Pioneer Village Features Early Farm Tractors
(Page 3 of 5)
Unlike other tractors of the time, though, the Steel Mule was a semi-crawler with a 15-inch rear crawler track and steel wheels on the front for steering. A few years later, Bates Tractor Co. merged with Joliet Oil Tractor Co. to form Bates Machine & Tractor Co. Over the next few years, the company built several half-track models, including the Model D 12-20 (shown bottom right on pg. 32). Rated at 12 hp on the drawbar and 20 at the belt pulley, it featured a 4-cylinder Erd engine with a 4- by-6-inch bore and stroke. Competition eventually forced the company to concentrate on fully tracked models, which Bates produced well into the 1930s.
1918 Allwork 14-28
Manufactured from 1918 to 1923 by Electric Wheel Co., Quincy, Ill., the Allwork kerosene tractor lived up to its name by providing the versatility to handle all kinds of work, including plowing, seeding, haying, threshing, stone crushing, road grading and manure spreading. Equipped with a 4-cylinder, L-type-head vertical engine, it was rated for 3-plow work and was guaranteed to successfully burn both gasoline and kerosene. In fact, thanks to a 5- by 6-inch bore and stroke, the engine was said to be the largest of its kind in a 3-plow tractor. Not only was the engine mounted crosswise but each cylinder was part of a separate unit bolted to the main crankcase.
According to a 1920 Nebraska Tractor Test, the Allwork 14-28 generated 19.69 hp on the drawbar and 28.86 PTO/belt hp. At the same time, it generated 3,950 pounds of pull on the drawbar.
Like many tractors of its time, the Allwork had two forward gears and one reverse. The top speed in both low gear and reverse was 1-3/4 mph, while second gear provided a speed of 2-1/2 mph. The clutch was of the friction disc type and was claimed to “take hold gradually, without shock to the engine.”
Interestingly enough, the Allwork tractor seemed to be well built with a number of components made from cold-rolled steel or high-grade iron. The tractor also featured extensive use of dust seals, brass bushings, lubricated bearings and enclosed housings, including the worm and gear steering, which provided a surprisingly tight 12-foot turning radius.
Electric Wheel Co. was eventually acquired by Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. and the Allwork tractor disappeared into history.
1919 Frick 12-25
Located in Waynesboro, Pa., Frick Co. was founded in 1853 by George Frick. Noted for its threshing machines, the company also built steam engines into the 1940s. The company later became known for building sawmills and refrigeration units. Its first venture into farm tractors came in 1913 when Frick began selling tractors manufactured by Ohio Tractor Co., Columbus, Ohio. By 1918, however, Frick had developed its own tractor with the introduction of the 12-25 (shown on opposite page).
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