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Ford Tractor Conversions

Ford Tractor Conversions
As early as 1903 published photographs appeared of a car providing a stationary source of power, including Henry Ford sawing wood with A new Model A Ford in 1903. The editor of Ford Time, wrote an article for the magazine in 1909, in which he matched the Model Ts technical characteristics point for point with those he thought farmers required, concluding that "with a little ingenuity the Model T can be made to run the cream separator, saw the wood, or pull a trailer loaded with farm produce or housing supplies." For much of the Tin Lizzy long life, Ford magazines and sales bulletins published numerous stories of how farm men had harnessed the motor to do their chores, including plowing, in support of the advertising slogan that the Model T was the "universal car.
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Ford Tractor Postcard
During World War I a humorous postcard series,"Let Lizzie Do It," showed the Model T doing many farm chores, including running a washing machine and plowing a field. One card depicts a woman using the car to launder clothes, wash dishes, churn butter, and rock a baby cradle while the man urges her to hurry up and finish so he can plow the fields. While the post cards were apparently produced independent of the Ford Motor Company the company saw no reason to discourage the free publicity..

Left "Let Lizzie Do It," postcard series. with the tractor 
click on image to enlarge
It's no surprise dozens of companies including the Pullford Company, Staude's Mak-A-Tractor, KnickerBocker Forma-Tractor released their Model T tractor conversion to market before Henry Ford' s own highly successful tractor, the Fordson. Therefore it appears that one of Henry Ford' s toughest competitors in the tractor market was his own popular Model T and Model A. .

Over one hundred different manufactures made kits for converting a Ford car or using car components to create a tractor using Ford car parts including Sears and Montgomery Ward.
Right Montgomery Ward Ford Tractor conversion.
click on image to enlarge
Ward Ford Tractor Conversion
  Shaw Manufacturing Company of Galesburg, Kansas, which also made garden tractors. Responded to the economic crisis of the Great Depression by targeting their ads toward farm men who were prosperous enough to have an old car to convert permanently into a tractor but not wealthy enough to buy a tractor.

Left "Make a Handy Tractor From An Old Auto," . Shaw Manufacturing Company brochure.
To Download this complete Shaw Farm Tractor brochure and countless more rare brochures and manuals visit our Literature Page
The Thieman Harvester Company
In 1936, the first Thieman farming tractors were sold with Model A Ford engines at a cost of approximately $500. Sales were so brisk that in peak season the company employed 150 people working 3 shifts. Due to the shortage of steel during World War II, production of tractors suspended. In 1945 the business was sold, and within a short time it was sold once again, finally going into bankruptcy.

Right Thieman Ford Tractor conversion.
click on image to enlarge
The Thieman Harvester Company was incorporated in 1921. Their first invention was an ensilage harvester. Other farm items that Thieman built, including livestock feeders and waterers, end gates, plow guides, saw frames, and power units.

Like other ford tractor conversions cultivator equipment could be adapted to the tractor. The idea that the Thieman tractor along with many other conversion companies, was to salvage the engines from used or junked automobiles and create inexpensive farming tractors from other wise scrap components. The idea had quite a bit of merit and success during the depression years, and thus Thieman and other manufactures had a readily salable item right up until World War II steel shortages curtailed production

Left Thieman Ford Tractor conversion with optional cultivator equipment .
click on image to enlarge
The Pullford Company, of Quincy, Illinois, introduced a $135 tractor conversion kit in 1916 and continued in business as late as 1940. It consisted of a set of lugged steel wheels, and a rear framework and gears which allowed the Model T rear axle to be geared down to tractor speed. These changeover kits were marketed to farmers who were farming with horses as a low-priced option to a tractor. The conversions became especially common in the 1920s and 1930s as the Great Depression set in. Cheap Model Ts were easy to come up with, therefore the conversions became an easy and inexpensive way to mechanize the small farmer and begin weaning them away from horses.
Right Model T conversions kits were sold to transform Model Ts into sources of power to run machinery, to turn them into trucks for hauling, or to transform them into tractors. One of the most successful of these conversion kits was offered by the Pullford company click on image to enlarge
FORD Model T

Following the Model T' s skyrocketing success came mail-order catalogs and magazine advertisements filled with parts and kits to turn the humble Fords into farm tractors, power units for belt driven farm equipment, and farm trucks. Historians credit the Model T which Ford first advertised as The Universal Car with launching today' s multibillion-dollar automotive aftermarket industry.
Top Conversion kits like the Pullford bolted onto an existing Model T chassis while others used the engine, transmission, radiator and and other parts and bolted then onto their tractor chassis.
About 1922 the Raymond tractor appeared. It had a unique hitch design and was powered by a Ford Model T engine. The Raymond used individual rear brakes and also featured a innovative mechanical lift system for the plow. A cultivator could be mounted directly to the tractor frame. The Raymond tractor brochure proclaimed that after using the engine, transmission, radiator and fuel tank for the tractor, the remaining parts could be used for making a four-wheel farm trailer.

Left  The innovative Raymond farming tractor conversion tractor.
click on image to enlarge
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Sears Tractor

In 1938, Sears & Roebuck offered the Sears New Economy farm tractor. Priced at $495, it was powered by a rebuilt Ford Model A engine. This tractor came on steel wheels, with rubber tires being an extra-cost option. Sears offered assorted cultivators and implements for use with this farm tractor.
Fordsom Tractors

Henry Ford made no public announcement before introducing this, his first Ford Tractor . A group of promoters in Minneapolis hired a young man named Ford and brought out "The Ford Tractor" ahead of Henry Ford, although it was not a success. This was why Ford named his tractor "Fordson."
Ferguson 9N
Ford 9N Tractor
Ford Ferguson 9N

The first Ford 9N was built in 1939. It used the company's own four-cylinder engine, which carried a 3-3/16 x 3-3/4-inch bore and stroke. The unique feature of the 9N tractor was the fact that it was equipped with a unique three-point-hitch system. The Ferguson System consisted of a combined linkage and hydraulic control, applicable to a wide variety of implements and was perfected in 1935 after 17 years of engineering development by Harry Ferguson.
Ford NAA Tractor
The 3PT War
a $9.25 million dollar settlement agreement against Ford. Ford agreed to discontinue production of the hydraulic system using Ferguson's reservoir-side hydraulic pump by the end of the 1952 model year. 1953 saw the release of the Ford NAA Ferguson, who had begun producing Ford 9N look-alikes that he marketed as Ferguson TE-20 and TO- 20 , suffered in the final settlement for his success. He had manufactured nearly 140,000 of the 9N clones without Ford's permissio  

International Harvester Farmall H
International Harvester Farmall H
International Harvester Farmall H was the redesigned sequel to the Farmall F-20. The Farmall H had a new engine that used a water pump. The H was introduced the same year as the popular Farmall M and since both models shared the same frame, mounted farm implements were interchangeable.  

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