Tracing the History of a Twin City Tractor

Restoration and research add up for Twin City tractor

| September 1998

The background on most antique machinery is usually easy enough to come by. Previous owners, experts and reference materials are good sources. But sometimes you have to be a bit of a sleuth. 

That's been the case for Dean Weiss, owner of a Twin City tractor. Dean and his father-in-law, Jerry Chase, have restored the tractor to original running condition, but had no information on the model number.

"We remember Dean's father (who originally purchased the tractor in Papillion, Neb., in about 1930) saying it's a Model 17-28," Jerry said.

Twin City tractors were mostly made prior to the Minneapolis-Moline line by the same Minneapolis-based firm. In that company's system, the first digit in the model number refers to drawbar horsepower, and the second digit to the belt pulley rating.

The 17-28's were manufactured from 1930-35, and a similar model, the KT, was made from 1929-34. Several other Twin City models were made at about the same time, and were identified by power rating or (more commonly) model letters.

Dean's Twin City is almost identical to a tractor featured in The Prairie Gold Rush, which focuses on M-M technology. But there's no model number mark on the engine block. The serial number - 23530 - was there, but it more nearly resembled a number for the 17-28 series than those used on KT's.