year we must consider the model year which for reasons stated above, must be considered rather than the calendar year.  Instead, of January 1, we look at the August 1 as the beginning of the new model year.  Following this procedure we can determine that the 1955 model year of the Farmall 300 began on August 1, 1954.  and ended on August 1, 1955.  At the rate of production of 85 tractors built per day, the production of the Farmall 300 bearing the Serial No. 22368 occurred on the Monday, July 18, 1955.  Just 10 days prior to the start of the new model year of August, 1955-August, 1956.

When the new Farmall 300 was made available to the public, there were a number of options that were available for the 300.  These options had not been available on predecessors of the 300, i.e. the Farmall Super H or the Farmall H.   First, one of the most common options available on the Farmall 300 was the newly developed “Torque Amplifier” or “T.A.”   After being available in 1954 on the Farmall Super MTA tractor during the short production run of the Super MTA in 1954, the T.A. option was made available on “Hundred Series” tractors, e.g. the Model 400 and Model 300 etc., when the Hundred Series was introduced in the 1955 model year.

An advertisement of the Torque Amplifier or T.A. that was available for the tractors of the new Hundred Series.

 

The 1955 Farmall Model 300  bearing the Serial No. 22368 was first purchased by a farm family from Carver County and probably purchased from an International Harvester dealership in the county seat of Chaska  .  The tractor seems to have been equipped at the factory with every single piece of optional equipment that had been made available for the Model 300.  Besides the Torque Amplifier option which is described above,  No. 22368 is fitted with the optional three hydraulic valve levers located on the right side of the dash board on the operator’s platform.

The Farmall Model 300 bearing the serial number 22368 is fitted with the optional set of three levers, rather than a mere two levers or even a single lever, on the right side of the dash board of the Farmall 300 tractor.

The optional set of three levers means that the particular tractor is equipped with three independent and “live” hydraulic valves on the tractor.   Each lever controls the hydraulic oil valve that regulates the flow of oil pumped down a hose to any  cylinder located on the tractor or located “remotely” on an implement being towed by the tractor.  The hydraulics on the Hundred Series Farmalls are independent “live hydraulics.”  This means that the hydaulics will operate even when the foot clutch on tractor is depressed or disengaged.  

By the time that No. 22368 was purchased in the spring of 2018 by Wells Family Tractors, a Model 33A McCormick-Deering hydraulic loader had been mounted on the tractor.  Accordingly, the lever nearest the dash board controlled the valve that directed hydraulic oil down the hoses to the cylinders located on the arms of the loader which would allow the loader to raise the bucket which was attached to the arms at the front of the tractor.

In addition to being independent hydraulic cylinders on either side of the Model 33A loader controlled by the inside lever of the three hydraulic control levers on the right side of the dash board on the operator’s platform.  The hydraulic cylinders were also “two-way” cylinders.  This means that the cylinders on the arms of the loader can apply pressure and power in both directions–when contracting as well as when extending.  Lifting the loader is effected by pulling back on the “inside” hydraulic control lever nearest the dashboard.  When the same lever is pushed forward the cylinders on the loader can be contracted under power so that the bucket is pressed against the ground and the front wheels of the tractor can be lifted off the ground. 

As noted above, the outside hydraulic lever–furthest from the dashboard–to raise and lowers the Fast-Hitch drawbar.  The cylinder controlling the Fast Hitch drawbar is also a two-way hydraulic cylinder.  Thus, if a person places a couple of large cement blocks under the the drawbar and then lowers the drawbar under power, the rear wheels can be raised off the ground.  Furthermore, because the three hydraulic valves are all independent of each other the operator of the tractor could lift the front wheels of the tractor off the ground by manipulating the lever course nearest the dashboard and at same time lift the rear wheels of the tractor off the ground by manipulating the outside hydraulic lever–furthest from the dashboard–to lower the Fast Hitch drawbar onto the cement blocks. 

Of course, the middle lever of the three-lever set, on No. 22368, controls yet another hydraulic valve that can also act independently and can apply power in a two-way manner.  However, more discussion of the use made of the middle hydraulic lever of the three-lever set on No. 22368 can be found below.   

A rear end view of No. 22368 shows the optional Fast-Hitch drawbar on the tractor.

Yet another option which was factory-installed on No. 22368 is the optional power steering.  The operator of No. 22368 becomes aware of the fact that the International Company installed power steering on the tractor before the operator has even started the engine.  Right in front of the operator at middle of the on the steering wheel is a little light weight aluminum disc bearing the woords “Power Steering.” 

The light-weight aluminum disc at the center of the steering wheel advertises the fact that o. 22368 is fitted with the optional factory-installed power steering. The undamaged condition after 63 years indicates the tractor’s very light use during those 63 years.

A new aluminum power steering insignia which mounts on the center of the steering wheel of tractors of the hundred-series.

Because this power steering insignia was made of light weight aluminum and was mounted on the steering wheel, the aluminum insignia stood the risk of easily becoming damaged even under ordinary tractor use.

Additionally, the cylinders on the Model 33A loader mounted on No. 22368 are “two-way” hydraulic cylinders.  This means that the cylinder can apply pressure and power in both directions–when contracting as well as when extending.  This means that the cylinders on the loader can be contracted under power so that the bucket is pressed against the ground and the front wheels of the tractor can be lifted off the ground.  The other two hydraulic valve levers of the optional three-lever set on No. 22368 can be connected to hoses leading to other hydraulic cylinders.  (Indeed later in this same article discussion will had of connections made to the middle hydraulic lever.)

However, the third lever of the set of three (the outside lever located the furthest from the dash board of the tractor)  is connected to the optional Fast Hitch drawbar of No, 22368.  The optional Fast Hitch drawbar on the Hundred Series tractors is usually painted white and can be raised and lowered by hydraulics controlled by the third (outside) valve lever.  This leaves the middle (or second) lever of the three hydraulic levers on No.  

Continue reading The 1955 Model 300 Tractor Bearing the Serial No. 22368.

A 1945 J. I. Case Company Model SC Tractor in Belgrade Township, Nicollet County, Minnesota

The 1945 Case Model SC Tractor in Nicollet County, Minnesota

by

Brian Wayne Wells

           This article remains under construction.  Periodically, new blocks of text will appear in the article and/or   current blocks of text will be corrected.

The J. I. Case Company Model SC tractor.

The J. I. Case Company introduced their first tricycle-style tractor—the Model CC tractor in 1929.  The CC weighed 4,240 lbs. (pounds) and produced 27.37 hp. (horsepower) to the belt pulley and 17.33 hp. to the drawbar.  The CC was advertised as a tractor that could pull a two-bottom plow with 14 inch bottoms.  So the Model CC could perform all the heavy tillage work in the fields of the average farm, just like the “four-wheel” or “standard” tractors that Case had offered the farming public before 1929.  These four-wheel tractors could do all the field work on the farms of North America except one field task–the cultivation of row-crops.  Thus, even with a standard type tractor, the North America farmer could get rid of a large number of horses on the farm that were required for heavy tillage and seed-bed preparation in the Spring of each year.  However, until the introduction of the “row crop” or “tricycle-style” tractors, the North American farmer was required to retain sufficient horses on the farm to be able to cultivate his row crops.

Only with the purchase one of these new row crop tractors, like the Case Model CC could the farmer be able to get rid of all the horses on his farm and farm in a fully mechanized way.  Thus, the Model CC could be used to provide all the power on the farm to perform all the field work over the whole growing season.

A view of the right side of the Case Model CC tractor.  Early versions of the Model CC Case tractor weighed just 3, 640 pounds and had a maufacturer’s suggested price of just $1.025.

The most unique feature about all the Case Model CC was the steering rod than located outside the hood of the tractor on the left side of the tractor.  This rod extended along the left side of the tractor to the front wheels  the tractor.  Because this looked like a convenient place for the chickens, on the farm, to roost during the night, this rod became popularly known as “chicken’s roost.”   Over the entire production from 1929 until 1939, 29,824 Model CC tractors were made.

A left side view of the Case Model CC tractor, showing the unique “chickens roost” style steering rod which was a famous feature of Case tractors.

In 1939, the CC was “styled,” modernized and the engine was upgraded in horsepower to a full 32.92 hp. at the belt pulley or the and 24.39 hp. at the drawbar. The tractor was re-designated as the new Case Model DC-3 tricycle style tractor.  Like the old Model CC, the new Model DC-3 was a tricycle style tractor in order to allow the tractor to be fitted with a mounted cultivator for the easy offered to the farming public in a number of different front-end configurations.  The DC was intended as a tractor which could perform all the field work on the average farm of the Midwestern part of North America, including the cultivation of row crops.  Because of the wide variety of row crops grown in North America, a number of variants of the Model DC were offered to the farming public.  The Case Model DC-3 was available as a narrow front tractor or as a tractor with an adjustable wide front end.   There were also a single wheel front end and a dual wheel narrow front end available to the public.  The J. I. Case Company planned to have the appropriate tractor configured for any farming operation in North America.

The Case Model DC-3 with the adjustable wide front end allowed the front wheels to be positioned wide enough to accomodate a wide variety of row crops.

Instead of being painted gray like the Model CC, the Model DC-3 was painted a reddish-orange color that the J. I. Case Company called “Flambeau Red.”  The DC-3 had a new Case-built engine with a 3-7/8 inch bore and a 5 ½ inch stroke, was commonly fitted with 11.25 by 38 inch rubber tires and weighed 7,010 lbs. Case advertised the DC tractor as a “full three-plow  tractor.”  This meant that the DC-3 could pull a three–bottom plow even with 16 inch bottoms in most plowing conditions.   By 1944, the suggested retail price of the DC was $1,270 as mounted on rubber tires.  During the entire production run of the Model DC-3 from 1939 until 1955, 54,925 DC-3 tractors were manufactured by the J.I. Case Company, or about 3,433 Model DC-3’s for each year of the production rum of the Model DC.

