THE WATERLOO BOY TRACTOR

Leroy Quandt
July/August 1975

Courtesy of E.J. Hafer, 10000 Wildcat Pike, La Rue, Ohio, 43332
E.J. Hafer
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Ryder, North Dakota, 58779

The Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company put out the first 'Waterloo Boy' (model R) kerosene-burning tractor in 1914 according to the history of the John Deere Waterloo Tractor Works. R.B. Gray in part I of his book says the year was 1912 for the Model R. Gray has the following description for this tractor; 12-24 H.P. at 750 r.p.m., Twin 2-cylinder horizontal engine. Started on gasoline, ran on kerosene (gravity feed), with water injection on heavy load; H.T. magneto with impulse starter; band clutch operated by hand lever; belt pulley mounted on extension of crank shaft; final drive, bull gears and pinions, Chain and roller steering, and one speed forward and one reverse.

The December 1915 Gas Review magazine lists the price of a Waterloo Boy at $750. John Deere started to distribute tractors manufactured by the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company in 1914. On March 18, 1918, this company became the property of Deere and Company, Moline, Illinois. By the end of 1918 the company had sold 8,076 Model R Waterloo Boy Tractors.

Shown is a 1916 Model R. Waterloo Boy and LaCross 3-14'. The plow was bought in March of 1916. The tractor was used for plowing discing, and operating a number 1 Birdsell Huller and a U.S. Corn Husker, also field grinder.

The Waterloo Gas Engine Company marketed their Model 'N' Waterloo Boy in 1916. It was rated at 12-25 H.P. at 750 r.p.m., had two forward speeds of 2-1/4 and 3 m.p.h. The Model 'N' was test number 1 in Nebraska in 1920 with engine number 19851. The specifications listed on the test are; bore 6-1/2 stroke 7', weight 6,183 lbs. Dixie #246 magneto, Schebler carburetor Model D, and Twin cylinder Engine, opposed crank, horizontal valve-inhead. The maximum belt horsepower developed was 25.97 and the maximum draw bar horsepower developed was 15.98.

Pictured is the Arnold Sagsveen, Lanford tractor a 1922 Model N - 28729, this being the last year the Waterloo Boy was made. Gerald Johnson of Douglas has brought his 1916 Waterloo Boy Model 'N' to our show every year.

In the article 'When was the First Tractor Made?' by Russell Harley of Elburn, Illinois in the March-April 1969 G.E.M. it is suggested that John Froelich built the Waterloo Boy tractors. The article 'A Story of a Man and an Idea' put out by the John Deere Company says after the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company was incorporated in 1895 stationary engines became their main concern while experimenting with tractors continued. Froelich was interested in tractors and chose to withdraw from the company moving to St. Paul, Minnesota. Here he no doubt worked with one of the many companies ecperimenting with tractors about this time. Which company Froelich worked with in the Twin City area, I don't know but someone may have the answer to this.

Pictured is the Arnold Sagsveen, Lanford tractor, a 1922 Model N.


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