CO-OP and COCKSHUTT

By Staff
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1938 Co-Op's #3.
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1945 Co-op C.
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1954 Cockshutt 20.
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3203 Norton Road Radnor, Ohio 43066

Bob Schwaderer is an avid collector of Co-op and Cockshutt
tractors. He came by his interest naturally. His father, Walter
Schwaderer, began selling equipment for the Farm Bureau and ended
his forty-five year career selling Oliver equipment. Many times he
took young Bob with him when he made calls on customers or
prospective buyers. Now Bob, owner and operator of Schwaderer Farm
Supply, LaRue, Ohio, handles White farm equipment.

Co-op and Cockshutt tractors were featured at the eleventh
annual Marion County Steam and Gas Engine Society Show, Marion,
Ohio, June 17-19, 1988, at the Marion County Fairgrounds. The Co-op
and Cockshutt tractors were exhibited along with an array of other
vintage tractors, steam engines, gas engines, antique farm
equipment, an impressive antique motorcycle display, a shingle mill
and an operating saw mill. There was a tractor pull, slow race,
fiddler’s contest, the always popular flea market, and much
more.

A member of the Marion County Society, Bob exhibited four Co-op
and five Cockshutt tractors paired with Cockshutt implements. His
wife, Anna May, who collects antique farm wagons, brought along her
Cockshutt wagon.

Bob exhibited Co-Op’s 1938 #3, 1940 B2, 1945 C, and the 1948
E3 which his father sold originally and Bob bought back for his
mother. He showed Cockshutt’s 20, 30, 35, 40, and the 50, which
is a diesel.

Many years ago farmers saw the wisdom of forming groups called
cooperatives to enhance their buying power. The National Farm
Machinery Cooperative, Inc., was started in 1940 and was made up of
thirteen regional cooperatives. They bought out the Corn Belt
Machinery Company of Shelbyville, Indiana, and the Ohio Cultivator
Company of Bellevue, Ohio, which was most famous for the Black Hawk
corn planter and the Thomas grain drill.

The first production of the Co-op tractor, built by the Duplex
Machinery Company of Battle Creek, Michigan, was distributed by
Farmer’s Union Central Exchange, Inc., of St. Paul, Minnesota,
a member of the National Farm Machinery Cooperative. It had a
single front wheel and a Waukesha four cycle engine with 3? inch
bore and 4 inch stroke.

The cooperatives promised ‘fast, courteous service, repair
parts always in stock, and to deliver machinery to the farm from
the farmer’s factory.’ This quote is from Bob’s
extensive collection of Co-op and Cockshutt literature which he
will have at the show. Some of this vintage material will be for
sale. Bob has been compiling factual material about both companies
in a book of his own.

His daughter, Diana Myers, has traced the history of these
companies and has created a ‘machinery family tree’, a
visual aid which shows that many companies came together to make
possible the development of good farm equipment design.

The Cockshutt Plow Company, Limited, of Brantford, Ontario,
Canada, was a pioneer in the early development of farm machinery
and equipment.

In 1839 the original company began operations in a 40 x 60 foot,
three story building and had only five employees, growing
eventually to 1,714,000 square feet of manufacturing space. They
made plows, harrows, cultivators, seeders, planters, manure
spreaders, haying and harvesting machinery, both self-propelled and
tractor drawn harvester combines and swathers, farm wagons,
sleighs, truck bodies, semi-trailers, hoists and garbage collecting
units. They produced the Cockshutt tractor, the first modern
tractor built in Canada.

The company operated for 128 years under the Cockshutt name and
under family control, exporting farm equipment and machinery all
over the world.

Bob told me, ‘Before 1946 the tractors they sold carried the
Cockshutt name but were produced in Oliver’s Charles City, Iowa
plant.

After 1946 Cockshutt began to supply National Farm Machinery
with tractors.’ In 1952, Cockshutt bought out National Farm
Machinery, Inc. Then, in 1962, White Motor Corporation, Cleveland,
Ohio, purchased Cockshutt Farm Equipment Company of Canada, Ltd.,
Brantford, Ontario, as a subsidiary of Oliver Corporation. Most
Cockshutt equipment was discontinued at that time, ending a unique
era in farm machinery history.

Cockshutt’s major contribution to the advancement of farm
machinery design was the live power take-off, ‘and their
transmission and differential were unsurpassed.’ Bob
maintains.

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