Electric Wheel's Allwork 14-28

The first Allwork tractor in Colorado

William Thompson Lambert with his new Allwork tractor in 1917.

William Thompson Lambert with his new Allwork tractor in 1917.

Courtesy Tom Fallbach

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The pride on William Thompson Lambert’s face is unmistakable as he posed for a photo with his new Allwork tractor.

His 1917 Allwork Model 14-28 was the first of its kind to be shipped to Colorado, where it was delivered to Lambert’s ranch north of Sedalia.

The Allwork 14-28 was built by the Electric Wheel Co., Quincy, Ill., from 1917 to 1922. The tractor weighed 5,000 pounds. The cross-mount engine had four 5-by-6-inch cylinders that produced approximately 20 hp. Its purchase price was listed as $1,500 (almost $25,000 in today’s terms).

The tractor was generally used for plowing, cultivating, harvesting wheat and corn, but was also used on threshing jobs and to fill the silo. This Allwork was the main workhorse on Lambert’s 2,800-acre ranch. If you study the photo carefully, you will see the tractor is being used for some type of belt work. Notice also that the front and back wheels have been blocked to keep the tractor solidly in place.

Lambert planted more than 11,000 apple, cherry and plum trees in one area of the ranch. The Allwork had no part in that operation as its size and weight made it unsuitable for orchard work. Instead, Lambert used tractors that were smaller, lighter and more maneuverable to cultivate the 300-acre orchard and to install an extensive and unique sand point irrigation system throughout the tree farm.

The tree farm specialized in producing unfermented apple juice, boiled cider, apple jelly, apple butter and sweet cider, as well as various fruit products. The business was very successful. In fact, the Rio Grande Railroad built a 1/2-mile railroad spur from the main line to the Lambert orchard to transport its produce to Denver and Colorado Springs.

Electric Wheel Co. began building a traction truck (allowing a farmer to mount his own engine to the chassis, creating an instant tractor) in 1908. Tractor production began in 1911 with the Quincy Model O. The Allwork design was launched in 1913 with several models produced over the next 15 years. Electric Wheel also produced track-style equipment for about three years. The company ended tractor manufacture in 1929. FC