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PALOUSE

Not On The Level...100 Years Of Farming The Palouse

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OBG...I noticed what appeared to be a IH 125 in the background of that photo before. Is that a Farmhand Hay Stacker down beyond it? We used to have one of those mounted on a Farmall M.

You mentioned not hitting any rocks with the 141 combine. As I recall, they had a slightly unusual header platform. Instead of a straight in lip behind the sickle it curved downward to give the header auger a sort of a trough of it's own. Worked fine except that when cutting short strawed varieties of wheat that part of the header bottom ran awfully close to the ground. And I don't recall there being a protective second header bottom like later machines. So if you skidded over a rock it would put a crease in the tin that would raise up and hit the auger flights. Usually you would hear it and shut things down, crawl down there with a crowbar and bang the tin back down away from the flighting. If you didn't hear it and kept going it wasn't long until a hole would wear through, the banging would go away and you might not notice you've been harvesting with a hole in your platform until the end of the day. Our headers were pretty dented and welded up after a while. We patched a lot in the off season and I believe eventually renewed the tin altogether

I understood that the 141 was a respected, successful machine for Harvester. It seemed to have the ability to handle and save grains well. But adding the hillside equipment weighed it down and they planed the engine heads to eke a little more power out of it. That caused a heating problem and we blew up a few radiators and I think warped a head once. I do recall seeing a sales brochere on a SP 127. Two major changes to what appeared to be a 125 thresher were the mounting of the engine up on top plus the advent of the belt driven variable speed drive down to the transmission. That variable speed drive was manually controlled by a lever on the operator's platform, was hard to pull on and slipped and went through belts a lot, due to it being asked to do more with the extra weight. The belts were hard to change and get adjusted correctly afterwards. The local dealer had one mechanic that was especially trained to do that and we got to know him well. My dad used to buy spray on belt dressing stuff by the case.

Another problem was that the long, curved shaker pan with the sieves mounted in it would crack and break in two right where the sieve started. My dad got pretty good at crawling in there, acetylene torch in hand and meticulously brazing it back together. Eventually he removed the whole assembly and reinforced it with some small angle iron. There wasn't much extra room there and it was a critical point. Anyway, it was a bit tricky doing the torch thing with the machine full of chaff and straw residue right on the edge of a wheat field. You could never be sure there wasn't something smoldering underneath there when you pulled back into the field. But...not to worry! When done we would just stand back and spray the inside of the thresher with some of that nice carbon tetrachloride fire extinguisher that we carried on all the trucks. Then we would go eat lunch or something for a while and get away from those fumes. It worked well, but I'm surprised that we're still alive. I guess during the war carbon tet was used universally for fire control plus cleaning parts. I used to use small amounts of it in the darkroom for cleaning things. Nobody ever told us how dangerous it was.

By the way, I did talk to my cousin again and he said he had never actually seen track bushings changed by hand but there were two old brothers that ran CAT 60's that were said to have done it. Way before my time so I can't verify it. And, like my 86 year old cousin says, "when you're my age you can about tell any story you want...who can disprove you?" Being a "geezer" has it's advantages. There are some other stories about those two ol' boys and their CAT 60's that my dad told, but another time.

I have a much younger relative who collects and restores crawlers, among other things. He mentioned having to fabricate some pins and bushings for a T-20 that came to him pretty much in a basket. I don't know how he installed them, will ask next time I see him.

A couple more pics of 141's. That's me standing on the brace on the combine, mechanic down on the ground and my older brother on TD-40 pulling combine back underneath engine. post-6771-1167447029_thumb.jpgpost-6771-1167447110_thumb.jpg

Well,

I just wrote a nice answer to this great post, with super pictures and lost the whole darn thing. @#$@&* Computers. It was complimentary to this thread and the things I forgot about regarding the 141 combine. I'd forgotten taking a RR jack bar to the dented up platform, from rocks underneath. I never had any personal problems with sieves either. My father inlaw had one of the 123 type of pull type combines (I can't find my picture of it?) and he said his happiest day was when he traded that IH for his 21 Massey Harris.

I'd forgotten some of the carbon tetrachloride stuff too. I remember fighting inside a small chicken brooder house, when a neighbor's pasture caught on fire. And I remember how well it would clean the gas operating piston mechanism on an M-1 Garrand. That was a courts martial offense, when getting caught, however.