The Case Model DC-3 tractor replaced the Model CC in the Case line of row-crop tractors in 1939.

With the introduction of the DC and the phasing out of the Model CC tractor there was a vacancy in the smaller “two-plow” class of tractors within the J. I. Case Company tractor line.   Accordingly, in 1940, one year after the introduction of the DC-3, the J.I. Case Company introduced the Model SC tractor. The Model SC weighed 4,200 lbs., was fitted with a 2.7 liter four-cylinder engine with a 3 ½ inch bore and a 4 inch stroke which  delivered 21.62. hp to the belt pulley and 16.18 hp. to the drawbar.  The Model SC was painted Flambeau Red to match the Model DC-3 and retained the hand clutch.  However, while the hand clutch lever control on the Model DC-3 was located on the left side of the operator’s platform, the new Model SC had the hand clutch moved to the right side of the operator’s platform.

Case’s trademark, the “chicken’s roost” style steering rod of the Model CC and the Model DC-3 was also retained in the Model SC.  The 11.25 by 38 inch rear rubber tires of the Model DC-3 were also made available for the Model SC.  Like the Model However, the Model SC could be purchased for a much lower price than the DC-3.  Many farmers took advantage of this price difference to purchase the Model SC tractor and the Model SC tractor became the best-selling tractor of the Case Flambeau Red line of tractors.  Over its shorter production run (from 1940 until 1955), a total of 58,991 Model SC tractors (or about 3,933 Model SC’s per year) were produced and sold by the company—this represents a total of 4,066 more SC’s produced by the Case Company than the total number of DC-3 tractors produced by thebover the longer production run of the DC-3.  In other words from 1940 until 1955. there were about 500 more SC tractors produced each year than there were Model DC-3 tractors produced each year during the same period of time.

Among the tractors that flowed out of the J.I. Case Main Works in Racine, Wisconsin and arrived in local Case dealerships across the nation, was the two-plow Case Model SC tractor. In the years before the Second World War and in the immediate post-war years the Model SC actually outsold the larger DC-3 Case tractor.

Of course not every year of the production run from 1940 until 1955 was like the next.  History intervened, during this period of time, in the form of the Second World War, history from 1939 until 1955.  Involvement of the United States in the Second World War dated from the surprise bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 by the Japanese Imperial forces.  Following the Pearl Harbor attack, most heavy industrial companies, like the J. I. Case Company were required by the United States government to join the war effort, as the country fought a desperate war in two separate theaters of operations (Europe and the Pacific).  Production of civilian goods gave way to production for the war effort.  However, it took some time for the various companies to be assigned their government military contracts and to start producing wartime materials.  For the Case Company production of farm tractors at their factory located in Racine, Wisconsin tapered off somewhat gradually in favor of war materials for the war effort.

The factory at Racine, was called the “Main Works.”  The Main Works in Racine, Wisconsin was where the new Model DC and the new Model SC  were produced.  However, in addition to introducing the two-plow Model SC, in 1940, the J.I. Case Company also introduced the the new one-plow tractor of the V-series.  However, rather that manufacturing the V-series tractor at the Main Works, Case opened a new factory in Rock Island, Illinois.  During the Second World War, the “Main Works” became involved in the production of bombs and artillery shells, doors for the Sherman tank and parts for the B-26 bomber.

Sherman M-4 tanks in action in Normandy, France. Here almost every door of the tank is open. Many of these doors were made by the J.I. Case Company under a wartime contract.

The limited amount of tractors that were produced during the war, rolled off the assembly line at the J. I. Case Company Main Works (and the new Rock Island Works), were assigned a serial numbers in sequence regardless of the model. There are no separate serial numbers for the S-series, the D-series or the V-series tractors.  Until 1954, the first two numbers of any Case tractor serial number gave a clue as to the year in which the tractor was assembled at the Main Works.  However, even this seemingly direct approach to the year in which the tractor was clouded by some obscurity.   For example, if the first two numbers of a particular serial number were “44,” this did not mean the tractor was produced in 1944.  Four years must be subtracted from the first two numbers of every serial number to arrive at the actual year that the tractor was built.  Thus, if the the first digits of a given serial number are “44,” then the tractor was actually produced in 1940—not 1944.

A picture showing the location of the Serial Number tag squarely on the “dash board” of the Case Model SC tractor.

Accordingly, in the fifth year of the Model SC production run , a particular Model SC rolled aff the assembly line at the Main Works bearing the Serial Number 4911952.  The first two digits of this particular serial number indicated that this tractor was manufactured at the Main Works in 1945.  Since production in the year 1945 began with the serial number 4900001.  Production of the Model SC with the Serial No. 4911952 must have been produced rather late in the year, 1945.  Indeed, a good guess might be that the tractor was produced in December of 1945.

The war years from 1941 until 1945 also brought many changes to Case dealerships around the nation.  One such Case dealership was located at 202 North Front Street in Mankato, Minnesota.  Since 1910, this dealership had been owned by the J.I. Case Company itself.  In 1922, a young man by the name of Harry Julius William Cutkosky was working as a clerk at the John Peter Canellos billiards room at the Saulpaugh Hotel at the corner of Main and Front Streets in downtown Mankato.

The classic Saulpaugh Hotel at the corner of Main and Front Streets in downtown Mankato, Minnesota .

As such the Case Company dealership was only two blocks north of the Saulpaugh Hotel along Front Street.  Hearing of an job offering and being an ambitious young man with a mechanical bent to his nature, Harry Cutkosky, walked the two blocks north on Front Street to seek better employment at the Case dealership.  Harry did well at the dealership and by 1936 when the J.I. Case Company decided to franchise the dealership into private hands,it was Harry Cutosky that leaped at the chance to buy the franchise/dealership.

Shortly after Harry Cutosky purchased the franchise/dealership in Mankato, ne made another decision that was to prove extremely advantageous for the dealership.  He decided to hire a manager to help him run the dealership on a day by day basis.  For the position of manager of the dealership he turned to Earnest Allen Jones.

Since at least 1930, Earnest Jones had been employed as a shipping clerk at the J.I. Company Case Company Main Factory Works in Racine, Wisconsin.  As the shipping clerk at the Racine factory, Earnest had become familiar with the J.I. Case Company network of dealerships and was perfectly aware of the pre-war sales success of the Cutkowsky dealership in Mankato, Minnesota.  Thus, when Harry Cutkowsky offered to employ Earnest as the manager of his new proprietorship, Earnest anxiously grabbed the chance to manage the successful dealership.  Earnest and and Vivian Maude (Baldwin) Jones and their family of an twelve year-old daughter, Elizabeth Ellyn;, a son, Allen, who was eleven and twin daughters Charlene and Charmaine who were both four years-old, moved to Mankato, Minnesota in 1936 shortly after Harry Cutkowsky had purchased the J.I. Case dealership in Mankato.

In the years following 1936 until the entry of the United States into the Second World War, the Cutkosky dealership operated under the successful teamwork of Harry Cutosky and his manager Earnest Jones.  Soon the dealership made a great reputation for itself all across southern Minnesota and northern Iowa selling Case tractors and farm equipment.

The cast iron statue of a bald eagle perched on a globe of the world. This statue became the most famous trademark of the J.I. Case Company. This statue was nick-named “Old Abe.”  One of the Old Abe cast iron statues was usually found outside each local Case dealership like the Cutkowsky and Jones dealership in Mankato, Minnesota.

In 1941, the United States was suddenly thrust into involvement n the war, by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  The war, however, imposed a whole new set of problems on the dealership.  Harry Cutkosky and his manager Earnest Jones realized that this was a new world.  To be sure there was a great demand among area farmers for new farm implements and tractors.  However, this large demand could not be satisfied because the entire economy of the United States was being directed toward production for the war effort and there were precious little resources left over for the production of farm machinery and tractors for the civilian market. This meant that farm tractor dealerships around the nation all suffered from having access to far too little product to sell to the farming public.  During the war, the dealership had to struggle just to obtain enough tractors and farm machinery from the Racine Main Works and/or the Rock Island factory Works just to stay in business.  It can not be doubted that the presence of Earnest Jones, with the personal contacts he maintained from his former employment at the Main Works in Racine, Wisconsin aided the Cutosky dealership in obtaining enough tractors and farm machinery and parts to keep their core customers somewhat satified during the war.     .

By 1944, the third year of the war, it was beginning to look as though the war might actually end some time in the near future.  Harry Cutosky and Earnest Jones became encouraged that with the end of the war, peace-time productin would resume and they both felt that the dealership was well-positioned to finally meet their customers full demands for new farm machinery.  To really work efficiently and meet the new economic situation that he expected with the end of the war, Harry Cutosky needed more capital in his dealership.  Accordingly, he offered to sell part of the company to Earnest Jones and make him a full partner.  Thus, in 1945, the dealership or the first time in the Mankato Directory as the “Cutosky and Jones” dealership.

Although, by the end of the Second World War the Case dealership in Mankato was a privately owned partnership called “Cutkowsky and Jones,” the building, located at 202 North Front Street in Mankato, Minnesota, which now housed the “Cutkowsky and Jones” dealership, still bore the name “J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company” across the top of the building.  This picture was actually taken of the building at 202 North Front Street in Mankato, Minnesota in 1910 and reflects fact that prior to becoming the “Cutkowsky and Jones dealership, the Case dealership in Mankato was owned by the a “J. I. Case Company itself.  .

