(From I &T, Feb. 7, 1963)
Dear Mr. Baker:
You have done a fine job on your history of cars. In 1938 a lady
gave me a 1904 one-cylinder Cadillac that we restored at that
We have some very active antique clubs here in northern Montana.
One guy has a 1917 Velie, all restored. Getting to the IHC car,
there is one of them at Havre. The car even had a wooden frame, and
since it is restored is quite a car.
A few days ago I acquired a 1913 Wm. Galloway catalog. At that
time they built a farm truck. I happen to be a collector of
old-time steam engine, separator and gas tractor catalogs. They
come in handy to people who are re-storing old machinery.
When you tell about the EMF car, my neighbor tells about the
people who had one and changed the name to
Ted Worrall Loma, Montana
Your letter, Ted, prods an idea that has been lurking in the
Reflector’s mind for some time. Here we have been collecting
and restoring old steam traction engines and the separators they
drove, not to mention saw mills, but if some persons and
organizations don’t get busy and rescue some of the key early
gas tractors from the wire mill scrap piles, there won’t be
enough of them survive to make a museum department.
The writer has never been through the Ford museum at Dearborn,
Mich., and there may be quite a collection there. But I doubt
whether it includes some or many of the models that I think are
important links in the chain of development. The following come to
The older Rumely Oil-Pull was made by the M. Rumely Co., not
Advance-Rumely. The 30-60 model would be best historically, and it
should have (maybe all did) the patented Secor-Higgins carburetor
that injected water in proportion to load so that the engine
handled kerosene without destructive knocking with 90-lb.
compression cylinders, if memory is correct In World War II we
heard about the air force using planes with water injection as
though that were something new. John A. Secor worked it out decades
Then for the apogee in 30-60’s, there should be an
Aultman-Taylor, the one that went out to Nebraska in 1920 and
developed 58 hp on the drawbar. That year, the first of Nebraska
tractor testing, many a tractor failed to come within 2 hp of its
belt rating with the engine operating at 100 per cent capacity. The
Aultman-Taylor nearly doubled its drawbar rating on the track test.
Tom Campbell used Aultman-Taylor 30-60’s when he became a
millionaire growing wheat by automation, before the word was
coined, on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. The Reflector
heard Tom say from the lecture platform one time that the
Aultman-Taylors were the only engines that would stand up to his
expectancies. He had no time for hay-wiring field repairs.
Pictured are three of my International engines- 6 Hp., VA Hp.
A.W., 1? Hp., L.A.
I have two of the L. A. models and first two numbers apart in
serial numbers so they must have been made close together.
Then there should be a prominent spot in the museum for the Big
Bull tractor. The Little Bull came first; about a 6-12. Then the
Big Bull, a fast two-plow, with three wheels and one driver in the
furrow, that sold by the trainload and made near millionaires out
of a score of distributors, including Hall Bros. & Reeves at
Kansas City. Guy Hall later was the practical visionary who
snatched up the Bob Fleming baby combine and backed its
demonstration to many, including Ed Johnston of the IHC, Harry
Merritt of A-C, and incidentally the Reflector. Harry Merritt
induced A-C to buy it and hired Walter Dray to refine it into a
commercial product. The All-Crop combine came onto the market aimed
at displacing the grain binder; today not a binder is made in North
America, so far as the writer can learn.
The Titan 10-20 deserves a place in the museum. It came before
the Big Bull and went a long way towards establishing power farming
as a practical proposition, given horses for the row crop work. Its
two-cylinder tank-cooled engine could idle all day on kerosene
without fouling its ignitor or plugging its mixing valve. It had no
spark plug or carburetor. Its roller chain drive enabled the
relatively small engine to pull three bottoms at the speed best for
plowing moist soil with the bottoms then used. The Titan 10-20 was
so simple to build that when the company felt forced to drop the
two-cylinder tractor for a four-cylinder (the 10-20 gear drive) the
direct factory cost of the Titan, according to one bitter champion
of the Titan in the 10-20 battle, was under $200 ($167 comes to
mind). Put it this way: the Titan cost less to build than the cost
of the gadgety frills and accessories we must build into and put
onto tractors today in order to sell them. The Titan had a high,
low and reverse gear. What more is needed, when you come down to
The next museum specimen could will be the International 10-20,
which displaced the Titan. It was Harvester’s answer to Henry
Ford and introduced automotive manufacturing methods and precision
into a farm machinery plant. A durned good tractor, too! In fact, a
pattern tractor! Everybody else copied the 10-20, not the Fordson,
to stay in the tractor business. Henry’s hot worm seat did not
make a hit with other producers.
