R. R. 4, Huntington, Indiana 46750
This is continuing the history of the Hart Parr Company. In 1908
Hart Parr entered a tractor in the Winnipeg Contest, but it was
disqualified as being overweight. The truth was the steam engine
men didn’t want them to show them up. Mr. Hart then rented an
adjoining field and set up his own demonstration and took the
crowd. He never entered the contest after that. In 1907 W. H.
Williams, the advertising manager for Hart Parr used the word
‘tractor’ in his advertising and that word stuck and they
were no longer called gas traction engines but tractors.
In 1908 they started selling to the foreign markets. In 1906 the
first tractor ad came out in the Implement Tractor Journal in
In 1911 they shipped three train loads of tractors to western
Canada, in 1914 they standardized on four wheel tractors.
In 1914 to 1918 at least part of the factory was turned over to
the government for war use. Every big Hart Parr was belted up to a
Dyanamo and run for 20 to 40 hours to be sure it would perform in
the field. An idea that could be used today. Today too much stuff
goes out in not-perfect shape.
Now, all the time they were experimenting on small tractors.
Their hopes in 1915 and 1916 were that their Little Devil would
fill their needs but the public did not take to it. It was a two
cylinder, two cycle, three-wheeled light tractor with no valves, no
transmission and no differential. I can remember them – they were
the fastest thing in the field and also the noisiest, too. The
public did not take to them and they were dropped.
1917 to 1920 a new 15-30 two cylinder hort. 6? x 7′ at 750
rpm KW Mag. 5180# three bottom tractor…it took right off with the
public. Over a dozen companies came out with tractors of this size
at this time.
I have in my collection a 1918 Hart Parr, also a 1930 12-14.
1921-1922 a 10-20 B 2 cyl. horizontal 5? bore; 1922-1924 C 10-20 C.
5? bore; 1921 1924 16-30 6? x 7 750 rpm. took the place of
the 15-30. 1924-1928 12-24 E 5? x 6? at 800 rpm. 1928-1930 12-24 H
5? x 6? at 850 rpm three speeds $1050.00 1923-1924 20-40 cyl. 5? x
6? at 750 rpm front and rear wheels semi cast. 1924-1927 22-44 at
800 rpm. 1926-1930 18-36 2 cyl 6? x7at 800 rpm.
This is the end of the era of the wonderful two cylinder Hart
Parr tractor. No tractor before or since had made the records that
those old tractors made. They had a surplus of power as brought out
by tests made at Columbus, Ohio in 1918. A 15-30 developed 37? on
the belt and 26? on the drawbar.
At Sydney, Australia in March,1925 a 16-30 established a
worlds’ non-stop plow record of nine days and eight nights or
202 hours nonstop.
I know of a big 30-60 in Kansas that pulled a big thresher for
37 years. In 1916 the company advertised that 90% of the first
years’ output, 14 ears before, were still in operation. In
1924, the company had made over two billion dollars worth of
tractors. In 1920 and again in 1928, they produced over a quarter
of a billion dollars worth of tractors. They got in financial
difficulties following the Depression of the early twenties
following World War I, but recovered for their biggest year in
As near as I can figure there are still left in the United
States, 35 big 30-60 and 22-45s plus 10 big one and two cylinder
Upright three wheeled tractors.
I might add that all the later tractors had enclosed bull gears
that ran in oil and were three speeded. From 1925 on, they also
built washing machines with copper tube and were either electric or
gas engine driven.