Stories by Sam Moore

About Sam

Sam Moore grew up on a family farm in Western Pennsylvania during the late 1930s and the 1940s. Although he left the farm in 1953, it never left him. He now lives near Salem, where he tinkers with a few old tractors, collects old farm literature, and writes about old machinery, farming practices and personal experiences for Farm and Dairy, as well as Farm Collector and Rural Heritage magazines. He has published one book about farm machinery, titled Implements for Farming with Horses and Mules.

Korean War anniversary triggers memories

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ten years ago Farm and Dairy published a couple of my columns about my experiences in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. I’d like to rerun them (slightly revised) in honor of the veterans of that struggle, as well as the veterans of all our wars and especially, the men and women serving in […]

Garfield, Ohio home to MacDonald

Friday, July 16, 2010

How many readers have heard of the MacDonald car that was built in nearby Garfield, Ohio? For that matter, how many have heard of Garfield (not Garfield Heights), Ohio? Garfield is a tiny community of about twenty homes and a busy feed mill along Ohio State Route 534, right along the Norfolk Southern railroad a […]

Invention of cars link cities

Friday, July 16, 2010

During the 1800s and early 1900s, many American farmers were extremely conservative and disliked innovation and the unconventional. This was especially true when the first automobiles appeared on country roads about 1900. The first cars were bought by more or less affluent individuals who mainly lived in towns and cities and who headed for the […]

Nothing stays the same

Friday, July 16, 2010

Erma Dickey Wonstetler was appointed assistant Postmaster of the tiny U.S. Post Office in Signal, Ohio, in 1906, at the same time as her father, Jefferson John Dickey was appointed Postmaster. She served as his assistant until he retired in 1940, and then succeeded him. Typical day. The Post Office served about 200 customers and […]

Horse drawn plows: Just a matter of preference

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Someone recently asked me why some horse drawn plows throw the furrow to the left, while others (most in fact) throw them to the right. The answer is that it’s strictly a matter of preference, custom, and prejudice. The right-hand plow is well-rooted in history. Illustrations of seventeenth century English plows show that they all […]

A wooden grain drill with a link to Signal, Ohio

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wilbur George, a friend from near Carrollton, told me he had an old, wooden grain drill that he had bought some years ago at the Rogers sale and used every year to plant a couple of acres of oats for his horses. Local dealer? The stenciling on the hoe-type drill reads, “Missouri Force Feed Grain […]

R & P Republic tractors highlight early ag manufacturing

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

As everybody knows, there were many, many manufacturers who tried their hand at building tractors back when the world was young. Most of these didn’t last long; their early demise was caused by competition, poor design, lack of reliability, high cost, lack of working capital or bad economic times. Republic Many of the early automobile […]

Farm news: Some things haven’t changed in the last 70 years

Thursday, March 18, 2010

As some of you may have gathered, I have an extensive collection of old farm magazines from the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s. I like to read through these from time to time, and sometimes I pass along some of what I find interesting. In the March 1940 issue of the Farm Journal and Farmer’s Wife […]

Getting his bearings: Timken’s quest to Canton

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How many times have I driven Route 30 through Canton, Ohio, and passed the big Timken factory with its many tin stacks topped by conical caps? Of course, I’m familiar with Timken High School and Timken Mercy Hospital (now Mercy Medical Center) in that city. I know that for many years, the city of Canton […]

Meat and potatoes: A look back at life through food

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Probably 20 years ago, I was prevailed upon by my late cousin Peg Townsend to write down recollections from my childhood. At first I was reluctant, but I finally did it. The following ramblings are excerpted from those memories through what we ate on our farm during the 1940s. Sweet as sugar. Before the war, […]

These rusty iron buyers helped boost economy

Thursday, February 4, 2010

This past fall, Oct. 23-24, to be exact, Aumann Auctions were in charge of dispersing the large collection of antique tractors and paper ephemera belonging to Gary Parker of Churubusco, Ind. It was a large sale and, although I wasn’t there, it’s interesting to review the prices realized for some of this “Rusty Iron.” What […]

Where exactly did the word ‘tractor’ come from?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

In his comprehensive book about building Hart-Parr and Oliver tractors at Charles City, Iowa, John D. Culbertson wrote the following under the heading “1906″: “One day while writing advertising copy, the sales manager W. H. Williams was struggling with the cumbersome “gasoline traction engine” words when a new word ‘tractor’ flashed into his mind — […]

What farmers, families were reading 60 years ago

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I was just looking through the January 1950 issue of Farm Journal magazine (cover price: 20 cents), and here’s what farmers and their wives and kids were reading 60 years ago. “Farm labor costs are coming down and efficiency is going up. Smart farm hands will hang onto good jobs. Hogs will make money for […]

Facing hard times in December 1932

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My parents, Blanche Ganoe and Sam Moore, were married in October 1931, and while I don’t know how they spent that first Christmas, I’m pretty sure that by the time Christmas of 1932 rolled around, they were living in the farmhouse (owned by my grandfather) where I grew up. The Townsends (Dad’s sister, her husband […]

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