Marks The Centennial Of The Tractor

| November/December 1989

  • Big Eagle
    Under the big Eagle, Helen Case Brigham chats with Bill Skinner who has handled much publicity and performed important work promoting New Zealand's '100 Years of the Tractor'.

  • Big Eagle

Editor Vintage Farming Magazine, 78 Oxford Street Ashburton, New Zealand

1989 is the year of the tractor in New Zealand, and to prove it, committees throughout the country are staging some of the biggest shows ever seen there.

It all began about four years ago when the local vintage farm machinery magazine, Vintage Farming, published a small note saying that, according to most books on the subject, it would be one hundred years in 1989 since the first machine to fit today's definition of a tractor was built.

The fact that this machine was built in America, and not in New Zealand, didn't seem to matter at all. Clubs and committees throughout the country were soon hard at work planning for some really special shows, or rallys as they are called here.

The New Zealand economy has depended heavily on farming ever since the country was first settled about 150 years ago. Without the invention of the tractor, the country's agricultural industry would not have been able to keep pace with the demands made on it.

This was probably the major reason why so many people throughout the country put so much effort into planning for the centennial.