| July/August 1990

  • Ernest Harshman

  • Ernest Harshman

5490 Ft. Amanda Road Lima, Ohio 45805

The Harshman tractors were built in Cridersville, Ohio, from 1932 to 1939 by Ernest Harshman, a master mechanic.

I've known the Harshman family since I was a young boy. One of his sisters lived next door to us and was also my third grade teacher. I worked with one of his brothers at the Ford automotive dealership in Lima for twenty years.

At age 14, in 1936, I began part time work at a local greenhouse and they owned a Harshman tractor. Consequently, I used it frequently in my work there. Recently I acquired a picture of it from a family member.

Mr. Harshman built the tractors from used Overland automobiles, Models 91 and 92, which were built between 1919 and 1925. He used the engine, transmission and differential, the steering gear and lineage, front spindles and hubs (note: the Overland hub caps), as well as rear brake drums and bands. The front axle and header, as well as the saddle the rear axle lays in, and rear wheel hubs were cast at a foundry in Lima, Ohio. The side frames were made from 4 inch channel iron, and the reduction gear is by roller chain running in oil.

The draw bar raises and lowers with hand levers, spring loaded, and a breaking plow or one-row cultivator can be mounted on it. The first tractors that he built were mounted on steel wheels, and later models could be purchased with rubber tires.