The following item is excerpted from a 1917 textbook, Equipment
for the Farm and Farmstead, by Hairy C. Ramsower of Ohio State
University. Eddie R. Ferguson, 605 Lake Placid Dr., Sequin, TX
78155 came across the piece and thought it would amuse our
The farm-tractor situation is just now in such an unsettled
state of affairs that but little space will be given it in this
book. At this time, when so many new designs, of such widely
different types as to size, weight, and general constructive
features, are being put before the farmer, it is almost hopeless to
attempt to offer intelligent advice to a prospective purchaser.
Prevailing opinion seems to favor the high-speed, multi
cylinder, light-weight tractor, weighing from 2? to 3 tons as
representing the type that will appeal most strongly to the small
farmer, that is, the farmer tilling from 150 to 400 acres of land.
As yet the tractor has not been used extensively for any other
field operations than plowing and, in a limited way, the preparing
of plowed land for the seed. Attempts have been made to design
tractors to be used in cultivating corn, but they have as yet to
demonstrate their usefulness.
There are two points of view from which the purchase of a
tractor may be considered. It may be expected to replace a certain
number of horses on the farm or it any be purchased simply to
provide extra power in the busy season-to take care of the peak
load. It will seldom be found possible to dispense with any number
of horses on the average farm because the full horse power must be
available during the seasons of cultivation, of haying, and of
harvesting, since few of these operations are now performed with
the tractor; it is quite possible that tractors will be used in an
increasing way for such operations. That the tractor will find a
place in our modern system of agriculture there is no doubt. It
simply remains to be seen what type will be found to be best suited
to the average farmer.