A Timeline of Tractors

  • 1853: Brothers Meinrad and John Rumely found M. & J. Rumely Co.
  • 1857: James Oliver patents his chilled steel plow.
  • 1893: John Froelich and a group of businessmen found Waterloo Gasoline Traction Engine Co.
  • 1897: Charles Hart and Charles Parr found Hart-Parr Gasoline Engine Co.
  • 1904: Holt Manufacturing Co. produces its first gas-powered tractor.
  • 1906: Holt sells its first steam-powered tractor.
  • 1908: Holt buys Daniel Best's tractor company. Heider Manufacturing Co. makes its first tractor.
  • 1909: Cockshutt Plow Co. buys Frost & Wood Co.'s shares. Cockshutt buys selling rights for Frost & Wood harvesting and farm equipment.

    Avery Co. makes a licensing arrangement with Cockshutt to sell the Cockshutt-Avery engine gang plow in Mexico, the United States, and Cuba.
  • 1910: Holt registers Caterpillar as the trademark for its tractor line.

    Cockshutt reorganizes as a public company.

    Clarence L. Best founds C.L. Best Gas Traction Co.  

    Massey-Harris Co. buys Johnson Harvester Co. and enters the U.S. market.

    Cockshutt buys Brantford Carriage Co., Adams Wagon Co., and Frost & Wood.
  • 1911: Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co. makes its first gas tractors.
  • 1912: Emerson-Brantingham Co. buys Gas Traction Co.

    Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Co. contracts to make 30 to 60 tractors for J. I. Case Threshing Machine Co.
  • 1914: Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Co. makes its first tractor.

    Rock Island Plow Co. starts selling Heider Model B tractors.
  • 1915: M. Rumely Co., