50 Years of Agricultural Tractor Development 660584
The story of Power Farming is the great saga of our times. It is a story of free enterprise, perseverance and endurance of the individual, of vision, idealism and cooperation among men, of the lightening of human toil and the release of millions of workers from farms to feed the ever hungry industrial revolution. By no means least, it is the story of producing food necessary to win two global wars, keep our allies alive and millions of the defeated enemy from starvation.
By 1915, the Steam Traction Engine had attained its highest development. It was the forerunner, rather than the predecessor, of the farm tractor. The former was the instrument of expansion; the latter, the instrument of progress. The invention of the tractor, following by only sixteen years Otto's practical embodiment application of the Beau de Rochas power cycle to a heat engine, marked the advent of a new order - - the age of Power Farming. The pattern of progress follows that of the geometric progression; the scientist discovers, the engineer applies. Only the factor, never the formula, varies.
Max Beerbaum has written “The past is a work of art, free of irrelevancies and loose ends”. This is an endeavor to write of these portentous times with the objectivity of time, rather than as a participant throughout much of the period; an effort to recreate past events after sufficient time has elapsed to recall them objectively, but not before the “irrelevancies and loose ends”, which are the price of history, have been obliterated.
But the winds of change blow long and fierce. Tomorrow's greatest problem may well be that of continuing to feed those now enjoying the highest standard of living ever known and obliterate hunger and starvation from among those hundreds of millions whose abject misery threatens the very pillars of our society.
At this time, absolute dates are but ripples on the oceans of time, and lose their meaning in a maze of semantics. It is not known, and is of little significance, whether recorded dates refer to invention, the completion of a pilot model, or of announced series production. In all cases, the author is governed by memory and the most credible published information.