AS I SAW IT Part VIII


| July/August 1972



Nelson engine

Courtesy of Roger L. Eshelman, Box 63, College Springs, Iowa 51637.

Joe Fahnestock

Route 4, Huntington, Indiana 46750

It might be interesting to go into the history of some of the older tractors, some of which became more or less popular, and some obsolete.

In 1906 The Transit Thresher Co. was organized in Minneapolis, Minn, to make a self-propelled threshing machine, but this idea never got off the drawing board, and was discarded. They contracted with the Diamond Iron Works of Minneapolis in 1906 and 1907 to build 26 large tractors for them. Apparently not too successful, the company was reorganized in 1908 as the Gas Traction Co. also of Minneapolis. They called their tractor The Big Four. It was quite successful and the company was bought out by the Etnmerson Brantingham Co. in 1912, and production was continued. A Big Four '30' is shown at the Rollag show and is owned by Jerome Swedberg of Whapeton, N. D. and Carl Anderson of Gary Minn. Somewhere along the line the Huber Mfg. Co. of Marion, O. contracted with them to build a 30-60 with Hubers on it. It was patterned nearly the same as the Big Four. This was in 1914 I think. The one at Rollag is the only one I ever saw.

The Garr Scott Co. of Richmond, Ind., successful builders of steam engines, started building large tractors in 1910 of 40-70 H. P. Later increased to 40-80. They were called the Tiger and 200 of them were built. They later made smaller ones. Norman Pross of Luverne, N. D. shows one at Rollag.

In 1910 The Imperial Mach. Co. of Minneapolis made nine 40-70, big four cylinder tractors with very high wheels. Of the nine made, two are still left. Guy Wilson of Virgille, Mont., and John Messner of Sanborn, N. D. own them. I saw the latter thresh at New Rockford, N. D. and it was a sight to behold.

The Minneapolis Steel and Machine Co. of Minneapolis in 1910 started making the Twin City line, which were both popular and successful. In 1909 they built some tractors for the Joy McVicker Co. In 1910 they started building T C 40-65, which was very popular. In 1916 came the 60-90 a huge six cylinder and there are still two left. One at Yorkton, Sask. and the one at Rollag owned by Elmer Larson and Norman Pross. At one time the Rochell Canning Co. in III. owned seventy-seven small Twin City tractors. After two mergers the company is still in existence and is known today as the Minneapolis Moline Company and at present is owned by the White Motor Co.