The Second World War ended in the European theater on May 7, 1945, “Victory in Europe Day” or “V-E Day.”  However the war continued in the Pacific theater until “Victory over Japan” or “V-J Day” September 2, 1945.

Finally, government wartime restrictions were rescinded and full industrial production for civilian use returned.  For the J.I. Case Company, this meant full production of the D-series and S-series tractors at the Racine Wisconsin Main Works and full production of the V-series tractors at the Rock Island, Illinois, factory Works.  However, this period of full-production was short-lived.  of d

No. 4911952 arrived at the J.I. Case dealership around New Years Day of 1946, Earnest had become a full partner and the dealership was known as the “Cutkowsky and Jones” dealership.

As consistent readers of this blog will remember, in December of 1945, another partnership had been formed to start a J.I. Case dealership in another small Minnesota town.  This was the parnership of Duane Wetter and Merle Krinke who were forming a dealership in LeRoy, Minnesota.  During December of 1945, Merle Krinke and Duane Wetter were busy buying property in the small town of LeRoy, Minnesota to establish what would become the local Case dealership called the “LeRoy Equipment Company.”  (See the two part series of articles called “The Rise and Decline of the LeRoy Equipment Dealership.” contained at this website.)  The  new dealership of LeRoy Equipment Company was due to open on Tuesday January 29, 1946 and was in drastic need of an inventory of new Case farm tractors and Case farm machinery.  Accordingly, the Model SC tractor bearing the serial number 4911952 could have been sent to this new dealership in LeRoy, Minnesota, to help the new dealership get off the ground.

If 4911852 had been sent to the LeRoy Equipment Company dealership, the tractor might have ended up on the Walter and Clarence Hanson farm three miles east of the village of LeRoy.  As  it was Walter and Clarence Hanson had to wait until sometime after March 10, 1947 for a subsequent Model SC to arrive at the LeRoy Equipment Company to purchase their Model SC tractor.

The Case Main Tractor Works in Racine, Wisconsin was still trying to struggle with the retooling process to convert to production of civilian farm equipment products  The Case Corporation was hardpressed for funds.  Thus, the decision was made to sent No. 4911952 to the veteran dealership with a big reputation for sales (Cutkowski and Jones dealership in Mankato, Minnesota) rather than to a new startup  dealership (the LeRoy Equipment Company in LeRoy, Minnesota) with no reputation at all–yet.  Accordingly, No. 4911952  was sent to the Cutkowski and Jones  partnership dealership” located at 202 No. Main Street in Mankato, Minnesota.

Then the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor in December of 1941.  Like nearly all other manufacturing concerns the Case Company was  greatly curtailed in its production of civilian materials including tractors and farm machinery by the government.  For the duration  of the war all manufacturing was to be directed toward the war effort in Europe and the Pacific.

With the return of peace in September of 1945, production of the tractors had just begun again. J. I. Case Company was still  struggling to retool for full time civilian production.  On December 26, 1945, shortly after No. 4911952 rolled off the assembly line in Racine, Wisconsin, the Case Tractor Works at Racine, Wisconsin was hit by a labor strike by the United Auto Workers.  This labor strike continued for fifteen more months until March 10, 1947.

This 1936 photo shows the J. I. Case Tractor Plant which was located just south of Racine, near today’s intersection of Highways 11 and 32. From December 26, 1945 until March 10, 1947 the UAW (United Auto Workers) union conducted a labor strike against the Tractor Works which resoulted in a total halt of production of tractors for Case tractors until March 10, 1947.

During the whole period of the strike, the Case Tractor Works was totally closed down and did not produce a single farm tractor.  Finally on March 10, 1947 the United Auto Workers and the Case Company signed a new labor collective bargaining agreement and the labor strike ended.  Finally, production of farm tractors was begun again at the Case Tractor Works in Racine Wisconsin.

When No. 4911952 arrived at the Cutkowsky dealership just after New Years Days of 1946, the dealership had already been approached by a potential buyer for the little Model SC tractor.  This potential buyer was a farmer of a 160-acre farm in Belgrade Township in Ncollet County, Minnesota.  This was our Belgrade Township farmer.

A township map of Nicollet County  showing the location of Belgrade Township in the southern most or lowest most point on the map.

Our Belgrade Township farmer’s mother had inherited the 160 acre farm upon the sudden  death of her husband (our Belgrade Township farmer’s  father) in 1939.  Immediately, the total responsibility for the farm fell to our Belgrade Township farmer.  Even before the death of his father, our Belgrade Township farmer had already been actively operating a great deal  of the work on the farm: planting the crops, spending endless hours cultivating the corn crop and finally harvesting the corn and other crops on the farm, i.e. hay and oats.

Although our Belgrade Township farmer had no soybeans on his own farm, he primarily  used the A-6 to combine his oat crop every year.  However, in the post-war era he also used the combine to do a little custom work in the neighborhood–sometimes combining the soybean crops of his neighbors.

The farm was a diversified operation with a Holstein cow dairy operation requiring milking every morning and evening.  They sold the whole milk obtained from their “twice-daily” milking of their Holstein dairy herd to the cooperative dairy located just across the Belgrade township boundary  line to the north in Oshawa  Township.

A Holstein milking herd cows grazing in a pasture on a small diversified farm in the Midwest, much like the home farm of our Belgrade Township farmer.

Our Belgrade Township farmer’s father also had raised pigs for market.  The herd of pigs on the farm had consisted of a number of sows of different breeds and largely “cross breeds.”   There was usually one boar on the farm at any one time which would be purchased for the job of siring the litters of little pigs that would be born each year.  Over the years that  our Belgrade Township farmer had grown up on the farm, prior to the recent war, he remembered a succession  of different boars on the farm–one after another over the years.

Big Bill, owned by Buford Butler, a farmer from Jackson, Tennessee, was renowned as the largest pig that ever lived. When this picture was taken in 1933 Big Bill had obtained the weight of 2,552lbs.  This was an extreme, but this  style of pig was favored by pork meat buyers as a lard pig in the 1930s and early 1940s.  Big Bill came to the attention of the national public because of the “Largest Boar contests” that were popular in the Midwestern United States, especially in conjunction with the various state fairs held in Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois and other states in the 1930s.

Most sows could be counted on to produce litters of baby pigs for only about three (3) or four (4)  years out of their life.  Older sows would begin having less pigs per litter until they began to fail getting pregnant at all.  Accordingly, our Belgrade Township farmer’s father would have to plan ahead and save out some of the best looking gilts of the various litters over the years to replace some of sows that he was phasing out of the herd because of age.

This meant that the young gilts that were to become the new sows on the farm would be the actual daughters of the present boar.  Thus, the reason for changing boars every three years or so was to avoid any problems with reduced disease immune resistance and low growth rates that might result from this “in-breeding,” both our Belgrade Township farmer and his father would simply start searching for a new boar.  Among the succession of boars on the farm one boar that stood out the most in the memory of our Belgrade Township farmer was a particular red -colored boar.  This red boar struck him as a child and stuck in his memory merely because of his red color.  This red color stood out in contrast to all the white, black and spotted “black and white”  sows on the farm.

The “red colored” Duroc breed stands out against all of the plethora of other white, black and spotted breeds.  Although this is young boar, he bears all the characteristics of a proper thin style bacon pig that fits the model style desired by the post-war consuming public.

During the years that the red boar was on the farm our Belgrade Township farmer use to love the way the boar left his finger prints on all the litters of baby pigs born during those years.  All the litters of baby pigs born during those years, usually contained one or two little red pigs.  This made the red pigs standout even more in the mind of our Belgrade Township farmer.

The existence of a few red pigs in the litters born during our Belgrade Township farmers first year in the Belgrade Boosters 4-H Club made a noteworthy effect on our Belgrade Townxship farmer as a young teenager and he chose one of the red pigs as his 4-H project for that first year. This started a life-long fascination with Duroc pigs for our Belgrade Township farmer.

As an early teenager, our Belgrade Township farmer had joined the local 4-H club–the “Belgrade Boosters”–and when he chose a 4-H project to show at the Nicollet County Fair–he chose one of the newborn  gilts out of one of the litters born that particular year.   that had been born that year.  Needless to say, the gilt was one of the little red pigs that had captured his imagination at this early date.  He also learned about the characteristics of the Duroc breed.  He learned that the Duroc pork meat tended to be “redder” in color that the pork meat of other breeds of pig.  Additionally, the Duroc meat was regarded as having ” well marbled” fat.  The importance of this feature of well marbled fat in Duroc meat will be explained below.

Marbling of fat in beef is something that is to be avoided in beef because it defeats the idea of “trimming the fat” to avoid consumption  unsaturated fats.

In the years to come during the post-war era the breeder of pigs tended look for pigs that would be thinner in structure than the hugely fat pigs which were commonly produced during the war.  These huge pigs were intentionally grown  for their fat which could be rendered into lard for baking during the pre-war era.  During the Second World War the lard from pork was used for making munitions for the war effort,  Thus, fat pigs were desired by the pork buyers in the market.  Breeders of pigs responded to this desired feature and raised overly fat hogs for the market.

Prize market hogs being shown off for pictures in the 1930s. These market pigs were considered “just right” for the market in the 1930s. Now they are considered very much over weight. Today the pigs would be docked for being too fat and over weight.

