Sunday, December 21, 2008

Henry Pratt's Memories VII

Horses vs. Tractors:
Horses instead of tractors were used on fruit farms because the early tractors had all their gears in the open and the sandy soil found in the fruit belt caused many a mechanical breakdown. After many repairs the farmers went back to using horses in the orchards and used the tractors for belt work such as operating shredders or circular saws. W.M.Pratt purchased the first tractor in 1915 for the Watervliet farms. It was an Avery 8-16. The numbers stood for the horsepower which was produced at the drawbar and the belt respectively.
"They were made is stadard sizes, 8-16,10-20 (author's note: I can still remember the old lumbering 10-20 my Dad used up until the 1950's), 15-30, 20-40, and 30-60. Avery made a huge 40-60 and Hart-Parr filled a special order from Russia for several rated at 50-100 horsepower."
Google Note:                Avery Tractor History
The brothers Cyrus and Robert Avery founded the Avery Company in 1874 building cultivators and planters (note that Avery should not be confused with B.F.Avery & Sons). By 1891 the company had located to Peoria, Illinois, and begun building steam tractors. Avery first entered the tractor market with the Farm & City in 1909, which looked more like a truck. Avery introduced a line of tractors but fell into trouble during the Depression. The company reorganized several times, but finally closed for good at the onset of World War II. (emailed July 9)

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