AS I SAW IT Part IV


| November/December 1971



Happy Farmer tractor

Courtesy of Rolland Maxwell, Route 4, Huntington, Indiana 46750.

Rolland Maxwell

Route 4, Huntington, Indiana 46750

No doubt the one tiling that stimulated the tractor industry more than anything else, was the tractor demonstrations that were held in various places during the years 1915, 1916, and 1917. A few of the places these were held were Fremont, Nebr., Hutehinson, Kan., Wichita, Kan., Enid, Okla., St Louis, Mo., Fargo, N. Dak., Blomington, Ill., Champaign, Ill., Madison, Wis., and Indianapolis, Ind.

The first one my father took us to was Champaign, Ill. in 1915. It was held just west of town on one of the Mattis farms, which was five miles from our home farm. For a fourteen year old boy it was a thrill to see the works and I never missed a thing. I still have the catalogs and circulars that I collected there. We attended the Blomington Meet also.

There would be a field covered with tents which was the headquarters for the different companies during the four day event. There, they had their displays and an array of high powered salesmen and company officials. Somewhere of about thirty companies were present and each had two or three models and sizes. The crowds were large, and representatives from foreign countries were there getting all the information to take back home. A few years later the foreign countries were to import a great number of U.S. tractors. These were the war years, prices of agricultural products were high due to the export demand. Labor was scarce due to many being employed in war industries, therefore tractor sales were up, and the demand for tractors was on the increase.

In a couple of fields adjoining the headquarters field would be where they plowed. It would be laid off in lands for each tractor and the size would depend on how much land was available. Naturally because there would not be enough land, they could not plow stead-y. Every now and then a tractor would make a round and every one would rush out to see it perform. Now to those of us who saw that then, and are still interested in old tractors, it was a sight to see. A one cylinder Mogul booming its way across the field. A 10-20 Titan with furrow guide, plowing at a little over two miles per hour. Various kinds of lugs on the rear wheels. I so well remember the Hart-Parr Little Devil. It was a two cylinder, two cycle, and sure made a lot of noise when it was being pulled. It was the fastest tractor in the field.

Tractors that were shown in 1916: Elgin 17-27, Elgin Tractor Co., Piqua, Ohio; All Work, Electric Wheel Co., Quincy, Ill.; Waite 8-10, Waite Tractor Co., Chicago, Ill; E B 12-20 and 16-32, Emmerson-Brantingham Co., Rockford, Ill; Huber 12-25, Huber Mfg. Co., Marion, Ohio; Minneapolis 12-25, Minn. Threshing Machine Co., Minneapolis, Minn.; Moline Universal 6-12, Moline plow Co., Moline, Ill; Peoria 8-20, 725 Peoria Tractor Co., Peoria, Ill; Parrett 12-25, Parrett Tractor Co., Chicago, Ill; Heider C 12-20, Rock Island Plow Co., Rock Island, Ill; Wetmore 12-25, Wetmore Tractor Co., Sioux City, Iowa; Hume, Hume Tractor Co., Hume, Ill; Sandusky, Dausch Mfg. Co., Sandusky, Ohio; Bull, Bull Tractor Co., Minneapolis, Minn.; Denning, Denning Tractor Co., Cedar Rapids, Ia.; Mogul 8-16, 15-30, 12-25, I. H. C, Chicago, Ill; Titan 10-20, 12-25, 1. H. C, Chicago, Ill; Waterloo Boy 12-25, Waterloo Gas Eng. Co., Waterloo, Ia.; Wallis Cub 12-25, Wallis Tractor Co., Racine, Wis.; Oil Pull Three sines, Rumely Co., La Porte, Ind.; Avery 8-l6, 12-25,25-50, Avery Co., Peoria, Ill; Case 9-18, 10-20, Case Co., Racine, Wis.; Hart Parr '60' and Little Devil '22', Hart Parr Tractor Co., Charles City, Ia.; Bates Steel Mule '30' 1195 Bates Tractor Co., Joliet, Ill; La Crosse 'Happy Farmer' 12-25, La Crosse Tractor Co., La Crosse, Wis.: Plow Companies represented in 1916: J. I. Case, Grand Detour Co., Grand Detour, Ill; Deereand Co., Moline, Ill; La Crosse, La Crosse Plow Co., La Crosse, Wis.; Moline Plow Co., Moline, Ill; Oliver Plow Co., S. Bend, Ind.; Parlin and Orendorff, (later became I. H. C); Vulcan Plow Co., Evansville, Ind.; Janesville Plow Co., Janesville, Wis.