ForeWord Reviews

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The Field Guide to Vintage Farm Tractors

Foreword Review — July / Aug 1999

Years ago children drove red and green toy tractors through sand, dirt and mud. When older some of them drove them on the farm. Today many of them look upon vintage farm tractors with nostagia like antique car and train enthusists look upon their loves.

The Field Guide To Vintage Farm Tractors presents short, clear descriptions and excellent color photographs of tractors manufactured from about 1900 to 1960, which are the most popular with collectors and restorers. Alphabetically organized by company name and covering twenty-seven companies (and over five hundred models) from Advance-Rumely Thresher Company of LaPorte, Indiana, to The Sawyer-Massey Company of Hamilton, Ohio, the book’s chapters provide brief historical overviews of each company, a listing of the year each model was built plus a list of variations and specifications and, occasionally, a reproduction of an early advertisement for the machine.

The historical sketches nicely present the individuality of each early tractor developer. Specifications include detailed descriptions of engine, bore and stroke, displacement, power, transmission and weight of the tractor. Specifications (with consistant metric conversions) are given in the same format for each tractor making it easy to compare the different machines with each other.

Although this guidebook is very useful in its present format, it lacks a consistancy in photograhic credits. Andrew Morland is credited for the portrait tractor photographs, yet some photographs credit a different photographer, but a number of others, not of the Morland style, do not. An appendix of all photographs would have been helpful, especially for those excited about further researching “their” vintage tractor. Nevertheless, this is a thorough and colorful guide to the iron oxen.

David Reid