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Steam Engine Invented

   In 1769 James Watt took out a patent on a steam engine making use of a separate condenser. James Watt's improved steam engine transformed previously designed steam engines, which had hardly changed for fifty years, into a source of power that transformed the world of work, and was the key innovation that brought forth the Industrial Revolution. The contributions made by Watt were of such significance that he is frequently referred to as the inventor of the steam engine.
The importance of the steam engine invention can hardly be underestimated--it gave us the modern world. A key feature of it was that it brought the engine out of the remote coal fields into factories where many mechanics, engineers, and even tinkerers were exposed to its virtues and limitations. It was a platform for generations of inventive men to improve. It was clear to many that higher pressures produced in improved boilers would produce engines having even higher efficiency, and would lead to the revolution first in transportation that was soon embodied in the locomotive and steamboat and later to the farm field and the Traction Steam Engine.   Steam Engine
Steam Engine Tractor
Farmers started buying self-propelled steam engines in the late 1870's in considerable numbers. In 1890 approximately 3000 steam tractors and 2661 steam threshers were built. In 1894 several plow manufactur­ers advertised multiple-bottom steam tractor plows or gangs. By 1900 more than 30 firms were manufacturing some 5,000 large steam-traction engines a year. These tractors were greatly improved over earlier models. 0


Tractor and Farming Landmarks in Steam Engine History
Nichols & Shepard Steam Engine Tractor
click on image to enlarge
Nichols & Shepard Steam Engine Tractor
click on image to enlarge

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Steam Engines
Nichols & Shepard

Nichols & Shepard came out with its first steam engine in 1911, and kept building tractors into 1929 . That year saw the merger of Hart-Parr Co., Nichols & Shepard Co., American Seeding Machine Co., and Oliver Chilled Plow Works into one company named Oliver .

International Harvester Company built 135,000 regular Farmall tractors between 1923 and 1932, when the name was changed to "F-20." (The F- 12 was also introduced in 1932 by International Harvester and 132,000 F-12's were built between 1932 and 1938.)


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