BOOK REVIEW

By Staff
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Why would anyone named C. H. Wendel write a 548-page book
containing over 350,000 words and 1,551 photographs, about the
Nebraska Tractor Tests?

The answer is in the reading. This large book, about 9 x 11 x
1′ and weighing 10 pounds and 4 ounces, brings you all the
information you could ever expect and more on these milestone
tests.

If you merely want to look at model photos for brands that are
famous as well as many that are only memories, you can page through
slowly and see pictures to your heart’s content. Most of the
photos came from test headquarters; some were filled in by Walter
Kasal.

If you want to learn the results of the tests, it’s all
there. You can find out a lot about your favorite tractor, or
someone else’s, or one you might consider acquiring.

The tests were started to check on the actual capabilities of
tractors, in a time when dependability of a specific product was
not at all a sure thing.

Back in 1908, some testing had been done at the Winnipeg
Industrial Exhibition and the tests were expanded in later years.
Wilmot F. Crozier is credited as ‘Father of the Nebraska
Tests’. Prof. L. W. Chase, who was president of ASAE (American
Society of Agricultural Engineers), pushed for the idea for many
years and with others helped Crozier present the Nebraska Tractor
Test Bill which became law.

Crozier wrote in 1919:

‘After operating or attempting to operate two excuses for
tractors, I finally invested my money in a machine that would
really do what the company said it would. Then I began wondering if
there wasn’t some way to induce all tractor companies to tell
the truth.’

Wendel does his best to give honor to all who helped get the law
passed and make it operative. His records in the book go to the end
of 1984. It is a monumental contribution to tractor history.

The author lauds George Dam-mann, general manager of Crestline
Publishing Co., publisher, for his role in bringing the book from
zero to final product. Wendel also thanks his family for
‘enduring a never-ending discussion of the Nebraska Tractor
Tests’.

The first test recorded is No. 1, on a Waterloo Boy Model N,
12-25, in 1920. Shipping weight was 6,183 pounds. The next to last
test in the book is No. 1550, on a Steiger Panther IV SM-325
Diesel, in November 1984. It weighed 28,900 pounds. The final test
listed is on International 3088 Diesel, 12,500 pounds. Wendel notes
that this test, last November, ‘closely coincides with the
final chapter of International Harvester Company’s career in
the farm equipment industry’.

Price of the book is $34.95.

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