Rollin H. White’s contributions to agriculture, from 1900 to 1965.
Founder of the Cleveland Tractor Co. and the Cletrac line, Rollin H. White was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame specifically for his invention of a flash boiler that generated steam safely and rapidly in steam cars from 1900 to 1910.
1900: Rollin H. White wins a patent for his flash boiler, designed to generate steam safely and rapidly in steam cars. He builds White Steam Touring Cars 1900-’11
1904: White wins gold medal for White Steam Touring Car at Louisiana Purchase Exposition
1909: First White gas car produced
1912: White applies for first agricultural wheel tractor patent (patent awarded 1918)
1916: Cleveland Motor Plow Co. incorporated; name soon changed to Cleveland Tractor Co. and trademarked as Cletrac. Model R crawler production begins
1916: White applies for what would become his most famed invention, controlled differential steering (patent awarded 1918)
1921: White produces Cletrac Model F, small crawler with high-drive sprocket and unit-type construction
1923: White begins production of Rollin automobile in Cleveland Tractor Co. plant; production ends 1925
1927: White introduces giant Cletrac 100. With 120 belt hp, it is the largest crawler tractor on the market at that time
1928: Cletrac offers full line of crawler tractors with five models ranging from 12 to 100 drawbar hp
1941: Cletrac-controlled differential steering systems adopted as standard feature of many U.S. military tanks used in World War II
1944: Cleveland Tractor Co. purchased by Oliver Corp., marking Oliver’s entry into crawler tractor field. Cletrac line is marketed under Oliver name
1960: White Motor Co. purchases Oliver Corp.
1962: Oliver crawler tractor production moved to Charles City, Iowa, from Cleveland
1965: Oliver crawler tractor production discontinued FC
Learn more about Rollin H. White in Rollin H. White Honored by National Inventors Hall of Fame.