Louis H. Nottlemeyer's First Farm Machine


| July/August 1989



Back in October of 1987, we received a letter from Ray F. Noltemeyer of 1390 S. Champion Avenue, Columbus, OH 43206. Ray sent us a clipping of the 1959 article about his uncle, Louis H. Noltemeyer, a retired mechanic who had died at age 86.

Louis Noltemeyer had been a Franklin County farmer, and in 1904 had invented 'what may be one of the first motorized plows'. The illustration below is from an article presumably published at the time of the invention, and here is the text which accompanied it:

Farming Becomes A Mechanical Operation

The farmer is fast becoming an engineer and mechanic, and the next few years will see the general use of traction engines for farm work.

On the farm of Louis Noltemeyer, near Columbus, a novel machine for everyday farm work has recently been successfully tested, and is now in use in place of horses. This machine is an auto traction engine, which is so fitted that Mr. Noltemeyer can hook it to two plows, a corn planter or other farm implements, and when occasion requires it can be converted into a wagon for hauling. It can also be used to operate a thresher, a pump or a drill.

The engine of this machine is water-cooled. It is 10 horsepower, but the gearing is such that the actual power developed at the wheels is equivalent to 40 horsepower. A much larger machine of the same kind will probably be built in the fall.

Maybe some of our readers know more about Mr. Noltemeyer and his inventions.