by Lin Stone
Long, long ago, man invented something called tractors. They were used to thresh grain, and to till the soil, make rows that looked exactly alike, and made the farmer's life a joy rather than a burden. Here are some pictures of tractors taken at the 2007 Oklahoma State Fair.
You'll see three or four Masseys in here. These were among the most comfortable tractors made. Then there was the International Farmall Cub. That little dude worked like a Morgan horse. Anything you asked of it, that little tractor would leap into the traces. About the only thing to beat it was the Massey Ferguson 35, when it was brand new.
Click on any small picture for a larger one.
Isn't it amazing what a little bit of paint will do?
This rig looks backwards no matter which way you see it from.
The plow is SHOVED into the ground.
Gauge wheels keep it from going too deep.
Look how LONG that steering wheel shaft is.
I think it took twenty four pounds of pressure to turn the tractor around.
|As I went from tractor to tractor it was with heightening sense
of excitement. I had driven, actually WORKED so many similar
models that I found it incredible. I drove this one. I
drove this one. Golly I drove that one too!
I was about half way through the lot when I heard a guy behind me... I drove this one, I drove this one -- and when he came to the old horse drawn implements on the trailer his eyes really lit up.. I have used everything on there.
|There was a running battle between admirers of the John Deere
and admirers of the Farmall.
The John Deere had lugging power, the Farmall would get up and roll.
When the John Deere hit a hard spot in the field it would grunt,
When the Farmall hit a hard spot in the field it would strangle
itself and die.
|I look back at the blood, sweat and tears that went into a day
of work and I wonder at myself, how in the world did I stand it?
Then I look back at the bare-headed boy on the tractors I drove and
remember that I wouldn't even wear a hat back then. It almost
drove my dad nuts. He'd buy me a new hat to wear and before
the day was out the wind would whip it off my head and I never went
looking for it.
Maybe our bodies were different back then too. Working from daylight till dark while bouncing on that steel seat was the norm. I remember the only way I got to quit early. If it rained, rained enough so the tires began to spin, then I could quit early.
Maybe we had to be tougher back then, back when two row cultivators were the ADVANCED NEW TECHNOLOGY. These days I see TWENTY FOUR ROW cultivators out there. Inside the cab they have air conditioning, power steering, power seats, radios, television, GPS, two way radios, tape players, and who knows what all else.
Just three years ago I was offered a completely rebuilt Cub for only $900
The mechanic that rebuilt it works on airplanes.
You could leave the field behind with his rebuilt Cub.
Your old Steam-Driven Case could plow all day,
then hook it up to the threshing machine and thresh all night.
The "A" was slightly larger than the Cub.
It was the tractor for the man of the house.
The Allis Chalmers was rugged as a mule,
never forgetting it once had iron tires
instead of rubber.
See that hood ornament on the front?
It was like an arrow pointing straight where you had to go.
I sat in the seat like a statue for hours at a time, my head never moving
eyes glued to the target. NOBODY could lay off straighter rows or lands than I could.
Moving your back wheels in and out to the EXACT increment you
was a cinch with a John Deere. We had one man that had to have his right
wheel two inches wider than the left one or he could never stay straight in
the field for love or money. We would chalk his mark on the axle and
slide the wheel over for him when he took the job.
Boy, Howdy, I could make two crops a year with a set of tractors like this.
Case was a synonym for POWER back in the old days.
See how those front tires slope away from each other at the top?
You'd swear those tires would wear out on one side,
but they never did.
There, you see that seat? When John Deere came out with it
Their market share jumped 24%. That SUPER SEAT they
have today is not an improvement.
The clutch is that long lever coming up from the floor and right
beside the steering wheel.
One time I got stuck with a disk behind me and had the bright idea of popping the
clutch to give it a jerk. Johnny has the power to turn itself over backwards when
your disk is stuck and won't let you go forward! Bend that drawbar, man, that
thing looked like a pretzel. The boss lost his straight face too.
That's a post hole digger on the back. They sure saved me
a lot of back-breaking work. One man on a tractor could do the work of dozen on shovels.
A shear bolt would break if you hit a big rock.
See those steel slabs in front of the rear tire? These are
Positioned in back like this they were the forerunner of positraction.
Having more weight there kept your tires from slipping and sliding
so much in the mud.
Other tractors had places to put weights on the front of the
tractor to hold it down.
That let you pull more and do it faster with less risk of flipping over backwards.
I've seen some old tractors with two fifty gallon drums full of water attached to the front.
They came out with a way to put water in the tires for more weight and that helped
a bunch too.
To see some really old tractors, Click HERE.
Click HERE to see some beautiful cars.
Click HERE to see some Fair Shots.
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