antique plows, water pump, barn equipment - Any information?

lminxJuly 18, 2010

When we bought an old house with some acreage and barn, circa 1880, all of these items were on the property. Does anyone know anything about any of them? Info. would be appreciated.

Here is a link that might be useful:

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Your first "mystery item" is a draw bar that connects between the two arms on a 3 point hitch. Stop in to any Tractor Supply and you'll see them for sale for about $20.00. I mounted a 2 inch towing ball through one of the center holes to pull a trailer, log splitter, large roller behind my tractor.

This site might help you identify the plows, harrows, cultivators used on early farms.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 9:23AM
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You have a very desirable walking plow....hooked to a horse or mule and a person held the handles and walked behind to guide it.
I also saw a cistern pump a blade from another plow and a bow saw, and a garden cultivator.
The red lamp is lovely....mold blown red maybe cranberry maybe pigeon blood hanging fixture. Likely the metal is badly tarnished brass.
And a little round up will kill the weeds in that lovely brick patio!
Linda C

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 10:09AM
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Nope, don't think so. My FIL was still working the family farm with mules into the 1960s. Notice the 'handles' are pointing to the hitch end where you'd attach to the horse's tree. That would make the operator have to walk backward between the horse and the equipment. Those aren't handles, they lift the bottom. That would also put the furrow blades on the front of the device and they belong in the back. That looks to be a sulky plough with the seat missing. The operator would sit above that bar over the working blades. Walk-behinds seldom had wheels either. This design was in use as early as 1880.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 4:13PM
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On second thought, it struck me that the drawbar is all wrong. I think it's just a very old two-bottom drag for a tractor.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 6:22PM
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But....what about those 2 handles? Where would the person operating them be?
Could the seat have been removed? I have seen them sitting around here and there at farm sales.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 6:57PM
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They aren't handles. They're levers and they're used to raise the bottom, so you can lift up the teeth out of the earth. You have to be able to lift the teeth, because if you didn''d be running a furrow all the way from the barn. If you look at those closely and maybe enlarge one of the profile pics you'll find them attached to round cog-like wheels and the levers engage in them to lock positions so the bottoms aren't constantly engaged. That's what that spring is for toward the hitch end.

I looked at the pic for a few seconds and thought 'what's wrong with that picture?" It hit me straight away that the teeth of a plough are never located at the front of the implement. They're always at the back, except maybe on a hand cultivator. And if they were for some reason on the front of this implement, the blades would have been turned in the wrong direction. So, it's obvious those levers are pointing toward the hitch (you can see the hitch). You can't walk behind it if you are on the hitch end of it holding on to what looks like handles.

If this were horse drawn, there'd be a place to attach a drawbar. If you are using a tandem team, the drawbar actually extends between the two steeds. If it were designed to be pulled behind an animal the front end of the implement would not extend out to a long triangle, either. It would be squared off to accommodate two chains (one to each side so the implement gets equal pull to both wheels) to the single or double tree behind the horse/mule. I am almost certain this was pulled behind a machine and is a very common old drag plough. An old one by the looks of the wheels. It was not designed for rubber tires.

How do you operate the levers? Get off the tractor and manipulate them.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 8:59PM
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I believe the web site I referred you to describes the plow as a Pennsylvania plow. There's a lot on the web that shows how they're hooked up and operated.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 9:32PM
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I looked at the site and all I could find is one picture and it was wooden and had the drawbar I mentioned. I did find, however, a video of a model just like the OP showed on their album and it is, just like I said, dragged behind an old tractor. I call them two bottom drag ploughs, whether there is another name for them or not, and most farmers would know what I am talking about. Check out the video. Looks pretty familiar? LOL. See how he brought his arm back, and slapped that lever?

Here is a link that might be useful: Old Two Bottom

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 11:39PM
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No, I guess he didn't. It's a rope pull.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 11:47PM
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#002: Hand Cultivator, a gardening tool. Not very effective. Is very tiresome to use. Used to weed the space between rows if the weeds are small. The spaces between plants in the row have to be done with a hand hoe. The wheel and matal parts are collectibles.

