In some circles, the Huber Manufacturing Co.,
Marion, Ohio, is best-known for a line of steam traction engines
the company produced. All Huber steam engines, including this 16 hp
engine advertised in the September 1911 issue of The
Thresherman’s Review (right), featured return-flue boilers, a
design Huber pioneered.
Starting in the late 1870s and ending about 1915, Huber
manufactured 11,568 steam traction engines, making the company one
of the more successful steam engine firms of its day. For
comparison, J.I. Case, the acknowledged leader in agricultural
steam engine production, manufactured 35,838 engines (including
portables, road rollers and traction engines) before halting steam
engine production in 1924.
Both Case and Huber recognized early on the potential for
gas-powered tractors. Case worked out its first experimental unit
in 1892 and Huber in 1894, but neither company introduced a product
to market at that time.
In 1911, however, Case and Huber almost simultaneously announced
new gas-powered tractors. Huber beat rival Case to the marketplace
when the Huber Farmer’s Tractor became available in 1911 – Case’s
legendary 20-40 and 30-60 didn’t become available until the
following year, 1912.
Huber rapidly expanded its line of gas-powered tractors, and
between 1911 and 1943 the company offered at least 20 different
models, not including variations of various tractor models.
During the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Huber Super Four was
arguably the company’s most successful offering, and by the time
this advertisement appeared in the January 1931 issue of The
American Thresherman (facing page), the Super Four was
available as a 32-45 and 40-62.
World War II put an end to Huber tractor production, and when
hostilities ceased in 1945 and America turned its attention to
building a new peace-time economy, Huber tractors were no longer
For more on the History of Huber Manufacturing Co., turn to page
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