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Readers Respond To Rare Antique Tractor Story
Our story "Fantastic Collection of Rare Antique Tractors" in the last issue prompted calls from readers familiar with some of the tractors shown.
The photos of the tractors in the article were found in the archives at the University of Illinois by veteran farm writer C.F. Marley. He discovered that no one had even looked at the old tractors in the file for 70 years. The photo collection features tractors from the early 1900's to the early 1920's. Little information was contained on the tractors and equipment shown.
Here's what a few of our readers had to say about the tractors we featured:
Dan Grewe (Arlington, Wash. 98223 ph 360 435-2520) called to comment on the Moline-Universal tractor shown hooked up to a manure spreader. He has two Moline-Universal model C's, a model D, and a 110-bu. 4-wheel spreader.
"I bought all of them from my dad," says Grewe. "The photo you show is a model C tractor along with a 2-wheel spreader. We used the 4-wheel spreader when I was growing up. As far as I know mine is the only one of its kind in the U.S. We have a movie of it actually working. When the 4-wheel spreader was hooked to the tractor you had a 6-wheel rig.
"At the time this tractor was built Moline Tractor Co. was the biggest tractor manufacturer in the world. They made three Universal models - the B, C, and D - which looked much the same. However, the C had a 2-cyl. engine and a longer rider bar. The D also had a long rider bar. I put rubber tires on my D and updated it. No doubt it's the only Moline-Universal Model D with pneumatic tires."
Jack Gillow (2185 N. Hickory Ridge, Highland, Mich. 48357 ph 248 887-5243) called to let us know that a Holt tractor like the one we showed is on permanent display at a museum called "Antique Power Land", in Brook, Oregon (ph 503 393-2424), a small town south of Portland. The tractor has a single steering wheel up front and a set of large steel tracks in back.
"The museum features equipment from all over the U.S., including 8 or 10 rare antique tractors and small hit and miss engines down to 1/2 hp. Every year they have a parade of the equipment. They're also developing a permanent antique truck museum display that should be quite interesting."
Ron Jungmeyer (55835 Hwy. C., Russellville, Mo. 65074 ph 573 782-4602), who operates a business restoring antique tractors, called to say that he recently finished restoring a 1920 Heider model D 9-16 hp tractor for a customer in Illinois.
"It's a super rare tractor - only a handful still exist in the U.S. The company built 2 and 3-plow models."
C.B. Galbraith (Box 96, Oakville, Man. R0H 0Y0 Canada ph 204-267-2680). "I enjoyed your article on rare antique tractors in the last issue. I might be able to shed some light on the Heider tractor that was shown.
"My father purchased a Heider tractor in 1920. It was the first tractor I ever ran. He also bought a 20 by 36 Waterloo threshing machine from a Waterloo dealer in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.
"This tractor had a 4-cylinder Wauksa motor, cast in two blocks with removeable plugs to get at the valves and a shaft driven water pump with seals that always leaked. There was a large flywheel on on the rear end of the crankshaft with a 4-in. wide circle of clutch material (pressed paper) attached to the outside of the flywheel.
"The clutch consisted of two large 24-in. dia. discs that were moved sideways to connect the clutch material on the flywheel. One side for moving ahead, the other side for re-verse. These discs were connected with straight cut gears to the rear axle which ran small straight gears inside a larger gear bolted to the inside of the drive wheels
"At constant throttle your forward speed was controlled by moving the disks forward on sliding rails so that the clutch discs contacted the flywheel clutch at different diameter. I think there were 7 forward speeds and 7 reverse speeds.
"The motor burned gas or kerosene and was good for stationary work but not so good in the field. It had a small steering wheel, making it hard to steer. On this model, there was a tin canopy or sun shade.
"There are

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #6