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Antique Tractors - Old Iron Lugs, Cleats and Tracks

Oldest "tractor" in North America?


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  #1  
Old 04-06-2005, 12:21 AM
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Default Oldest "tractor" in North America?

This was submitted to me by Guy Fay. Guy is the GUY for things International Harvester in the State of Wisconsin!!!
Here's what he has to say about it:

Single Cylinder McCormick Automower. Yeah, it doesn't look like much of
a tractor, but it had a live PTO, cast iron frame, and full reverse
gearing. It could mow in heavy alfalfa. Purely experimental, never
produced for sale. Probably built March-April of 1900 for display at the
World's Fair in Paris to compete against the Deering Automower, which
definitely could pull other equipment.
Owned by the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Pretty NEAT...HUH??????
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Automower 22.jpg  

Last edited by Craig A; 04-06-2005 at 11:38 PM. Reason: Amputate arm!!!
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Old 04-06-2005, 12:24 AM
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Default Re: Oldest "tractor" in North America??

VERY COOL pic!!!!!!!
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  #3  
Old 04-06-2005, 08:04 AM
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Default Re: Oldest "tractor" in North America??

Somebody oughta call the rescue crew! Theres a guy stuck in that silo in that pic! Look, His arm is coming out the side!

Nice pic. Was that a hit and miss engine for power? Did the engine make the market on something else or was it specifically designed?

Frank Y
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Old 04-06-2005, 08:38 AM
Guy Fay Guy Fay is offline
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Default Re: Oldest "tractor" in North America??

To my knowledge the engine was designed by Ed Johnston from McCormick. I'm pretty sure he also designed the later IH verticals that came out in '05, don't know if this engine had any design similaraties or not. It's got a Lunkenheimer mixer on it.
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Old 04-06-2005, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: Oldest "tractor" in North America??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Y
Somebody oughta call the rescue crew! Theres a guy stuck in that silo in that pic! Look, His arm is coming out the side! Frank Y
Hmmm....While I'm LAUGHING "something" off here......I guess I'll have to Photoshop that poor guy out of the silo................

Craig
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Old 04-07-2005, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: Oldest "tractor" in North America??

Here a picture of that early Auto Mower, I found it in the Wisconsin Archieves. Would be great to have one that complete.
Can be seen at:

http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/...%2Bexhibitions

Enjoy it
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Old 04-07-2005, 11:12 PM
Guy Fay Guy Fay is offline
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Default Re: Oldest "tractor" in North America??

Actually, the one you linked to on the Historical Society Website is the slightly newer, competition TWO cylinder model. WIsh I knew were that one was- there may be either a McCormick or Deering Automower floating around in a museum in France somewhere.
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Old 04-08-2005, 11:03 AM
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Dale Noel Dale Noel is offline
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Default Re: Oldest "tractor" in North America??

I thought I heard about one of these rigs in Waukon IA... I believe Sweeney was the name... I know they had several old tractors on display there years ago...
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Old 04-08-2005, 07:08 PM
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Default Re: Oldest "tractor" in North America??

I still want to know who's arm that was ans what was it doing there?
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Old 04-08-2005, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: Oldest "tractor" in North America??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Musser
I still want to know who's arm that was ans what was it doing there?
Oh alright! In the original photo a man was in the picture pointing at the tractor. When I cropped the photo all that was left was his arm....and an arm without a BODY is kinda useless so I amputated THAT too!!!

Oh....and the man in the photo did NOT have steel wheels either!

Craig
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Old 04-09-2005, 08:49 AM
Dan Donaldson Dan Donaldson is offline
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Default Re: Oldest "tractor" in North America??

I liked the photo better with the manless arm in it. But that's just my warped two ents.

Dan Donaldson
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Old 04-09-2005, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: Oldest "tractor" in North America??

I have to say that of all the pics I have ever seen on here that the floating arm wins the prize for my all time favorite. The tractor is nice too.
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Old 04-09-2005, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: Oldest "tractor" in North America??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Musser
I have to say that of all the pics I have ever seen on here that the floating arm wins the prize for my all time favorite. The tractor is nice too.
I can Photoshop the arm so it's coming out of the driver's seat.....
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  #14  
Old 04-10-2005, 01:31 PM
edisonlongwaist&oilpull
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Question Re: Oldest "tractor" in North America??

There is a Deering Automower described and pictured in the Modern Book of Knowledge 1904. It has 2 6hp engines with a horizontal cylinder visible. "Work started in 1894 and one was prepared for the Paris Exposition where it attracted much attention. It can draw loads, grind feed, pump water and many other useful things".
This site is difficult to use so I won't put copy on.
Ed Schott

http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whi/fullRecord.asp?id=9575&qstring=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2E wisconsinhistory%2Eorg%2Fwhi%2Fresults%2Easp%3Fsub ject%5Fnarrow%3DAgricultural%2Bexhibitions

Enjoy it [/QUOTE]
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Old 04-17-2005, 11:17 AM
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Default Re: Oldest "tractor" in North America??

