This rollicking ride into machine history follows the innovators, entrepreneurs and hucksters who transformed our world with farm machines. Starting with the turn-of-the-century visionaries who saw that four wheels and a motor could replace the horse, the book moves swiftly through key early developments to cover the power farming movement of the latter part of the 20th century – a time when major manufacturers lagged behind and independent builders and farmers began creating their own solutions with a pencil drawing and a welder.
The book includes stories of the butcher shop where John Deere secretly designed a completely new line of 4- and 6-cylinder tractors, to the skullduggery and corporate raiding that took place in fields and back lots as company agents schemed to discover what their dirty ol’ competitors had up their sleeves. The book moves all the way up through the creation of the first tractor electronics, the merger movement of the 1980s, and the emergence of the high-technology innovations such as smart farms and auto-guidance which are changing the farm as we know it. This raucous, heartfelt book shines a light on some of the bright minds and innovative companies which emerged from the fertile fields of America’s heartland.