Pictured is the Minneapolis being loaded on the trailer after being in a parade. It is being driven by Bob Cardwell and his son, Bob Jr. Courtesy of Steve Schaad, 8990 West North, Fresno, California, 93706
8990 West North, Fresno, California, 93706
Bob Cardwell farms and collects old tractors and farm equipment as a hobby. He farms 3,600 acres so collecting old tractors seems to fit right in. Bob has been collecting old tractors for about four years, and does all his own restoration work on them. The first steam tractor he bought was a 1909 Case in awful shape, but now is completely restored and running. He also has a 1909 Minneapolis Steam Tractor, a 1880 Peerless, a 1914 Frick, and a Rumely stationary engine. The Frick was purchased from an ad in the Iron-Men. The Peerless was in Pennsylvania and the Frick in Virginia so Bob sent his truck and trailer all the way from California to get them. He recently purchased a thresher in Missouri and his truck just returned from Idaho with a 1925 gas tractor, a 1919 Model T Ford truck and a water wagon.
Last winter Bob built a 35 x 75 foot building to hold all his tractors, but because he has purchased so many tractors recently the building is getting too small, so there is future plans to enlarge it. All together he has five steam tractors, 15 gas tractors, and lots of farm equipment-so far!
Steam tractor collection is something new for California. After Bob gets his thresher he plans to hold a threshing bee so the public can see the equipment in operation. Word of Bob's tractors is spreading throughout California. He has entered a 1909 Minneapolis Steam Tractor in several parades and one parade he won sweepstakes honors.
Bob enjoys the Iron-Men very much and has purchased many things from it, besides placing certain ads for tractors he wants.