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
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
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