Christmas in New Berlin

Saturday, December 4th was the inaugural Christmas light parade in New Berlin, IL. Although there wasn’t any snow for Santa’s sleigh, the weather was perfect. There was a slight chill, just enough to remind us of the season.

The parade was led off buy our community’s fire department. Sydney Geyston, this year’s Sangamon County Fair Queen presided over the festivities.

Golf carts, cars, trucks and tractors followed along decorated in lights and displayed the joyous holiday season.

Thanks go to Desi King for this novel idea and being our chairperson. She did a great job and the outstanding turn out was a great reward.

I discovered night photography isn’t all that easy. Please forgive me for the pictures

Happy Holidays!

The Clubhouse

I’ve learned you don’t always need to be in the parade, there’s need for a crowd to wave to. Digger Dave and I were just spectators for a show in Bushnell, IL.

The clubhouse with history

Spoon River Valley Antique Tractor Club is a great organized group that is based in a historic old barn. Their clubhouse has a rich history. Housing their tractors, in the building, is a suitable continued use.

The two buildings and carriage house are all that’s left standing from the early 1900s the facilities original intent was for breeding draft horses. The clubhouse had a twin at one time standing just to the west of it.

Later times, the building became a Case tractor dealership. Some of the box stalls were removed and parts bins and a counter were installed.

Tractors on display

I’m told the second story was packed with snowmobiles. I didn’t get the full story as to how that came about. If an individual is brave enough to venture up there they may still find one or two lurking in the dark.

The group holds monthly meetings and gets their tractors out to sun during fitting weather. There is a two day show held during Memorial Day weekend. I highly recommend visiting. You’re going to encounter a bunch of friendly people that love to talk “tractor”

We Celebrate Both Kinds Here

I brought up a discussion topic in the Facebook group Antique Iron Mafia not long ago. We were debating smaller tractors. Are they deemed tractors or lawn and garden tractors? 

Super 77 row crop tractors

Many different ideas were presented. Row crop tractors can be used to mow, but lawn tractors can’t necessarily be used in a row crop application. That’s a good point, so where is the line drawn?

160 acres takes a while with only 2 bottoms

Many manufacturing brands have built lessor horse power tractors in a smaller stature since the 40s. Older farms didn’t till as many acres as modern operations do now. 160 acres would seem pretty daunting to cover with a two or three bottom plow though. So why a 12 to 18 horse power one bottom capability?

These little power houses were built in wheatland country.

Simply, lawn & garden tractors are two different types of tractors! There is lawn tractors and then there are garden tractors. Sure there are more modern units classified as both all in one. The garden tractor has been a part of our heritage far longer though.

Jessica Basford on a “bear” of a tractor, a Farmall Cub

Garden tractors came in demand during and after WW2. They were built to work BIG gardens. Their popularity made working the bigger plots far easier. Garden tractors tend to have a row crop capable stature. Farmall may have built a Cub, but it was a bear of a worker. There were many tillage tools available for the handy machine. Allis Chalmers built a rear engine model that had the implements right at the operator’s feet

Allis Chalmers G on the right, and another nice little Avery tractor. Photo submitted by Kate Crocker

Lawn tractors came in to popularity in the early 60s. This type of machine had a more urban focus as the yards grew bigger. There were late 50s model lawn tractors built by companies like Bolens, Wheel Horse, and Simplicity, but these companies were building garden tractors before then. Making a mowing attachment available was easy.

My dad on one of the first model Case lawn tractors. The model 130

IH starting building their Cub Cadet in 1961. John Deere wasn’t to far behind making a lawn tractor available. Colt Manufacturing built a lawn tractor in the early 60s until Case bought the company in 1965. Its interesting to note how all the major tractor brands had lawn tractors built branded in their names. Many of the L&G models imitate the larger tractors looks.

Just like in the Blues Brothers movie. We have both kinds here… lawn and garden!

Shhh! Don’t tell these two they aren’t row croppers! We’ll hurt their feelings

Is This Really What Society Has Come Too?

I need to share some back story as to why I’m writing this article. I follow a YouTube channel Farmall Fanatic for obvious reasons. I’m pretty sure the channel host and I would be great friends.

One of his more recent videos had him calling out another content creator on YouTube Whistlindiesel. I don’t encourage anyone to view the video.

I watched part of the offensive video, and can guarantee I’m, and I would hope our crowd, are not his target audience. I could not stomach the whole thing. His format is destroying expensive items. He also takes great joy in creating hate toward himself.

