Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
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The obscure Sandusky tractor was manufactured by Dauch Manufacturing Co. of Sandusky, Ohio. First built in 1912, Sanduskys claimed to be 'cheaper than horses.' Two of the Sandusky models were odd, almost futuristic looking machines. The Moline tractor, manufactured by the Moline Plow Co. of Moline, Ill, isn't well known either, but the Moline name is familiar to collectors because of its association with the Minneapolis-Moline Co. In 1929, the Moline Plow Co. merged with two other companies to form Minneapolis Moline. The Moline Plow Co.'s Universal tractor wasn't well known, although the Universal tractor it spawned, manufactured and sold by other companies, sold well. The Moline Plow Co. also built the little-known Stephens automobile.
With so many companies and a myriad of machines built before and after the turn of the 20th century, it's no wonder that collectors can be confused by the often-muddled history behind the tractors and companies that built them. Even though most of those businesses failed and are long-forgotten by most Americans, their impact on agriculture and farmers is undeniable. Perhaps most importantly, those companies that shot into existence nearly overnight and blazed out just as quickly left old-iron lovers with orphaned tractors to polish and restore for posterity. FC
- Bill Vossler is a freelance writer and the author of several books on antique farm toys. His newest book, More Orphan Tractors Vol. II, will be available in December. For questions and comments, write Bill at Box 372, 400 Caroline Lane, Rockville, MN 56569; or call him at (320) 253-5414; e-mail: email@example.com
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