Tractor manuals, advertising resources, the Gasoline Engines series and more books by Alan King helped shape the early days of the old iron hobby.
Alan King’s Oliver-Hart-Parr booklet: one of a series of tractor data books he produced. He also published a wide variety of short monographs (booklets) on single items such as farm tractors, gasoline engines, plows, corn huskers and shellers, and some booklets covered a single tractor company, like this one for the Rock Island Plow Co. The Year of the Tractor 1919 shows more than 100 models made by at least as many companies that year.
Before retiring, Alan King produced nearly a half million copies of books for antique farm equipment collectors, covering gas engines, tractors, garden tractors and related equipment.
The ad for Rock Island Plow Co. shows the Illinois company made more than just tractors. Next to it, the little-known Wheat tractor shown in this 1919 ad from Alan King’s Year of the Tractor booklet was manufactured in Buffalo, N.Y. Some of the tractors shown in that booklet are little-known, like the Four-Drive, above, and the Indiana All-Round tractor, below. The booklet also contained ads like the one for Heider tractors. Alan liked to combine ads from different periods in some of his booklets, like this one for the Utilitor general purpose farm tractor.