With roots running back to at least 1877, Avery
Co., Peoria, Ill., was an established agricultural equipment
manufacturer when this advertisement appeared in the September 1911
issue of The Threshermen’s Review.
Avery originally set up shop to manufacture corn planters and
cultivators, but by 1891 the company had moved into the growing
market for steam traction engines.
Avery’s earliest offerings were conventional single-cylinder
machines, but in 1904 the company unveiled its first undermounted
steam traction engine.
The Avery undermounted engine won the company accolades for its
strength and durability, and in the course of the next decade Avery
built undermounted engines ranging from 12 to 120 hp.
Like other manufacturers, Avery had its eye on the growing
market for gas-powered tractors, and in about 1910 the company
introduced a 25 hp machine. According to C.H. Wendel’s Standard
Catalog of Farm Tractors, 1890 to 1960, the machine performed
so poorly at that year’s tractor trials in Winnipeg, Canada, that
it was withdrawn from the market.
The following year, however, Avery got it right, introducing the
20-35 shown at right. With 20 drawbar horsepower and 35 belt
horsepower, the new model was well-received by the market and set
Avery on its course for the next 13 years.
As Avery’s gas-powered tractors flourished, its production of
steam traction engines settled into a slow decline, a trend all the
“old line” manufacturers of steam traction engines were
In 1924, Avery declared bankruptcy, and although the company
reorganized (at least twice) and continued operations up to World
War II, its position as a leader in the tractor industry was
In the intervening years, however, Avery Co. was a powerful and
respected figure in tractor innovation and manufacturing. Its
undermounted steam traction engines are highly sought by collectors
today, and its early gas-powered tractors have a strong and
Farm Collector reproduces some of the most spectacular
advertisements used to promote farm equipment and farm products in
days gone by. To submit a vintage advertisement for possible
publication, send it to: Iron Age Ads, Farm Collector,
1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609; or submit high-quality
digital images by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org