The Choremaster: A One-wheeled Wonder
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Also produced in Liberty, the spring tooth cultivator — called the 'scratcher attachment' — was made of 1095 spring steel. The tine ends were formed with a trip hammer and then bent with a Hosfield bender to the desired shape. Afterward, they were shipped by truck to Cincinnati for heat treatment and then returned to Liberty for assembly.
According to Morgan, Van Ausdall took his inventions to various yards in Liberty to test their operation and to make notes. He then took the machines back to his shop, evaluated their performance and made adjustments. Van Ausdall was reported to have personally tested each new tractor model and implement before it was put into production. His shop, Van's Service, at 8 N. Fairgrounds St., was the regional Choremaster distributor.
In 1947, only the 1-1/2 hp model Choremaster was offered for retail sale. The pre-season 1947 catalog lists such attachments as a snow blade, a universal mower that converted push mowers to a front-mounted attachment, a breaking plow, a leveling plow for soil and snow, and a rear main bracket for mounting a variety of cultivating tools, sweeps and hoes. An 18-inch reel mower, supplied by Mow-Ez of Cincinnati, was advertised as 'self adjusting,' Grimme recalled with a chuckle.
Also offered was a mercury clutch of Van Ausdall's design that allowed the engine to be started and run at less than 1,600 rpm with out the sheave turning; both Briggs & Stratton and Clinton engines were used.
In 1948, few visible changes were made. One model was offered - the same 1-1/2 hp - along with all the 1947 implements plus an expanded line of cultivator shovels, hoes and hillers. A sickle bar mower also was listed in the 1948 preseason catalog but no price was given; it may have been available later that year.
Meanwhile, a number of Choremaster dealerships opened as the popularity of the tractor grew, and in 1949, increased customer demand prompted many changes. To keep up, Choremaster asked other companies to supply attachments for the tractor. Parker Co. of Springfield, Ohio, supplied the sulky and the leaf cart; Empire Plow Co., also in Ohio, supplied the disc attachment and Campbell Hausfield of Harmon, Ohio, supplied the air compressor. Lawn mowers came from Great American Lawn Mower Co. of Liberty, Ind., Coldwell Lawn Mower Co., of Newburgh, N.Y., and Pincor Gen-E Motor Co., of Chicago, in addition to Mow-Ez.
In 1949, Choremaster offered three models and increased horsepower to handle the power-driven attachments, including sickle bar and power rotary mowers. The model A, a 1 hp unit weighing 104 pounds, sold for $132; model B, a 2 hp unit weighing 108 pounds, sold for $138, and model C, a 3 hp unit weighing 117 pounds, sold for $165. Adding a centrifugal clutch cost an additional $10. All tractors offered a choice of ground grip or traction tread tires, and according to Grimme, knobby tires were available for a short time, too.