Saturday, January 6, 2018

First (?) Air-Conditioned Combine

My dad and I spent many hours operating the farm equipment. When you spend money for the equipment, you need to keep it busy to pay for it. The self-propelled combine was a workhorse. My dad purchased a Massey-Ferguson combine with 13 foot grain head and a corn picker head.

The combine was running through the whole harvest season. First there was winter wheat and oats. New came soy beans. Finally, corn. In those days, corn varieties required longer growing season – so Beans were mostly done before corn was ready for harvest.

Most of the combining was done by my dad. The operator's platform was open. It was a dusty job, particularly with the soy beans. The fine “hairs” of the bean stalk would swirl as a dust cloud. The dust was having an adverse effect on my dad's health. The answer was installing a cab on the combine.

As I recall, there was a fan and filter to circulate the air. No problems in Fall, during beans and corn harvesting. Engine heat and the sun (lots of glass in the cab) kept the cab comfortable. The problem was wheat and oats harvesting. Hot Summer days in the fields.

During the Summer, we were very busy. Once I was old enough, my dad taught me how to run the combine. I am sure I was in high school (or summer break from college). This makes it in the mid 60s.

I was running the combine. It was a hot, sunny day. I had the roof and door of the cab open in an effort to keep the cab temperature bearable. My mom came out to bring me lunch. Back in the cab, the heat became unbearable. Trying to cool down, I was trying standing up on the seat, partially out of the roof of the cab. Suddenly, I felt cool, almost chilly.

I recognized the condition as being overheated (heat stroke) and nothing to fool around with. Drove the combine to the truck was parked and then drove the truck home. My mom was surprised to see me home. When I told here what happened, she got me cold water, started up a fan, and had me lay down.

When my dad got home, he said something has to be done. Can't afford missing the harvest days, but can't have heat stroke as a common occurrence. His solution was air-conditioning the combine cab. The local Massey-Harris implement dealer (Pederson Brothers Implement) said they had not heard to anyone doing this, but were interested in the concept.

Montgomery Wards had aftermarket automobile air-conditioners. They were willing to work with the implement dealer to design the application.

The Massey-Harris combine had a Chrysler slant 6 engine – no problem powering the AC pump. The evaporation unit was mounted top inside of the cab for fan blowing at the operator's face. Wish I had a photograph of the installation.

As I recall, other farmers and implement dealers came to look at the installation. The local newspaper published an article and photo about the installation. According to Massey-Harris, my dad had the first air-conditioned combine. Wards conformed this was the first time they had installed an air conditioner in a combine.

Typical, my dad did not look for any financial gain or royalty for the idea or design. As I recall, he basically let Wards and Massey have any possible financial benefits.



Sunday, December 17, 2017

Quesadilla

Cousin Don and I met at Billy's Long Bar for dinner.  The next 2 weekends will be a zoo with the holidays.  Once again had a enjoyable conversation.

I had my normal pints of Kilt Lifter.  Wanted to try something different for food.  Settled on their beef quesadilla.  It was good, but like Billy's Enchilada Plate better.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Ruidoso Area Pages

My website pages for the tour in the Ruidoso, NM Area are posted.  The pages include photos of the Cloudcroft Trestle and vicinity, Lincoln, NM,  Fort Stanton, Smokey Bear Historic Park, White Oaks, NM and Valley of Fired Recreation Area.

This photo is of the Catholic Chapel at Fort Stanton.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Heading Home

Did not sleep well Monday night.  That's typical when I am driving.  Packed the room and had a bowl of cereal.  Checked out of the room and headed toward home.

First stop was to check out the "ghost" town of White Oaks.  The bar in town is only open Fridays through Sunday.  Took a couple photos of the old buildings.  Amazing there is a large, 2-story school house out here in nowhere.

From there,I checked out Valley of Fires Recreational Area.  Very different to the VOF near Las Vegas, this valley gets its name from the volcanic activity in the area.  My Seniors Pass was only good for half price entrance.  Bought a ghost towns book at the visitor's center and visited with the attendant.  There was not much to do see there than the lava field and many places to park RVs or have a picnic.

Was time to high-tail it home.  Took US 380 to I-25 on up to Rio Rancho.  Home a little after 1 pm.  Grabbed the mail and processed the day's photos.  Exhausted, so napped. Unpacking the car and starting laundry can wait until tomorro

Monday, November 27, 2017

Ruidoso Area

Had a quick breakfast of cereal and coffee, I was on the road to tour the area.  My goal was to check out the historic town of Lincoln, NM,  Fort Stanton Historic Site, and Smokey Bear State Park.

I did not spend much time in Lincoln.  It was a matter of shooting some photos of the old buildings.  The town of Lincoln plays major roll in the history of New Mexico. Notable names like Sheriff Pat Garrett and "Billy the Kid" were prominent players.

Most of the rest of the morning was spent at Fort Stanton.  The fort was built at a military fort.  It has also served at prison of war facility, military hospital, and tuberculous hospital.  It 2004 interesting parties started efforts to preserve the fort.  The state and federal government got involved in 2008.  Eventually, the fort became Fort Stanton History Site.

Fort Stanton is very much a work in progress.  When you enter the visitor's center, you are give some information of the fort history and information of what buildings are open.  The folks at Fort Stanton are working hard to open more buildings.

From Fort Stanton, it was on over to Smokey Bear Historical Park in Capitan, NM.   This is a state facility, at the time, entrance fee is $2.00. There is a path showing the plants in the New Mexico climate zones.  Featured at a corner o =f the the park is Smokey Bear burial site.  The museum illustrated when happens to the land after a forest fire and the people that fight these fires.

Last night when heading out to dinner, I saw a interesting store - "Boots & Jeans" - my kind of store.  Ended up spending too much money - buying a pair of boots, jeans, a couple shirts, and a belt.

Dinner was at Rio Grande Grill & Tap Room.  Had a cheeseburger, fries, and a pint of Pecan Amber Ale.

Spent the rest of the evening packing back into the car and watching TV.


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Cloudcroft

Sunday, it was time for me to get back on the road heading home.  I made plans to spend some time playing "Tourist" in Lincoln County on the way home.

Wanted to see the mountain railroad trestle near Cloudcroft.  The trestle is just West of the town. Cloudcroft was in interesting mountain town,  Looking forward to visiting the town again to spend some time.

After taking photos in town and of the trestle, I drove down the mountain almost into Alamogordo.  Back tracked back to Cloudcroft and North up to Ruidoso.  Checked into the Quality Inn, processed photos, and headed out to K-Bob's for dinner.  Opted for the Bacon cheeseburger, fries, and a pint of Bosque Scottish Ale.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Geronimo

 Yesterday, I left Roswell late - heading to Hobbs.  Visit with my hosts and a late Thanksgiving dinner..

Spent a relaxing day in Hobbs, NM.  Was thinking of playing, instead did a quick tourist trip to Monument, NM and looked at the Geronimo monument.  The local citizenry needs to spend to money to refurbish the monument.

There was a work-ware store closing in Hobbs.  Stobbed by there and pick up another pair of boots