The video I witnessed demonstrated to me a childish toddler with way to much money and very little respect for anyone or anything. It sickens me that others enjoy watching that sort of content. I don’t understand and therefore realize he would seek my hatred. My mistake is drawing further attention to his asinine intent by penning this article. The last the content needed is more time in the “fifteen minutes of fame”

The object of his destruction is a Farmall 1206. He purchased the tractor on auction for a phenomenal amount of money. According to his testimony, several collectors took offense to his purchase, this being his reason for the tractor’s destruction. I find it hard to believe that fellow collectors would treat him rudely. Most enthusiasts I know would have celebrated his purchase with him. Of course his immature attitude is very transparent. Fellow collectors would probably be sickened by his buying the tractor.

My opinion is aligned with Farmall Fanatic. He purchased the 1206, it is the kid’s property to do with as he feels. If he chooses to create YouTube content by destroying a tractor that’s also his right. It’s his freedom of expression.

It is terribly sad that he has such disregard for American heritage. Hopefully someday the young man will mature and realize his attitude is lacking. I question his parentage to allow this temperament. Unfortunately his morality seems to be growing into a majority of other like minded.

Our great nation’s political and moral climate is very much on a decline of late . Recent events have caused me great concern of our country’s well being. This can be seen as an example of why.

Below is a link to the Farmall Fanatic YouTube video. Again, I don’t recommend watching the offensive WhistlinDiesel video talked about. Search and discover at your own risk

Williamsville Tractor Show

Sunday was a fun day to have an inaugural tractor show. September 12th fall like weather was perfect! There was an occasional breeze to keep the temperature pleasant. The show location was situated in front of Williamsville’s old railroad depot and train museum.

The tractor show was held in companion with the town’s fall festival. Nick Menke organized the event, doing an outstanding job. 26 units were on display. There were some lawn and garden equipment and a vintage truck in the mix.

Nick Menke, Hannah Durchholtz, and Jeffrey Menke were members of the hosting staff. Photography credit unknown

There was a nice assortment of Oliver, John Deere, Farmall, and Cub Cadet. A few notable pieces included a Farmall C demonstrator, a David Bradley tri trac, and a Shaw Du-all.

David Bradley Tri Trac on the left
Shaw Du-all, flying the colors, tucked among the row crop tractors, photo credit Nick Menke

Nine of the participating tractors went on a short drive to get a little exercise.

All in all it was a great time to reconnect with old friends, make new friends, and most of all relax. Of course Carl Davis was able to relax more than others, the sure sign of a successful show.

Carl Davis in relax mode

Cody Vedder was the lucky winner of the raffle tractor. A Allis Chalmers WC. Congratulations to a first time tractor owner!

Cody Vedder with his new tractor


I promised the following of the Facebook group Antique Iron Mafia a little magic fun. I’m going to restore the subject tractor in the header picture in the blink of a camera’s eye!

Okay here we go! Prepare to be amazed. This is a Shaw Du-all R12T, I’ll go more into detail about Shaw manufacturing in another article, but right now let’s have some magical fun.

I found this interesting book tucked away on a dusty shelf not long ago. I can get distracted pretty easy when I research, that may be partly why I take so long. Of course, I try to be very thorough too!

So here goes….

With incantation and wave,”

Of a magical hand,”

“The beauty appearance shall save,”

Grandeur restore this old brand!”

~{{ POOF }}~

And there you have it! Completely restored!

Farmall 300

One of Edwards Tractor Restoration’s projects to be completed recently was a sweet little Farmall 300. The tractor isn’t totally unique, in fact, 300’s are pretty common. 29077 tractors rolled off the assembly line.

Photo by Doug Edwards

The model 300 was built from 1954 to 1956. There was also a utility and hi- crop variation. These tractors were being produced in the time when Farmall had created their version of a three point hitch, which they introduced calling it the fast hitch. International Harvester first introduced the fast hitch as an option on the Super C. The 300 was one of the first row crop model having the fast hitch variation.

This particular 300 has a very handy two hydraulic cylinder controlled hitch. This style isn’t unique, but I’ve never seen very many like it. It may very well be an early attempt at “draft control” Its very helpful when plowing

Notice the hydraulic cylinder directly in front of the rear wheel

When Harvester introduced the new number series they created a sleeker looking style. The tractor has a more modern flair. One can speculate this was done competing with other tractor manufacturers.

This 300 was on a single wheel row crop option. The change to a two wheel front happened when the most recent owner acquired the machine.