Pump #2: A well pump for use with a windmill.

A belt driven pump jack kit can be adapted to this pump for operation with a small engine. This pump can be operarted by hand, engine, or windmill.

Equip 005: A steel mould board plow, horse or mule drawn using a 2 animal hitch.

Items 037 - 044: Various draw bar plows. Pulled behind a tractor with a draw bar hitch. The long handles permitted the tractor driver to adjust the plow from the tractor seat. The trip rope is missing. The hub of the large wheel has a lifting mechanism to raise the plows out of the ground. This is activated by a lever that causes a dog to engage the wheel hub. The tractor operator pulls and holds the rope until the dog engages the wheel hub. He then release the rope and the lifting mechanism disengages itself at maximum lift, usually about 1/2 rotation of the wheel. The tractor driver makes his turn, lines up for the return pass and pulls the rope again to drop the plow. (Woe unto the driver who does not get the plow out of the ground before the tractor hits the fence.)

Plows with 2 bottom, each 14 inch wide, require a tractor with 40 hp or more.

All of those drawbar plows are old and date back to early gasoline/kerosene engine farm tractors. They have all metal spoked wheels with primitive wheel bearings. Newer versions ca 1940 and onward have rubber tires and sealed bearings. Plows with hydraulic lifts began ca 1947. The Ferguson Tractor is an example.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 4:23AM
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I love looking at this old stuff!!

I printed your photo and took it to one of the older farmers in my area. He immediately identified it as a TRIP PLOW. It worked as CALLIOPE describes. Later versions used hydraulics. He actually has a version which uses tires but made pretty much the same way.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 10:16AM
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Thanks jemdandy for your excellent input to clarify the equipment. I've driven old tractors but as the least experienced member of the household, I was usually delegated to the manure spreader or log cart. LOL.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 10:20AM
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Photos 36 - 44 are trailier mounted "Moldboard Plows". It is impossible to tell from the photos but they appear to be "2bottom 14's or possibly 2bottom 16's. The word "bottom" defines the actual plow and the prefex number indicates how many plows are on the machine thus in the case of your machines they each have 2 bottoms (plows). The suffix number in the identificaton refers to the width of the furruw that is cut by each plow, thus a 2bottom 14 would cut two 14" wide furrows on a pass. Those plows would require aabout a 20HP tractor to pull them but before you attempt to pull them with your lawn & garden tractor keep in mind that those are rated for 20hp drawbar pull while your lawn tractor is rated by engine flywheel horsepower. A 20hp farm tractor would be about the size of a small car and would weigh about 1 ton.
If you look on the main frame rails or on the trip mechanism hub in the center of the left wheel you should find some raised lettering indicating the name of the manufacturer. I suspect the one with the tail wheel is John Deere and the other appears as if it might be a McCormac Deering or IH, (International Harvestor) The IH logo has the I centered over the H. I would suspecct they were made sometime after 1915 but they continued to make trailer mounted plows until well into the 70's b y which time they were replaced with Three point hitch mounts.
ITEM # 2 is a cow stanchion that was used to tie cows while they were in the barn. Notice that the vertical bar on the right side is hinged at the bottom and there is a lever locking mechanism on top. They were mounted in the cow stable of a dairy barn. As the cows entered the barn they would put their heads through the stanchion then one of the farm hands would close and lock the stanchion to keep the cow in her respective place until the milking chores were completed. In winter months when it was too cold for the cows to go out they would stay in the stanchions 24/7. Notice that their is a wooden liner on the inside of the vertical rails. That was to pad it so the metal did not rub sores on the cows neck. The vertical length would permit the cow to either stand or lay down while in the stanchion.
ITEM # 2 is a hand operated deepwell pump. Notice the long bar extending above the pump handle. Those type of pumps could also be installed at the base of a windmill and a connecting rod was connected up to the windmill to power the pump.
ITEM # 5 is a horse drawn single row potato digger, although it can be used to dig all root crops such as potatoes, sweet pottoes, carrots, onions, turnips etc. It has the same general appearance as a plow but notice that the moldboard section is a number of narrow metal bars. The plow share tip would dig into the soil and start the turning process. As the soil passes over the thin metal bars most of the soil falls through leaving the root crop or larger stones laying on top. Fields hands then followed behind with baskets and picked up the crop.
ITEM # 2 is a hand powered garden cultivator, although on our farm we called it a "Man Killer" LOL

