Saturday, December 31, 2011

Long Reins on Ox Pulling Firewood Sledge in Woods

Scout the Ox maneuvers well in brushy woods, guided by a long set of reins.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Where is Harry the Dog? Loading Wood?

Since a near miss with a falling tree Harry remains pretty sceptical. But he's ready to help.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sledding Firewood with Ox and Dog

Cutting up the firewood in the woods seems more satisfactory for me than skidding the logs out to chunk-up in the open. It keeps the mess in the woods and in the woods the log is rarely laying so flat on the ground that it has to be blocked-up to keep the chainsaw from getting dulled in the dirt. The leaves and forest humus also protect the saw to a degree. The sled is very maneuverable and can skid right over obstructing stumps and fallen logs without hanging up. I cleared a trail, of sorts, and then roughly piled the firewood along the trail to pick up later with the ox and sled. Using the sled required no backing up which is difficult for an ox. I could take each load directly to the truck and trailer. The only problem I had was that the cart-reins were too short, forcing me to walk between the ox and the sled on narrow parts of the trail. I'll make longer reins for the sled.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Skidding Firewood Logs with Ox and Dog

Logging popple trees in Northwestern Minnesota: This is our first try at skidding logs for firewood. The woods is so brushy that the process was fraught with hang-ups and other hazards. Scout the Ox is a two-year old so not technically an ox yet, and not ready for heavy work. We'd have had great difficulty getting the job done at all --- without the help of Harry the Dog!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

For Sale: Ox Cart

This ox cart has wooden wheels and a dumping box as well as a teamsters bench for the driver to sit on. The cart does not belong to me --- please contact the seller. They are located at Peterborough, Ontario and they are asking $800. See their classified ad by clicking here. This looks like a nice design for a cart.
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Friday, December 9, 2011

Scout the Ox on Cutting Firewood

"With a little help from the neighbors this firewood thing shouldn't take long."

"Let's get going. You cut 'em, I'll haul 'em"
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Bennett Buggy, New York Style --- A Real Hummdinger

Only in America! The all new Hoover Wagon.

How the Bennett Buggy Got Its Name

A bit of Canadian history as told by four high school girls (presumably Canadian) in an amateur video skit.

After Bennett Buggy, Hoover Wagon, Practice Goes International

In the United States of America, at the time of The Great Deppression, it is said that an automobile with its engine removed, and pulled by a horse or an ox, was called a Hoover Wagon (named after President Hoover). Very likely this is true, but, as of yet, I've seen no photos or documentation of this practice actually taking place.

I have come across a grab-bag of photos circulating around the internet showing the equivelent of Bennett Buggies in recent years and in various countries around the world. None of these photos belong to me so I have only provided thumbnails with links where you can see full size pictures and complete descriptions.

Click Here to Link to Photo

Click Here to Link to Photo

Click Here to Link to Photo

Click Here to Link to Photo

Click Here to Link to Photo

Click Here to Link to Photo
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bennett Buggy a.k.a. Anderson Cart

The Anderson Cart employed a bit more ingenuity than the Bennett Buggy. A classy little horse-drawn cart was fashioned from the axle and wheels of an automobile. The Anderson Cart was named after J. T. M. Anderson who was Premier of Saskatchewan during The Great Depression and The Dirty Thirties. Like the Bennett Buggy the Anderson Cart was an invention of necessity. When the funds to operate and maintain gasoline powered automobiles dried up -- along with the crop-lands --- it was a practical solution to the powerless piece of iron and rubber sitting in the driveway. Many of the farmers would have still owned the horses and oxen with which they had worked their fields; the animals were a ready source of power.

The Glenbow Museum Photo Archives (link here)
Title: Misses Wiccombe and Phelps, Mildred, Saskatchewan.
Date: [ca. early 1940s]

The Glenbow Museum Photo Archives (link here)
Title: Bennett buggy cart, Collholme, Alberta.
Date: [ca. 1934]  Remarks: Cart on front axle of automobile.
 R.A. Trogen and aunt from Ontario, Mrs. Rita Kump.

Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan
An Anderson Cart in Limerick, Saskatchewan, 1933.
Courtesy of Garrett Wilson, Regina, Saskatchewan.
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Monday, December 5, 2011

Bennett Buggy: Never Say Never

During The Great Depression, gasoline, oil, and repairs became too costly for many folks. It turned out the best use of their automobiles was to remove the heavy engines and turn what was left into buggies to be pulled by oxen or horses. This was most common in Saskatchewan where farmers were hit not only by the financial collapse but also by drought; the times are otherwise remembered as the Dirty Thirties. The buggies themselves are remembered not-so-affectionately as Bennett Buggies, named after R. B. Bennett, who was Prime Minister of Canada at the time.

Can anyone say Obamamobile!

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Technologically Advanced Bennett Buggy

The Glenbow Museum  (click here for link to complete photo)
Title: Oxen pulling automobile, Lashburn, Saskatchewan.
Date: Winter 1913
These Oxen were certainly up to the task of pulling this early automobile, though I think travel would have been a bit slow! There is some disagreement as to whether this was actually a Bennett Buggy, or just someone getting an ox-tow to the garage? The date on the photo puts it well before The Great Depression, The Dirty Thirties, and Prime Minister R. B. Bennett's term. But, I favor that it may be a Bennett type buggy because it's obviously cold outside and the driver has the top down and the windshield removed. This would be helpful in communicating his wishes to the ox, but unbearably cold if he was planning on traveling at road speeds; even 1913 road speeds! The draw-bar also appears to be attatched to the car, a task unneccessary for a simple ox-tow.

Perhaps it was so cold that the driver has given up ever getting that frozen, block-headed engine running again --- making this a Bennett Buggy, well in advance of its time!

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Saturday, December 3, 2011