Looking for something to curl up with on a cold winter’s night? Check out one of these book recommendations, an interesting mix of topics for farm collectors.
Robert Pripps’ Field Guide to Ford Tractors won’t fit in your back pocket but it’ll ride very nicely in the glove box of your pickup, and that may be where you’ll want to keep it. It’s a nifty little book packed with terrific detail on Ford tractors in an easily digested format, and the photography by Andrew Morland is, as always, very, very handsome.
Explaining in his foreword that this is likely his final tractor book (Pripps has 25 to his credit), the author traces his lifelong love affair with a quintessential American tractor: the Ford. Marked by innovation (the 3-point hitch) and a certain “rough and ready” disposition, Ford tractors have charmed more than a few collectors over the years. Pripps is an informed and knowledgeable enthusiast, and yet clearly is just as at ease with a wrench in his hand.
Pripps starts the story at the beginning (experimental tractors in 1906) and carries it well into the hyphenated era (Fiat-Ford-New Holland) of the mid-1990s. In between: many juicy nuggets of Ford trivia you won’t want to miss!
The Field Guide to Ford Tractors by Robert N. Pripps with photography by Andrew Morland, hardcover, 160 pages, $13.97.
Can’t get enough Ford? Don’t overlook The Big Book of Ford Tractors, by Harold L. Brock and Pripps, with more of Morland’s stunning photography. A coffee table book packed with bona fide information, The Big Book gives vast detail on Ford tractors, including the line’s numerous options and accessories, implements and variations.
Where to start such a story? The Big Book goes for the beginning: the day Henry Ford was born. The tale continues to the Genesis series, the final tractors to carry the Ford name. In between you’ll find detailed descriptions of models along with archival and contemporary photography and reprints of vintage ads and promotional materials.
Joining Pripps at the helm is Brock, chief engineer of the Ford N Series. Brock worked with Henry Ford and Harry Ferguson and shares tales of that era. Packed with Morland’s super work, this is a must-have for the Ford collector’s library.
The Big Book of Ford Tractors: The Complete Model-by-Model Encyclopedia by Harold L. Brock and Robert N. Pripps, with photography by Andrew Morland, Voyageur Press (2006 release), hardcover, 192 pages, $27.97; (800) 826-6600; online at www.voyageurpress.com
Pick a dot on the map and put it under a time-traveling microscope and you’d have something very much like Victory Township, a new book examining a wide spot in the road at the turn of the last century. Victory Township delves into the history of a rural township with no incorporated communities from 1867 to the 1940s.
Victory Township gives a unique look at the farm community early in the last century, but it also gives more than a passing glance at the farm family and its legacy. As the author notes, “Because both parents worked at home, children had a more intense relationship with their mother and father. Beginning as youngsters, they grew up working alongside their parents. The circumstances of working together generated lots of conversation and provided many opportunities for parents to instill family values and to shape character. Farm life afforded the perfect setting to grow and develop a strong work ethic.” That ethic and that process are beautifully displayed in this book.
Author William M. Anderson examines every aspect of life in the rural Michigan community – which translates into the rhythms of agriculture in a long-lost era. Richly illustrated with some 200 archival photos (many showing early farm equipment at work), Victory Township tells the story of one rural community. The beauty of the book is that it is a universal story in this country.
Victory Township by Dr. William M. Anderson, Arcadia Publishing, paperback, 128 pages, $19.99. Order by calling (888) 313-2665; online at www.arcadiapublishing.com
It’s been called the indispensable companion of every red-blooded country dweller. An overstatement? Not if you live on or near a farm. Chainsaws: A History traces the international development of this mighty right arm. Packed with photos (archival and modern) of chainsaws, ephemera and collectibles, the book is a comprehensive tribute to a tool found nearly everywhere.
“From 600-pound steam-powered behemoths to gas chainsaws mounted on wheeled carriages to diesel chainsaws and electric chainsaws with portable generators, this book musters a curious collection of contraptions and inventors the like of which we haven’t seen since Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines,” the book’s publicist notes. Published in 2007 in Canada, the book was in its third printing in 2008. Sounds like a sure bet!
Chainsaws: A History, by David Lee with Mike Acres, Harbour Publishing.Hardcover, 216 pages.
And finally, a coffee table book for the Case IH crowd. For Those Who Demand More: We are Case IH. This slim volume (printed in black and white and what else? Red!) highlights the company’s rich agricultural heritage, which spans nearly two centuries from the Industrial Revolution to today’s precision farming technologies.
For Those Who Demand More: We are Case IH, hardcover, 36 pages.