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 12:32PM
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Thanks to all! I checked on the plows and found a John Deere on one and something that I think looks like the IH logo - kind of looks like a circle. There is a rope attached to certain parts of the stuff. There is a really long flat piece on the ground next to them. Do people collect these things? I love having them on the property but if someone really loves them, I would rather have them really taken care of. I actually have other photos that I haven't posted of other equip.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 5:38PM
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Yes, people do collect these things. The primary collectors are memebers of old farm equipment clubs and associations. I've visited a number of old farm equipemnt shows and have not seen many plows. Desireable items are anything with an engine: tractors, washing machines, outboard motors, hit and miss engines, lawnmowers, motor cycles and motor acooters, bicycle engines, etc. Most of those old plows have been sent to the metal scrap processors, so you have a large cache of old plows. Your chore is to connect with someone who would be interested in showing those plows.

There is another class of collectors who look for decorative pieces. For example, that big wheel on the hand cultivator would be removed an used for a lawn decoration. This class of collector is not interested in preserving the equipment, but just want some of the parts. Spoked iron/steel wheels are collectibles becasue those are not made any more and are becoming more rare each year.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 5:30AM
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Check that one plow again ... the one you think has IH on it. I'm betting its an RI for Rock Island Plow. That emblem was in a circle ... I think.

Yes ... farm collectibles are big business. We sometimes go the the Gathering of the Green auction. Tractors will bring far more than my first home cost ... actually, more than my current home!

I've posted a link... it might help you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Farm Collector

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 10:03AM
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Although the written description of how those old plows work I am sure some ppl may still be a bit confused, and as they say, a picture is worth 1000 words.

I found a photograph of a Massey Harris tractor pulling one of those plows and I have edited the photo to show how the operator could reach the depth control levers and how the trip rope worked.

Notice the tractor is nearing the end of the field and the operator is holding the trip rope. As he reaches the end of the field and begins turning the tractor he would pull the rope and hold it causing the lift lever in the left wheel hub to lock and lift the plow up out of the ground to the travel position. He would then make his turn along the headland of the field and as he turns in to begin the next furrow he would again yank the rope, causing the plow carriage to collapse down to the plowing position.

About a 1/2 mile from my house there is a small family operated truck farm where they raise vegetables to sell in their farm stand. Here is a photo of a nice 1920 Fordson 10/20 tractor sitting on the edges of their parking lot and although I didn't take a picture of it,they have one of those plows on the other end as decorations.

This tractor would be typical of the type of tractors they had when those plows were first produced, although many farms continued to use those plows well into the late 60's or early 70's, and some are still in use today.

In the early days farm tractors had two horsepower ratings, thus the designation of 10/20HP for this one.

The first rating is the drawbar rating, indicating how much the tractor could pull, in this case 10HP drawbar, while the second rating was the "Belt Horsepower Rating". In those days many farm machines such as threshing machines, corn husking machines, Hay Bailers etc were stationary machines powered by a wide flat drive belt driven off a pulley on the side of the tractor thus the tractor also had a "Belt Drive" or "Stationary engine" rating, which in this case is 20HP.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 3:37PM
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mystery item # 2 is a cow stantchion. It keeps the cows contained while feeding and milking.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 10:01PM
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