Fairbanks-Morse’s Fair-Mor Tractor

| 12/5/2017 2:36:00 PM

Tags: January 2018, Field Notes, Clyde Eide,

Fair-mor tractor.

This postcard, dated Aug. 27, 1915, shows Ben Prestegaard on the platform of a Fairbanks-Morse tractor. He and his wife, my aunt Inez, operated a farm near Lee, Illinois.

A somewhat obscure name for this tractor was Fair-Mor. Look at that rich prairie soil! The photo is too good for a box camera snapshot. It may have been some kind of dealer promotional item.

As far as I know, Fairbanks-Morse only made kerosene tractors. I was never fortunate enough to see one at a show. Since they were gone by the end of World War I, not too many were built.

We usually think of Fairbanks-Morse as making heavy-duty scales, stationary internal combustion engines and windmills. However, they got into perse products after World War II, such as an innovative diesel electric locomotive.

The bull and the knothole

Looking back at my “growing up” summers that I spent on my grandfather’s farm, it seems there was always ample opportunity for mischief – sometimes dangerous mischief.