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The John Deere Model 300 (Series 2) Portable Farm Elevator
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.
Deere and Company of East Moline, Illinois, had been making portable elevators for use on the average family farm since . One of the early versions of the John Deere portable farm elevators was the Model 5-C elevator.
The Model 5-C was often accompanied with the wagon lift which was designed to make unloading of the wagon of grain or ear corn much easier.
The elevator was positioned along side corn crib or the granary where the corn or grain was intended to be stored on the average family farm. Once in operation the elevator and wagon lift would greatly speed the operation of unloading of wagons and the storing the wagon loads of corn or grain during the busy harvest season.
The Model 5-C elevator was made largely from galvanized sheet metal. Galvanized metal resisted rust far better than exposed unpainted sheet metal–lasting decades longer that exposed sheet metal. Originally, the elevator was powered by its own stationary hit and miss engine. Later, after the advent of tractors as a common power source on family farms, the John Deere elevator was fitted with power take-off shaft which allowed modern tractors to power the Model 5-C elevator.
However, during the Second World War, wartime restrictions imposed on the manufacturing industry directed that all galvanizing would, for the duration of the war, be used only for the military effort and galvanizing for civilian use would be prohibited. Accordingly, John Deere elevators began to be made out of regular sheet metal which was painted “John Deere green” for protection from rust. Following the war, a new John Deere elevator was introduced in 1946. This was the new improved “Model 300” portable farm elevator. The Model 300 rode on just two wheels rather than four wheels. The wheels were located new the center of balance on the elevator. Thus, even with the hopper attached to the bottom end of the elevator, the a single person might be able to pick up the bottom end of the Model 300 and attach the elevator to the drawbar of a tractor.
Indeed if the ground was firm and level as in the picture from the 1946 piece of sales literature shown above, a crew of two or three people might be able to “fine tune” the position of the elevator by muscle power, to get the spout of the elevator directly over the hole in the roof of the corn crib or granary. Additionally, the elevator could be raised or lowered by winch operated by a hand crank This made the 300 easier to position next to the corn crib or granary. This made the elevator easier to transport.
However, with the temporary removal of a spacer bar between the two uprights the the elevator can be lowered to almost ground level as in the picture below.
Belt Pulley Magazine Articles by Brian Wayne Wells