Tracking the History of the Tractor

| 5/29/2012 5:27:54 AM

You know what a tractor is: a motorized farm implement capable of pulling, or being fitted with, accessories to accomplish the work of a farm.  But who first called a tractor a tractor, and why?

Hart Parr 12 24

Marie gave me a desk calendar called Tractor A Day - it was kind of a joke: we laugh that if I keep going with my garden expansion I'll be a farmer before we know it.  But I really like the calendar.  Each day has a photograph of some classic tractor.  I especially like the very old ones.  This one, a 1925 Hart-Parr model 12/25 tractor, particularly fascinated me, especially its engine, so I went looking for more details on-line.  I found this description:

Hart and Parr produced the world's first successful production farm gas traction engine, forerunner of the modern tractor, in the winter of 1900-1901. Their first tractor was the Hart-Parr Gas Traction Machine No. 1.

Hart-Parr tractors were recognized as powerful, long-lasting, fuel-efficient and technically innovative. The Hart-Parr Tractor No. 3, built in 1903, is housed in the Smithsonian Institution Museum in Washington, D.C.

By 1907, a third of all tractors in the world were manufactured in Charles City.

The word "tractor" was, in fact, coined in 1907 to describe the Hart-Parr invention by the Hart-Parr sales manager, W.H. Williams.