Fuel economy and reliability were buzz words even in the 1910s, as this ad from May 1916 The American Thresherman and Farm Power proves. Citing the low price of kerosene used in the firm’s kerosene-burning tractors compared to its gas-burning competitors, Hart-Parr Co. marketers proclaimed, ‘… It’s ready for the battle to win the harvest against the shortage of labor and high economic failure.’
Organized in 1897 by two engineering students at the University of Wisconsin, Charles W. Hart and Charles H. Parr relocated their new venture to Charles City, Iowa, to raise capital for its first offering: the Hart-Parr No. 1. Produced in 1901, it’s widely credited as the first successful production tractor. In fact, advertising manager W.H. Williams claimed to have coined the term ‘tractor’ in 1907 to describe the firm’s new product.
Success followed Hart-Parr for many years, but in 1929 the company and three other firms merged to become the Oliver Farm Equipment Co., which in turn became White Motor Corp. in 1960.
Advertisements from many farm publications printed at the turn of the 20th century were more than mere methods to hawk tractors and farm equipment. To share those ads from days gone by, Farm Collector periodically reproduces some of the most-spectacular ads used to promote farm equipment and products.
To submit a vintage advertisement for possible publication, send it to: Iron Age Ads, Farm Collector, 7503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609; or submit high-quality digital images by e-mail: editor@farmcollector. com