1992 - Volume #16, Issue #1, Page #03[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Wind powered tractorWind-Powered Tractor: We've discovered, thanks to FARM SHOW reader Verne Kindachi, Prairie du Sac, Wis., that a real wind-powered tractor was introduced al-most 90 years ago. Here, reprinted from Verne's copy of the April, 1913 issue of Gas Review magazine, is the story: "H.M. Fletcher, of Plainview, Texas, has invented a novel traction plow that is run by wind power. He began experimenting with this remarkable method of operating plows, both for plowing the soil and cultivating crops, a few years ago and claims that he has finally perfected the mechansim so that it may now be put to practical use. Not long ago he made a trip of seventy miles on this plow along one of the public highways leading out of Plainview, the sole motor power being that of the wind. By means of ingeniously adjusted fans that resemble the wheel of the ordinary windmill, Mr. Fletcher is able to guide the plow in any direction he may see fit, irrespective of the quarter from which the wind is blowing. He devised special gearing by which the outfit is moved rapidly and with sufficient power to cut a ten-inch furrow even when wind pressure is comparatively small.
It is claimed by Mr. Fletcher that his novel outfit is not only destined to greatly lessen the cost of farming operations but that it may be used economically in boring wells, pumping water and in various other ways where steam and more expensive power is now necessary.
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