Tractors Get the Nod Over Horses in 1915

| May/June 1980

  • Farm Power Book

  • Farm Power Book

'Farm Power,' an International Harvester book of 1915, tells farmers they cannot afford to use horses when tractors are available.

It is a sales piece, convincingly done. It probably had much to do with the replacement of horses by internal combustion power.

Tractor power is cheaper, the book argues, and therefore it should be adopted by the farmer.

It does concede that the horse is not entirely outmoded: 'Some horses will always have to be kept, especially on corn belt farms, but in most cases sufficient horses can be sold to pay for a tractor and still have enough horses on the farms to do the light jobs.'

This is a historic book, recalling the period when gasoline power (and kerosene) was replacing horses in many parts of the nation.

Illustrations are good-sketches, graphs and photographs. Some of the pictures show the many jobs that could be done with a tractor-pulling up trees and stumps, pulling plows and harrows, and doing many other jobs around the farm and on the roads. Special drawings and diagrams illustrate hitches.