Parr for the Course
(Page 4 of 4)
The Little Devil was unique because it sported no valves, transmission or differential. Valve ports in the cylinder walls were actuated by the up-and-down movement of its pistons. With a single rear wheel, no differential was required, and the tractor could turn short, work under trees and operate close to fences at speeds of 2 and 3 1/3 mph.
Little Devil production was dropped after only two years due to fuel and timing difficulties.
Hart-Parr also released a rugged 35-hp tractor that worked particularly well for building and maintaining roads, and was often purchased by townships, counties and states.
After the war ended in 1918, Hart-Parr introduced two smaller and more practical tractors, the 15-30-hp Type A and the Hart-Parr 12-25. A year later, both Hart and Parr sold their shares in the company, but continued working for it.
For the next 10 years until 1929, Hart-Parr added more tractors to its line including the 15-30-hp Model C, 16-30-hp types E and F, the 10-20-hp models B and C, the 22-40, 12-24, the 18-36-hp models G and H and the 28-50. After Hart-Parr had released these classic tractors, however, the firm and three others -the Oliver Chilled Plow Co., Nichols & Shepard and American Seeding Machine Co. - merged to form the Oliver Farm Equipment Corp., which eventually became just the Oliver Corp. In 1960, the White Motor Corp. acquired Oliver as a wholly owned subsidiary.
In addition to the innovations already mentioned, the Hart-Parr Co. was a leader in other ways. The firm was among the first to develop tractor schools to educate farmers on how to use its machines. It organized employee medical benefits, built homes for its workers and printed mail-order repair instructions for tractor owners, and donated to charitable organizations and city infrastructure.
After the 1929 merger, however, Hart-Parr tractors assumed the name Oliver Hart-Parr. Eventually, 'Oliver' became larger than 'Hart-Parr,' and in 1937, the Hart-Parr name disappeared from all tractors, ending the life of the famed Hart-Parr Co.
- Bill Vossler is a freelance writer and the author of several books on antique farm toys and equipment. Contact him at Box 372, 400 Caroline Lane, Rockville, MN 56569; (320) 253-5414; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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