Rounding out this series we’ll take one last look at the vast machinery collections seen at the Pioneer Acres Museum in Irricana Alberta. In the past we looked at trucks, restored and not, along with construction and road machinery. This time around we’ll examine farm tractors and they have a lot of them.

While there is enough farm machinery to fill many reports we felt it best to show only those that are particularly interesting – the rare and unusual. I do apologize for not knowing much about the models seen. Tractors are of interest to me, but I am still not much of an expert. I do invite input from our viewers – please tell us what you know.

Starting at the start (makes sense) we see a number of massive stream tractors. Unfortunately how they were laid out in the shed made it almost impossible to photograph them well. This is too bad as there were some nice examples seen.

In the same shed and looming just as large were a number of Rumely Oil Pull tractors. These leviathans date from the late teens and into the 1920s. With their characteristic cooling tower in front they really stand out in a crowd. Near the end of production these were total anachronisms, giant slow moving beasts when the industry was turning to smaller, faster and lighter weight tractors.

What must be home built unit, a small tractor with a Chevy bow tie resides nearby.

A Hart Parr is next and it was made in Charles City Iowa (proudly proclaimed on the radiator). In the late 1920s this company merged with several others to become the Oliver Farm Machinery company. For a time the Hart Parr name was retained and some models carried over, but this only lasted until 1937. In 1960 White Motors purchased Oliver.

Next up a UK made Field Marshall. This company was an early adoptee of diesel engines and while there were two at the museum, I have never seen this tractor outside in the wild. This example used a novel starting method and a shotgun-looking shell was inserted into the engine, hit with a hammer, and the resultant discharge was hopefully enough to get everything spinning so the engine would fire. I am told other models from this maker used the more traditional electric start.

The Cockshutt shown in the pictures below is Canadian made. Based out of Brantford Ontario this company was a long time producer of farm equipment of all kinds but seems to best known for their streamlined tractors, with their distinctive slatted grills (streamlining on a tractor, probably not really needed). Like Oliver mentioned earlier this company was also taken over by White Motors, but in 1962 instead. At that time the Cockshutt factory was shut down, however the name was retained for a while. Most of these later examples were simply re-badged Olivers. By the 1970s even this name was retired.

Also seen is a huge Case steam tractor. This manufacturer made these smoke belching beasts as late as 1927.

Nearby is a strange looking creature, an Allis Chalmers model G tractor. A simple no frills design, it almost looks home made.

One heavy duty looking model is the Rock Island seen in the images below. Made in (where else) Rock Island Illinois, these were manufactured into the 1930s until the company was taken over by the giant JI Case organization.

Next in line is a Rockol tractor. Quite uncommon I was told, this line was produced for a while in the late 1940s, made in Shelbyville Indiana by Custom Tractor Manufacturing.

An old Massey Harris looks to be an early 4wd model. At that a time when most tractors were rear wheel drive this one must have looked downright odd with its wide and low stance and equal sized tires. I am sure it was quite advanced for its day but it still took a while for 4wd tractors to catch on.

A Clertrac General is seen and it’s another of the oddballs. Made by the Cleveland Tractor Company, this manufacturer was better know for their caterpillar tracked vehicles than farm tractors. Produced around the time of World War Two, this organization was folded into the Oliver Farm Machinery company near the end of that conflict. Production of the General was later transferred to a company called Avery since Oliver was already producing their own vast and extensive farm equipment line and did not need another.

A little Wheel Horse was found tucked away in a corner and it’s an early example of the small lawn and garden tractors you see today. It’s sure cute! This line was produced up until recently.

A “Joan Deere” is seen with a funky home-made wooden cab. Farmers are a resourceful lot and this tractor shows what can be done if a (cheap) farmers puts his mind to it. Viola, a cab for little cost.

A couple more Allis-Chalmers are up next, both small acreage sizes tractors.

Another odd looking duck is a David Bradley Tri-Trac, another small, low cost, simple tractor. Nearby is yet another strange one, a Bolen’s Ride Master. Both of these almost look home made.

A tractor that’s of particular interest to me is the Silver King. Painted in a nice silver colour (of course) these were made by the Fate-Root-Heath company of Plymouth Ohio. Why do I find this appealing? You probably know I like trains and this company also produced the Plymouth line of small industrial and mine locomotives. These tractors were made from the 1934 until 1954, but locomotives were being produced by this firm into the 1990s.

Not much has been found about the Leader tractor seen in this report. Another rare model it was produced in the late 1940s according to the limited data I could find, and was made in Auburn Ohio.

In the back lot where no one goes a number of unrestored tractors waiting patiently for their chance to be be brought back to life. Perhaps some will and maybe others will go on to donate parts to other projects. The Pioneer Acres Museum is full of stuff!

