For Doc and me, plowing with horse-drawn walking plows is a favorite activity. We both enjoy plowing with one, two, or three horses hitched to a walking plow.
The sounds, the smell, the feeling of holding the handles, and working with the soils … it is all part of it for us, as well as working with the horses as partners to get a job done. Helping the horses gain skills and understanding of the task and to make their contribution in a relaxed and comfortable way is very important to for us.
We both share an interest in horse drawn equipment of the past and have somewhat of a “collection”.
We are enamored with the details of parts, engineering, design, history of the manufacturers, adjustments, maintenance, and attachments of this old equipment. We both think there is beauty and art in the form and function of many of these older pieces, particularly the walking plows. The “plow hitch plate assembly” is one of those very appealing artistic components of walking plows.
This “plow hitch plate assembly” is one from a plow we recently found in eastern Oregon, a Vulcan #14. It has been fun for us to do some research on it, find out about the Vulcan Manufacturing Company, think about getting it in working order, ready for it’s use next spring.
Below is an excerpt from the Evansville Courier Press:
“William Heilman, a German immigrant and U.S. Congressman, founded Heilman Plow Works in 1847. Renamed Vulcan Plow Works in 1890, the company was a leading manufacturer of various farming equipment in the Ohio Valley before merging with three other companies in Illinois and Ohio, to form Farm Tool, Inc. The last known vestige of that company in Evansville left in 1949 and went out of business all together in the 1950s.”
We are getting very excited after we received recent news that two ‘new-to-us’ plows are being shipped to us by Tommy Flowers, and will have a new home here in Montana. A Chattanooga 43 10″ two-horse walking plow will be perfect for our Fjord Team, and a Lynchburg 6 an 8″ single horse walking plow for our single Suffolk Punch horses should be arriving soon! The ground isn’t frozen and there is no snow yet … maybe they will get here it time to try out before winter hits….
Doc and I always look forward to sharing our passion for plows and plowing with students in our workshops. Learning to plow is one of the favorite activities for many students.
One of our students, who had waited since his youth to plow with a horse was particularly excited about “taking the handles” for the first time. He said to me this year, “Cathy, I have yet to try this thing that you love so much, but I am ready now.” You should have seen the smile on his face as he looked back after completing his first furrow!