Yes, we are here!

In times like these our hobbies become lifesavers. At GAS ENGINE MAGAZINE and FARM COLLECTOR, we have been tracking down the most interesting and rare vintage farm machines and collections for more than 80 years combined! That includes researching and sourcing the best books on collectibles available anywhere. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-866-624-9388 or by email. Stay safe!


Lombard's Log Hauler: The First Crawler Tractor

Let's Talk Rusty Iron: Sam Moore details the development and use of Alvin Lombard's log hauler, possibly the first crawler tractor ever produced.

| November 2001

  • FC_V4_I4_Nov_2001_04-2.jpg
    1907 patent drawing of the improved Lombard log hauler .
    Alvin Lombard
  • FC_V4_I4_Nov_2001_04-1.jpg
    This historic photo of a working log hauler in Wisconsin is from the collection at the Rhinelander Logging Museum in Rhineland, Wis.
    The Rhinelander Logging Museum

  • FC_V4_I4_Nov_2001_04-2.jpg
  • FC_V4_I4_Nov_2001_04-1.jpg

Benjamin Holt is generally credited with producing the first successful crawler tractor in November 1904, but several others seem to have been ahead of him.

Endless chain drives with 'feet' or pads of wood or iron were patented by at least three other men, Thomas S. Minnis of Meadville, Pa., in 1870, Robert C. Parvin of Illinois in 1873, and F.W. Baxter, whose state is not listed, in 1888.

None of these men's machines caught on, but then there was Alvin O. Lombard, who built and sold crawler tractors for logging, starting in 1901.

Alvin Orlando Lombard was born in 1856 and grew up on his father's farm near Springfield, Maine, a small town in the eastern part of the state. Mechanically inclined, young Lombard worked at lumber mills along the Penobscot and Kennebec rivers and eventually became a skilled millwright with several lumber mill-related inventions to his credit.



In 1899 or early 1900, E.J. Lawrence, a Kennebec lumberman, asked Lombard to come up with a mechanical log hauler. Lombard built a wooden model of a steam-powered machine with a horizontal boiler. The machine's front was supported on a pair of sled runners; the locomotive was equipped at the rear with a pair of endless tracks in place of large drive wheels.

Lawrence reportedly thought the design had promise, so Lombard had the Waterville Iron Works build a working prototype, and he filed for a patent. The machine, named Mary Ann, was first tried on Thanksgiving Day 1900, exactly four years before Holt tested his first crawler in California.



SUBSCRIBE TO FARM COLLECTOR TODAY!

Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

Save Even More Money with our SQUARE-DEAL Plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our SQUARE-DEAL automatic renewal savings plan. You'll get 12 issues of Farm Collector for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of Farm Collector for just $29.95.




Facebook Pinterest YouTube

Classifieds


click me