Most of us love old equipment ads, and digging through the GEM
archives the other day we came across the ads shown here. At right
is an ad for an Illinois Super-Drive tractor from 1919. Rated as an
18-30, these tractors used a 4-cylinder Climax engine. The Illinois
Tractor Co. of Bloomington, Ill., started building tractors around
1918, but by the mid 1920s the company, like so many other small
manufacturers of the time, disappeared.
In the ad shown at left, also from 1919, the virtues of the Rex
spark plug are touted. At one time there were literally hundreds of
spark plug manufacturers, each trying to grab a slice of the gas
engine market. The Rex spark plug show here is of very conventional
design, but during the boom of manufacturers that flooded the
market a multitude of interesting designs were offered in hopes of
grabbing market share. Most of these manufacturers, as we know now,
failed to survive.