This box is extra wide at 42" on the outside (not counting the braces, hardware or steps) so it is 4" wider than the much more common 38 wide wagon box. It is 40" wide on t3 sets of side boards total 36" in height. The bottom boards are 16" high and both sets of the upper boards are each 10" high.
Some of the side boards are stamped with the date code 5-17 on the inside and some are stamped with the date coded 6-17 on the inside. I believe this box was built sometime in 1917. There is no wear on the top of the sides which makes me think that a seat had never been used on this box before I installed the authentic John Deere seat shown in these photos.
There is no wear on the back of the floor boards as there would be if much grain was ever dumped out of the back of this box. I suspect this box was used to store grain, seed or feed inside a building for most of it's useful life. There is only some very slight wear on the floor at the back where grain normally would have worn the back of the floor boards as it was running out the rear of the box. There is a bit of minor wear on the bottom of both of the sides where they rubbed on the insides of the bolsters of the running gear when it was moving. There is no wear at all on the iron rub plates on the bottom sides near the front of this box so it may never have been mounted on the typical wood wheeled running gear.
Perhaps it was mounted for a while on a running gear with the smaller steel wheels and auto steering like those running gears that followed the wood wheeled running gears. The outside of the right side has about 90% of the original paint intact while the outside of the left side has about half of the original paint intact.
None of the wood has weathered to the point that it is turning gray. Any exposed wood looks to be a medium reddish brown color.
My friend in Oregon that I bought this gem from mentioned that he found it under cover in an open shed with the left side facing outward. That may explain why the paint shows more wear on the left side. At the inside of the front, the softwood bottom boards are showing some minor rot damage where they meet the floor. That damage does not show through on the outside of the box sides anywhere.
The floor is hardwood and shows no rot damage anywhere including the under side. The step board on the middle of the right side is in fine condition. The left step board in missing because someone cut off both of the boards that cross under the center of the floor and support both the left and right step boards.I suspect this was done in order to make this box sit up tight against the wall of a barn and take up less room in that barn. That is unfortunate but this box would not be as nice as it is today had it not been put to use inside a shed or barn a long time ago. I do not have the four 3/8" or 7/16" diameter rods that hooked over the top of the top side boards and clamped them to the cross pieces under the bottom of the floor. Those rods would be easy to make and would not even be necessary for a static display. The thin 3/4" wide iron molding that is screwed to the top and near the front of the right upper side board has two 8" and 13 long pieces that have broken loose but they are included.
It would be a simple task to remove the wood screws that holt that molding in place, weld the broken pieces together and re-install that molding. The seat that is shown is included and is a genuine John Deere wagon seat but it shows more weathering than this box does.It is the universal type where the spacing between the springs can be changed to fit either the 38" or the wide 40" box like this one is. I will try to contact him in about 10 days and ask him about that seat then. I don't have any of the brake lever hardware that attaches to the right front of this box but I suspect it would be common to that used on the shorter or narrower John Deere wagon boxes. The side boards make this box what most people call a "triple box" because the sides are made of three separate boards. The bottom board is by itself and the upper pair of boards are tied together.
One can remove the pair of upper side boards and use only the bottom side board to haul dirt, gravel or rocks. One would then used the complete side boards to haul grain. Some of the side boards have either a May or June 1917 date code stamped in them on the inside so that can be used to help date this box.
Some of the photos may show the foot board at the top of the front of the box. I did not like it there so I carefully removed the brackets and turned the upper font boards upside down and re-installed the brackets and foot board. That is why some photos show the foot board in the top position as well as in the more common lower position.
This was most likely never an issue before because as I mentioned earlier, this box appears to never have had a seat installed on it before I bought it. This listing included one each of the NOS very heavy front and rear wheels made by the International Harvester Company for their very heavy running gears.
Those red wheels are shown on the right side of this wagon. My friend had those duplicated and those new duplicate wheels are shown on the left side of this wagon.I used all the loose parts I acquired from him to mock up what a running gear might look like. I have used two NOS "wide track" (64" versus the standard 60" track) front axles, one at the front and one at the back, because I have no rear axle.
I believe the main difference between the front and rear axles is that the front axle has a hole through the center where it pivots while the rear axle has no such hole. That extra hole in the rear axle is hard to see unless one is under the rear axle. Of course, that hole can be filled if one so desires. I have no "wide track" bolsters that cross under the front and rear of the box floor and support the sides so I used wood blocks to temporarily hold the box at about the right height above the axles for these photos.
I have about 80% of the wood parts needed to build a suitable very heavy running gear for this box. It has no wheels and is not heavy or wide track running gear. It can be used for the steel parts that are needed to assemble the NOS wood running gear parts that are included and shown here.In the photos you can see a pair of small black nylon ratchet straps that are used to hold the box fairly snugly to the blocks and axles. They hold it good enough to roll it around on but the entire group of running gear parts will have to be disassembled to haul this gem anywhere. This is a very rare opportunity to acquire the "King" of John Deere wagon boxes, a very heavy duty running gear and a very rare if not completely unique John Deere collectible. The item "Huge Rare 13.5' John Deere 42 Wide Track Horse Drawn Triple Box Farm Wagon" is in sale since Sunday, September 07, 2014.
This item is in the category "Sporting Goods\Outdoor Sports\Equestrian\Driving Equipment\Other Driving Equipment". The seller is "toysanyone" and is located in Bozeman, Montana. This item can't be shipped, the buyer must pick up the item.