A lot of these earlier tractors had steel tires, either wide smooth ones or really thin examples with steel paddles. I am not sure the advantages of one style over the other but I sure would like to know. Pneumatic tires came in favour in the 1930s and within ten years dominated the farm tractor market. Some tractors seen had a strange mix of both and I assume the rubber tires were retrofitted at some point.

To see reports we did on trucks seen at the museum, choose any of these links…
Unrestored trucks Pioneer Acres Museum Irricana.
Restored trucks Pioneer Acres Museum Irricana – part 1.
Restored trucks Pioneer Acres Museum Irricana – part 2.

To see construction machinery, click the link below…
Old road and construction machinery Pioneer Acres Museum Irricana.

If you wish more information on this place, by all means contact us!

Date: July 2012.
Location: Irricana Alberta.
Reference: To visit the Pioneer Acres Museum website, click here.

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Giant wheel tractor

A giant wheel on a huge tractor.

Hart Parr tractor

A Hart Parr, this company was later merged into the Oliver Tractor company.

Rumely Oil Pull

A Rumely Oil Pull with its characteristic cooling tower.

Chevy tractor

A Chevy tractor? Home made maybe?

Minneapolis Threshing Machine

The Minneapolis Threshing Machine company.

Field Marshall tractor

A Field Marshall tractor, made in the UK.

Cockshutt model 35

A Cockshutt model 35 Deluxe.

Case steam tractor

A Case steam tractor.

Allis-Chalmers model G

An odd looking Allis-Chalmers model G acreage tractor.

Rock Island tractor

This massive Rock Island tractor is from the Rock Island Plow company.

Rockol tractor

A Rockol, a rarity I am told.

Massey Harris 4wd tractor

This Massey Harris is an early 4wd model.

Cletrac General

The General built by the Cleveland Tractor company (Cletrac).

Wheel Horse tractor

Wheel Horse, an early garden tractor.

Joan Deere tractor

A “Joan Deere” with a home built wooden cab.

Allis-Chalmers tractors

A couple smaller model Allis Chalmers.

David Bradley Tri-Trac

Another oddity, this is a David Bradley Tri-Trac.

Bolen's Ride Master

A Bolen’s Ride Master.

Old farm machinery

In the back lot of the museum.

Field of tractors

A field of tractors back where no one goes.

Silver King tractor

A Silver King built by the Fate-Root-Heath company.

Leader tractor

This Leader tractor was, “Made in Auburn Ohio”.

10 Comments

  • MN in MN says:

    The small tractor with the gas can in front is a David Bradley Tri Trac. My grandfather had one in the late 1950s.

  • MN in MN says:

    The small funny looking tractor with engine in front is an Bean Cutler tractor. Later incarnations of this design were called the FMC Ridemaster or the FMC Bolens Ridemaster. The one you photographed dates from just after world war two and this can be confirmed by looking at the gas tank. On early ones it’s attached to the engine. Later the gas tanks were put on a bracket above the wheels. An odd looking design for sure, it remained in production for at least ten years. There were the forerunner of modern acreage tractors and there were lots of attachments available. I hope this has helped. Great blog!

    • ChrisBigDoer says:

      Thanks again. I thought because they were so crude looking that they must be home made. It’s nice to know there is so much help out there!

  • Hillfarmer says:

    The small orange tractor you suggest may be homemade is an Allis Chalmers G made from 1948 to 1955.
    http://www.tractordata.com/farm-tractors/000/0/0/6-allis-chalmers-g.html

    • ChrisBigDoer says:

      Awesome, thanks for clearing that up. I wasn’t sure and only guessed at it being homemade. I am not very good at identifying tractors right now, but am learning more each day. There is so much to learn.

  • Wilberj says:

    The tractor with the engine out front is a Bolens Ridemaster built from 1947 to 1958. Looks to me to be a early 1947-1949 year.
    If you ever come across it again can you get the ser# and mod# number off it so I could add it to my list I have?
    Should be on the right side if your sitting on the tractor and the tag is red.

    Wilberj1614@yahoo.com
    Jerome

    • ChrisBigDoer says:

      Thank you Jerome for your help, it’s appreciated. If I return to the museum (which is likely), I’ll make sure to get that serial number.

  • Allen Carlsrud says:

    The Rockol tractor was built in Shelbyville Indiana by Custom Tractor Manufacturing. They were shipped to Edmonton Alberta and distributed by the Rock Oil Company. Other names of these tractors were Custom, Wards & Lehr Big Boy. They were powered with Chrysler Industrial flathead 6 cylinder engines, and this particular model had the Chrysler Gyrol Fluid Drive.

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