Jacob Price: 1895

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Left: The cover of the 1895 catalog for the Jacob Price Field Locomotive. (Images courtesy Jack Alexander.)
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Right: Jacob Price as depicted in the June 1890 edition of Farm Implement News.

This issue presents the eighth, and final,
installment of our reproduction of the 1895 Jacob Price Field
Locomotive Catalog.

This last section contains pages 23 and 24 of the original
catalog, plus a bonus we received from steam historian and frequent
contributor Jack Alexander, Gilroy, Calif.

When we first launched this reproduction in the
November/December 2004 issue of Steam Traction, we noted
the cover of the original catalog (graciously supplied to us by
John Davidson, Bristol, Wis.) was in poor shape and not a good
candidate for reproduction.

As luck would have it, Jack also has a copy of the Price catalog
and he has kindly supplied us with a scan of the cover.
Additionally, Jack found an old engraving of Jacob Price that was
published in the June 1890 edition of Farm Implement News.
The engraving is noteworthy, if only because it enables us to put a
face to the man. According to Jack, the accompanying article
described the results of Price’s first trial run.

Jack also notes that Price made changes in the boilers from 1890
to 1895, suggesting Price may have had problems with his early
boiler designs.

By the time this catalog appeared, Price had already sold his
patents to J.I. Case to settle outstanding debts.

The last two pages of the Price catalog present fairly dry, but
still interesting reading, describing as they do the “proper method
of laying off a tract of land for steam plowing.”

As with the rest of the catalog, the language used in describing
proper plowing methods is at best authoritative, if not slightly
condescending. The catalog notes, for instance, that “Nearly every
purchaser of one of these outfits is at first determined to go
entirely around a large tract … but it should never be done.”

Even so, the discussion and accompanying drawing are both
interesting, and the final table of “useful knowledge” certainly
provides information every farmer needed to have at the tip of his

Special thanks to John Davidson, 8250 200th Ave.,
Bristol, WI 53104, for generously supplying his original 1895 Jacob
Price catalog so we might share it with our readers

Farm Collector Magazine
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