WORLD WAR I STORY

By Staff
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73461 Broadhead Road Kimbolton, Ohio 43749

Only a portion of the World War I war machine was motorized. A
large share was horse and mule-drawn. Heavy purchases of horses and
mules by the U.S. War Department left American farms seriously
underpowered. This crisis coincided with a world shortage of grain.
As an effort to meet this demand, the Pullford Co. introduced its
small farm tractor. It was equipped with a model T engine and drive
train. It would operate only on gasoline. Numerous attempts by
various experimenters failed to produce a satisfactory kerosene
carburetor for the model T. Rumely and International tractors
burned 7 kerosene efficiently. Pullford would only operate on 16
gasoline. Although Pullford’s initial cost was very
competitive, the high fuel cost penalty prevented volume sales.

By 1930 petroleum refinery processes produced a much higher
production of gasoline from the crude. Gas at 13 was a better buy
than kerosene at 11 as a gallon of gas produced more power than a
gallon of kerosene. Later development of the diesel engine revised
the power output of oil, but this was years later!

Of the limited number of Pullfords sold, most were scrapped
prior to the Great Depression. During the 30’s there was a
serious cash flow problem on the small farms. Maximum production of
saleable products was reduced by using horses or mules. New
tractors were priced out of reach of the average small farmer.
Small used tractors were very scarce.

Our Pullford was back in business. It efficiently replaced three
draft horses. It did all our farm work and was also used for custom
harvesting. It pulled a six-foot binder very well.

By 1940 Firestone was putting the farms on rubber at a
reasonable price. The Pullford was retired to the storage shed.
Forty-three years later, we cleaned it up and repainted it.

We have no idea how many of these rare tractors are still in
existence. There certainly can’t be many as there were less
than 30 thousand built!

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