This section is from the book "The Potato: A Compilation of Information from Every Available Source", by Eugene H. Grubb, W. S. Guilford. Also available from Amazon: The Potato: A Compilation Of Information From Every Available Source.
The Aspinwall Manufacturing Company, Jackson, Mich., makes the machinery which is described in the following:
Picker" in Aspinwall Planter.
Aspinwall Two-Row Planter.
Aspinwall Planter with Fertilizer Attachment.
Aspinwall Potato Sorter.
This planter is entirely automatic. The picker represents the automatic action of the hand in planting, and is mechanical, but six of these hands are employed for all distances of planting. The distance is regulated by gears instead of change in number of pickers.
With the Aspinwall potato planter the fertilizer attachment is used largely in the East.
By using this machine there is a saving of time and labor, one man and team doing double the work of the single row. The two rows are absolutely equal in distance apart, which is of great advantage when using a two-row cultivator, as it permits of very close cultivation. The draft of the machine is but slightly more than the single row. The large wheels and narrow furrow openers reduce the draft and compensate for the increased size of the machine. Centre draft. The hopper capacity enables planting one half mile without refilling.
Aspinwall Potato Planter.
Distance of planting between the rows is adjustable to suit requirements. The furrow openers are very-narrow, which insures planting in straight lines. The disk coverers are set inside of the furrowers and close the earth into the individual furrows with a single disk.
These machines are made with attachments for all purposes, including orchard attachment and attachments for the various crops grown by truck gardeners. They are equipped with nozzles in front, adjustable by pedals which the driver can guide so as to deflect the spray and overcome any tendency of the wind to drive it from the rows of potatoes. The spraying capacity is four rows in one operation, or twenty acres per day. Pressure is from 60 to 120 pounds and adapted to spray Paris green, Bordeaux mixture, or sulphate of iron used with the broadcast attachment for grain fields.
The Rotary potato digger is intended to dig potatoes under various conditions. In operating the machine it is best to work around a number of rows or drills of potatoes the same as in plowing or mowing, discharging the potatoes constantly to the right side of the machine. This machine is not illustrated.
The manufacturers state that this machine will sort from 500 to 1,000 bushels per day, and work is superior to hand work. The low-down hopper makes easy work when shoveling and feeding the machine. It may be run by hand or power, as required. The entire work is under the control of the operator and any potatoes which are decayed or ill-shaped may be removed while the work is progressing. The sorting or separation divides the potatoes into three sizes.