Wallis Cub Tractor Durability Run

The machine was first to feature a U-shape design that allowed it to carry heavy loads on uneven ground.

| October 2019

Wallis
Henry M. Wallis, president of J.I. Case Plow Co., in an Oct. 29, 1918, issue of Farm Implements and Tractors.

In about 1876, Jerome I. Case financed a new venture to build a “center-draft” plow that had been designed by Ebenezer Whiting. Case, Whiting & Co. was located right next to the J.I. Case Threshing Machine Co., but was completely separate and, after buying out Whiting, Case renamed it the J.I. Case Plow Co. and assumed the presidency of both firms. In 1884, the company became the J.I. Case Plow Works and built a full line of plows and other tillage tools.

In 1890, Case resigned as president and named his son, Jackson I. Case, to the post. The younger Case wasn’t interested in building plows, so in 1892, Henry M. Wallis, Case’s son-in-law, became president. Upon his death in 1891, J.I. Case’s will stipulated that his stock in the threshing machine company be sold, but left his stock in the Plow Works to his family.

Wallis
The only surviving example of the Wallis Bear that (last I heard) was owned by Schmidt Machine Co., Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Photo by Sam Moore.



First unit design for production tractor

J.I. Case Plow Works was fairly successful, but by 1910, Henry Wallis was feeling the need for a gasoline tractor. Meanwhile, Robert O. Hendrickson, who had trained as a watchmaker and worked on the Big 4 tractor for Gas Traction Co., was designing a big, three-wheeled tractor for Ajax Auto Traction Co., Portland, Oregon. The Ajax owner died in 1911 and Hendrickson took his tractor patents to Morgan Engineering in Alliance, Ohio, where he improved the design.

At that point, Wallis got wind of the thing and hired Hendrickson as chief engineer. Lacking factory space in Racine, Wallis took over the empty Royal Tourist Automobile plant in Cleveland, Ohio, and the result was the Wallis Bear 30-50. This behemoth, powered by a 7-1/2-inch-by-9-inch, 4-cylinder in-line engine manufactured by H.L.F. Trebert Engine Works of Rochester, New York, weighed more than 10 tons, with rear wheels measuring 7 feet in diameter with a 30-inch face and power-assisted steering. Only a few of these were built and Hendrickson, with the help of another tractor engineer, Clarence M. Eason, began work on a completely new tractor.



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