Rare Mogul tractor a showpiece at Henty’s vintage display

September 14, 2015

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Ken Paton’s rare 1917 International Harvester Mogul 10.20 tractor will form part of the vintage display at the field days.

A rare steel wheeled tractor is set to take centre stage at the popular antique farm machinery display at this year’s Henty Machinery Field Day.

The restored International Harvester Mogul 10.20, manufactured in Chicago, USA, in 1917, will be displayed by vintage farm machinery enthusiast Ken Paton, of Table Top.

He had been pursuing the Mogul for over five years until the opportunity came up to buy it at the auction of a collection owned by the late Tony Pailthorpe, in Harvey, Western Australia.

“It is a rarity and a nice tractor – the holy grail of tractors,’’ Mr Paton said.

“By 1917, International had already been manufacturing their tractors for 11 years. Any farmer purchasing a new Case International today is benefitting from an enormous amount of manufacturing expertise.’’

The Mogul featured 20 belt horsepower, a hand operated clutch, magneto ignition, and started on petrol but ran on kerosene.

It was designed to pull a three furrow mouldboard plough but at Henty it will be driving an International Harvester Type M stationary hay baler, manufactured between 1919 and 1940.

The type M baler was International’s longest production run of any of the baler models.

For Ken Paton, old tractors represent the essence of Australia’s rural heritage.

He and wife Helen have among their extension collection, a 1936 Massey Harris Pacemaker, and McCormick Deering 15-30, 22-36, W30 and WK40 models, and a 1919 International Titan 1020.

The shedded collection is open to the public by appointment.

Originally from Tooma, Mr Paton was a helicopter mustering pilot in the Kimberley for 25 years but has always been hooked on restoring old tractors and machinery.

“I’ve always had more than one project on the go – my first restoration project was a 1935 International W12 which I still have,’’ he said.

“My favourite changes every week but at the moment it is the 98-year-old Mogul. There was the Mogul, the Waterloo Boy, Titan and International junior – they were the real heroes of the early tractors and a lot of others fell by the wayside.

“Tractors are great fun and simple to restore as they have no electrics, rubber tyres or upholstery.’’

Henty and District Antique Machinery Club president Ian Ballentine said farm machinery dated pre-1940 was the theme for the vintage display at this year’s field days.

A highlight will be a collection of 20 ends from the famous Furphy water cart, which were used to carry water to the troops in military camps across Europe and the Middle East.

The drivers of the carts became sources of information and gossip for the soldiers as they moved from camp to camp.

The information was often unreliable and the word “furphy’’ quickly became a synonym for rumour.

The water cart itself was an invention of John Furphy and first made in the 1880s with cast iron ends, 85cm in diameter.

In 1898, John added a short rhyme with a strong message. It read “Good, better, best – never let it rest – till your good is better – and your better is best’’.

John’s son, William added a Pitman’s shorthand inscription in 1920, which translated tells the reader that “Water is the gift of God, but beer is a concoction of the devil, don’t drink beer’’.

This was changed slightly in 1942 to read “Water is the gift of God, but beer and whiskey are concoctions of the devil, come and have a drink of water.’’

The collection will be displayed by Ian Wood, Rutherglen, and Sydney collectors Peter McCook and Mick Walter.

Mr Wood said the display would include rare early ends dating from the 1880.

He has sourced his collection from clearing sales, other collectors and on-line.

There will be a large line-up of trucks, tractors, tillage implements and stationary engines, right down to an antique tap display, at this year’s field days.

“We always have a lot of people coming to the field days especially to see the vintage display,’’ Mr Ballentine said.

“There is a lot of younger people who have never seen machinery like it in their life and they ask plenty of questions.

“We don’t mind – we love it as it is important to keep that knowledge alive and pass it on.

“The average age of our membership is around 70 and we are always looking for younger members but it’s not easy.’’

Mr Ballentine said fellowship was one of the most important aspects of the club.

“Some blokes like fishing but we all like to fiddle with tractors and there is always a yarn to tell,’’ he said.

The vintage machinery on display will be:

International hay baler – Colin Miller

12 run Mitchell seed drill – Ross McDonald

Two ex-army generators – Peter Cochrane

Yellow Twin City tractor – Kerry Pietsch

Normag tractor – Les Burns

Star stationary engine and Lanz Bulldog – Len Schilg

Two stationary motors – Peter Schield

International Super AWD 6 Tractor, 3hp International stationary engine and Buzzacot 3hp engine – Andrew Newton

Hybrid home made tractor and a Cooper stationary motor – Steve Nesbitt

1917 International Mogul tractor – Ken Paton

1948 International Super AV tractor – Malcolm Goode

Bag trolley – Rob Jones

Chevrolet truck and Case tractor – Max Hogg

Antique tap display – Gordon Ellis

1927 Chevrolet truck and Oxford Allen sickle bar mower – Ian Ballentine

Schumacher seed grader – Trevor Terlich

Furphy cast iron ends and accessories – Ian Wood, Peter McCook and Mick Walter