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      Tractor: Tractor: WATERLOO BOY
    Posted on Tuesday, October 19 @ 11:42:11 UTC by Cars
     
     
      Tractor WATERLOO BOY John Froelich built a machine powered by a Van Duzen single-cylinder engine in Iowa that many consider as the first practical tractor. The engine of the machine was mounted on the Robinson chassis from a steam engine and Froelich devised a transmission system. He was experienced in the agricultural business and had worked as the threshing contractor, so was aware of the requirements of mechanized harvesting.

    Froelich bought a large Case thresher and transported it together with a wagon for the crew to live in, by rail to Langford, South Dakota. It is reported that hundreds turned out to see the machines at work, as over a seven-week period his crew threshed wheat full time. His machinery suffered no breakdown and as a result many were convinced of the benefits of mechanisation. As a result Froelich gained backing from a group of Iowa businessmen and they formed the Waterloo Gasoline Traction Engine Company. In 1893 the company built four more tractors, of which only two were fully workable, and others in 1896 and 1897. The company dropped the word "Traction" from its name in 1895 and concentrated on the manufacture of stationary engines. John Froelich's interest was primarily in tractors so he left the company at this time. The company took a renewed interest in tractors in 1911 and by 1914 had produced the forerunner of what became the Model R. It was powered by a horizontal two-cylinder engine and soon superseded by the Model N. This went on sale in 1916 and over its eight-year production run, around 20,000 were made. The Waterloo Boy Model N was sold in Britain as the Overtime by the Overtime Farm Tractor Company, based in London. The Model N had a massive chassis frame on which was mounted the fuel tank, radiator, twin-cylinder engine and driver's seat. The engine, which was started with petrol and then run on paraffin, produced 25hp. The use of roller bearings throughout the machine was considered innovative at the time of its manufacture. This early tractor had differing but equally important influences on two other tractor companies. The Belfast agent for Overtime Tractors was Harry Ferguson: this was his first experience with tractors and started him thinking of better ways of attaching implements. It was also the Waterloo Boy that brought John Deere into the tractor business. In 1918 Deere and Company bought the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company for $1 million and initially kept the Model N in production as a John Deere tractor.
     
     
     
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