However, in the post-war market the buyers began to respond to the consumers who now wanted less cholesterol, grease and fat  in their food.  Now the pork buyers began to look for thinner market hogs that would have less fat.  Thus, in the post-war years the breeders of pigs had to make a 180 degree turn in their thinking.  Now they tended look for pigs that would be thinner in structure than the hugely fat pigs which were commonly produced during the war.

The 2011 Weight Division Champion in Monterey County, California, This champion pig shows all the desirable features in a thin and long bodied modern market hog.

(Still later in 1987, in the face of a huge decrease in beef [or red meat] consumption in the United States from 69.5 lbs. per person in 1987 to 62 lbs per person in 2003, pork producers spent 7 million dollars to advertise pork as the “other white meat,” seeking a closer association of pork with chicken meat in the mind of the consumer rather than an association with beef–the red meat.  In response to this advertising campaign, pork consumption in the United States rose from 45.6 lbs. per person in 1987, to a peak of 49.3 lbs in 1999 before leveling off and dropping to an average of 48.5 lbs. per person in 2003.   What was the cause if this fall off jn popularity in pork as a replacement for beef?  One answer can’t be the only reason.  However, it may be speculated that as pork became leaner, the meat lost its flavor.  (This would be consistent with all the complaints which have been frequently heard since 1987 that pork chops simply do not taste the same as they used to.)

Not take long after he joined the Belgrade Boosters 4-H  club, for our Belgrade Township farmer to learn that the most popular of all the red-colored pig breeds in the United States was the Duroc breed.  This was the correct name for the breed of pigs that, until now, he had merely been calling “red pigs.”  He learned that these pigs had simply been called “Red Hogs” when the breed was developed and introduced into New Jersey in 1812.  Breeding and development of the pigs in New Jersey led to a breed that was called “Jersey Reds,”  These Jersey Reds pigs were noted for “farrowing” (giving birth to) large litters of baby pigs.  Additionally,  the Jersey Reds were known for their rapid ability to gain weight.

In 1823, Isaac Frink bought one red boar out of a litter of 10 pigs owned by Frank Kelsey.  The parents of the litter of 10 pigs probably came from England.  Frink brought the boar back to his home in Milton in Saratoga County, New York and began a breeding program on his farm.  Frank Kelsey had been known locally as the owner of a champion race named “Duroc.”  Accordingly, Isaac Frink named the red boar that he had purchased from Frank Kelsey after this horse–Duroc .  This is how the whole breed that descended from the  combination of Jersey Reds and the descendants of Isaac Frink’s New York herd came to be the breed of pigs called the Duroc breed.

The American Duroc-Jersey Association was established in 1883 for the registration and improvement of the Duroc Breed.  The first showing of pigs dedicated to the Duroc breed was held at the 1893 World’s Fair held in Chicago, Illinois.  This first show featuring Duroc pigs created a great deal of notoriety at the Chicago World’s Fair.  Due to the rapid growth of the Duroc breed following the 1893 Worlds Fair, many more organizations promoting and advertising the Duroc breed sprang up across the nation.  Eventually, all  these organizations were merged into the United Duroc

Prior to his father’s sudden death, our Belgrade Township farmer had  been anticipating obtaining a farm of his own and starting farming on his own.  Indeed, he had been dating a young girl.  Together they had talked of getting married and getting a house of their own .  However, at the time of the death of his father,  our Belgrade Township farmer and this girl friend had drifted apart.  At the time, he suspected that this distance that grew up between he and this girl was brought about by her recognition that our Belgrade Township farmer would be forced into handling the farm of his father and moving into his mother’s house.  He did not feel that he could do anything else.  So the relationship sort of faded and eventually they each went their own way.

His current wife and he had met and started dating after he had settle into his situation on the farm living in house with his mother and his two bothers.  They had re gotten together h, indeed, had moved into the house of his mother, because neither of his two younger brothers was prepared to .  However, both of his younger brothers were almost ten years younger than our Belgrade Township farmer and were, at time of their father’s death, much too young to operate the whole farm by themselves.  handle the they

Production of the Model SC Case continued until 1954.  Over the full production run of the Model SC tractor, from 1940 until 1954, a total of 58991 individual SC tractors were made.  This made the Case Model SC, the most popular of all Case tractors.  More intermediate two-plow Model S-series tractors were manufactured and sold by the J. I. Case Company than either the larger Model D-series three -plow tractor or the smaller one-plow Model V-series tractors.

The particular Model SC tractor bearing the Serial Number 4911952 was shipped to the Cutkowski and Jones Case equipment dealership in Mankato, Minnesota.  Eventually, No. 4911952 was sold by Cutkowshi and Jones to a particular farmer operating a farm in western Belgrade Township about 3 or 4 miles to the north of North Mankato on County Road #8 in Nicollet County Minneota.  This was the farm of our Belgrade Township farmer.   Sold into bankruptcy and No. 4911952 was sold to an auction house in Mankato kept No. 4911952 inside a storage shed or garage until an auction was held a couple months later.  At the auction, Ken Weilage purchased No. 4911925 and a couple of other tractors and took the tractors to his 5-acre hobby farm located on the east side of the Hwy. #169 between Mankato and St. Peter, Minnesota.

This hobby farm had originally been a working farm but in the 1960s the arable land of the farm was surveyed and separated from the building site of the farm.  The arable land was then sold to a neighboring farmer and the building site was sold to man who worked as a financial services manager named Ken Wielage (Tel: [507] 625-4810), who also had a hobby of collecting and restoring old farm tractors.  At this stage, No. 4911952 went through its first repainting and restoration.  Once the restoration was complete, the tractor was driven by Ken Weilage in a number of parades.  In about 1990 the tractor was sold to group of about ten (10) neighbors, who all lived along Washington Boulevard on the shore of Lake Washington, near the village of Madison Lake, Minnesota.  This group of neighbors was led by John Pfau, the owner of a number of Taco John restaurant franchised in Mankato, St. Peter and New Ulm.  John Pfau was the person who actually found the tractor was for sale by Ken Wielage, the late Ernie Weber, Gordon Strusz (at 4524 Washington Blvd. Madison Lake, Minnesota and Tel. [507] 243-3380); Ray Dumbrowski; and  John D. Jacoby who became the person who was most involved with the operation storage and repair of the tractor for the last 20 years.  At first, Washington Boulevard was a gravel rode.  The neighbors used No. 4911952 to pull an old steel-wheeled grader up and down Washington Boulevard to grade and maintain the road and the tractor was used twice a year to put the neighbors docks in Lake Washington in the spring and pulling the docks out of the waster in the autumn.

In 2013 through 2015 No. 4911952 was displayed on the Mike McCabe farm as a tractor for sale and there was seen by the current author in April of 2015 was and purchased for the Wells Family Farms collection of restored tractors. No. 4911952 is currently undergoing its second restoration.

Farming with a Coop E-3 Tractor in Illinois Part 3: The Owatonna Manufacturing Company

Farming in Illinois with the Coop Model E-3 Tractor

 (Part 3 of 3 Parts): The Kewanee Belt and Conveyor Company

by

Brian Wayne Wells

This article remains under construction.  From time to time new blocks of text will appear or present blocks of text will be corrected.

 

Throughout the history of North American agriculture, farmers have been attempting to solve their own problems.  Farmers have repeatedly joined together in societies and organization.  As noted in a previous article (See the article on this blog entitled “Farming in Illinois with the Model E-3 Tractor Part 1 of 3  Parts: The Farmers Union”) some farmers banded together in organizations like the Grange and the National Farmers Union to 1.) boost the money that farmers received for their crops through  cooperative marketing of their crops and  2.) save money through cooperative purchasing of their farm equipment, fuels and other products used in raising and harvesting those crops on the farm.

Local cooperatives engaged in the cooperative marketing of farm crops were usually centered around cooperatively-owned  creameries and grain elevators located in small towns across the vast agricultural areas of the United States–the  Midwest, the Great Plains, the agricultural South and the Central and Imperial Valleys of California.  As time went by, and the local cooperatives began to expand into the cooperative purchasing of products used by farmers, the local cooperatives began to build or purchase their own lumberyards, gasoline service stations and farm implement dealerships which began to sell cooperatively purchased products to their farmer members at reduced prices.

One member of the National Farmers Union who was currently farming in Sterling Township in Whiteside County, Illinois.  He was a “true believer” in the value of the cooperatives to the small farmer and tried at all instances to purchase all his supplies from local Cooperatives.  Especially, those cooperatives that were connected with the Farmers Union.  Our Sterling Township farmer had moved to this farm in Illinois in 1945 from  his father’s farm located near Baraboo, Wisconsin.  Due to a lack of any local cooperative that sold “COOP” farm machinery and farm tractors, our Sterling Township farmer tended to buy his farm machinery at the Sauk County Farmers Union Cooperative in Baraboo, Wisconsin.

However, there was some farm machinery that was not available through the COOP line of the farm implements marketed by the National Farmers Union.  For these pieces of farm machinery, our Sterling Township farmer was required to turn to other private company suppliers.  As noted previously, he had purchased an 8-foot hydraulically controlled trailing double disc from a local dealer in Sterling, Illinois.  This disc had been manufactured by the Kewanee Manufacturing Company of Kewanee, Illinois.  Kewanee, Illinois was situated in Henry County, Illinois, which was located immediately to the south of Whiteside County.

A county map of the State of Illinois showing the location of Henry County the home county of the Kewaunee Manufacturing Company. The County immediately to the north of the highlighted Henry County is Whiteside County Illinois, the home county of our Sterling Township farmer.

