You Know You Grew up in MORRISON if. . . .

Picture a present-day farm with a problem: a large tractor needs to pull a heavy and large trailer. Although the tractor has plenty of power and heft, the standard tractor drawbar is too short to make efficient turns because the wheels can easily contact the trailer A-frame. The solution: a drawbar extension. But such a chunk of steel would be expensive to buy so you scout about the farmstead for large pieces of steel that will help. In the corner of a shed, there is an old wagon tongue that has been converted to be a support shelf. Strapped across the wooden tongue is a perfect 1" thick piece of steel with holes pre-drilled to match even modern drawbars! My brother even remembers going to the Morrison blacksmith when he made the strap-on steel bars to convert an old horse drawn wagon to a hitch compatible with the first tractors. So the 1" thick steel bar was given to a skilled metalsmith to cut to size to fit on a tractor drawbar. Because the metalsmith was VERY knowledgeable about steel, he immediately spotted some unique things -
1. The steel had curious bulges around the holes.
2. There were slight dish depressions around the holes. A modern machine shop would create such a bar by starting with a 1" block of steel and using a drill press to drill the holes. The Morrison Blacksmith would not have had such a large drill press. So he would have drilled the holes by heating the bar to white hot, then using a punch to make the holes. Since the steel was hot at the time, it deformed slightly around the punched holes. The metalsmith also found a 1/2" X 1/8" piece of slag in the area where the end was cut off. This large contaminant wouldn't occur in a modern steel making process. To provide closure for the story, the yardstick that I picked up was from Fred & Stella's Feed store, which used to be located either in the old Blacksmith Shop or right next door to the blacksmith!