Then, of course, place should be made for one of the first
Fordsons, those made about 1916 or 1917, the ones with the ball
thrust bearing trying to hold in the worm final drive end, the
housing getting so hot you could fry eggs on it, ‘t’was
said. Timken designed a thrust bearing to handle the load, and it
did from then on. Everybody knows what the Fordson did to American
farming and to the competitive tractor industry, till Bert
Benjamin, backed by Ed Johnston, came up with the Farm-all, which
showed Henry what competition was, for a change. The Fordson
emigrated to Cork. Now it’s coming back from Dagenham.
How about a place for the Wallis Cub, the big one made at
Cleveland, which pulled four bottoms, not the Wallis Cub, Jr. made
later at Racine? The Wallis Cub had a primitive ‘frameless’
structure-the drive parts mounting in instead of on, with the oil
splashing around inside instead of being pumped, drop by drop, from
a Madison-Kipp fresh oil pump. The Wallis-Cub Jr. is reported to
have been in the inspiration for the original Fordson frameless
design, using cast elements instead of the Wallis boiler plate,
rolled to shape.
The Moline-Universal should be shown. It was a strong effort to
banish the horse, and theoretically could. The important thing was
that the second, larger, model of the Moline Universal with the
high-speed four-cylinder engine designed by the Root & Vander
Voort Engineering Co. of Moline (they also designed the Moline
Knight engine) was way out in advance of the art at that time. The
Moline R&V engine was as much a variable speed job as the
new-generation John Deeres are today.
The Moline-Universal never was popular as an engine corn plow
with many fanners because it was so awkward to steer and handle,
being a two-wheeler, with the operator sitting on the cultivator
trailer wheels behind. When Bert Benjamin turned the idea around,
he had the Farmall.
Alongside the Moline-Universal, there should be place for a
Bates Steel Mule. It was a chase-the-horse-out-of-the-cornfield
idea in the form of a track-layer. It worked, but clumsily. Not
even Cat tries to straddle the corn rows for cultivation.
Those Bates Machine Co. men at Joliet, Ill., must have known
their cosines when many others counted on their toes and fingers,
even though the Bates Steel Mule flopped. One of the Bates, I think
it was Harry H., was pulled into the Cat dragnet, shang-haied out
to San Leandro, and forced to sign up as vice-president in charge
of engineering for Cat.
At the time when the Bates Steel Mule and its interrow
cultivation were being advertised so persuasively in the trade
papers, one of FIN’s subscribers in Spain, I think it was the
man who inherited the Alberto Ahles importing and distributing
business in Madrid, became so enamoured with the Bates proposition
that he arranged with the First National in Chicago to honor a
sight draft in full purchase of a Bates Steel Mule to be shipped to
Spain as a track-farming missionary.
But the Bates Machine Co. would not ship. So the subscriber
wrote the Reflector asking why when money in full was on the spot.
We wrote Bates and inquired. Bates replied frankly, honestly and
modestly that they did not think it fair to ship one of their newly
developed tractors so far from the factory that they would not be
able to render service if trouble developed (which at that stage
was likely to occur). This information we passed on to our Spanish
(German-born) sub-scriber, whose ruffled feathers were smoothed
down by the Bates display of idealized commercialism. Some things
occur in business that never are reported in the Wall Street
Journal, nor even the trade papers, until Reflections appear.
Finally, with a champ’s wreath around the open-geared
steering pillar in front, we should have the original Farmall (was
it 1925?). It truly be-came a pattern machine. Its first-design pto
connection is still standard, in spite of efforts to step up the
546 rpm to 1000 some years back, which seems to have been adopted
only for industrial service.
There are unquestionably many other models and makes of tractors
that should have a place in a representative historical tractor
display. Those the Reflector has suggested at least can be a
starter. Each was a key factor in the growth of the industry, one
way or another.
This is a 1? Hp. Monitor gas engine with pump jack built in.
Pump jack can be thrown out of gear so to use engine for belt work.
Weighs about 300 pounds. Have it about ready to run at this