A Glimpse of the Ed Irwin Collection

| January/February 1983

117 Simcoe Street, Ontario, Canada

This is my John Deere 'GP' serial #202075. It was made in Waterloo, Iowa in 1928 at the Waterloo Tractor Works of John Deere. It has the left hand exhaust and the air breather is a small cylinder behind the radiator. The tractor is equipped with a power lift attachment which has a pitman arm to raise and lower implements as well as a front and rear PTO shaft. This was the first tractor with four sources of power: drawbar, belt pulley, power take off and power lift to raise and lower mounted implements. Nebraska tests 153 (1928) show the horsepower to be 10 drawbar and 20 on the belt. I restored this tractor in 1976 from a rather sorry mess and in 1980 was able to obtain a full set of steel wheels for it, including extensions. One rear wheel had a tree trunk grown right up through the spokes so I just left it there cut off flush with the rim.

(2) Next is my John Deere model 'L.' The serial number plate is missing so I estimate the year to be 1941. These tractors were built at Moline by John Deere Wagon Works. They used a two cylinder upright John Deere Hercules engine rated at 7 drawbar and 9 belt horsepower. The engine is offset to aid in cultivating row crops. I have the plow and a belly mounted mower to fit this tractor. The 'L' was built from 1937 to 1946. State of Nebraska tests show that at 1549 RPM the engine developed 10.42 HP and used 1.061 gallons of gas per hour. The bore and stroke is 3' x 4' and the tractor weight is 2100 pounds. These tractors were used extensively by highway crews for cutting grass along roadsides.

(3) My model 'R44' Silver King tractor serial # 3797 was built by the Fate-Root-Heath Company of Plymouth, Ohio and sold in Canada by the John Goodison Thresher Co. Ltd. of Sarnia, Ontario. I think it was built in 1936 or 1937. The engine is a 3' x 4' Hercules with 113 c.i. displacement. The engine develops 25 HP at 1400 RPM. The tractor weighs 2100 pounds and the turning circle is nine feet. It has four speeds ahead: 2 mph, 3.35 mph and 5.5 mph. The fourth gear is a road gear and is capable of nearly 30 mph. The brochure claims that with this tractor and a rubber tired wagon the farmer did not need a truck. What it doesn't say is that the brakes aren't too good. Certainly not for that speed anyway. Each wheel is braked by a separate hand lever and how you could steer and apply both brakes is a mystery to me. To engage the belt pulley, you screw out a detent pin and slide the complete pulley assembly into gear mesh and relock the pin. I did a lot of research on this tractor and finally painted it all silver with dark red wheels. Many parts had to be fabricated and machined. The front grille is all one piece cast iron and weighs 165 pounds.

(4) This tractor is a 1928 model 'F' Rock Island. The horsepower rating is 18-35. It has a 4' x 6' Buda engine which is rated at 1000 RPM. Weight is 4700 pounds. This tractor was sold by the Waterloo Mfg. Co., Ltd., Waterloo, Ontario in 1928. The tractor and a wood body Waterloo threshing machine were sold together for a total price of $1100. There are two forward speeds: 2.85 and 4 mph and reverse is 2. The original colors were gray and orange. I used Tremillad gray paint and Allis Chalmers orange and it is close to the colored brochure that I have. The sprung front axle is unique and was a feature of the Rock Island line. The Rock Island Plow Company o Rock Island, Illinois was sold to the J. I. Case Company in 1937.

(5) The next picture is my type 'W' #111 John Deere engine. This engine was built in two types or styles. The #111 type had a hood, radiator and fuel tank as shown in the picture. The #113, however, had no hood, no radiator, no fuel tank and there was a water pump mounted on the fan shaft. The 113 was meant for pumping water, sawmilling, etc. where it could be set up semi-permanently with outside tanks, etc. It weighs 2100 pounds and is rated at 31.5 mph continuous 24-hour operation or 35.7 for intermittent operation. Engine speed is 900 RPM. I found it very hard to move until I got the trucks made for it. Owners of the non-styled 'D' John Deere tractors will recognize many similarities in this engine and the tractor. One unique feature is an oil cooler built into the crankcase to cool the oil under heavy loads. It is also possible to feed water along with the fuel. The exhaust is very loud and always draws attention at shows.


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