Modern Conveniences on the Farm
Inexpensive machinery for a lighting and water system. By H. B. Roth
��TO have city comforts and conveniences in the farm home, it is necessary to have some kind of power. If there is a stream of any size, electricity is the cheapest power obtainable. Lacking this, a gasoline engine is the best possible solution of the problem.
On a recently purchased farm in southern Michigan, the owner has made it his first duty to supply those comforts which are luxuries to many farmers, but absolute necessities to the family which has formerly lived in a large city. An adequate water supply being the first consideration, a 6-in. well was driven through hard-pan and blue clay to a depth of 90 ft. Good water was struck 20 ft. below the surface. However, the deeper well yields a continual flow of cool water of a superior quality. To convey this to all the buildings, an auto- matic pump which works by air pressure was placed within the 6-in. pipe. A large air-compressor tank run by the gasoline engine stands in the house sheltering the well. There is no storage tank for water. A faucet opened anywhere starts the action of the pump, and fresh water directly from the well is immediately obtainable.
The same engine which pumps air into the compressor-tank runs the dynamo which charges a set of storage batteries furnishing electricity for the entire farm. By the same power corn is shelled and ground, alfalfa turned into meal, and the grindstone turned for the busy man. Even the exhaust from the engine is utilized. A discarded water tank is set on end beside the engine. The exhaust pipe is run into this tank, which radiates enough heat to raise the temperature above freezing. The extended pipe, connected with a rect- angular pipe-frame resting on the floor of the watering trough outside, prevents the water from freezing in severe weather.
The water is piped to the house, supply- ing two bath-rooms, kitchen and laundry. There is also a hydrant furnishing fresh water in the pig-house which is also supplied with a large feed-cooker. The overflow from the well is piped to the hen- house where the water trickles into troughs made of galvanized eave drains that are
��securely fastened to the side of the house at the proper height. At the farther end of the 56-ft. poultry house, the water empties into a pipe which carries it 100 ft. or more to a trough in the colony yard, supplying another flock of chickens. The troughs are brushed out daily, and the flow of water is steady enough to insure coolness and purity at all times. The water may be shut off within the engine-house on cold nights, and any coating of ice in the trough is quickly melted with a kettleful of boiling water.
For baths, kitchen and laundry work, and the scrupulous care of milk utensils, a constant supply of hot water in the house is of great importance. The hot-water tank is connected with the hot-air furnace and laundry stove. However, it was not always convenient to keep a fire in the laundry stove, especially in hot weather. After much consideration, a blue-flame oil heater was installed, and that has given perfect satisfaction during the past year. It is used in connection with the laundry stove on wash-days, and alone at other times. After the water is hot, which is in a very short time, two of the three fires may be extinguished, leaving one burner lighted to insure hot water at all times. If the water is entirely cold, the three burners lighted will heat enough water for a bath in 20 minutes. The heater is simple in con- struction, easily cared for, and much cheaper and more convenient to run than a coal stove.
Electricity lights the engine-house, poul- try house, stable, barnyard and residence. An electric iron is considered the greatest labor-saving device in the house. There are outlets in the kitchen where electric stoves may be attached, and a vacuum cleaner may be run on the same current. It is the owner's intention to install an electric motor in the basement for the purpose of running the washer and cream- separator, as the engine house is too far distant from the residence to make use of the gasoline engine for these purposes.
It is possible to have all the conveniences and comforts in the farm home at prac- tically the same cost as in the city establish-