Photo by Jason Edwards

Sled Hooking to be Helpful

Photo by Megan Wunderlich

Saturday, June 19th several Oliver enthusiasts gathered in West Alton, Mo. The Olivers Pulling between the River event, hosted by River Point Tractor Pulling Association & Edwards Tractor Restoration took place. Mother Nature gave the event a comfortable day to start, and didn’t turn up the heat to bad until later in the day. Those involved had a pretty good time.

Line up for “weigh in”
Host Doug Edwards weighs in

The tractor pull was held as a charity fund raiser for the Floyd County Museum in Charles City, Ia. The profits, from the event, are being donated to the museum’s building repairs fund. Floyd County Museum houses the Oliver archives and a impressive Oliver collection.

I made a deal with Kevin Westerhold,

Kevin Westerhold was helpful to achieve sponsorship. His simple request was to have a picture. I obliged under the condition he bring the sled to pose. He did! Thanks Kevin and thanks to the sponsors on the sign

Special thanks goes to Aumann Vintage Power & Classic Tractor Fever for their help in promoting the event. Their expert skills made many people aware of the event taking place.

All the way from Arkansas

Not everyone was “local” Dave Hanson made the drive from Corning Ar. That’s a good distance to compete. I actually met up with Dave early in the morning for his interview. I discovered traveling was a pretty usual occurrence. Thank you Dave for coming.

He came to go the distance
Taking the sled to the glory end of the track

Marlene Cummins isn’t afraid to show the boys “How its done!” She competed with Ms Oliver

How cool would it be to win a pulling tractor by means of a raffle ticket? Roger Emig, from Mascoutah, knows what that’s like. St Jude builds a puller every year to create funds for their hospital. 2021 was a Oliver 77 named Lucky 77.

Roger Emig won a winner

The Lucky 77 stays with it’s theme. Notice the card suit detail in the back wheels. 750 lbs of custom weight were included.

750 lbs of custom weights were part of the package

Roger shared that the tractor interrupted hunting season. A friend asked if he was ready and he joked “Nah, I got to go get my tractor in Mississippi” The joke was on him, he really did!

The turn out for the event could have been bigger. There was plenty more room and time for competitors. The weather, north of West Alton, was stormy. That may have been a major factor

There was plenty of parking
Lined up and ready

Thanks to everyone that took part. 78 hooked the sled for the charity of our Oliver heritage.

Growing from “Grass Roots”

Designed by Katrina Periman

I like to surround myself with talented and artistic people. Back in 1993 a diesel mechanic worked on my semi tractor. I was very impressed and I was fortunate to become friends with him. Since that time, he, and his family have made so many achievements. If I had to describe the man with one sentence. He has a great talent to re invent himself. Over the years he’s been a mechanic, truck driver, vinyl  graphics specialist welder, and welder/ fabricator.

Kevin and Katrina

Kevin and Katrina Periman are true entrepreneurs, The couple have created, or have involvement with, several small businesses.  Their son Travis has followed in his dad’s foot steps and is very talented in the mechanical field. Daughter Kylie is good with animals. I feature the young lady in the article Horsing Around found here on the blog.

Kylie, the horse whisperer

Kevin was born with a equally talented twin. Kerry was also a welder / fabricator. Everything Kevin can do, Kerry was good at too. I remember, years ago, when the three of us were together. The twins father Basil remarked “you three can be dangerous when you’re together” I could probably write a non fiction novel accounting many adventures shared. Sadly we lost Kerry when he passed away in Feb, 2020.

Kevin and Katrina grew up in a country setting. They have worked side by side developing a dynamic working team even before their marriage in 1989. They seem to have more children than the two born to them. I can’t think of a time, here of late, that they aren’t surrounded  by passels of young people.

Travis, left and Kevin, right on two of their work horses.

The Periman family all have the passion for antique tractors. The family owns a collection of tractors. I would deem theirs as sandbox and not shelf models. They work / play with the equipment. Kevin and Travis both compete with individual pulling tractors,

Photo by Katrina Periman
Photo by Katrina Periman

I’m pretty sure Kevin had been making plans for the newest challenge he has taken on before he shared with me. I had been sworn to secrecy for several months on the exciting new concept. Well the secret is about to be revealed!

Photo by Kevin Periman

Originally there had been plans to build, from scratch, an antique tractor pulling sled. There are many antique tractor pulling enthusiasts in our local region and Kevin wanted more chances to “hook” The plan accelerated when an opportunity arose to purchase a sled already built. Kevin now has all the equipment with a sled, scales and any other items needed. The Perimans have been preparing and modifying in preparation of the 2021 pulling season.

