Mendon Model Machinery Builder Has Colorful Hobby
Shades of 1887! Onlookers at the Logan Centennial parade July 3 and 4 are sure to see many strange and beautiful sights, but in addition they will see pass in review a replica of the oldest steam tractor in the intermountain region. This is announced by L. K. Wood of Mendon, creator of the replica and self-styled builder of model machinery. The tractor is built to half-size scale of the original model and runs under its own power, burning coal for fuel. It pulls and furnishes motive power for an half-size model of the oldest grain separator in the state— in use here from 1887 until about 1910.
These are two pieces of the fabulous collection of copies and originals of threshing machines, which has been built up during the past several years by Mr. Wood. In comparing himself with the late Henry Ford, Mr. Wood reveals that he has a copy of an original of every type of threshing apparatus used in the intermountain west since the advent of the pioneers. While Mr. ford’s hobby was centered around automobiles, Mr. Wood recently demonstrated the tractor and separator on the foot-hill near his Mendon home, proving their ability to “get around” just as well as the originally did in their day. The demonstration was climax to about four years of construction work. Although Mr. Wood worked at the models only in his spare time he estimates he spent the equivalent of sixty, eight-hour days on the separator and eighty-seven, eight-hour days on the tractor.
Mostly hand made, using scrap material he had available, the tractor and separator will be preserved in the Wood collection and will be shown this fall at the county fair, Mr. Wood reports. Proving that the replicas are not just for show, Mr. Wood reports that the separator really works and will thresh a bushel of grain a minute. Mr. Wood’s handiwork is well known about the country for he has displayed some of his models at the county fair in years past. A group of his models showing the progress of threshing in Utah, in the 100 years just completed, are part of the Cache county display now at the State Capitol building in Salt Lake City.
But news of his work has spread beyond Cache county and articles in farm magazines and periodicals, which told of his hobby, have brought several fellow hobbyists from eastern United States and from Canada to look over his collection and to commend on it. As his part of the state’s centennial celebration Mr. Wood invites all persons who are interested in seeing his collection to come out to his Mendon home where it is kept.