| January/February 1981

Reprinted with permission of the Capital Times, Madison, Wisconsin, from a 1958 edition. We thank Maryanna Smith of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, for sending it. Ed.

Did you know that Madison was the birthplace of the tractor?

During the 1890s there were a great many young men doing a great amount of what their elders preferred to call 'tinkering' in a great number of sheds, shops and stables all around the world.

There was Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan; the Wright brothers in Dayton, Ohio; Guglielo Marconi in Italy; Ruldph Diesel in Germany, and countless others who were not fortunate enough to have history remember their names.

And there were two young men doing some important tinkering right here in Madison. Their names were Charles Walter Hart and Charles H. Parrnames which deserve to be more widely known than they are today, especially when the impact of their owners' contributions is considered.

Hart and Parr are now credited with having designed and built the first successful gasoline-powered tractor, the machine which was the greatest innovation in farming since the steel plow and caused a revolution in agriculture by placing undreamed of power in the hands of the farmer.