Early Samson Story In Ads

By Staff
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Jan. 1919 ad.
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Dec. 1918 ad.
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From a manual cover.

William Rees of Evergreen Farms, Franklin, Illinois 62638 sent
us copies of two Samson tractor ads from the December 1918 and
January 1919 copies of Power Farming. It is interesting to note how
the artist’s rendering has changed in one month’s time, and
Rees conjectures that the December ad must have been one of the
first for the model M tractor.

The three artist’s renderings of the Samson tractors:

The earlier ad boasted that the $650 tractor would be capable of
pulling two 14 inch plows at all times- three 14 inch plows under
favorable conditions. ‘The Samson will not kick up front or
rear-just pulls, pulls, PULLS.’

In the January ad, the firm reprinted a letter and information
blank they were sending out in response to the ‘thousands of
inquiries’ they received from the first ad.

‘We don’t want you to buy a Two-Three Plow Tractor if it
would be to your advantage to buy a Three-Four Plow Tractor. If
your farm is better adapted by reason of acreage, crop rotation or
soil conditions, to the Three-Four Plow type, we want you to have
it,’ the letter reads. It then makes note that a Three-Four
Plow Tractor (Model A) has been designed, is being tested and will
be offered to the public in a few months at a price in the
neighborhood of $900.

‘We do want you to investigate and (regardless of any high
powered, land breaking tractors that you may buy or own) purchase a
Samson (Model D) light, high frame, direct drive tractor, for which
we are now taking orders. Price $450.’

The ad further claims that the Model D, ‘in connection with
a ground-breaking tractor of any type and a Samson light truck,
will eliminate every horse on your farm.’

In closing, the ad claims that worldwide demand for the tractors
is enormous and that production over the next four months will not
exceed 10,000 tractors. For the purpose of obtaining a wide
distribution, giving the public an opportunity of investigating the
product and watching the performance, we are allotting a certain
number to each county, with a proper township distribution,
locating the Samples where most convenient for the greatest

The blank offered for potential customers asked for numbers of
acres; level of rolling surface and character of soil; how many
acres in corn, cotton, small grain, hay and pasture; how many
horses owned and what make of tractor.

According to Charles Wendel’s An Encyclopedia of American
Farm Tractors , the Samson, a product of General Motors Corporation
intended to compete with the Fordson and manufactured in
Janesville, Wisconsin, was a financial disaster for G.M. The
proposed Model A was never built. By 1922 G.M. got out of the
tractor business and converted the Samson plant into a Chevrolet
assembly operation. The third illustration shows the tractor as it
was depicted on a 1918 manual.

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