There seem to be as many opinions on the origin of the Fordson tractor as there are people writing about them.
Page 2 from Harvey Franz's Fordson manual. A copyright of 1917 is barely visible at bottom center of this photo copy.
I was sorry to see Mr. Jack Heald (see GEM, April 1999) discredit Mr. Reynold Wik's article (see GEM, December 1998). Admittedly, it appears the picture of a 1917 Fordson is incorrect. However, he does submit a quantity of credible material.
It seems Mr. Heald may be in error, also, at least according to my 1917 copyright Fordson tractor manual and parts list. My original copy of the manual and manufacturer's parts price list clearly shows the Fordson trademark copyrighted in 1917, not February 1918, as Mr. Heald stated. I have enclosed copies.
Harvey Franz 1683 Olympic St. Mora, MN 55051
(Editor's Note: I had a conversation with Jack Heald shortly after reading Harvey Franz's letter, and I asked Heald for his reaction to Franz's letter. Heald is of the opinion that a copyright date is of little meaning, noting that his 3rd edition manual (effective July 1, 1918) also shows a 1917 copyright date. Further, Heald notes that this same manual cites a Fordson factory in Cork, Ireland, which there wasn't at that time. It is Heald's opinion that the copyright refers to the material printed within the manual, not the Fordson name, which he maintains did not appear until 1918.)
The 13th edition of the Classic Farm Tractors Calendar has been announced, this time featuring 11 brands of orchard tractors from the likes of Farmall/International, John Deere, Minneapolis-Moline, Oliver, Massey-Ferguson, Allis-Chalmers, Case, Cockshutt, Kaywood, Massey-Harris and Ford.
The calendar is available from Classic Tractor Fever, Box 437, Rockland, DE 19732. Calendars are $9.50 each, plus $2.50 shipping and handling. For more info or to order with a credit card, call (800) 888-8979.
The contact information listed for Terry E. Strasser and the David Bradley web site in the November GEM was incorrect. Mr. Strasser's phone number is (304) 274-1725, and the web address is: www.members.home.net/gtreible 1 /. Apologies for any frustrations this may have caused.
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Reader Preston Foster sends these pictures of a group of engines he found quietly rusting away in a field in northwestern Pennsylvania. Most probably date from the 1920s, and how or why they ended up in this field is not known, but it's likely they were retired from oilfield service, collected for future restoration, and simply set aside and forgotten, as seems to happen so often with old iron.
At upper left is a 12 HP Reid. Lower left is a 35 HP Superior. Upper right is a 25 HP Superior. Lower right is a closeup of a tree growing around the 35 HP Superior.
Contact engine enthusiast Preston Foster at: 3231 Randolph NW, Warren, OH 44485-2527, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.