 

Even though our Sterling Township farmer had been impressed by the hydraulically controlled transportable disc produced by the Kewanee Manufacturing Company, he was not so impressed by the portable farm elevator that was also produced by the Kewaunee Company.

The Kewaunee Company had been making portable farm elevators since 1922 when the company purchased a line of portable farm  elevators from the Hart Grain Weigher Company of Peoria, Illinois.  At this time, the portable elevator made by Kewaunee was a composit of wood and steel construction.  In 1926, Kewaunee introduced their “all-steel” elevator.  In anticipation of the production the new farm Kewaunee elevator the Kewaunee Company had moved out of its old facilities to a new concrete block building locate on the corner of Park and Commercial Streets in Kewaunee in 1922.  However, sales of the new portable Kewaunee farm elevator grew so rapidly that the Company was forced to move to still larger facilities in 1927.

In 1922 the Kewaunee Machinery Company inherited a portable farm elevator made of wood and steel when the Company purchased a line of portable elevator line from the Hart Grain Weigher Company.

 

During the first few years on the new farm in Sterling Township, Illinois,  our Sterling Township farmer had been forced to borrow a portable elevator from his neighbors merely to move the oat crop from the wagon to his granary and to move the ear corn from the wagons which were coming into the yard to the corn crib.  to the   to

  In 1888 the Owatonna Manufacturing Company was founded in Owatonna, Mnnesota.  Farmers soon recognized the OMC paint colors of red and lime green on the grain drills, seeders and balers.  In 1928, OMC began making portable farm elevators in 1928 after purchasing the Diedrick Company.  Indeed, for a while OMC continued the production of the Diedrich (even under the Diedrich name)

The first OMC factory in Owatonna, Minnesota, in 1888.

 

Farmers soon recognized the OMC paint colors of red and lime green on the grain drills, seeders. elevators and and balers.

 

The Owatonna Manufacturing Company of Owatonna, Minnesota, specialized in farm equipment specifically seeders and portable farm elevators.

Owattonna

In 1965, OMC  introduced their first “Mustang” skid steer.

 

In 1997 Mustang was separated from OMC and sold to the Gehl Corporation

 

OMC, itself was sold to the Manitou Americas Inc. corporation.    as being

As the mid-1950s went on, the Cockshutt faced dwindling Meanwhile,  the National Farm Machinery Cooperative started losing market share in the farm tractor and machinery market as a result Cockshutt shares return egt.  arm

 

Eventually, our Sterling township farmer traded the COOP Model E-3 tractor, bearing the serial No. 31591, in on the purchase of a newer more powerful Cockshutt tractor.  No. 31591 was sold from one owner to another when the tractor ended up in the hands of an owner than sought to made the Model E-3 into a tractor that could be used in professional antique tractor pulling contests.  Accordingly, the hydraulics which had been installed on No. 31591 by our Sterling Township farmer under the seat on the operator’s platform.  At the same time the tractor was repainted with the red and cream colors to make No. 31591 look like a post-1955 Cockshutt.

When purchased by the current author, the COOP Model E-3 tractor bearing the serial number 31591 had been largely repainted to look like a post-1955 model Cockshutt Model 30.

 

to make the tractor t pullingthe

Egg Raising in Dryden Township in Sibley County Minnesota (Part 2 of Two Parts )

A McCormick-Deering “Little Genius” Plow in Dryden Township (Part II)

 by

Brian Wayne Wells

This article is the second part of a two-part series of articles which was not published in the Belt Pulley magazine.

A McCormick-Deering Little Genius No. 8 two-bottom plow with 14 inch bottoms mounted on steel wheels.

In 1940, as previously noted, a particular farmer and his wife were engaged in diversified farming on a 160 acre farm in Dryden Township in Sibley County, Minnesota.  (See the first article in this series called “A McCormick-Deering ‘Little Genius’ Plow in Dryden Township [Part I]” contained in the January/February 2009 issue of Belt Pulley magazine.)  Also as noted previously, our Dryden Township farmer had used the money received from the unusually large “bumper” corn crop of 1939 to purchase a used 1935 Farmall Model F-20 tractor, a two-row mounted cultivator and a new two-bottom McCormick-Deering “Little Genius” No. 8 plow with 14 inch bottoms from his local International Harvester Company (IHC)  dealership—Thomes Brothers Hardware located  in Arlington, Minnesota (1930 pop. 915).

Since its introduction in 1928, the Little Genius plow had become one of the most popular tractor trailing plows sold in the North America.  The Little Genius plow replaced an earlier McCormick-Deering plow called the “Little Wonder.”  The Little Wonder had proved to be a disappointment to IHC and to farmers that used the plow.  Because of its light construction and because of the lack of clearance under the frame, the Little Wonder had trouble plowing in any kind of soil conditions especially in fields with any trash on the surface of the ground.  The Little Wonder tended to clog up in trashy conditions and never seemed to adequately turn the soil over the way a mold board plow should.  The Little Wonder was such a bad plow that farmers used to say that it was “‘little wonder’ that the plow was able to plow at all.”

Image result for mccormick deering little wonder plow images
The McCormick-Deering “Little Wonder” 2-bottom plow was the predecessor to the Little Genius No. 8 plow.

Continued production of the Little Wonder threatened to permanently ruin the International Harvester Company’s reputation as a plow manufacturer.  Introduction of the “Little Genius” plow turned all of that around, however.  In reaction to the criticism of the Little Wonder plow, the Little Genius plow was designed to be a much heavier plow.  Furthermore, the Little Genius was unmatched in clearance under the frame.  The Little Genius could handle a great deal of trash without clogging.  Additionally, the bottoms of the Little Genius plow were more sharply angled to assure a complete roll over of the soil and to completely bury trash that was lying on the surface of the ground.  Thus, the Little Genius tended to work well in fields with a lot of trash on the surface of the ground. However, the sharp angle of the bottoms of the Little Genius plow meant that the plow had an increased load or draft as the plow was pulled across the field.  Thus, the Little Genius plow needed to be matched to tractors with more horsepower than mold board plows designed with a less angle to their bottoms—such as the Oliver A-series Model 100 Plowmaster.

Our Dryden Township farmer was pleasantly surprised at the low price that Thomes Bros. offered for the purchase of the used 1935 F-20 tractor, the new cultivator and the new Little Genius plow.  So, in the early spring of 1940, he signed the sales agreement with the Thomes Bros. Hardware dealership to purchase the tractor, plow and cultivator.  Our Dryden Township farmer was anxious to get into the fields with the tractor and new plow and so he took immediate delivery of the tractor and plow.  The winter of 1939-1940 was colder than normal with more than the usual amount of snow.  Accordingly, it looked as though, the spring field work would be delayed because of the large amount of snow.

A gray-painted Farmall Model F-20 tractor with red painted steel wheels.

Continue reading Egg Raising in Dryden Township in Sibley County Minnesota (Part 2 of Two Parts )

Egg Raising in Dryden Township, Sibley County Minnesota (Part 1)

Statistics recorded with Counterize - Version 3.1.4

A McCormick-Deering Little Genius Plow at Work in

Dryden Township, Sibley County, Minnesota 

(Part 1 of 2 Parts)

 by

Brian Wayne Wells

(This is a new article that was never published in

Belt Pulley Magazine)

Mark Wells working with the Trebesch plow in the fields on the grounds of the LeSueur Pioneer Power Assoc. in 1994

The more a person works at restoration of an old farm tractor or a farm implement the more one begins to ponder the history of that farm implement.  One wonders, who originally purchased the farm implement.  What kind farming operation was the implement used for?   If curiosity is sufficiently aroused the person restoring the tractor or implement may start making telephone calls back to the person who sold the tractor and may start attempting to establish a chain of ownership of the tractor or implement back to the original owner.  However, the process of establishing the chain of ownership can be extremely difficult as time passes and memories fade.  Furthermore, when purchases of tractors and farm implements are made, as many are, at swap meets and/or auctions and when such purchases are made for cash from individuals unknown, the chain of ownership can be extremely difficult to reconstruct.  (Just how difficult it is to start reconstructing the history of a tractor when time passes is described in the two-part series of articles contained in the July/August 2008 and November/December 2008 issues of Belt Pulley magazine which deal with a 1937 Farmall Model F-20 tractor.)  Thus, it is often important to collect history of a particular tractor or implement at the point of sale or at least collect telephone numbers to call back at a later date.

 

The 1937 F-20 bearing the Serial No. 71355.

 

Such pondering over the history of the history of a particular implement was particularly true during the restoration of one particular McCormick-Deering Little Genius 2-bottom plow with 14″ bottoms.  (The actual restoration of this plow is described in the article carried on page 11 of the September/October 1994 issue of Belt Pulley magazine [Vol. 7, No. 5.  This article is called “The McCormick-Deering  Little Genius Plow” and has also been posted on this website.)  This particular plow was purchased by Mark Wells at the 1993 LeSueur County Pioneer Power Swap Meet.  Luckily, Mark Wells had written down the name and address of the seller of the plow–Larry Hiles of rural Arlington, Minnesota.

Arlington, Minnesota is located in eastern central Sibley County.

