Allis Chalmers MODEL B


| November/December 1984



Bird's eye view of the AC-B

c/o s.m.h., Box 4000 Alliston, Ontario, Canada LoM 1A0

Harry C. Merrit, president of the Allis Chalmers Corporation in the mid-thirty's studied the farm census to find to his surprise that 58.8% of all farms in the USA were under 100 acres in size. Most of the tractors made then were for the larger farms, 41.2%. This left, an untouched market wide open for development. Tractors then were too large and far too expensive for these small farmers to bother buying.

Walter Strehlow was commissioned by Merrit to design a small tractor to fill this gap. He drafted up the WC and the B. 100 experimental model B tractors were built all powered by a Waukesha engine, made by the Waukesha Motor Company of Waukesha, Wisconsin.

In 1938 the model B went into mass production with the BE engine, a 4 cylinder, 3 bore, 3 stroke power plant governed at 1400 rpm. This gave the B a 1400 pound pull in first, over 1000 pound pull in second, the plowing gear, and a road speed of 7.22 in third.

The Prussian Orange Princess, destined to replace the horse, in 1938 wound up in the dealers' hands ready for the sale to the small farmer of North America.

The most unusual of all the sales promotions was one brain child of C. C. Gross, manager of the Columbus office. Four girls and four boys were trained to drive 8 model B tractors to perform a full square dance routine complete with music and caller, for the Ohio State Fair in 1939.