Those Thrifty German Immigrants ... Combine Repurposed as a Gravedigger

Quote of the Day

You fall out of that tree and break both your legs, don't come running home to me.

— My mother on safety. When I see a child today riding a bicycle and wearing a helmet and pads, I wonder how I survived childhood.


Figure 1: Gleaner Combine as Originally Configured.

Figure 1: Gleaner Combine as Originally Configured.

I am the son and grandson of German  farmers. Their farms were almost magical to me because of all the belts and pulleys used to drive everything – it would have been an OSHA nightmare. I was always impressed with the self-sufficiency of these farms. For example, the Biegert farm in Hanover, Minnesota had a small sawmill that was powered using a tractor's PTO. Many farm buildings in that small community were built using wood from local trees cut by that mill. In fact, my family still has an affection for woodworking using butternut because that was a wood our father often milled on the farm. I smile just thinking about it.

Figure 2: Gleaner E Combine Repurposed as Gravedigger.

Figure 2: Gleaner E Combine Repurposed as Gravedigger.

One of the engineers in my group stopped by the other day and wanted to show me a photograph of an obsolete combine harvester that had been repurposed in an unusual way. The small German community of New Munich had removed the combine head and replaced it with a digging tool. It is now used by the local cemetery as a grave digging tool. This is exactly the sort of thing the old German farmers in Hanover would have done.

 
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