BETWEEN THE BOOKENDS


| July 2000



FC_V2_I12_Jul_2000_14-1.jpg

Chester Peterson JrCase 630D tractor

The turbulent Sixties left little undisturbed, including the American farm tractor

Very few facets of American life, even the farm equipment industry, were immune from challenge or change in the 1960s, as evidenced in American Farm Tractors in the 1960s by Chester Peterson, Jr., and Rod Beemer.

Deere & Company's New Generation tractors equipped with their many industry firsts; International Harvester's 4300, 'the World's Most Powerful Four-Wheel-Drive Agricultural Tractor'; and Massey-Ferguson's MF-1100 were representative of how the farm equipment industry met the challenges of developing bigger, more powerful tractors for the changing needs of the American farmer. Farmers were working ever larger tracts of land in the 1960s and needed fast, powerful tractors that could help them plant, cultivate and harvest crops in the same timely manner as smaller acreages.

Using interesting text, interviews, anecdotes, vivid color photographs and product literature, American Farm Tractors in the 1960s show cases the many innovations and styling changes of 1960s tractors from Deere & Company, International Harvester, J.I. Case, Allis-Chalmers, Massey-Ferguson, Ford, White Farm Equipment and other farm tractor manufacturers of the time. Each chapter features a brief but engaging history on each of the manufacturers, including candid discussion of their ups and downs and developments leading up to the 1960s and carrying over to the 1970s.

The book's large, colorful and vivid photographs also provide excellent detail on the leading tractors of the time, and are representative of Chester Peterson's body of work.

Vintage tractor enthusiasts can easily turn to the chapter on their favorite maker for a view of their preferred tractors, and for an entertaining, informative read. But, following the book from start to finish provides a better understanding of how tractor manufacturers built upon engineering achievements from inside and outside their companies.

Sixties tractor innovations focused primarily on ever-greater horsepower. The authors point out that by the end of the decade, a farmer 'could take home any number of 100-plus horsepower tractors from the dealer's showroom floor.' A few manufacturers even offered limited production of tractors in the 300-horsepower class.