A Faithful Old Friend

By Staff
article image

310 South Jefferson Street Brownsburg, IN 46112

The garden tractor became like a family member on March 5th,
1937. My father ordered it from the Sears Catalog. I was 16 and
remember well how we went to the train depot to pick it up crated
disassembled. The first year the turn brake linings were too soft,
pulled the rivets and ruined the drums. Sears sent a man out and
furnished new harder linings.

Some tractors were beginning to have rubber tires on the front
wheels at this time. Most farmers still preferred steel on the
back. Our new garden tractor had spade-lug metal wheels 3 feet in
diameter and 12 inches wide. The 4 HP Briggs and Stratton gasoline
engine pulls a 10′ plow. Everything, including the wheels are
built onto the transmission. It has oil encased chain sprocket
drive. The clutch is an idler driven by a 2′ flat belt. It had
the original one until 1982 when a new one had to be especially
ordered and manufactured. The new belt cost $31.00.

My dad died in 1939 and I plowed gardens, up and down the
street, in Pittsboro, Indiana, for several years. In the spring of
1943, my new 18-year-old bride took an Indian blanket along and
watched from the sidelines. She learned how to help me put on the
different attachments. After 40 years she is still helping. Yes,
Old Faithful is still plowing each and every spring. I don’t
use the harrow or laying off shovels anymore.

The tractor could have a sulky seat but we never got that. It is
a walk-behind and according to my youngest son a ‘man
killer’. It does separate the men from the boys on the corner
turns. It does the work of a team of horses but doesn’t eat
much hay just sitting there in the corner of the garage waiting for
spring!

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines