The Faithful Old 15-30


| January/February 1985



Burnett farm

Greensburg, Kansas

International Harvester couldn't collect debts that most farmers owed on tractors and machinery, and Ralph Burnett was no exception. The company offered to cancel the balance of the debt if Ralph could pay half of it, so he borrowed the money and paid IHC $200.00. His tractor ended up costing only $800.00.

Two 'double-headers' operating on the Burnett farm, 1967.

Ralph couldn't afford to trade tractors, so he started making improvements on his. He found out he could boost the horsepower by installing an overhead exhaust, straight-gasoline manifold and Zenith K5 carburetor, so this was done in 1934. The manifold and carburetor were designed for the P-300 power unit. He also put in a variable-speed P-300 governor, to get better load-handling from the engine.

In 1935, he hired a local blacksmith to cut the spokes on the steel wheels and install rubber-tire rims; he was one of thousands of farmers to do this. On November 1, 1936, International Harvester company changed the paint scheme on their tractors from the traditional gray with red wheels to all red, for safety reasons, because of the poor road visibility of the gray paint. Ralph Burnett and his neighbors followed suit, and painted their tractors IH red. This is why so many of these early tractors are painted red today.

September, 1961-the original Burnett '22-36' drilling wheat south of Mullinville, Kansas.