Early Steam Tractor Design

A look at some of the oddest tractors

No. 9. Tracks and wheels: This 1858 model seems to be the point where the British idea of tracks as 'girdles' of wooden shoes on the rim of wheels was left and a track in a chain running around two wheels appears. However, it couldn't be turned; hence, was jacked up at the end of a field and the wheels let down to touch the ground for turning. Mann of New York appeared about the same time with a track-type steamer that made at least one public appearance at the Albany, N. Y., County Fair in 1857 or 1858. Whether it was of the older British type or was similar to this is a question.
No. 9. Tracks and wheels: This 1858 model seems to be the point where the British idea of tracks as "girdles" of wooden shoes on the rim of wheels was left and a track in a chain running around two wheels appears. However, it couldn't be turned; hence, was jacked up at the end of a field and the wheels let down to touch the ground for turning. Mann of New York appeared about the same time with a track-type steamer that made at least one public appearance at the Albany, N. Y., County Fair in 1857 or 1858. Whether it was of the older British type or was similar to this is a question. Note: It was designed to do the whole job at one trip – plowing, harrowing, seeding, rolling! Note this farm editor says this machine is coming to Illinois but no trace of its appearance in any show or trial can be found today. Did it arrive or fail, or never leave home for lack of capital?
from the collection of F. Hal Higgins