Thanks again for sending that wonderful C-D. I enjoyed every picture on it and I appreciate your efforts downloading and sending it to me.

Thanks & Happy New Year,

Gary ;)

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Sometimes the hills would win. I say that in the past tense because the scenes shown below don't happen that much anymore. But in the 60's and 70's it seemed like the local weekly newspapers might as well plan on devoting a section to harvest accidents in season. It always seemed to me that combine upsets came mostly the first few days of harvest and the last few days. At first we were rusty and jumpy and made mistakes. Then at the end we were tired, anticipating being done and felt we were invincible. Either way the result could be the same.

The almost universal cause of upsets started with sliding on slick straw, especially wild oat straw. This happened to all of us at one time or another when cutting across a steep north side. If the winter snow drifts had hung in too long the wheat plants would lose out and in spring a flush of wild oats would replace them. The trick was to proceed very slowly, lower your sickle bar close to the ground and deliberately run as much straw through the machine as possible. That way the combine wheels could find cleaner ground momentarily as they passed over the short stubble. Seemed to work. Nevertheless, now and then you would be edging along this way and suddenly the machine would simply move downhill, maybe a few feet, maybe 20. Most of the time that would be the end of it and all you had to worry about was how to get back up into the swath, the only damage possibly being to your underwear. However, if your luck wasn't good that day and the machine managed to turn around during the slide you would be reverse leveled and the outcome was inevitable.

The coming of the new generation of big combines around 1980 changed a lot of this. Not only did they have wider tread, but their center of gravity was lower. Also much more power and hydrostatic drives helped a great deal. Having to clutch a belt driven machine through a tough spot on a hillside, or even shift into reverse to back away could be dangerous and nerve wracking. Worse case scenario was to have to back down off a hill after spinning out trying to climb it, with the back end of the four way leveler sticking clear up in the air. There was a lot of planning where to spot your truck so as to have your bulk tank as empty as possible when heading across a side hill.post-6771-1167720245_thumb.jpgpost-6771-1167720290_thumb.jpg

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I found these old photos in my dad's album illustrating the upset problem didn't begin with combines. He used to point out certain hillsides and remark on how many times binders had gone over on them. It sort of appears that the problem was in the machines. Man and beast seemed to adapt automatically to the slope.

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My grandfather told me how they ran the lines out through the ring and rode the grain wheel while binding the slopes. He must have done this while binding all the land on the ranch. The old ground drive binders were pretty much balanced on the bull wheel.

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Palouse,

More great information and pictures of taming the Palouse hills. Keep up the good work Greg!

Gary

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I am going to try to post a photo of my grandfather and the binder. That is my mom riding the horse, she is 89 now. This is taken near the top of the hill, still grandfather looks like he just stepped off the grain wheel. Grandmother and my mom must have hiked up there to bring him lunch and grandmother brought her brownie with her. This photo is the screensaver on my computer.

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Yes the photo in another thread of the 55W baler shows this hill in the background. The Pacific Ocean is in the backgrownd in this photo, I guess it is a hazy day.

Tom

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Dukester.....the Hunter Liggett area has a good wild pig population.....easy hunting there !!!...I believe the Military control that area

TomA...those were your pics, posted awhile back, that included the D4 pulling a baler......and a Farmall B mowing ??.....that was hilly country :):)

This thread is also very interesting....re the bygone era's.....keep hooking those stories and pics out, thankyou, Palouse :):)

Mike

My grandfather grew up on a homestead in the Jamesburg Tassahara area which is north of the Hunter Ligget area. He came up to San Gregorio which is about 90 miles north when he was 14 to work for an uncle. Here he met my grandmother who's family had the ranch. After he left, sometime in the 20's he remembered when a guy named Ramsey introduced the russian boar into the upper Carmel Valley area and they spred to Hunter Ligget from there. They are up here now.