 

Contact was established with Larry Hiles in 1995.  Larry Hiles was living in Arlington Township in Sibley County.  The homestead was located just south of the village of Arlington.  This particular Little Genius plow had been discovered by Larry Hiles parked in the grove of trees that formed the wind break for this homestead.  The farm on which the homestead was located had been originally owned by Earl Nagel.  While living on the farm, Earl Nagel was actively engaged in farming the land.  In about 1956, the homestead on the farm was sold to Raymond Kraels, who was a rural mail carrier.  Raymond Kraels was not actively engaged in farming the land.  On July 12, 1974, Delmar and Bonnie Mae (Kopishke) Trebesch rented and moved onto the homestead on the Nagel/Krael farm.  During the years that the Trebesch family lived on the farm, they had a large garden.  The garden was so big that they needed a tractor plow to turn the soil of the garden at the conclusion of each growing season.  Accordingly, sometime after moving onto the farm, Delmar Trebesch purchased a McCormick-Deering Little Genius 2-bottom plow at a local farm auction.  This was the same McCormick-Deering Little Genius plow that was later sold by Larry Hiles to Mark Wells at the 1993 LeSueur County Pioneer Power Swap Meet and became known as the “Trebesch plow.”

Sibley County is located in the rich farm land of southern Minnesota.

 

As described in the article in the September/October 1994 issue of Belt Pulley, cited above, this particular Little Genius plow was fitted with 14 inch bottoms and originally had been a steel wheeled plow fitted with McCormick-Deering’s own “round-spoke” steel wheels.  However, the front wheels on this particular plow had been cut down and rims for rubber tires had been welded onto the round spokes of the front wheels.  As noted in the above-cited article, although the “furrow wheel” on the right side of the plow had been fitted with a rim for a 6.00 x 16 inch rubber tire, the land wheel on the left side of the plow was fitted with a rim for a 4.75 x 19 inch tire.  This seemed a rather odd pairing of tires sizes for the front of the plow.  If a farmer were having the steel wheels of the plow cut down to mount rubber tires on his plow, why would he not make the tires on both sides of the plow the same size?

Before the Second World War very few farm implements were sold from the factory with rubber tires.  Nonetheless, as noted in the 1994 article, the International Harvester Company (IHC) had been offering the Little Genius plow to the farming public with the option of rubber tires as early as the 1930s.  Rubber tires were not a common option on the Little Genius plow in the pre-world War II era.  However, during the “pre-war” era, IHC had a contract with the French and Hecht Company (F.& H.) of Davenport, Iowa, to supply rims for all the rubber-tired equipment sold under the McCormick-Deering name.  Pursuant to this contract, F.& H. supplied their familiar “round spoke” wheel rims to IHC.  When the option of rubber tires were requested on the Little Genius plow, IHC fitted the plow with a 6.00 x 16 inch tire on the furrow wheel and a 4.75 x 19 inch tire on the land wheel.

This followed the design pattern of the original steel-wheeled Little Genius plow, in which the land side wheel was bigger in diameter that the furrow wheel. The reason for this wheel configuration was that the land wheel was the wheel connected to the clutch of the plow.  The clutch on the land wheel was the mechanism that lifted the entire plow out of the ground when the trip rope was pulled at the end of the field.  Consequently, it was thought that a larger diameter wheel was needed to provide the traction and leverage necessary to pull the plow out of the ground in some heavy soil conditions where the surface of the ground was slippery.  This was the situation when plowing succulent green vegetation (green fertilizer) into the soil.  The land wheel rolling along on the vegetation could become slippery from the succulent plant life crushed under the land wheel.  Then when the trip rope in pulled the land wheel might slide along the surface of the ground rather than continuing to turn and lifting the plow out of the ground.  Accordingly, it was decided that the land wheel should be larger in diameter so as to provide more leverage when the clutch was engaged to pull the plow out of the ground.  As a result, the steel-wheeled version of the Little Genius plow was fitted with a 30 inch steel wheel on the land wheel side of the plow and a 24 inch steel wheel on the furrow wheel side of the plow.

The 30 inch steel wheel that was the original standard equipment wheel on the left side (land side) of the plow.

Thus, when the optional rubber tires were installed on the Little Genius plow at the factory in Canton, Illinois, the plow was fitted with a land wheel and tire of a larger diameter than the furrow wheel of the plow.  During the immediate pre-war era, the 6.00 x 16 inch tire was becoming the most commonly used tire on automobiles.  However, the 4.75 x 19 inch tire was also a well-known and popular size tire, it was the size of tire that was used on the very popular Ford Model A car.  Thus, the configuration of a 6.00 x 16 inch tire on the furrow wheel and a 4.75 x 19 inch tire on the land wheel became the standard configuration for Little Genius plows sold with rubber tires before the Second World War.  A 1941 picture of the showroom of the Johnson Bros IHC Dealership of Taylorsville, Illinois bears this out.  In the foreground of the picture is a new rubber-tired version of the Little Genius plow with a 6.00 x 16 inch tire on the furrow wheel and a 4.75 x 19 inch tire on the land wheel side of the plow.

 

Inside the showroom of a typical McCormick-Deering dealership in the immediate pre-war period of 1940 and 1941.

 

During the Second World War hardly any rubber was available for civilian use.  Consequently, IHC reverted to steel wheels on its new farm equipment.  Some time during the Second World War, the contract with F.& H. was terminated and IHC signed another supply contract for rims with the Electric Wheel Company of Quincy, Illinois.  The wheels provided by the Electric Wheel Company were “disc-type” wheels.  Thus, the “post-war” McCormick-Deering Little Genius plow becomes distinguishable from the “pre-war” Little Genius plow fitted with rubber tires, in that disc-type wheels characterized post-war Little Genius plows and F.& H. round-spoke wheel rims characterized pre-war Little Genius plows fitted with rubber tires.   Thus, when cutting down the steel wheels of the Trebesch plow, someone had done a lot of work to make the plow appear as though it came from the factory as a rubber tired plow during the pre-war era.

The left side (land side) wheel on the Delmer Trebesch 2-bottom plow that was fitted with a 19 inch by 4.75 inch Model A Ford car tire.

By 1974, when Delmar Trebesch ended up being the highest bidder on this particular “Little Genius” plow, the increased size of the average farming operation and the larger equipment used on the average farm had definitely made this two-bottom tractor trailing plow into an “antique” from a bygone era.  However, there was a time when this particular Little Genius plow had been a new object of attention for a particular farmer looking to modernize his farming operation.  Continue reading Egg Raising in Dryden Township, Sibley County Minnesota (Part 1)

Allis-Chalmers Farming (Part IV): A 1938 A-C Model WC Tractor No. 63306 at Work

Statistics recorded with Counterize - Version 3.1.4

A 1938 Allis-Chalmers Model WC Tractor Bearing the Serial No. 63306 at Work

by Brian Wayne Wells

As published in the July/August 2007 issue of

Belt Pulley Magazine)

            Ever since it’s introduction in 1933, the row-crop, tricycle design-style Model WC tractor had been a very successful sales item for the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company.  As noted, previously, the sales of the Model WC tractor created a real opportunity for various businesses, like the H.B. Seitzer and Company dealership of St. Peter, Minnesota.  (See the article called the “Allis-Chalmers Two-Row Corn Picker at Work” for the story of the H.B. Seitzer and company dealership, contained in the May/June 2007 issue of Belt Pulley magazine.)   An even more dramatic example of the Model WC tractor creating business opportunities for local franchise owners, is the story of Albert E. Anderson.  It is a story of an immigrant to the United States from Sweden.

Prior to 1880, Sweden had been the leading exporter of oats to the England.  Oats were important, primarily, as feed for horses.  Secondarily, were oats were rolled as oat meal for human consumption.  As England industrialized, the country needed more oats to feed the growing non-agricultural, urban sector of the population and to feed the increasing number of horses employed off the farm.  For decades, Sweden had filled England’s growing demand for oats.  Growing oats for this market had kept money flowing into the provinces of southeastern Sweden best-known for agricultural products.  Indeed, oats were in such demand that even the marginal lands of the southwestern provinces of Sweden—like the province of Smalund—were  plowed and planted to oats.

The province of Smalund is located in the southeastern part of Sweden. In the nineteenth century Smalund became impoverished and a great number of residents of Smalund emigrated out of Sweden and settled in great numbers in Minnesota in the 1880s.

 

However, by 1880 England had begun importing cheaper oats from the United States.  The opening of the upper midwest of the United States after the War Between the States greatly expanded the capacity of the United States to become an inexpensive supplier of oats.  The price of oats from the United States severely undercut the cost of production of oats in Sweden.  Thus, by 1880, Sweden had lost a huge part of its foreign export market in oats to the United States.  This created a long term economic recession in rural Sweden.  Predictably, the young people of rural Sweden began to look for new economic opportunities outside of Sweden.  Emmigration from Sweden, during this time, came largely from southern Sweden and, largely, from those southwestern provinces with more marginal agricultural land.  Large numbers of the immigrants from Smalund in Sweden in the 1880s, settled in the State of Minnesota in the United States.  Certain parts of southern Minnesota  bear a strong resemblance to Smalund in Sweden in terms of climate and soil conditions.

The young Albert E. Anderson.

 

One of those young persons was Albert E. Anderson.  Albert had been born in Sweden on November 15, 1884.  One of the most consistent and pervasive facts of his early life in Sweden had been the steady flow of friends, neighbors and relatives out of Sweden.  Most of these young people left their native land to seek their fortune in the United States of America.  If the letters and messages from relatives already living in the United States could be believed, life was bliss in the New World.

A blacksmith shop located in Smalund Sweden which has been restored back to the 1880s.

 

Albert had training as a blacksmith.  However, the income that he could derive from this vocation in Sweden was so insignificant that he finally decided to leave Sweden for good.  Accordingly, Albert sailed to Copenhagen, Denmark to catch the S.S. Oscar II sailing from Copenhagen to the United States.  The S.S. Oscar II arrived in New York on April 8, 1909.  Sailing past the Statue of Liberty the ship landed at Ellis Island in New York harbor.  From the time that he descended the gang plank of the S.S. Oscar and stepped onto the dock on Ellis Island, Al Anderson found everything was strange and new.

