News From Edaville


| September/October 1984



Kitten tractor

AT THE WHEEL George Bartholomew, president of Edaville Railroad, drives the family fun park's newest exhibit around grounds.

When it was built in 1910, there were fewer than 500,000 automobiles in the country, the airplane was only seven years old and the United States was still 35 years away from being considered a world power. Today, in an era of space shuttles and Concorde jets, this antique steam tractor is still chugging away at Edaville Railroad and is delighting crowds with its hissing noises and ancient appearance.

The 1910 Kittens steam tractor was dedicated last summer at the sprawling South Carver, Massachusetts railroad museum and cranberry farm. The recently refurbished tractor was accepted into the Edaville family of antique trains and equipment during a special ceremony at the 7th Annual Summer Antique Steam, Gas, & Machinery Meet on Sunday, July 17.

Manufactured by F. Kittens Machine Works in Ferdinand, Ind., the tractor was acquired by Edaville Railroad in 1981 and was recently restored to its original working condition. Believed to be the only operating steam tractor in the state, there is only one other of the same make known to be in existence.

FIRED UP AND ROLLING Kenton Harrison of Edaville Railroad handles the controls of the 1910 Kitten tractor during the Annual Summer Antique Steam Gas & Machinery meet last year.

The steam tractor, which was popular from the 1880's to World War II, revolutionized the farm industry. It could do the work of several teams of horses and could be fired by either wood or coal. They were used to plow America's fields, pull harvesting equipment and for other general farm uses. Because of the huge flywheel common to most steam tractors, they could also be used to provide power for pumps, saw mills and other motor-driven equipment.