Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Preserving The Past!

Last fall a friend of mine traveled to Kansas for a short vacation to visit his wife's cousin whom they had not seen for a long time. As you probably know all too well, Kansas has a rich history in prairie farming. Aahhh.....those were the days! That's what a lot of the antique tractor collecting hobby is all about. Remembering the old days on the farm!

Soon after the turn of the 20th century, farmers were transitioning from horse drawn equipment into motorized power usage. There were many companies forming to manufacture replacement power for these pieces of equipment and one of the most prominent companies was the John Deere Plow Company. After developing the steel plow through many years of changes (and improvements to their plows) they began buying noncompeting farm equipment companies and started moving toward becoming a major player in farm equipment.

One of the companies that was purchased was the Waterloo Gasoline Traction Engine Company located in Waterloo, Iowa. They had introduced the "Waterloo Boy" tractor to farmers and out of this grew the development of a more powerful tractor with a lower center of gravity that was to become one of the most popular tractors available in the early part of the 20th century. That tractor was the John Deere Model "D".

This is where I get back to the story of my friend's trip to Kansas. Little did he know that his wife's cousin had restored one of these early John Deere D's! He sent me a picture of that old tractor that was taken at a fall festival that they all had attended on that trip. The tractor was mounted on full steel wheels. Here is the picture...........

You can see in the background a much newer John Deere four wheel drive tractor that is the result of the John Deere company's continued development of farm equipment. This old "D" restoration is very typical of what is taking place around the country in the last three or four decades within our hobby...... preserving some of these old beasts for the younger ones to see in the future!

I think this is a great photo of an extremely well restored piece of history and for all to see in generations to come......Don't you think?