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My cousin, the crawler collector, had this setting outside one day when I was at his place. It's a 7J D4 with a 4R D6 engine. He got it from a farmer up north of here who put it together some years back. He's building a new hood for it and says it started out with military colors so thought he would put it back that way. The previous owner lived in one of the areas of the highest ashfall from Mt. St. Helen's so the tractor hasn't been run much since then. The ash could be very invasive and would work it's way under seals into gearboxes and engines. I had to have the volcanic ash, mixed with clay, chiseled out of a set of TD-9 tracks so that they would fit in the track press in order to turn the pins and bushings. post-6771-1167790933_thumb.jpg

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My cousin, the crawler collector, had this setting outside one day when I was at his place. It's a 7J D4 with a 4R D6 engine. He got it from a farmer up north of here who put it together some years back. He's building a new hood for it and says it started out with military colors so thought he would put it back that way. The previous owner lived in one of the areas of the highest ashfall from Mt. St. Helen's so the tractor hasn't been run much since then. The ash could be very invasive and would work it's way under seals into gearboxes and engines. I had to have the volcanic ash, mixed with clay, chiseled out of a set of TD-9 tracks so that they would fit in the track press in order to turn the pins and bushings. post-6771-1167790933_thumb.jpg

Palouse,

I couldn't have told you the numbers & letters Caterpillar sent these things out with, but the late Max Tyler left one of these in his collection. For the Army, it was a smaller Cat with a lot more power. I remember Max had several military Caterpillars - or Holts & Bests. I have a booklet that Caterpillar published on their collection back in the mid-1970s, but since I moved, I can't find the darn thing. One of the Bests (I think?) had vertical coiled tubes for cooling in the radiator. Each tube, or maybe a gang of two or three tubes, bolted in separately and there were a couple extras in the tool box. They were for pulling artillery and if the radiator took a bullet, they could wait until the shooting stopped and replace the ruined coils. As I remember, this unit wasn't shipped overseas, and was like new. He had another one that had street grousers pads, with a bolt on grouser blade, that used one bolt to hold it in place, when clipped into other holes. If I remember, Max said that France required street pads in certain areas of operation, when not in battle.

Gary ;)

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Palouse,

You are more of a combine authority than I am. This is a picture my wife took of me beside a "125 SP IH combine" at Fort Benton (the world's innermost port), Montana years ago. We had a 125 SP IH combine. It had dual driver wheels, tricycle Farmall type rear wheel arangement and steering, had a high grain tank and used gravity to dump through a chute into a truck. Then my uncle Bill bought a 125 SPV. As I remember, it had the same aspects as this one in the picture; dual driver wheels, wide steering wheels, lower tank and auger unloading. Then Dad bought a 125 SPVC, which had much the same as this one, except it had large single driver wheels & tires. It appears this one could have been repainted, as the decals look funny? Regardless, they put a set of 125 SP decals on it. Any ideas?

Gary

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Palouse,

You are more of a combine authority than I am. This is a picture my wife took of me beside a "125 SP IH combine" at Fort Benton (the world's innermost port), Montana years ago. We had a 125 SP IH combine. It had dual driver wheels, tricycle Farmall type rear wheel arangement and steering, had a high grain tank and used gravity to dump through a chute into a truck. Then my uncle Bill bought a 125 SPV. As I remember, it had the same aspects as this one in the picture; dual driver wheels, wide steering wheels, lower tank and auger unloading. Then Dad bought a 125 SPVC, which had much the same as this one, except it had large single driver wheels & tires. It appears this one could have been repainted, as the decals look funny? Regardless, they put a set of 125 SP decals on it. Any ideas?

Gary

OBG...Yes, this is the model of 125 that we had. Wide rear wheels and dual drivers, at least originally. Got to digging through my collection of old shop manuals and find I actually have the parts manual for that thing. I do remember the original unloading spout drive. I don't think it was ever foldable, it was wither mounted outward or you took it off like I noticed with the one in this pic. For that reason it had a closeable gate on the tank emptied by gravity. It had a rather elaborate drive, with it's own little clutch on a jackshaft that ran directly off the engine. As a kid I always liked that clutch arrangement. Then the rest of it ran with a long twisted belt and an open gear drive. They went to a lot of trouble to have a "live" spout drive. After the pull machines, where you had to run the whole threshing apparatus just to be able to unload the bulk tank, a live spout drive was a real step up. When my dad moved the bulk tank up higher and turned it 90 degrees, he had to develop a whole different spout arrangement. It had a stub auger that went inside the tank and was difficult to remove.. There were definitely compromises in that conversion.

