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Tractors: 1880s to 1980sby Nick Baldwin
Synopses & Reviews
Of all motor vehicles the farm tractor has proved to be among the most beneficial. It has freed hundreds of thousands of laborers and horses from backbreaking toil on the land in all weathers and it has stabilizedthe cost of food.
Starting with steam power in the middle of the nineteenth century, the agricultural tractor became motorized in the early years of the twentieth century. From vast prairie types, lighter, one-man machines arrived in time to avert famine in the First World War. Mass production followed, which brought the price of tractors within reach of the average farmer. Meanwhile tractors changed from beingsimple substitutes for draught animals to highly sophisticated machines, with power takeoffs and hydraulically mounted implements. Pneumatic tires and diesel engines revolutionized the 1930s market, after which draughtcontrol and then inexpensive four-wheel-drive made sure that fuel and time went into crop production rather than wheelspin. This marked the end of the widespread use of tracked crawlers, as powerful and efficient wheeledtractors took their place, incorporating the latest multi-range transmission technology.
All the key developments and significant tractor makers are described in this book, from the beginning of thetractor's development to the 1970s. Illustrated by period views of machines at work and in contemporary sales literature, this is a nostalgic history of the machine that has been at the center of agricultural life sincebefore World War II.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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