A Glimpse of the Ed Irwin Collection

By Staff
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John Deere model 'L.'
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John Deere GP serial #202075
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'W' #111 John Deere engine
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It is a model of 'R44' Silver King tractor serial # 3797
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This tractor is a 1928 model 'F' Rock Island

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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