Loaded with emigrants from all over Scandinavia, the S. S. Oscar II leaves one of its regularly stops in Christiana (Oslo), Norway on its way from Copenhagen, Denmark to New York.

 

As he made his way up the large stone staircase in the central hallway of the Ellis Island facility, Albert was considerably anxious about the medical examinations and other processes he would have to undergo on the island.  If he did not pass the physical examination on Ellis Island, he could be sent back to Sweden.  Little did he know that by the time that he reached the top of the staircase, his medical examination was largely completed.  The meager medical staff on the Island was swamped with the large number of immigrants that landed each day.  Consequently, the “medical examinations” of the incoming immigrants were considerably abbreviated and consisted, largely, of the medical staff on Island merely observing the immigrants as they made their way up the long flight of stairs in large central hallway of the main building.

Immigrants on the staircase in the Grand Hall of Ellis Island were unaware that they were being carefully watched as they climbed the stairs. The speed and ease with which they climbed the stairs became the main “medical examination” for most immigrants that passed through Ellis Island.

 

Any individual immigrant that appeared to have trouble climbing the flight of stairs would be pulled aside for further medical tests.  Clearly, Albert Anderson passed his “medical examination” and was leaving Ellis Island much sooner than he expected.  As previously arranged, he started out of New York and headed straight westward toward Verona Township in Faribault County in Minnesota where he expected to meet some of his family members and old neighbors from his old community in Sweden.  Albert hoped to put his experience as a blacksmith to work in the small growing settlement of Huntley, Minnesota located in Verona Township.  Shortly after arriving in Huntley, Albert established a hardware business in a building in the small un-incorporated settlement that was Huntley.

The granary in Huntley, Minnesota is one of the few active buildings existing in the small unincorporated town of Huntley.

 

Within the first few years in Huntley, Albert Anderson met a young lady, named Phoebe G. Skabrud.  They fell in love and were married in 1914.  In August of 1915, Phoebe gave birth to a son, Paul C. Anderson.  Their family was completed by the birth of a daughter, Florence Phoebe, born on November 10, 1917; and finally a son, Albert Elden, born in 1921.

The Albert Anderson family during the Second World War. (left to right) daughter Florence on left, son Paul C., Albert’s wife Phoebe, Albert himself looking down at the dog and then their youngest son Albert Eldon on the right side of the picture. .

 

When the 1920 United States Census taker showed up in Huntley, Minnesota, on January 22, 1920, he listed Al Anderson’s primary language as “Swedish.”  However, in Huntley, Al Anderson was not alone.  The Census report listed a number of heads of household within the settlement of Huntley that also spoke Swedish.  Additionally, the Census report indicated that, in 1920, Al Anderson was already occupied as a “merchant” in the “farm machinery” business.  One would have to surmise that Al Anderson knew enough English to not only make himself understood in English, but could actually make a successful sales pitch to English-speaking customers.  By the time of the 1930 United States Census, Albert Anderson’s occupation was listed as a “proprietor” of a business described as a “hardware/farm implement” business.

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The Allis-Chalmers “Tractor Works” in West Allis, Wisconsin. The rapid increase in the popularity of the row crop style Model WC tractor, put pressure on the Tractor Works for increased production and also on the sales network for expansion of the local dealerships.

 

As shown previously, the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company, in the mid-to-late 1930s, engaged in a campaign to build up and extend its nationwide sales network.  (See the history of the Distel Oil Company dealership described in the article called “The Rinehardt/Christian/Boehne Allis-Chalmers Model E Threshermans Special Tractor” in March/April 2007 issue of Belt Pulley magazine and the history of the H.B. Seitzer and Company dealership described in the article called “The Allis-Chalmers Two-Row Corn Picker at Work” contained in the May/June 2007 issue of Belt Pulley magazine.)  This campaign was carried on by Allis-Chalmers sales representatives scouring the countryside of the Midwest looking for local businesses that would be willing to become Allis-Chalmers franchise dealers.  When the sales representatives arrived in Faribault County sometime in the mid-1930s, they must have found the Al Anderson hardware store, which already had a long history of serving as a local farm machinery sales outlet, an attractive prospect.  For his part, Al Anderson knew that by becoming an authorized Allis Chalmers dealer, he would be able to sell farm tractors along with all the other farm machinery he already was offering to the farming public of his community.  Al Anderson realized that, by accepting the offer of an Allis Chalmers dealership, he would suddenly become “full line” farm equipment dealership.  Furthermore, Al knew that the Model WC row-crop tractor was a very popular sales item.  As noted in a previous article, sales of the Model WC tractor had been explosive since the tractor had been introduced in 1933.  (See the article called “An Allis-Chalmers Two-Row Mounted Corn Picker at Work” contained in the May/June 2007 issue of Belt Pulley magazine.)  Nation-wide, sales of the Model WC had reached 17,914 tractors in 1936.

Last year in 1937, nation-wide sales nearly doubled and rose to 29,006 despite the recession of 1937.  This was a record year for the production of the Model WC by the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company. This was an average of 2,417 model WC tractors per month throughout 1937.  So far in 1938, sales of the Model WC were starting to pick up again as the effects of the 1937 recession started to wear off. However, production of the Model WC tractor was suspended while the Allis-Chalmers Tractor Works in West Allis, Wisconsin was being re-tooled for introduction of the 1938  Model WC tractor.

Because of the spectacular sales of the Model WC tractor, Al Anderson agreed to become the local Allis-Chalmers franchise dealership for Huntley, Minnesota.  He would sell the Allis-Chalmers line of farm equipment out of his hardware store in Huntley, Minnesota.  The sales area covered by his new franchise would include, not only Verona Township where Huntley was located, but included the much larger area of western Faribault County and eastern Martin Counties in southern Minnesota.

The bottom two counties on this map are Faribault and Martin Counties locat3d on the Minnesota and Iowa border. These counties encompassed the marketing territory encompassed by the Allis-Chalmers franchise sold to Albert Anderson of Huntley, Minnesota.

 

Continue reading Allis-Chalmers Farming (Part IV): A 1938 A-C Model WC Tractor No. 63306 at Work

Massey-Harris Farming (Part III): The Clipper Combine

      Massey-Harris Farming (Part III): The Clipper Combine

by

Brian Wayne Wells

As published in the July/August 2004 issue of

Belt Pulley Magazine

 

Civilized man has grown plants for consumption since 8000 B.C.E. (Before the Common Era).  This change from the hunting and gathering stage of human development to the growing of food products is referred to as the agricultural revolution.  One of the first crops planted by civilized man was a form of wheat grain.  Processing of wheat into flour was so common among civilizations around the world that bread became known as the “staple of life” and wheat became known as the “shaft of life.”  The processing of wheat involved a lot of manual labor.  Since the earliest of times, the grain was harvested after it had turned golden amber color under the hot summer sun.  However, even at this stage the grain contained moisture.  Harvesting or reaping would sever the plant from its roots and allow the grain to “sweat” and dry completely.  This sweating generally occurred after the grain had been gathered together in bundles and placed in “shocks” in the field.  Once the grain had thoroughly dried out, the bundles would be gathered up and threshed by hand.  Then the grain had to be winnowed or separated from all the chaff that may be left in the grain following threshing.  Thus, harvesting and threshing and winnowing of the grain remained three separate time-consuming hand operations for the processing grain.  This method of processing grain remained unchanged for centuries. In 1831, on his family farm in Virginia, Cyrus McCormick took his first big step toward mechanical grain harvesting with his reaper.  Improvements to the reaper, eventually, allowed the machine to automatically bind the grain into bundles.  Mechanization of the threshing process was also accomplished by the development of a threshing machine in the 1860s.  However, this threshing machine was a stationary unit and the bundled grain had to be brought from the field to the thresher for threshing and winnowing of the grain.  Originally steam engines were used as power sources for these stationary threshers.  By 1877, the Buffalo-Pitts Company was able to advertise a thresher/separator, that would not only thresh, but would also winnow the grain.

An early version of the Buffalo Pitts thresher/separator at work.

Further development of a small portable thresher-separator that would combine the operations of harvesting, threshing and winnowing in one single operation was carried on in the Central Valley of California by three different corporate concerns—the Stockton Combine Harvester and Agricultural Works; the Daniel Best Agricultural Works and the Stockton Wheel Company.  (After 1892, Stockton Wheel became the Holt Manufacturing Company.)  In 1925, these three companies would merge to form the Caterpillar Tractor Company.  The early combines produced by each of these three companies were of mammoth proportions and required 24 to 40 horses to pull the machine across the field.

A huge Holt Company harvester/thresher combine works in a field of standing grain.

A separate gasoline engine was uned just to power the machine itself. California’s steady weather allowed the grain to be harvested while it was still standing in the field rather than being cut and dried out in a windrow.  Likewise, all across the western United States and the westerdn provinces of Canada, grain was harvested while standing.  In these western states grain was raised in fields stretching from horizon to horizon.  Thus, the Great Plains became known as the bread basket of North America.  Only in large-scale grain farming areas like the Great Plains were the huge combines profitable. In the Midwest, farms were much smaller—generally only about 160 acres.  Furthermore, the arable land of the average farm was often shared with other crops and with pasture for animals.  Usually only about 30 to 35 acres of grain would be raised on a typical 160-acre farm in any given year.  A big combine was not profitable in this type of farming operation.  Farms in the Midwest had to await development of a small combine. Development of the small combine for use on the small farms of the Midwest took a circuitous route and some early attempts were not entirely successful.  One early attempt to develop a small combine began with Curtis Baldwin and his brothers, Earnest and George, who formed the Baldwin Manufacturing Company (later to become the Gleaner Manufacturing Company) of Nickerson Kansas in 1915.  The efforts of the Baldwin brothers resulted in a Fordson-mounted combine in 1923.  This combine was named the “Gleaner” combine.

