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Let’s Talk Rusty Iron Results

Livestock and machinery filled 1840s fairgrounds

Thursday, February 14, 2013

How about that Dodge Ram ad at the Super Bowl? It’s not often that the advantages and benefits of farming are placed before such a huge national audience, most of who probably think their food is manufactured by bib overall-clad dwarves in the back room of the supermarket. Did my heart good! The game was […]

His first locomotive hauled coal. Rest is history

Thursday, January 31, 2013

In 1814, George Stephenson built his first locomotive for hauling coal from the mine where he worked.

Texas shivaree brings many twists and turns

Thursday, January 17, 2013

(Thankfully) my wife and I never had the pleasure of a shivaree as newlyweds

The story of the John Deere organization

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

I have a copy of General Catalog No. 200, issued in 1940 by the John Deere Plow Co. of Columbus, Ohio. The book’s index lists all the products offered by Deere at the time, starting with the Advance Endgate Seeder and ending with the Windrow Pick-Up Press. After the index is a photograph of a […]

Forward-thinking Reeves develops the Octoauto

Friday, December 28, 2012

Milton O. Reeves, of the Reeves family who once made steam traction engines and threshers, was associated with the Reeves Pulley Company in Columbus, Ind., at the end of the 19th century. There, he invented a variable speed drive that used two pulleys with sliding split sheaves, just like the ones used for the variable […]

Encore presentation shares fond farm memories

Thursday, December 20, 2012

(Author’s note: This is an “encore” presentation of this column, which was first published in 2002.) Christmas on the western Pennsylvania farm where I grew up was a big time for my sister B.G. and me. We’d pore over the Sears Christmas catalog as soon as it arrived and show Mom everything we wanted. She’d […]

Top five significant developments in ag machinery

Thursday, December 6, 2012

As promised last time, here are my five final choices for the top 10 most significant new developments in agricultural machinery during the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. I cut it off at 1950 because there have been many, many revolutionary improvements since then in farm machines and practices. In addition to […]

Top 10 farm machinery innovations: My first five

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ever speculate about what were the most significant new developments in agricultural machinery during the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries? I was asked this some years ago and this is the list I came up with. I don’t believe any of them, with the possible exception of the cotton gin, can be […]

Looking back through pages of farm magazine

Thursday, November 8, 2012

At the end of October 70 years ago, farmers and farmers’ wives were reading the Farm Journal. It was a dark period in the Second World War; we’d lost more than 40,000 troops and the Philippine Islands, the German army was battering the gates of Stalingrad, England was rebuilding its armed forces after Dunkirk and […]

The stories behind the automobiles of yesteryear

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

One of the more interesting characters during the early days of automobiles was Floyd Clymer. In these days of “helicopter moms,” his exploits while still quite young were nothing short of astonishing. Love of cars. Floyd, the son of a country physician, was born in 1895 in Berthoud, Colo. His father, an early supporter of […]

Richard Best and the very best vehicle collection

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Two or three weeks ago I attended the Best truck show for the first time. Although the annual event could certainly qualify as the best truck show, the real reason for the name is the host’s name — Richard L. Best. I say “was” because, sadly, Richard L. Best passed away Sept. 10, just two […]

I don’t care if they aren’t cool, I love white walls

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It was a hot night a few weeks ago and, after a supper of corn on the cob and sweet Nancy’s delicious Swiss steak, I was sitting on the front porch enjoying a slightly chilled glass of Pinot Noir and watching the traffic on Route 45. Do you know — I saw absolutely zero cars […]

Trading stamps were more than currency for some

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Anyone remember Green Stamps? Or Plaid stamps, Top Value stamps, or several other less popular ones? Trade stamps, in various denominations and amounts depending upon the amount of money spent on merchandise, were given to customers by certain merchants. Incentive Although the merchants had to pay the trading company for the stamps, they felt the […]

A lesson in belts and their importance to machines

Thursday, July 19, 2012

People sometimes ask about flat belts. A belt can be defined as being a continuous strip of some flexible material placed around two pulleys under a certain amount of tension to transmit power from one pulley to the other. This definition also describes chain, rope and V-belts, but we’ll stick to flat belts as used […]

Who invented the motorcycle? Well, let’s see…

Thursday, July 5, 2012

After supper on a recent hot Saturday night, I was sitting on my front porch nursing a cold glass of Pinot Grigio and watching the world go by on busy State Route 45 (See how exciting my life is?). Motorcycles It struck me that there were an awful lot of motorcycles going by in both […]

Remembering family’s connection to War of 1812

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Two of my ancestors on my mother’s side of the family took part in the forgotten war, the War of 1812, in its campaign in Ohio.

Encore column celebrates Rusty Iron’s 20th year

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I was at the Portersville Steam Show grounds a week or two ago to check out their annual Spring Gas Up. While there, I was hanging out in Wayne Cooper’s Trading Post with several other guys, when Stu Hindman asked me how long I’d been writing for Farm and Dairy. It occurred to me that […]

Technology has dramatically changed the planting season for farmers

Thursday, May 24, 2012

According to the last Farm and Dairy, 79 percent of Ohio’s corn is planted, way ahead of last year (Marlin Clark said that last year only 2 percent of corn was in the ground). Earlier planting When I was a kid, I don’t think we even began planting until near the end of May. Of […]

Horse plowing competition goes on in the rain

Thursday, May 10, 2012

On April 28, I attended the Ohio Draft Horse Plowing Contest at Carriage Hill Farm in Huber Heights, Ohio. Carriage Hill Farm is a part of the Five Rivers Metro Park system of Montgomery County and is an 1880s working farm where crops and animals are raised using vintage machinery and methods. Farm employees and […]

Old farm publications create trips back in time

Thursday, April 12, 2012

My column two weeks ago about Cyclone seeders brought a couple of interesting responses (I love email – it’s so fast and easy to sit down at the keyboard and dash off a quick note) which I’ll pass on to the readers. Reader responses Bill McChesney, who farms near New Galilee, Pa., wrote: “Concerning cyclone […]

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