Rare Walking Tractor Found: Circa-1915 Hamilton-Fageol Walking Tractor
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A new era for Rush Hamilton with Great Western Motor Company and Standard Gas Engine Company
After the Fageol tractor’s demise, Rush Hamilton was not yet finished. He obtained the tractor rights and, with W.F. Smith, started Great Western Motor Co. of San Jose, where they sold the remaining stock of Fageol 9-12 hp tractors, and began manufacturing 10-15 hp Fageol tractors. These Fageol 10-15 hp tractors still used a 4-cylinder Lycoming engine, but the bore and stroke was larger, 3-1/2 by 5 inches, and the tractor weighed 3,800 pounds.
Hamilton and Smith also got involved with Standard Gas Engine Co. of Oakland, Calif., manufacturing after-market products for Fordson tractors. It comes as no surprise that those items included the Hamilton wheel with grousers, and the Hamilton transmission for the Fordson. This went on at least until 1927, as the transmission was mentioned in Byron Times’ Tenth Development Edition for that year.
Chilton’s Tractor & Equipment Journal For Fordson Dealers of April 1, 1927, shows Rush Hamilton “the designer” gesturing to W.F. Smith, president of Standard Gas Co., as the Hamilton transmission is being demonstrated. After that, silence, at least for remaining records. All that’s left of the Hamilton Walking Tractor, with the early “Hamilton wheel” and transmission, is a rusty partial tractor.
Hope for the remaining Hamilton-Fageol Walking Tractor
Tom Todd says he’s going to retire in a year or so from his truck-driving job and will then go full-bore into restoring the Hamilton Walking Tractor.
“My Waukesha Model B engine for the Hamilton was made from about 1910 to 1920, and a lot of guys are looking for them, judging by the advertising you find in magazines, but can’t find any,” he says. “But I’ve been looking, and I keep my ears and eyes open, and always talk with my iron friends, and look in junk piles, so I might find one. I’m pretty persistent.” FCBill Vossler is a freelance writer and author of several books on antique farm tractors and toys. Contact him at e-mail: email@example.com.
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