The 1923 Baldwin Company combine called the “Gleaner” combine mounted on a Fordson tractor.

The popularity of the Gleaner combine was tied directly to the popularity of the Fordson tractor.  In the early 1920s, the popularity of the Fordson made the Gleaner mounted combine a popular sales item, but later in the late 1920s,  when the Fordson declined in popularity, so too did the popularity of the Gleaner.  The Gleaner mounted combine ceased production altogether in 1927. In the 1930s, the Baldwin Company went into bankruptcy.  New owners bought the company from the Baldwin brothers and changed the name of the company to the Gleaner Manufacturing Company of Independence, Missouri. The new Gleaner Company began designing and producing a series of pull-type combines.  Revealing the company’s long-time ties to the Ford Motor Company, early versions of these pull-type combines were powered by Ford Model A industrial engines.  However, these attempts at producing a pull-type combine were not successful over the long run.  Gleaner pull-type combines proved to have design flaws and never became popular with the buying public. Only after 1951, did the Gleaner Company became successful for the combines they produced.  However, this success was not based on development of a pull-type, or even mounted, combine.  Rather Gleaner became famous for the development and production of its line of completely self-propelled combines.

The most successful small pull-type combine was the 3,000 pound All-Crop- Harvester developed and manufactured by the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company of West Allis, Wisconsin (a more complete story of the All-Crop Harvester was published in the March/April 2005 issue of Belt Pulley magazine and is also exhibited here on this website).

The Allis Chalmers All Crop Harvester Model 60.

The All-Crop Harvester was first introduced to the public in 1929.  Following in the train of the success of the All-Crop Harvester, other farm equipment companies began producing their own version of a small pull-type combine.  However, the All-Crop Harvester had a 90 degree turn in the progress of the straw through the combine.

This view of the All Crop Harvester shows how the straw and chaff follows a 90 degree turn in the combine and is deposited out the side of the combine.

Most other companies adopted a “straight through” design for their small combines.  The straight-through designed cut the grain (or picked up the grain from a windrow) threshed and separated the grain from the straw and then deposited the straw on top of the same stubble at the rear of the combine in roughly the same location where grain had been cut or picked up.  In this way, the straight-through combines avoided the sharp left turn the chaff and straw would take as it progressed through the All-Crop Harvester. One of the farm equipment companies to develop a straight through combine was the Massey-Harris Company of  Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Starting with a design by E. C. Everett, Massey-Harris introduced their small straight-through combine in 1938.  Everett’s combine was called the “Clipper” combine.

A pull-type Massey-Harris Clipper combine with power supplied by a PTO shaft.

Although the Massey-Harris Company was a Canadian company and maintained most of its manufacturing facilities in Canada, virtually all Clipper combines were made in the United States at the company’s Batavia, New York facility.  The 3,000 pound Clipper pull-type combine was marketed with either a 6-foot or a 7-foot cutter bar model.  Both models featured a 5-foot cylinder and a 5 foot wide separating table.  In its first two years of production (1938-1939), the simplicity, small size and low price of the Clipper made the combine a sales success.  In those first two years the Clipper cut well into the market share dominated by the Allis-Chalmers All-Crop Harvester. Right from the start of production, the Clipper combine was available only on rubber tires.  Like many farm equipment companies before World War II, Massey-Harris contracted with the French & Hecht Company of Bettendorf, Iowa, to supply round-spoked wheel rims for these rubber tires on the Clipper.

A cloeup picture  of a typical French and Hecht “round spoke” rim fitted with a rubber tire.  These wheel rims were widely used on farm machinery during the period of time prior to the Second World War.

After the war, Massey-Harris switched to disc-type wheel rims for their rubber tired wheels for the Clipper combine.  Like most companies in the post-war era, Massey Harris obtained these disc-type wheels from the Electric Wheel Company of  Quincy, Illinois.  Because of this abrupt change of contract, “pre-war” Clipper combines are distinguishable from the Clipper combines manufactured in the post-war era.

Concurrent with the start of Clipper combine production, Tom Carroll, an engineer for Massey-Harris began to work on a self-propelled combine.  By 1942, Carroll had completed a design for a self-propelled combine that would become the Massey-Harris Model 21 combine.  This was the world’s first truly self-propelled combine.  The Model 21 combine was ready for production, but wartime restrictions prevented its manufacture.  Massey-Harris set about convincing the United States War Production Board that the Batavia, New York factory should be allotted sufficient steel and other raw materials to produce a limited number of Model 21 combines.

Massey-Harris sought to build sufficient Model 21 combines to conduct extensive field tests on the combine.  These field tests would, the Company felt, convince one and all that one-man-operated self-propelled combine could harvest much more grain with less investment and in money and manpower “than any other machine or combination of machines in existence.” The War Production Board was persuaded and Massey-Harris was allotted enough materials to produce 500 Model 21 combines.  These combines were sold to custom harvesters in March of 1944.  The new combines would begin harvesting in Texas and move north across the Great Plains to the Canadian border, combining nearly 1 million acres and threshing 15 million bushels of grain in the 1944 harvest season.  This became known as the Massey-Harris Harvest Brigade and served as an excellent advertising promotion for the company.  The Harvest Brigade was so successful that it was expanded for the 1945 harvest season. The Harvest Brigade attracted public attention at the time and has attracted the fancy of fans and restorers of Massey-Harris equipment ever since.  Thus, as the 60th anniversary of the Brigade approached more and more restorers expressed interest in participating in a reenactment of the original Harvest Brigade.  Thus, on September 22, 2001, a large number of Massey-Harris tractors and equipment were brought to a 130-acre plot of land in rural Chillicothe, Illinois, to plow, prepare the seed bed, and plant winter wheat on the plot of land.  This event, organized by Dale Lawrence, was dubbed the “Great Planting.”  The wheat formed a good root system over the fall of 2001 and then went into a dormant stage over the winter.  With the arrival of spring, the wheat started growing again and by early summer in 2002, the wheat was ready to harvest.  Harvest Day was planned and was called the “Great Harvest.”  A collection of Massey-Harris combines owned by Wes Armstrong, Gary Emsweller, Vernon Winterroth and Ray Swanson gathered together to harvest the wheat at the Great Harvest Day.  (See “A Massey Connection” by Cindy Ladage in the July/August 2003 issue of Belt Pulley magazine.) At the annual show held on the grounds of the LeSueur County Pioneer Power Association in rural LeCenter, Minnesota on August 26 through 29, 2003.  This annual show was to feature the same Harvest Brigade combines as had participated in the Great Harvest Day the year before in Illinois.  In anticipation of this field demonstration, some of the grain that is usually planted on the grounds and which is usually cut and bundled for threshing during the annual show, was left standing uncut.  This grain was left standing in order to be harvested by the Massey-Harris combines at the show in another re-enactment of the Harvest Brigade. Throughout the summer of 2004 a continuation of the celebration of the Harvest Brigade took place in many locations across the Great Plains.  One particular celebration began in March of 2004 when Lenwood Holo of Omaha, Nebraska and Eau Claire, Wisconsin loaded up his newly restored Model 21 self-propelled Massey-Harris combine on his 1949 Dodge 2-ton truck truck and set out for Texas to retrace the route of the Harvest Brigade—following the harvest north from Texas to Langdon, North Dakota. While the self-propelled Massey-Harris combine and the Harvest Brigade captured all the attention during the war.  After the war, when the wartime economic restrictions on civilian industrial production were lifted, Massey-Harris’ pull-type Clipper combine came back into prominence.  Indeed the Clipper combine became a very big seller for the Massey-Harris Company.  Clipper combine production resumed after the war.  The post-war Clipper combine was offered to the farming public in a power take-off version as well as an engine-powered version.  The engine used for the auxiliary-powered version, was the Wisconsin Model VE-4 air-cooled engine.  (An article on the history of the Wisconsin Motor Company was published in the September/October 2004 issue of Belt Pulley magazine and is reproduced at this website.)  Despite the fact that power take-off was a common feature of post-war tractors and despite the fact that the 1-3/8th inch containing six (6) splines had become universally accepted as the standard power take-off, there still, nonetheless, seemed to be more auxiliary engine-powered versions of the Clipper combine manufactured than power take-off versions. Of particular interest for this particular article are two post-war Clipper combines, both equipped with the Wisconsin VE-4 air-cooled engine, which were delivered to two separate Massey Harris dealerships in southern Minnesota.  The first of these two Clipper combines arrived in Amboy, Minnesota (1940 pop. 576) some time in the early summer of 1948.  The combine arrived on board a flat-bed car attached to a Chicago and Northwestern train.  The flat-bed railroad car carrying the Clipper combine and some other Massey-Harris equipment originated from the Massey-Harris Company branch house located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  In Amboy, the Clipper combine was unloaded from the railroad car and was taken to the W. J. Nelson Dealership in Amboy.  (A history of the W. J. Nelson dealership was carried in the second article of this three part series of articles on “Massey-Harris Farming” published in the May/June 2004 issue of Belt Pulley magazine.  The article is also reproduced on this website under the name “Massey-Harris Farming: The Arno Schull Model 30 Tractor.”) Continue reading Massey-Harris Farming (Part III): The Clipper Combine