Almost ready

Ed and Dan Nagel, local neighbors, donated some property for use as a permanent pulling site. The location is conveniently west of New Berlin, IL. There are still plans to be able to take the “show on the road” though.

Photography editing by Katrina Periman

The sled equipment and staff will work as a company named Heaven Sent Motorsports. This name was chosen in tribute to Kerry, their late sister Kim, and Katrina’s dad. Kevin & Katrina have also chartered a group Grass Roots Tractor Club as the support membership. There will be membership dues created and officers elected. Social media promotion can be found on Facebook.

There’s more roots growing with the new club, other than tractor pulling. The true goal is promoting agriculture and getting young people involved. Scholarships will be funded dedicated to agricultural education. There will also be hardship funds to help those in tough agricultural times

Tractor pulling isn’t the only activity the club plans to use for visibility. There will be toy drives, tractor rides, shows, and involvement in parades. Public awareness, and the attraction of interest, to their goals, is a major asset of the club’s growth

This is a more organized effort to everything the Antique Iron Mafia has tried to do for the past several years. I greatly encourage our group following to get involved with the Grass Roots Club. There are no plans to change the Mafia structure, the group will continue on with it’s fun unorganized chaos. Antique  Iron Media is looking forward to working in cooperation with this new club and company. The media will be working to help promote and report the ongoing happenings

Painting; There’s more to it than watching it dry

The Abridged History of Spray Guns

Special thanks to Doug Edwards for his professional consultant.

Using air pressure to apply paint is a relatively new technique in some ways. Paint was applied, by hand, with a brush until around the late 1800s.

Joseph Binks was the maintenance supervisor for Marshall Fields in 1887. All the sub basements of the Chicago based store were in need of paint. Joseph invented a faster way completing the work in record time. The tool created was something we are familiar with and still use today, a garden sprayer!

In 1893 the new spray system was expanded during the Columbian Expedition held in Chicago. The buildings were still in need of paint and time was running short. The paint applicator came to the rescue and the world’s fair scale show was painted white. Hence the name for the exhibits being “White City”

In 1888 a Doctor, in Toledo OH, was dealing with how to treat a sore throat. Dr Allan DeVillbiss was seeking a way to medicate the inflicted area directly. Swallowing the medicine didn’t allow it to keep contact long enough. The doctor designed a spray device that would be the predecessor of what we know of as a suction spray gun.

What’s interesting to note is Dr DeVillbiss used cocaine in his medicine. I learned in my research this won’t be the only item that questions legality in our modern thinking.

The doctor’s son Thomas expanded on the invention in 1907 creating the first handheld spray gun which features spraying atomized material in a controlled pattern. This tool, seeing improvement through the years, was the standard for some time until it became environmentally illegal.

Siphon style spray gun. This tool was professionally phased out due to the higher air pressure needed during application.

Gravity fed canisters “HVLP” became the norm around 2000. The higher volume low pressure is much more environmentally friendly

Gravity feed style ~ this is the current style used

Assembly lines could manufacture quickly, but the painting was very time consuming. Every thing was painted by brush until 1924. Color changing, for the air tool, didn’t become easier until the 1930s. Its understandable that Henry Ford made every color for his model T available….as long as it was black.

The consumer didn’t have the convenience running to the hardware store for spray paint until the early 50s. Edward Seymour developed the first aerosol paint can, in 1949 at his wife Bonnie’s suggestion. The Sycamore, IL. inventor was awarded the patent in 1951.

Powder coating, a method using electricity, came about in in the 60s. This style, of painting really didn’t catch on until the 80s.

The spray applicator
The tools needed for powder coating. The canister holds the dry plastic coating

During what is deemed hot coat painting. The item is preheated to a temperature of 400°. Heating the painted surface is the only basic difference between “hot” and “cold” coating

The containment booth. The rod is not only a convenient hanging point. It is also grounded

A dry powder pigment is then magnetically applied on the item in a contained booth. The hanging rod in the booth is also grounded helping the paint to cling. Once the paint powder is applied, the item returns to the oven to be “baked” at 500°

The oven is a principle part of powder coating

As my subtitle heading suggests, this is only an abridged history. There is much more technical data that I have quickly glossed over. My next feature on this topic will discuss how paint came about and the history.

The final feature will be a video interview with Doug Edwards. We will discuss his insights on the subject. For those that don’t know, Doug is a professional painter, specializing in antique tractors.