| April/May 1986

  • John Deere Tractor

  • John Deere Tractor

108 Garfield Avenue, Madison, New Jersey 07940

The January, 1985, GEM has just arrived and when I saw all of the articles on John Deere tractors it occurred to me that I could find something too. Just to show you that not all of my background is in steam engines and steamboats here is a picture of my late father, Frank O. Lathrop, in the seat of the latest in Deere tractors at the 1945 Steuben County Fair at Bath, New York.

After leaving the Virginia Blue Ridge Railway he owned and operated a hardware and farm machinery business in Canisteo, New York. John Deere were among his dealerships. Others were DeLaval milkers and separators along with Oliver plows and Andes furnaces. His parts department could find something to fit most any farm machine that had been on the market.

That was the period when rural electrification had brought power to essentially all parts of the county. As a consequence, virtually every farm home had installed 'inside plumbing' and this had accounted for a large work load in the plumbing shop. One day, shortly after I had received my engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, he took me out back of the main building and behind a storage barn where there was a large pile of crates. I recognized them as having been the shipping crates for bath tubs. He looked at me, proudly I might add, and said, 'Those are what put you through college.'

There are probably a number of gas engine fans that can identify the John Deere model number. Wonder how many can recall how difficult it was in those depression years to come by a dollar?