Was There Ever A Canadian Made Tractor?

By Staff
article image

Ontario Agricultural Museum, P.O. Box 38, Milton, Ontario,
Canada L9T 2Y3

One of the challenging but frustrating aspects of the study of
the history of tractor design and manufacture is that of the role
of Canadian factories and Canadian companies in this field. A
number of companies located in Canada, in Ontario mainly, who did
take part in the great ‘tractor sweepstakes’ of 1910-1920
period when literally hundreds of designers and small factory
owners tried to enter the tractor business. Some of the designs
were simply not practicable, some were downright unworkable in the
field and most managements lacked the finances to keep going in the
face of trials and errors. In the end, they, like their
counterparts in the United States, just folded up and left the
tractor field to the big boys. Today, the situation has changed
again as large implement companies find themselves in financial
straits and the industry has become international. Now it is
difficult to determine just where and by whom any tractor or
tractor parts were actually manufactured. Most models are a mix of
parts from many factories and often more than one country.

Yet this was the way it was in Canada right from the beginning;
it is extremely doubtful that any tractor ‘Made in Canada’
was actually a totally Canadian product. Some parts, even such
major items as the engine itself, were brought in from outside the
country and just bolted to a Canadian frame.

In some cases that have been studied, the ‘Canadian’
content was little more than the name painted on the sides; even
that is doubtful in some cases where the tractor was the spitting
image of the recognized American make.

Another problem facing the Canadian tractor industry was the
problem of the small and badly fragmented market. On the Prairie
grain fields, the need was for huge ploughing machines and thresher
power plants. In Ontario, where the greater proportion of Canadian
farming is done, the need was for small, nimble machines that could
work effectively on the rolling landscape of small, mixed and dairy
farms.

One of the paradoxes of this situation is that the most
successful manufacturer of truly Canadian big tractors, the
Sawyer-Massey Company of Hamilton, Ontario, was located about 1,500
miles from its major markets on the western wheat fields. And at
least one of these companies that struggled to survive in Western
Canada, the Medicine Hat Machinery Co., turned out a tractor that
was suitable for threshermen in Ontario and nowhere near big enough
to be a prairie sod buster.

At the Ontario Agricultural Museum near Milton, Ontario, there
will be a special reunion of tractors ‘Made in Canada’ this
June. With machines from their own collection, some restored in
their shops, and with other tractors displayed by private
collectors, it is hoped that the event will be the first
significant attempt to demonstrate just what these companies did
attempt and produce. Some of the machines on display will include
the Sawyer-Massey monsters which were based on that company’s
very successful line of steam traction engines. Using heavy channel
iron framing, big cast iron gears and a slow speed kerosene engine,
these machines form an interesting aspect of the development of
motive power on the farm.

Other companies, like Gilson of Guelph and Goold, Shapley &
Muir of Brantford, started out as engine builders, gradually
working their way to putting their engines on geared frames and
creating tractors of a sort.

Another pioneer company was that of Sylvester Bros, of Lindsay
who were far sighted indeed. They not only worked on the idea of
putting their engine on a frame and fitting gears, but they went
one step further; they added a threshing machine a very early try
at making harvesting a simpler operation. Just take the power and
the thresher out to the field on one frame the combine in
embryo.

Just determining what a ‘Canadian’ tractor was is one of
the problems facing the organizers at the Museum. Two examples
already in the Museum collection are the Chase and the Stinson
Beaver. In both cases the original U.S. based companies got into
difficulties and their products turned up later in Canada, under a
Canadian name. The Museum’s Chase machine, for example, is
labelled as No. 36, and research has disclosed that there was a
Chase Tractor Corporation with a factory on a street just across
the railroad tracks from the giant Massey-Harris plant in
Toronto.

But in both cases, all records have been lost.

Anyone who could assist the Museum in this effort is sincerely
asked to do so; any contribution will be most appreciated. And a
visit should be very worthwhile for those interested in the
development of the farm tractor.

