Klancher’s latest is a brisk romp through inside stories, skullduggery and more
Lee Klancher’s new book, TRACTOR: The Heartland Innovation, Ground-Breaking Machines, Midnight Schemes, Secret Garages, and Farmyard Geniuses that Mechanized Agriculture, is a veritable feast of tasty little nuggets of inside scoops, little-known tales and corporate skullduggery.
Starting with turn-of-the-century visionaries who saw that four wheels and an engine could replace a 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 independent builders and farmers began creating their own solutions with a pencil drawing and a welder.
Tractor moves all the way up through the creation of the first tractor electronics, the merger movement of the 1980s and the emergence of high-tech innovations such as smart farms and auto-guidance, which are changing the farm as we know it.
The book’s cover carries a photo of a John Deere 4020. For those who bleed red, not green, Klancher offers a limited number of “red edition” copies — the same book with an IHC 1206 turbo diesel on the cover.
TRACTOR: The Heartland Innovation, Ground-Breaking Machines, Midnight Schemes, Secret Garages, and Farmyard Geniuses that Mechanized Agriculture, 2018, Lee Klancher, hardcover, 240 pages, color photographs and archival images, $24.99.
Tracking a century of John Deere milestones
Photographer/historian Randy Leffingwell is uniquely well equipped to both show and tell the John Deere story. In The John Deere Century, his newest of nearly 50 books, Leffingwell traces the story of tractor development at Deere and Co., beginning with the Dain and the Waterloo Boy, and taking the reader right up to the tractors of today.Lavishly illustrated with Leffingwell’s trademark photography, and several rarely seen sketches and entries from Deere industrial designer Theo Brown’s journals, The John Deere Century is a pleasure to leaf through. Take the time to settle in and do some reading, and you’ll enjoy a solid take on the history of a leading global manufacturer of farm equipment.
The author pays particular attention to the personalities behind the innovation: From Charles Deere to William Butterworth, Joseph Dain Sr. to Max Sklovsky, Theo Brown to Frank Silloway, Leffingwell traces the influence of early design leaders and the times in which they lived.
Timed to coincide with the centennial of the company’s involvement in tractor manufacture, The John Deere Century is a must-have for the library of every collector who treasures John Deere green.
The John Deere Century, 2018, Randy Leffingwell, hardcover, 176 pages, color photographs and archival images, $40.
Designed to be tough, toolbox carries the load
From what they call “the new stuff department,” the grease monkeys at Busted Knuckle Garage have developed a full line of all-steel toolboxes, complete with lift-out tray and graphics.
The guys at Busted Knuckle say the toolboxes may just be too good to stash tools in, but they’re certainly sturdy enough to get the job done. The boxes measure 16 inches long, have rugged all-steel end-cap construction for muscle, and hardworking nickel-plated latch and hinges will go the distance. Powder-coated and rust-resistant, this toolbox can tackle any job you give it, whether it’s a lunch hauler or a mobile repair kit.
Busted Knuckle Garage toolbox, 16 by 7 by 7-1/2 inches, 6 pounds, $49.
2019 wall calendar celebrates Farmall & International tractors
The 2019 Farmall Tractors calendar from Lee Klancher and Octane Press traces the history of farm machinery through Farmall and International tractors. This year’s lineup includes some of the most beloved, innovative and cutting-edge tractors of the past century.
From Farmall row-crop tractors to International’s space age models, all the way up to the latest high-horsepower red tractors to come off the assembly line, the class of 2019 is photographed by Lee Klancher, who is well known for stunning photography of meticulously selected machines, settings and lighting.
Featured tractors in the super-sized wall calendar include 1965 International 1206, Hot Rod Farmall M, 2017 Steiger Quadtrac 620 Anniversary Edition, Farmall Long Wheelbase H, International 1066, International 7288, International 1256, 1975 International 4366, 1980 International 3788, International 766, 1991 Magnum 7130 and International 5288.
Farmall Tractors: A Century of Classic Tractors from Farmall, International Harvester, and Case IH 2019 Calendar, full color, 17 by 11-1/2 inches, $13.99.
Make a date with classic farm tractors and garden tractors
Since 1990, John Harvey’s The Original Classic Farm Tractors Calendar has set the standard by which all other classic tractor calendars are compared. Featuring common and rare, restored and still-original classic tractors, this calendar is a showcase of American agricultural history.
Throughout the years, the calendar has showcased more than 530 brands and models of farm tractors and machinery. Tractors featured in the 2019 calendar span more than a half-century of agricultural history and come from across the U.S. and Canada. None of the specific models in this year’s calendar have appeared in previous editions of the calendar.
Also available: Classic Garden Tractor Fever calendar, featuring a 1953 Bolenz Handi-Ho, 1964 Ford 120, 1956 David Bradley, 1974 Case 224, 1973 Oliver 125, 1968 Wheel Horse 500 Special, 1966 Springfield TME-6, 1964 Cub Cadet 70, 1977 Speedex 1430, 1970 Gilson S-14, 1971 John Deere 112, 1949 Gibson D and 1992 Ingersoll Diesel 4118D.
John Harvey’s The Original Classic Farm Tractors Calendar (14 by 10 inches), full-length companion DVD (Celebrating 30 Years of Classics) and Classic Garden Tractors 2019 Calendar (11 by 8-1/2 inches), full color, available through Classic Tractor Fever or by calling (800) 888-8979.