Found this pic of that "125 Hillside" starting out on it's maiden voyage, header all painted up and everything. How much red iron can you spot in this picture? By the way, that's me in the bulk tank. There were old bare telephone wires to be negotiated on the way down the driveway and that was my job. Since we expanded the length of the header we had to build our own reel. My dad came up with those aluminum pipe bats which worked pretty well in the tall varieties of wheat that we raised then.

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Once again trying to extend this thread's time frame back a ways. Two different threshing outfits on the move probably in different years. The first was my granddad's and the second belonged to one of his older nephews. I have to leave it to somebody else to identify the equipmentpost-6771-1167890444_thumb.jpgpost-6771-1167890510_thumb.jpg

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Once again trying to extend this thread's time frame back a ways. Two different threshing outfits on the move probably in different years. The first was my granddad's and the second belonged to one of his older nephews. I have to leave it to somebody else to identify the equipmentpost-6771-1167890444_thumb.jpgpost-6771-1167890510_thumb.jpg

Palouse,

The combine picture is neat. I see how he turned the grain tank. He may have had some input into the "Cheeney Reel" that many combines in our area had? I used to have a nice CII Gleaner (dubbed "Silver Seeder" by some) that had a Cheeney Reel that worked in pretty nice in years with the grain somewhat going down. In that picture I see what I think is an R-160 or 170 and a TD-40 with an electrical system loaded in the back. How'd I do?

Those steam engines are both Minneapolis engines. The upper one is pulling a Red River Special thresher, built by Nichols & Shepard. I read the RRS on the spout. I'm not naturally that sharp with threshing machines. Minneapolis steamers are difficult for me to identify size for, but I'd also venture a guess that they are both 28hp and at least the top one. They are both very nice pictures.

Gary ;)

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OBG...Actually that was an L-160. one of two that my dad ended up buying that year. This one he bought used right before harvest. But it had such terrible tires on it and the bed was rotten, so by the end of harvest he traded up to an identical new one which we kept until trading into that red Loadstar in 1965. A neighbor burned up a truck with a St. Paul hoist on it so my dad salvaged that and built a steel bed for it. That was a job, as the hoist had seen the full heat of the fire. But we transferred that whole arrangement to that '65 Loadstar, kept updating and improving on it and when I sold it it was a good setup.

That TD-40 may have had lights on it, but it is questionable whether they ever worked. I don't recall that one ever having an electric starter. But you picked out all the IH stuff all right. Most combine "pickup" reels around here were made by J.E. Love in Garfield, WA. They were required for peas, with long tined wood bats. Later they made what was called a "downed wheat" bat that most people ran from that point on. Then Cheney came out with a nice lightweight aluminum reel, with a bigger diameter for standing grain. It was reversible so that you could either run the smooth side or the tined side down. Clever arrangement, but they were built too light and tended to break up.

Found a few more pics from way back. My grandpa's Cadillac and the town's first fire truck ('42 Dodge). You were talking about those wide rear fenders. My grampa had 11 kids ranging over 24 years, one of the youngest sitting on the running board of the Cadillac. He's in the "shotgun" seat and I'm not sure which one of the boys was driving. I wonder if he ever got to drive it.

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This is a favorite picture, especially this time of year when everything is cold and gray. Spraying a nice looking crop of peas for weevil. Some of you might recognize the "weevil net" sticking out of one of the stake pockets of the '52 Willys Overland jeep pickup. We worked that thing to death. Had a PTO driven roller pump on the back and a 250 gallon oval furnace oil tank laying on it's side in the back. And in-line spray filters to try to contain the rust. The technology of the day. So many weevil in the net after so many swipes while stumbling through tangled pea vines told you when you needed to spray.post-6771-1167934602_thumb.jpg

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Palouse,

I like your pictures.... again.... still! That old Cadillac Touring Car is fabulous. I have a friend here in Kalispell with one very much like it. They were (are?) one fine automobile. I hope you saw the 1904 Cadillac I posted on my thread, in front of a Six Speed Special IH truck yesterday? I really like that Caddy. It has been around Montana for years. I remember it being in the 50th Anniversary parade at Moore and Moore had their Centennial two years ago.