Called the ‘Great Canadian Antique Tractor Field Days’,
this event will take place at the Ontario Agricultural Museum at
Milton on June 29, 30, and July 1, 1985. Activities, demonstrations
and parades will highlight these Canadian tractors, along with
Canadian gasoline engines and steam engines throughout this
exciting weekend.

Tractor Works Serial Numbers

In our May 1985 issue, we began a two part listing of serial
numbers obtained by Gerald Jahreis, 2908 Maple Avenue, Eden, New
York 1405 7, from S. K. Otten in the customer relations department
of International Harvester Company.

What appears below is the second part of the list, covering
output by year of tractors manufactured at IHC’s Tractor Works.
Last month we published the serial numbers of the output of the
Milwaukee Works.

In her letter to Jahreis, Ms. Otten offered help to enthusiasts
who need information or photo copies of manuals. Inquiries should
be addressed to S. K. Otten, Customer Relations Manager, P.O. Box
4521, Oak Brook, Illinois 60521.

Serial Letters Assigned To Tractor Works Output of Engines by
Year (December 20, 1922)

Serial Letter 

Assigned

 Shop #s From

To

Year Mfg

A 1 HP Starting engine for 45 HP
or 30/60 Tractor

A 501

A 673

1912

674

1570

1913

1571

2622

1914

2623

2721

1915

2722

2755

1916

AB 10 HP Mogul Skidded

HC Kero

AB 501

AB 511

1914

512

518

1915

519

532

1917

533

545

1918

AC 12 HP

Mogul Mount

HC

AC 501

AC 501

1915

B 10/20 HP

Mogul Tractor

Kero

B 501

B 509

1912

510

585

1913

BB 10 HP

Mogul Mount

HC Kero

BB 501

BB 515

1914

516

550

1915

551

620

1916

621

629

1917

630

633

1918

BC 10/20 HP Mogul

2 speed Tractor

Kero

BC 501

BC 525

1916

526

5863

1917

5864

9009

1918

9010

9485

1919

BE 4 HP Mogul Sta.

HC Kero

BE No record 

BZ 4 HP Mogul Sta.

TC Kero

BZ 501

BZ 566

1914

567

650

1915

651

711

1916

C 15/30 HP

Mogul Tractor

Kero

C 1313

C 1749

1913

1750

1790

1914

1791

1840

1915

CB 10 HP Mogul Port.

HC Kero

CB 501

CB 545

1914

546

565

1915

566

573

1916

574

590

1917

591

634

1918

Serial Letter

Assigned

Shop #s

 To

Year

From

Mfg

CZ 2 HP Mogul

Skidded

HC Kero

CZ 501

CZ 773

1914

774

2964

1915

2965

4865

1916

4866

7920

1917

7921

10101

1918

D 1 HP Start. Engine for

15/30 HP Tractor

D 501

D 696

1913

697

771

1914

772

804

1915

805

821

1916

DB 10 HP Mogul

Skidded

TC Kero

DB 501

DB 516

1914

517

521

1916

522

526

1917

527

539

1918

E 25 HP Mogul

Sta. Giant

TC Kero

E 501

E 559

1912

560

654

1913

655

720

1914

721

788 

1915

789

871

1916

872

1000

1917

1001

1050

1918

1051

1051

1919

EB 10 HP

Mogul Mount

TC Kero

EB 501

EB 521

1916

522

522

1917

523

530

1918

EC 15/30 HP

Intl. Tractor

Kero

EC 501

EC 1000

1918*

1001

1365

1918**

1366

3017

1919

3018

4085

1920

4086

4906

1921

(Several parts common to 15/30 HP Titan Tractor formerly made at
Milw. Works w/Serial Letter TS & TW)

EZ 4HP

Mogul Skidded

HC Kero

EZ 501

EZ 707

1914

708

1277

1915

1278

1641

1916

1642

2110

1917

2111

2417

1918

2418

2743

1919

F 12/25 HP

Mogul Tractor

Kero

F 501

F 617

1913

618

851

1914

852

1125

1915

1126

1526

1916

1527

2048

1917

2049

2049

1918

FB 10 HP Mogul Port.