Looks like that engine is of the 2 cycle variety with the mixer being mounted on the crankcase like that. Don't see any valves either. I'd like to see that thing operating!

Mike
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Old 08-13-2011, 05:17 AM
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Default Re: Oldest "tractor" in North America??

Ok, I know I'm resurrecting an ancient thread but I came across this website and couldn't resist posting it. Where better to put it? Here are a couple of sites I came across while waiting for our son to fall asleep after feeding. The first shows what appears to be a patent drawing for the vertical single cylinder Automower. The second appears to be the two cylinder opposed Automower .

http://www.jarnhesten.no/merke_mccormick_automower.php
http://www.jarnhesten.no/merke_deeri...ng_machine.php
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Old 08-14-2011, 01:50 AM
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Default Re: Oldest "tractor" in North America??

Quote:
Originally Posted by FWurth View Post
Ok, I know I'm resurrecting an ancient thread but I came across this website and couldn't resist posting it. <snip>
My Norwegian's not so good, but this is the gist of the first link:
Quote:
McCormick «Auto-Mower» (1898-1903): Before the 1902 merger of McCormick and Deering, both had worked to develop a self-propelled mower. None were ever marketed, but this prototype shows an interesting feature: the first appearance of straight agricultural lugs. This image shows McCormick's "Auto-Mower." It was designed by Edward A. Johnston, along with Bert Benjamin. The engine in the first prototype was a 2-cylinder gasoline engine that Johnston had built. A newer version, constructed in 1903, had a single-cylinder engine. The gearbox had two forward gears and one reverse. The mower gearbox was equipped with a power takeoff, which could operate regardless of forward motion. This was therefore an independent power takeoff, but was not used for any accessories other than the mower. When the sickle bogged down in thick grass, forward motion slowed to allow the knife to clear itself. McCormick had considerable experience with the production of sulky mowers, so the additions posed few engineering problems. Steering was a bit primitive. Additionally, there was a design flaw: The front part of the frame was too weak to carry the large fuel tank (about 50 gallons). Total mass of the tractor must have been around 250 kg [~551 lbs], so it would have been better suited to Europe than to the American prairie.
The second link:
Quote:
Deering «Mowing Machine» (1894-1903): Before the 1902 merger of McCormick and Deering, both had worked to develop a self-propelled mower. None were ever marketed, but this prototype shows an interesting feature: the first appearance of straight agricultural lugs. This patent illustration shows Deering's "Mowing Machine," which was designed by George H. Ellis. The engine was a 2-cylinder, 6-horsepower gasoline engine that Ellis had designed, mounted on a standard Deering New Ideal horse-drawn mower. The mower was underpowered, so Ellis designed a new 2-cylinder engine that developed about 16 hp. It came out in 1894, and was mounted on a modified version of the New Ideal mower. Some years later he went back to a single-cylinder engine. Ellis continued to tweak the machine, which eventually became very complicated, as the 1902 illustration shows. It had only a single speed, and no reverse gear. The power takeoff was driven by the gearbox and only turned when the machine was in motion. This led to problems when the sickle bar jammed in thick grass.
Very cool machines, and definitely pioneers in American agriculture.
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Old 08-14-2011, 01:56 AM
Bruce B. Bruce B. is offline
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Default Re: Oldest "tractor" in North America??

Figured I'd better snag the photos and post them here, in case that Norwegian link ever breaks...

The first two are the McCormick Automower, the third is Deering's Mowing Machine.
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mccormick_automower_1.jpg   mccormick_automower_2.jpg   deering_mowing_machine.jpg  
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:55 AM
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Default Re: Oldest "tractor" in North America??

Isn't calling these things tractors a little like trying to call my zero-turn-radius lawnmower a garden tractor just because you can, in fact, hitch things to the back? Unfortunately, the evolutionary nature of the tractor makes it difficult to draw a hard line.

If, instead, you asked the question, "what is the oldest surviving machine called and marketed as a 'tractor' in North America," I suspect you'd get some kind of Hart Parr as the answer but I'm far from the expert. And where do "traction engines" fit? They were already doing the work we think of as tractor work by the time the early 'riding mowers' above were being tested. Do they get excluded because they were not called 'tractors'?

Ah, rules, rules, rules. Just something to stir the conversation, again - not meant to be mean or nasty!!
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:50 AM
Gede20 Gede20 is offline
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Default Re: Oldest "tractor" in North America??

Hi

Here is a picture from a 1901 Deering catalog in German language with pictures taken at the 1900 world fair in Paris. You can yust see the 2 cil. tractor hanging in the middle.

There are also model farm machines on the left pillar.

Pim
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