I thought the tires of the truck would have made it an R-160, but I didn't know how well they'd haul a TD-40? Likely just fine. If I remember, a TD-40 weighs around seven tons? Maybe a little more? We had one R-160 and my cousins still have a L-170, that they put a 345 V-8 in years ago.

I also like your Jeep Pickup picture. I'm placing one on, taken on our farm, that was a 1951. Dad traded it for a 1953 that had the same grille bars as the one you placed on. Both of ours were dark green. We also had a 1947 half cab Jeep and I can't find a picture of it. Only one of the top sticking out of a snowdrift. I placed it on here, but am so disappointed that after about 20 years on the farm, nobody took a picture of my "gopher hunt-safari vehicle." It was the first "car" I ever drove, in the first grade. My uncle Bill would put it in 4-wheel drive, low range and I'd drive after the milk cows, about a 1/2 mile round trip. After the first time, riding with me, he let me go from then on and "getting the cows" became my "Job" that I was expected to do.

Keep sending the good pictures, when you can. I know you said you would be a little busier than you'd been.

Gary ;)

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There are many, many good threads on this forum but this is one of the most interesting I have seen. Please keep on, gentlemen!!!

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Maybe you could say this shows a part of living in the Palouse. My dad must have shot this scene of my mom and my youngest brother around 1956. My brother didn't appear too enthused about the photo op.

Two things my dad liked--his black and white television (later color) and Pontiacs. I can remember 7 such cars that he owned and I lost track of the TV's. The hills of the Palouse can be challenging in ways other than getting farm machinery around on them. Our house seemed to sit in a low spot which was the Burmuda Triangle of TV reception. So, those of us that craved the small screen would erect these 80-100 foot telescoping towers in order to drag in distant TV signals from the north.

Characteristic of winter weather here are the so-called "silver frosts", which usually developed from passing freezing fog banks. They made for scenes of winter beauty but were also very hard on overhead lines...and TV tower guy wires. More than once the frost brought down this tower, which would break off about 5 feet each occurence. (Once it was because a cow got caught in one of the guy wires fastened to a fence post). So, after some time the tower came to be only 65 feet high. But, by the time that happened, the TV stations were boosting their power anyway so it all worked out. Nowadays most TV reception comes via satellite dishes, ironically facing to the south.post-6771-1167982792_thumb.jpg

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Originally posted this Palouse scene, borrowed from the internet, on another thread. It's become my favorite so thought I would post it again here. It was shot probably around early June, from Steptoe Butte north of Colfax, WA.post-6771-1167984271_thumb.jpg

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Two things my dad liked--his black and white television (later color) and Pontiacs. I can remember 7 such cars that he owned and I lost track of the TV's.

Palouse, great shot of the old Pontiac. About a 53 I'd say? Nice cars they were. One of the first cars I drove when working for a neighbour that owned a 52 2 door with the powerglide and flathead six. My biggest mistake there was not buying that car when it was retired in favour of a Ford pickup. Second was that I don't have any pictures of it.

One of my Uncles had a 53 Pontiac and later on a 59 Strato Chief. Big old green car with the white roof and the big six with three on the tree. That car would go alright. Unfortunately I missed the boat on that one too. Only memories and a few fuzzy black and white photos of it left.

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Palouse,

I never know how these darn pictures are going to come up? I included a picture of our first black & white TV in 1955. Because we lived in a big hole, and because we were 90+ miles from Great Falls and 120+ miles from Billings, we had to run that heavy steel "railroad track" wire nearly 3/4 miles to get the tower on top of the hill. My cousin, my brother, my parents and my uncle, all went together and paid for the wire and posts to get TV to their homes. Judith Basin blizzards wreaked havoc with this system and when it wasn't a blizzard outside, you could turn on the TV and watch your own, inside. I can't tell what that program was on the screen in this picture? Sheriff of Cochise? Cisco Kid? I can't tell.

