The Very First, and One of the Last!

| May/June 1997

  • Inter-Mountain Crane

  • Power horse tractor

  • Four traction wheels

  • Patent drawing

  • Inter-Mountain Crane
  • Power horse tractor
  • Four traction wheels
  • Patent drawing

Box 225, Huntsville, Utah 84317

Was the first Power Horse built about 1934? Even Mr. Bonham can't say exactly when it was first assembled. Shown above is an 'after' picture of the prototype. See next page for the 'before,' and a picture of Mr. Bonham.

I own the Power Horse, but Mr. Clark Nelson, of Nelson Inter-Mountain Crane Service, is solely responsible for doing the restoration.

The ski trails seen in the background of the picture will be the site of part of 2002 Winter Olympics.

Ed.'s note: Below and on the next page we have reprinted the text from Mr. Bonham's patent application for the Power Horse.

Patented April 16,1940 2,197,248 United States Patent Office

2,197,248 Tractor

Albert W. Bonham, Jr., and Alvin B. Bonham, Clinton, Utah, assignors to Bonham Manufacturing Company, Montello, Nevada, a corporation of Nevada.

Application June 26, 1937, Serial No. 150,470 26 Claims (CL 180-17)

This invention relates to a tractor, and more particularly a general utility tractor, that is to say, one which may be used for substantially all purposes for which horses, mules or other draft animals have heretofore been used. For example, the machine may be used with equal facility for plowing, harrowing, cultivating, scraping and many other purposes on farms, and for widely diversified haulage of modern contractors' machinery, and the building of roads and in other engineering and industrial works.

The principal objects of the invention are:

First. To provide a tractor which may be completely controlled from a point remote from the tractor, by means of a pair of lines or reins in the hands of a driver although control of the machine may also be accomplished by an operator riding on the machine and handling the control device directly.

Second. To provide a machine which is positive and reliable in its action, but whose control mechanism is extremely sensitive and responsive.

Third. To be capable of making turns practically within its own length so as to economize space in turning at the ends of the furrows in plowing, or at the ends of the rows in cultivating farm crops, as well as in innumerable maneuvers in connection with industrial operations.

Fourth. To be capable of going straight ahead at a uniform speed, turning to either the right or the left, standing still for short periods or for periods of indefinite length, and backing either straight or to the right or left.

Fifth. To provide a tractor capable of being hitched to ordinary horse-drawn implements with only minor changes in implement hitch, such, for example, as replacing the ordinary long tongue with a short tongue.

Sixth. To be so compact and maneuverable as to facilitate operation in close quarters where ordinarily movement is difficult or even impossible.

Seventh. To be relatively simple in construction and operation, durable in use, and reasonable in cost.

Eighth. To be so conveniently handled by means of the reins or lines that the implement to which the tractor is attached can be manipulated even more effectively than if draft animals were used instead of the tractor, only one person being required for the entire performance.

Ninth. To provide clutch means, preferably in twin units, through which the power flow from a suitable source is routed direct from a forward driving member or a reverse driving member to a driven member, which is to say that at no time does the energy from the forward driving member have to flow through any element of the reverse driving member, or vice versa.

Patent drawing of A. W. Bonham, Jr. et al filed June 23, 1937

Tenth. To secure the maximum strength, compactness, and maneuverability through the novel disposition of four traction wheels, two wheels, preferably in tandem, being disposed on each side of a body frame, all the wheels being rotatably journaled on rigid axles, and having their tire circumferences spaced apart from each other only so far as is necessary to provide adequate working clearance between the two.


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