TC Kero

FB 501

FB 575

1914

576

640

1915

641

654

1916

655

736

1917

737

786

1918

787

809

1919

FZ 4 HP Mogul Mount

HC Kero

FZ 501

FZ 540

1914

541

627

1915

628

656

1916

657

725

1917

726

787

1918

G 8 HP Mogul Sta.

TC Kero

G 501

G 510

1913

511

600

1914

601

684

1915

685

781

1916

782

879

1917

880

885

1918

GB 12 HP Mogul Mount

TC Kero

GB 501

GB 510

1914

1915

1916

511

514

1917

GZ 4 HP Mogul Port.

HC Kero

GZ 501

GZ 525

1914

526

548

1915

549

556

1916

557

588

1917

589

649

1918

650

727

1919

H 10 HP Mogul Sta.

TC Kero

H 501

H 509

1913

510

565

1914

566

633

1915

634

699

1916

700

820

1917

821

895

1918

HB 12 HP Mogul Port.

TC Kero

HB 501

HB 610

1914

611

660

1915

661

681

1916

682

711

1917

712

731

1918

* with cab **without cab

Serial Letter

Assigned

Shop #s

To

Year

From

Mfg

HC 8/16 HP Intl.

4-cyl Vert Tractor

Kero

HC501HC6023

1918

6024

11871

1920

HZ 4 HP Mogul

Skidded

TC Kero

HZ 501

HZ 656

1914

657

753

1915

754

801

1916

802

816

1917

I 3 HP Booster for Hand Car

I 501

I 533

1913

534

775

1914

776

1026

1915

1027

1073

1916

IB 15 HP Mogul Mount TC Kero

IB 501

IB 510

1914

1915

511

511

1916

IC 8/16 Intl. 4-cyl

Vert. Tractor

Kero

IC 501

IC 9513

1921

9517

17022

1922

D2 4 HP Sta. HC

D2 501

D2 525

1914

526

649

1915

650

713

1916

714

758

1917

759

804

1918

IZ 4 HP Mogul Mount

TC Kero

IZ 501

IZ 550

1914

551

559

1915

J 25 HP Mogul Tractor

Kero

J 501

J 547

1911

548

1230

1912

1231

1312

1913

JB 15 HP Mogul Port.

TC Kero

JB 501

JB 590

1914

591

594

1915

595

597

1916

598

606

1917

607

619

1918

JZ 4 HP Mogul Port.

TC Kero

JZ 501

JZ 525

1914

526

536

1915

537

570

1916

K 20 HP Mogul Sta. & Tractor

TC Kero

No record

KB 20 HP Mogul Mount

TC Kero

KB 501 503

KB 502 503

1915 1916

KZ 6 HP Mogul Sta. HC Kero

KZ 501

KZ 525

1914

526

581

1915

582

610

1916

611

634

1917

635

726

1918

LB 20 HP Mogul Port. TC Kero

LB 501

LB 516

1914

517

525

1915

LZ 6 HP Mogul SkiddedHC Kero

LZ 501

LZ 663

1914

664

936

1915

937

1015

1916

1016

1238

1917

1239

1659

1918

1660

1745

1919

M 5 HP Mogul Sta. TC Kero M Built 1911 to 1918 Assembly records
for these engines were misplaced in 1920, thru Law Suit account
Engine M-535 built in 1912.

MB 25 HP Mogul Mount TC Kero MB Only built 2 engines

MZ 6 HP Mogul Mount HE Kero

MZ 501

MZ 581

1914

582

702

1915

703

1048

1916

1049

1175

1917

1176

1279

1918

N 20 HP Mogul Sta.

TC Kero

N 501

N 590

1912

591

697

1913

698

742

1914

743

806

1915

807

859

1916

860

951

1917

952

989

1918

NB 25 HP Mogul Port.

