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Deere Tractor Collector Recreates Unique 2-Cylinder Promotion

During the Wisconsin Farm Progress Days last July, Joe Joas, Kiel, Wis., mounted his 1944 Deere "A" 2-cyl. tractor on three old Coke bottles and ran the tractor constantly for three days. The wheels never touched the ground and he never broke a bottle. "I did it to recreate old advertising literature produced by Deere," says Joas, who shows antique tractors as a hobby and is a member of a local two cylinder tractor club. "In the late 1930's and early 1940's, manufacturers of 4-cyl. tractors started knocking Deere's `popping johnny' 2-cyl. tractors, claiming they ran rough. Deere counteracted by showing photos in advertising literature of a Deere "A" held up by three Coke bottles. This advertising literature is so rare I haven't been able to find any.
"I decided to try it myself to see if it could be done. There are two bottles under the rear axle and one under the front. About 90% of the people who see it don't believe it and ask me what's the trick. Even though the tractor weighs about 3,800 lbs., it doesn't break the bottles because the pistons on a 2-cyl. tractor go back and forth horizontally without causing any downward pressure. The pistons on a 4-cyl. tractor, which go up and down, would break the bottles. The tractor has to be good and level for this idea to work. Each bottle stands on a piece of oak. Pressure from the tractor causes the bottles to form a ring about 1/8-in. deep in the wood."


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1993 - Volume #17, Issue #5