Ernest Harshman

Content Tools

5490 Ft. Amanda Road Lima, Ohio 45805

The Harshman tractors were built in Cridersville, Ohio, from 1932 to 1939 by Ernest Harshman, a master mechanic.

I've known the Harshman family since I was a young boy. One of his sisters lived next door to us and was also my third grade teacher. I worked with one of his brothers at the Ford automotive dealership in Lima for twenty years.

At age 14, in 1936, I began part time work at a local greenhouse and they owned a Harshman tractor. Consequently, I used it frequently in my work there. Recently I acquired a picture of it from a family member.

Mr. Harshman built the tractors from used Overland automobiles, Models 91 and 92, which were built between 1919 and 1925. He used the engine, transmission and differential, the steering gear and lineage, front spindles and hubs (note: the Overland hub caps), as well as rear brake drums and bands. The front axle and header, as well as the saddle the rear axle lays in, and rear wheel hubs were cast at a foundry in Lima, Ohio. The side frames were made from 4 inch channel iron, and the reduction gear is by roller chain running in oil.

The draw bar raises and lowers with hand levers, spring loaded, and a breaking plow or one-row cultivator can be mounted on it. The first tractors that he built were mounted on steel wheels, and later models could be purchased with rubber tires.

I acquired the tractor in 1988. It looked very sad, but had all the original parts except the radiator. I substituted a radiator of the right size, and built the top cover over it which bolts to the gas tank. The gas tank is original. Then I cleaned the tractor down to bare metal, primed and repainted it. We believe this one was built in 1934.

I plan to show this tractor at some shows in Ohio and Indiana this summer.