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Oldest tractors in existence
The world’s oldest existing tractor, the Hungarian-built 1896 Mechwart’s, was discovered by Graeme Quick shown with curator Klaus Kerrmann, in the German museum where the tractor now resides. However, little is known of the tractors basic configuration and design.
The fabled 1899 McCormick Auto-Mower was the forerunner of the tricycle tractor. The Auto-Mower was the first tractor to utilize a cast iron frame. The machine pioneered the use of the independent power takeoff. The tractor was the creation of Ed Johnston, a mechanical wunderkind who’d been experimenting with engines at McCormick since 1898.
Johnston went on to fabricate another machine with a two-cylinder power plant. No one knows what became of that two-cylinder Auto-Mower. But the single-cylinder tractor served as the model for a patent establishing the Auto-Mower’s claim as the first tractor with a cast-iron frame.
Built in 1903, this rare version of an Ivel tractor stood head-and-shoulders over others in engineering advances two decades prior to the introduction of the Farmall Regular! Ivel’s highly affordable $560 price affirms this machine’s position as the pioneer of the all-purpose tractor.
Created by Daniel Albone in Biggleswade, England, the Ivel was capable of pulling a two- to three-bottom plow thanks to a British-built engine with two horizontally opposed cylinders.
Part of the Smithsonian Institution Collection in Washington, DC, the 1903 Hart-Parr 18-30 employed a two-cylinder engine boasting massive 10x13-inch bore-and-stroke.
The use of oil, rather than water, allowed for higher cylinder temperatures that allowed the 18-30 to readily burn low-grade distillate fuels. Water was injected into the fuel to reduce premature detonation.
Stock Motor Plough
Little is known about the Stock Motor Plough except that a German firm fabricated it around 1905. The tractor featured three plowshares mounted to the chassis. Early German efforts at building tractors concentrated on motor plows, many of which resembled two-wheeled garden tractors.
International Type A
Built in 1906, the 15-horsepower International Type A was IHC’s first attempt at making a large-scale tractor. The single-cylinder engine’s speed was regulated by a governor and cooled with water pumped through the cylinder jacket and then spilled over a metal screen.
IHC Mogul Type C
This Mogul Type C, built in 1907, was rated at 15 horsepower that was generated by a single-cylinder engine operating at 240 rpm. IHC’s roots go back to the 1902 merger of McCormick and Deering companies.
A collection of the oldest tractors in the world