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The Hopping Baling Press

It was in the 1940ís. If the local farmers around Carroll County, Ohio had hay left over in the mow, they sold it to the local baling crews. The baling crews baled the hay and shipped it to other states as demand dictated. One of the Jim Long baling crews had positioned the 1903 Eli Baling Press Style 108 on the barn floor, belted her up to the McCormick Deering 10-20, and began to throw the loose hay from the mow into the old girl. When the bell rang another division board was dropped. Three wires were twisted around each bale. As the bales came out of the chamber they were individually weighed and tagged. After all, you paid for the whole railroad car: better load it to the max. Things were operating quite smoothly when all of a sudden the plunger pitman arm casting snapped. Everybody scrambled for safety. The momentum of the flywheel kept the machine running. On the next revolution the broken pitman arm half that was attached to the bull gears sheared the front axle off the press and down came the front end. On each subsequent revolution the arm would hit the barn floor slightly lifting the press and causing it to move forward. The press finally stopped but not until the front of the press had hopped out of the barn. No one was hurt. The pitman arm halves were removed and taken to a nearby town for welding. The front axle casting was laminated with flat pieces of plate and bolted back together. By the next day all was well and the baling proceeded. What a funny sight to see.

thethresherman, OH, entered 2011-10-14
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