Early Samson Story In Ads

Samson Tractor

Jan. 1919 ad.

William Rees

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William Rees of Evergreen Farms, Franklin, Illinois 62638 sent us copies of two Samson tractor ads from the December 1918 and January 1919 copies of Power Farming. It is interesting to note how the artist's rendering has changed in one month's time, and Rees conjectures that the December ad must have been one of the first for the model M tractor.

The three artist's renderings of the Samson tractors:

The earlier ad boasted that the $650 tractor would be capable of pulling two 14 inch plows at all times- three 14 inch plows under favorable conditions. 'The Samson will not kick up front or rear-just pulls, pulls, PULLS.'

In the January ad, the firm reprinted a letter and information blank they were sending out in response to the 'thousands of inquiries' they received from the first ad.

'We don't want you to buy a Two-Three Plow Tractor if it would be to your advantage to buy a Three-Four Plow Tractor. If your farm is better adapted by reason of acreage, crop rotation or soil conditions, to the Three-Four Plow type, we want you to have it,' the letter reads. It then makes note that a Three-Four Plow Tractor (Model A) has been designed, is being tested and will be offered to the public in a few months at a price in the neighborhood of $900.

'We do want you to investigate and (regardless of any high powered, land breaking tractors that you may buy or own) purchase a Samson (Model D) light, high frame, direct drive tractor, for which we are now taking orders. Price $450.'

The ad further claims that the Model D, 'in connection with a ground-breaking tractor of any type and a Samson light truck, will eliminate every horse on your farm.'

In closing, the ad claims that worldwide demand for the tractors is enormous and that production over the next four months will not exceed 10,000 tractors. For the purpose of obtaining a wide distribution, giving the public an opportunity of investigating the product and watching the performance, we are allotting a certain number to each county, with a proper township distribution, locating the Samples where most convenient for the greatest number.'

The blank offered for potential customers asked for numbers of acres; level of rolling surface and character of soil; how many acres in corn, cotton, small grain, hay and pasture; how many horses owned and what make of tractor.

According to Charles Wendel's An Encyclopedia of American Farm Tractors , the Samson, a product of General Motors Corporation intended to compete with the Fordson and manufactured in Janesville, Wisconsin, was a financial disaster for G.M. The proposed Model A was never built. By 1922 G.M. got out of the tractor business and converted the Samson plant into a Chevrolet assembly operation. The third illustration shows the tractor as it was depicted on a 1918 manual.