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January 2010 Archive for Your Favorite Tractor

RSS By: Your Favorite Tractor, Farm Journal

Here’s your chance to share a photo of your favorite tractor.

1913 Rumely E OilPull

Jan 28, 2010


Ron and Lora Lea Miller of Geneseo, Ill., restored this big OilPull.



Long a mainstay in the Advance-Rumely line of OilPull Tractors, this 1913 Model E, or 30/60, shakes the ground with its 13-ton weight when it ambles by. The big tractor was made from 1910 through 1923. Two 10”x12” bore-and-stroke cylinders burning kerosene turned the engine at 375 rpm to give it 50 drawbar horsepower. To control pre-ignition knocking, water was injected into the engine’s combustion chamber. Oil was the coolant in the big front-mounted radiator. Wide extension rims kept the big tractor on top of soft ground.


This tractor was featured in the book “The Farm Tractor: 100 years of North American Tractors” which is available at bookstores and online booksellers and from


The Farm Tractor first published in 2007 by MBI Publishing Company and Voyageur Press, in imprint of MBI Publishing Company and the Quayside Publishing Group. Copyright © 2007,  2009 by Ralph W. Sanders. 

To find out about other Voyageur Press books for the tractor enthusiast, visit

Tractor Trendsetters: Hart-Parr Company

Jan 22, 2010

Written by Larry Gay

The Hart-Parr Company of Charles City, Iowa, started building gasoline traction engines in 1902 and has been recognized by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers as the builder of the first commercially successful tractor powered by an internal combustion engine. “Commercially successful” are the key words in the recognition statement as others such as Charter, Froelich, Paterson, and Huber had tried to build gasoline traction engines in the 1890s.  

Charles Hart and Charles Parr started building gasoline engines in Madison, Wisconsin, after receiving their engineering degrees from the University of Wisconsin in 1896. In 1901, they built a new larger factory in Hart’s home town of Charles City, Iowa. The first two tractors, Hart-Parr No. 1 and No. 2, were built in 1902 and had different configurations and drive trains. However, both were powered with a horizontal, 2-cylinder engine with a 9-inch bore and a 13-inch stroke. The company rated them at 17 drawbar horsepower and 30 belt horsepower.

In 1903, Hart-Parr built 14 of the 17-30 tractors and 24 of the more powerful 22-40 size. The two models were similar, but the 22-40’s engine had a 10-inch bore and a 15-inch stroke. The transmission provided one forward speed and one in reverse. The written warranty stated these tractors would successfully operate a threshing outfit and pull it over the road. The standard drive train was not designed to pull a plow, but three of the 22-40 tractors were equipped with a heavy-duty drive train for pulling a plow. All 40 of these tractors were sold and none were returned.

One of the 17-30 tractors built in 1903, serial number 1207, still exists today and is known as Hart-Parr No.3. It was sold to a farmer near Charles City and the company bought it back in 1924. However, in the following years the company misidentified it as an 18-30 with a 10-inch bore and a 13-inch stroke. This has resulted in almost every article and book about the early Hart-Parr tractors describing this tractor as being different than the other tractors built in 1903. However, all of the early Hart-Parr information describes No. 3 as a 17-horsepower machine and I measured a 9-inch bore and a 13-inch stroke when it was restored in 2003.

By the end of 1907, Hart-Parr had started using the word “tractor” to replace “gasoline traction engine,” the 17-30 model had been discontinued, the tractors could burn kerosene or gasoline, almost all of the 22-40 tractors were being built with the heavy-duty drive train, and the company had built 507 tractors. The Hart-Parr sales catalogs issued from 1904 through 1907 describe the tractor with the 10-inch bore and 15-inch stroke as a 22-40 and the 22-45 doesn’t appear until the 1908 catalog. However, later company publications erroneously described the tractors built from 1903 through 1907 as a 22- 45.

Larry Gay is the author of four farm tractor books, including A Guide to Hart-Parr, Oliver and White Farm Tractors. This book may be obtained from ASABE at 800-695-2723 or, click publications, click history, click Oliver.

Meet the "Nelle Belle"

Jan 19, 2010
This Tractor Tales takes us to Texas to catch up with Clarence Lee a man who says he's a 4th cousin to General Robert E. Lee. Clarence is also a collector who introduces us to the "Nelle Belle".

This tractor became known as the Ford tractor with the Ferguson system because it was equipped with Ferguson hydraulics. They were sold for $585 back in 1939.

For more Tractor Tales, visit

A Rare Beauty in the Snow: 1951 Ford 8N with Dearborn Snowplow

Jan 08, 2010

This tractor was featured for the month of January in the 2010 Classic Farm Tractor Calendar.

When it’s snowing and blowing in his neck of the woods, owner Steve Parker can barely keep from smiling. The reason is obvious–this ’51 Ford 8N with a rare Dearborn snowplow is raring to go in the snow. It’s a hybrid of sorts, because the tractor came from Iowa, the V-plow from Minnesota, the mounted frame from Illinois, the Bombardier tracks from Wisconsin, and the steel cab from Ohio. The 1951 8N, considered a late version of this best-selling Ford model, featured the flat-head 4-cyl. engine, 119 cu. in. producing 26 PTO hp. It has Ford script fenders and a side-mount distributor.


Owner: Steve Parker

Mahomet, Illinois


Steve is a Ford tractor enthusiast, an active board member of Ford/Fordson Collectors Association as well as a member of the I & I Club. His extensive collection includes implements and memorabilia of the red/gray era of Ford and Dearborn.


The I & I Club hosted the 20th anniversary reunion the Classic Farm Tractor Calendar this past July.


The world-famous Classic Farm Tractor Calendar from Classic Tractor Fever is in its 21st year of publication with the 2010 calendar available now. They have calendars, videos, books, and much, much, more. Click here to visit their online shop.

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