'Horse Drawn Potato Digger Conversion' (Antique Iron)
Probably from the late teens to late 20’s, this potato digger was converted over so that the belt would be powered by a gas engine. When we found this digger, it had a huge 12 horse Wisconsin crank start engine mounted to drive the lifting belt. With the Wisconsin running the belt, the digger could then be pulled by a small tractor. This was used up until the mid 80’s by a daffodil grower.
Back in 1993, our son removed the old Wisconsin and with a couple friends lugged it off to his high school small engine shop class. Now a class project, it was taken apart, put back together and drove their instructor nuts as it would not start. Everything checked out and was in working order, but it was no go. Our son Doug learned firsthand that you do not hold on to the magneto wire when someone is cranking over the engine to see if it is firing!
Originally the steel wheels had lugs on them so that as the horses pulled the digger in the field, the wheels would drive the lifting belt. Though with the addition of a new gas engine, this machine could become fully operational again but, as is, it makes an interesting conversation piece. SOLD