The Rollin H. White Legacy

Rollin H. White’s contributions to agriculture, from 1900 to 1965.

Rollin-H-White

Founder of the Cleveland Tractor Co. and the Cletrac line, Rollin H. White was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame specifically for his invention of a flash boiler that generated steam safely and rapidly in steam cars from 1900 to 1910.

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1900: Rollin H. White wins a patent for his flash boiler, designed to generate steam safely and rapidly in steam cars. He builds White Steam Touring Cars 1900-’11

1904: White wins gold medal for White Steam Touring Car at Louisiana Purchase Exposition

1909: First White gas car produced

1912: White applies for first agricultural wheel tractor patent (patent awarded 1918)

1916: Cleveland Motor Plow Co. incorporated; name soon changed to Cleveland Tractor Co. and trademarked as Cletrac. Model R crawler production begins

1916: White applies for what would become his most famed invention, controlled differential steering (patent awarded 1918)

1921: White produces Cletrac Model F, small crawler with high-drive sprocket and unit-type construction

1923: White begins production of Rollin automobile in Cleveland Tractor Co. plant; production ends 1925

1927: White introduces giant Cletrac 100. With 120 belt hp, it is the largest crawler tractor on the market at that time

1928: Cletrac offers full line of crawler tractors with five models ranging from 12 to 100 drawbar hp

1941: Cletrac-controlled differential steering systems adopted as standard feature of many U.S. military tanks used in World War II

1944: Cleveland Tractor Co. purchased by Oliver Corp., marking Oliver’s entry into crawler tractor field. Cletrac line is marketed under Oliver name

1960: White Motor Co. purchases Oliver Corp.

1962: Oliver crawler tractor production moved to Charles City, Iowa, from Cleveland

1965: Oliver crawler tractor production discontinued FC 

Learn more about Rollin H. White in Rollin H. White Honored by National Inventors Hall of Fame.