Manuals for Old Horse-Powered Equipment
For information on old John Deere implements, write to Deere and Company, attn: Archives, John Deere Road, Moline, IL 61265-8098. Tell them everything you know about your implement and they will help you track down information and manuals. If you already know your model number, you can call 800-522-7448 to order a manual with a credit card.
Finding instruction and parts manuals for other old farm equipment is difficult, but not impossible. Sources include Lloyd Wenger, 831A Hilltop Road, Meyerstown, Pennsylvania 17067, phone 717-866-7147 (evenings) and Walter Miller, 6710 Brooklawn, Syracuse NY 13211, 315-432-8282. Walter has a large assortment of stationary engine, tractor, and farm implement literature, repair manuals, and parts books from 1900 to the present. Send him a stamped, self-addressed envelope with a specific request and he'll send a free list.
The Oliver and Hart-Parr Company archives now reside in the Floyd County Museum at Charles City, Iowa, phone 515-228-1099, The archives include photos, business records, advertising literature, and other documents from the years that Hart-Parr and Oliver machines were built in Charles City. The museum may have what you need.
The following farm equipment collector's clubs and brand specific magazines may come in handy for finding information about a particular farm implement. A letter to one of these organizations or a notice in their newsletter may turn up a source for parts or manuals.
Finally, visit just about any of the antique equipment shows held each summer in every part of the country. Among the flea market vendors is usually at least one literature stand. These folks have box after box of old manuals, often organized by manufacturer.
Sam Moore's column “Let's Talk Rusty Iron” appears regularly in Rural Heritage.
PO Box 2067, Cedar Rapids IA 52406-2067
Phone: 319-362-3027 Fax: 319-362-3046
22 June 2002
09 October 2011 last revision