2821 Wilmington Road, Lebanon, Ohio 45036
Here is a group of pictures of my 1955 Ford tractor, model 850, serial number 22047. This story is about the finding and restoring of the tractor that I had hoped to obtain when I was sixteen, but did not get until I was forty.
I was raised around a 9N Ford and a 1952 8N Ford tractor. After graduating from college and spending many years teaching school, in 1980 I started looking around for a 1952 Ford 8N. I could not find one in southern Ohio. I finally found a 1955 Ford 850 that had been mechanically overhauled and was for sale. At Christmas of 1981 I bought the Ford tractor and a grader blade. Since that time I have bought a Dearborn two-bottom plow, a six-foot disc and a lift pole. I have tried to restore all these pieces of equipment mechanically and cosmetically since that date. In 1986 I found a gentleman who agreed to steam clean and paint my tractor. He did a great job. We also got the radiator and starter rebuilt when we had all the sheet metal off the tractor.
In January of 1991, my wife bought me a book called Ford Tractors by Robert Pripps. In the book I noticed a bearded gentleman by the name of Bill Ficken, manager of Strojney Implement of Mosinee, Wisconsin, in a picture holding a crankshaft for a Ford. I wrote the company and a few weeks later the gentleman called me after school. I asked him if he could find a lift arm for the left side of the three point hitch on a Ford 850. He said yes, so I sent him the money and I received the arm a few days later. The old one had been welded. I then continued to search for two radius rods. The ones on the tractor had been welded because the first owner had a loader on the tractor. I finally found two radius rods in a tractor graveyard near Springfield, Ohio. I carefully sanded, undercoated and painted the three new pieces of iron for the tractor and put them on. This made the tractor look better in my eyes. In 1993, I needed to get a new tube, tire and rim. The calcium chloride had destroyed everything on one side of the tractor. I ended up buying two tires, two tubes and one rim. This was expensive but I really had no choice.
During the 1998 summer I repainted the red belly of the tractor. The tractor really does look good. I use the tractor in the spring and fall to plow and disc my garden. During the winter I need to keep my long driveway cleared of snow. During the fall I cut wood to heat our house. I really have used the tractor every weekend of September 1998. The pictures I have sent are of recent times using the tractor to haul wood out of the woods to my house. I cut 100% hedge apple trees or thorn trees (osage-orange) with a big green apple on the trees. These trees are really a pain on cattle, bush hog mowing, tires on tractors, and your skin when cutting the trees. I am not cutting valuable trees such as maple, oak, hickory, ash, and other hardwoods, but I am trying to clear a rather large cow pasture of this unwelcome invader of southern Ohio, hedge apple (osage-orange).
I am trying to find two ribbed 6:00x16 front tires for my tractor. I cannot find two-ribbed, only three-ribbed tires, which seem only to be available in southern Ohio.
Maybe somebody will start making these tires again. I would be interested in knowing if anybody makes them. I thought Miller Tire Company of Wauseon, Ohio, would get them for me, but at the Portland, Indiana, show this past May 1998 I talked to them and they did not have the two-ribbed tires.
I have enjoyed the sixteen years I have spent with my 850 Ford tractor. I wanted to buy this tractor when I was in high school but I had to wait for 22 years before I could afford the time, money and energy to get the tractor.
I hope the pictures prove to be of interest to some readers.