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    Posted on Tuesday, October 19 @ 12:15:47 UTC by Cars
      Tractor STEAM POWER TO GASOLINE ENGINES In Britain in the 1780s and '90s, William Murdock (1754-1839) and Richard Trevithick (1771-1833) experimented with steam-powered vehicles using steam at above atmospheric pressure. A Welsh inventor, Oliver Evans (1755-1819), who had emigrated to America and lived in Maryland, produced an elementary steam wagon in 1772. In 1787 he was granted the right to manufacture steam wagons in the State of Maryland.

    His wagons never went into production but he did build a steam-powered amphibious dredging machine in 1804, which he engineered to be driven under its own power from its place of manufacture to the River Schuylkill, where it was launched for its voyage to Delaware. In 1788 a vehicle of a similar configuration, known as The Fourness, had been assembled in Britain. In America in 1793 Eli Whitney patented tlie steam-powered cotton gin, which mechanized the cleaning of cotton fibre. This made cotton a commercial commodity in the eastern states, assisted by the growing transport network including transcontinental railroads around the United States. Thomas Blanchard, from Springfield, Massachusetts produced a steam carriage in 1825 and a year later, in New Hampshire, Samuel Morey patented a two-stroke gasoline and vapour engine this was America's first internal combustion engine. Early farm implements were drawn by horses but in order to make them more productive it was clear that there was a need for an independent mechanical source of power. The advent of road travel and the railway locomotive again focused attention on the possibilities of steam-powered machinery that was independent of both roads and rails. Gradually the technology began to diversify: the steam traction engine became more refined and a practical proposition for farm use, while experiments proceeded with the gasoline-powered, internal combustion engine. American steam pioneers included Sylvester Roper of Roxbiny, Massachusetts, John A. Reed from New York City, Frank Curtis from Massachusetts and the Canadian Henry Seth Taylor. Generally speaking at this time, the steam traction engine was reserved for providing power for driving equipment such as threshing machines. New inventions took place throughout the 19th century, and these transformed farming practice. Cyrus McCormick's reaper of 1831 was to revolutionize grain-harvesting. In 1837, John Deere developed a self-scouring steel plough especially suited to heavy prairie soils: farmers no longer had to stop constantly to clean their ploughs. In 1842, in Rochester, Wisconsin, Jerome Case perfected a machine that was both a thresher and a fanning mill. In 1859 oil was discovered in Pennsylvania and kerosene and gasoline were distilled from it. Kerosene was immediately a popular choice as a fuel oil because it was cheap. In the closing years of the 19th century, vehicles powered by internal combustion engines started to make an appearance and names like Nikolaus Otto, Kail Benz, Gottlieb Daimler, Wilhelm Maybach, Albert De Dion, Clement Panhard and Armand Peugeot became prominent in Europe as a result of their efforts. Of these, it is the first who made the greatest mark as he patented the four-stroke gas-powered engine. When Otto's patents expired in 1890 the age of the internal combustion engine dawned. It was but a short step to the development of a practical agricultural tractor. Companies specializing in agricultural equipment were active around the globe. In 1870 Brand was founded in France to manufacture threshing machines. In 1884 Giovanni Landini started a new company in Italy to manufacture agricultural implements, that went on to become a major tractor maker. In the United States in 1895 the New Holland Machine Company was founded in Pennsylvania and specialized in agricultural equipment. The J. I. Case Threshing Company had been formed in 1863 to build steam tractors. Its first experimental tractor appeared in 1892, powered by a balanced gas engine devised by an engineer called William Paterson. The machine was not as successful as its designers had hoped, however, and it never went into commercial production. Case continued to build large steam engines. John Charter built gas engines in Stirling, Illinois and manufactured a tractor by fitting one of his engines to the chassis and wheels of a steam traction engine. The resultant hybrid machine was put to work on a wheat farm in South Dakota in 1889. It was a success and Charter is known to have built several more machines to a similar specification. By 1892 a number of other fledgling manufacturers were starting to produce tractors powered by internal combustion engines. In Iowa, John Froelich built a machine powered by a Van Duzen single-cylinder engine, and formed the Waterloo Gasoline Traction Engine Company. The company later dropped the word "Traction" from its name and manufactured only stationary engines until it introduced another tractor in 1916, the Waterloo Boy, the first successful gasoline tractor. The Huber Company of Marion, Ohio had some early success: it purchased the Van Duzen Engine Company and built 30 tractors. Two other companies, Deering and McCormick, were building self-propelled mowers at this time; they were later to unite to become International Harvester. It was clear that the speed of mechanization of American farming was increasing. The name "tractor" was coined in 1906 by Hart-Pan; which had made its-first gasoline tractor in Charles City, Iowa in 1902, and merged with Oliver in 1929.
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