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Self-Propelled Hay Baler
I am 86 years young and in the spring of 1933, I made a self-propelled hay baler. I took the rack and cab off a long wheelbase International truck and mounted a stationary John Deere baler on back and put a seat on each side so my children could tie the bales. I powered it with a Model A Ford motor, adding a governer. I mounted a 5-ft. wide pickup on the side and powered it from the right rear wheel with corn binder drive chain. I had a platform across the back of the feed table to stand on to hand-feed the baler with a pitchfork. I made 85-lb. bales, putting out as many as 1,100 in one day. Engineers from John Deere, Case and IH found out about it and came out to follow me around the field, taking a lot of pictures. They were out there every couple weeks. I had pictures of it until my home burned down, a fire in which I also lost my 18-year-old daughter and my wife. The companies didn't come out with a pull-behind baler until 1937 and it only made 45-lb. bales. (M. Albert Wakeman, At 2, Box 363, Roscommon, Mich. 48653)

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1992 - Volume #16, Issue #1