TC Kero

NB 501

NB 502

1914

503

506

1915

NZ 6 HP Mogul Port.

HC Kero

NZ 501

NZ 600 

1914

601

643

1915

644

685

1916

686

937

1917

938

1193

1918

O 6 HP Mogul Sta.

TC Kero

O 501

O 588

1914

589

664

1915

665

703

1916

704

755

1917

OZ 6 HP Mogul Skidded

OZ 501

OZ 664

1914

665

721

1915

722

729

1916

730

778

1917

P 12 HP Mogul Sta. TC Kero

P 501

P 515

1913

516

587

1914

588

635

1915

636

689

1916

690

765

1917

766

868

1918

Serial Letter

Assigned

Shop #s

To

Year

From

Mfg

PB 1? HP Start Engine

for 12/25 HP Tractor

Kero

PB 501

PB 576

1915

577

577

1916

578

583

1917

PZ 6 HP Mogul Mount

TC Kero

PZ 501

PZ 531

1914

532

536

1915

Q 1 HP Mogul Stat. Engine for

20/25 & 50 HP Sta.

Kero

Q 501

Q 525

1913

526

548

1914

549

554

1917

555

559

1918

QZ 6 HP Mogul Port.

TC Kero

QZ 501

QZ 568

1914

569

635

1915

636

689

1916

690

793

1917

RZ 8 HP Mogul Sta.

Kero

RZ 606

RZ 723

1919

SB 8/16 HP Mogul

Tractor

Kero

SB 501

SB 520

1914

521

5631

1915

5632

13900

1916

13901

14565

1917

SZ 8 HP Mogul Skidded

HC Kero

SZ 501

SZ 593

1914

594

603

1917

604

704

1918

705

741

1919

T 15 HP Mogul Sta.

TC Kero

T 501

T 509

1913

510

576

1914

577

638

1915

639

705

1916

706

801

1917

802

860

1918

861

910

1919

TZ 8 HP Mogul Mount

HC Kero

TZ 501

TZ 507

1914

508

541

1915

542

558

1916

559

589

1917

590

634

1918

635

638

1919

U 35/60 HP

Mogul Tractor

Kero

U 2174

U 2937

1913

2838

2858

1914

2859

2935

1915

2936

2940

1916

2941

2941

1917

UB 1 HP Mogul Jr.

HC Gaso

UB501

UB 1584

1915

1585

4227

1916

4228

5553

1917

5554

5825

1918

UZ 8 HP Mogul Port.

HC Kero

UZ 501

UZ 558

1914

559

655

1915

656

658

1916

659

753

1917

754

925

1918

926

946

1919

VB 8/16 HP Intl. 4 cyl Vert Tractor

Kero

VB 501

VB 3700

1917

1918

3701

5748

1919

VZ 8 HP Mogul

Skidded

TC Kero

VZ 501

VZ 551

1914

552

553

1915

554

561

1916

562

581

1917

W 1 HP Mogul

Skidded

HC Kero

W 501

W 1038

1914

1039

8459

1915

8460

14780

1916

14781

22183

1917

22184

29672

1918

WZ 8 HP Mogul Mount

TC Kero

WZ 501

WZ 541

1914

X 45 HP Mogul Tractor Kero

X 501

X 1084

1911

1085

2137

1912

2138

2173

1913

XZ 8 HP Mogul Port.

TC Kero

XZ 501

XZ 600

1914

601

637

1915

638

668

1916

669

729

1917

Y 1? HP Mogul

Skidded

HC Kero

Y 501

Y 856

1914

857

3517

1915

3518

4792

1916

4793

8158

1917

8159

9241

1918

YZ 10 HP Mogul Sta.

HC Kero

YZ 501

YZ 508

1914

509

528

1915

529

544

1916

545

560

1917

561

574

1918

YB 6 HP (Hay Press)

YB 501

YB 641

1917

642

1093

1918

1094

1181

1919

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