I am putting a picture of me and three of my friend's 1962 pontiacs and another friend's 1957 Pontiac Star Chief. I can't remember what the '57 had for motor, but it went! The four 1962 Catalina hardtops all had 389 TriPowers with 348hp and four speeds. Mike Tyler was the photographer and owned the black one I'm leaning against. Mine was the second, red metalic one. We all washed our rigs and met at the Lewistown City Park for the picture. I drove mine out of the factory at Pontiac, Michigan in the fall of 1961, while I was stationed at Fort Knox, KY (Where I was learning all of the good aspects of M-48 tanks).

The other picture shows my 1960 B-100 IH, my '62 Pontiac, Nichols & Shepard and Russell steam engines.

Gary

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Two things my dad liked--his black and white television (later color) and Pontiacs. I can remember 7 such cars that he owned and I lost track of the TV's.

Palouse, great shot of the old Pontiac. About a 53 I'd say? Nice cars they were. One of the first cars I drove when working for a neighbour that owned a 52 2 door with the powerglide and flathead six. My biggest mistake there was not buying that car when it was retired in favour of a Ford pickup. Second was that I don't have any pictures of it.

One of my Uncles had a 53 Pontiac and later on a 59 Strato Chief. Big old green car with the white roof and the big six with three on the tree. That car would go alright. Unfortunately I missed the boat on that one too. Only memories and a few fuzzy black and white photos of it left.

Those old TVs sure were bad. Ours mostly lived at the repair shop and visited the house. <_<

We also had a 53 and 55 Pontiac. Straight 8 in the 53, V8 in the 55. Both were "retirees" that we inherited due to finances. Got the 55 for $25 running. Both went to scrap. <_< No pictures.

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Originally posted this Palouse scene, borrowed from the internet, on another thread. It's become my favorite so thought I would post it again here. It was shot probably around early June, from Steptoe Butte north of Colfax, WA.post-6771-1167984271_thumb.jpg

Palouse,

That's a stunning photograph taken of a breath taking area. It looks somewhat tame in the picture, but in the back of my mind are your photos of combines that should have a safety cable to a stake driven into the top of the hill.

The picture of your mother, brother and Pontiac was something else with all of that frost on the wires. We don't get that too often here. Once in a while I hear of them following power lines with a helicopter, to knock it off. We probably more often get a spring snowstorm that comes shortly after trees start their leaves and that breaks the branches, and the branches break the powerlines etc. I've never been in what I'd consider to be a real serious ice storm. My oldest daughter got in on the one at Spokane about 10 years ago. She learned to use the old Coleman campstove for things other than camping.

Gary ;)

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Found a few more OOPS! pictures. Remember some of these appearing in the paper years back (1974) but had to go back to the newspaper office archives with a digital camera to recapture them. Worked better than I thought. The one in poor color was from my dad's slide collection in late 50's. Half a century can cause colors to fade in these old films. post-6771-1168052987_thumb.jpgpost-6771-1168053087_thumb.jpg

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I've mentioned that the newer combines don't upset easily and that such accidents aren't common anymore. But there will always be exceptions to the rule and dumping one down a canyon may amount to such an exception. This accident occured two seasons back and involved an IH 1470, one of the more successful leveling combines I've known. The camera doesn't do justice to the severity of this terrain, I took the shot from the bottom of the canyon where there is a road. There is cropland at the top that is fairly level, except in a few places where it hangs over the edge of the canyon in little swales. I know this piece of land and the little bit of wheat ground showing up at the top is a hairy area. Evidently the operator got too close to the edge for some reason, his back wheels slipped over the fencerow/bank, dragging the rest of the machine over it backwards. The header broke loose near the top and I heard the combine went over backwards one complete time and landed on it's wheels and skidded to rest in the only little ravine in the area. Except for that little irregularity in the canyon side it would gone all the way down to where I took the picture. The machine is pointed to the left and the view is from the top. Through binoculars you could see the operator's seat relatively undamaged. Miraculously the driver only suffered minor injuries, and was left off partway up the canyonside when the cab disintegrated. After that the bulk tank seemed to support the rolling machine. I believe the little white specks showing on the canyonside are pieces of the white cab roof. I never got up close to it but my cousin did and he said he's never seen a combine so completely broken up. The only tire visible is the left rear one.

For sake of reference all I have on hand is this pic of a 1470 from a sales brochure. post-6771-1168055089_thumb.jpgpost-6771-1168055138_thumb.jpg

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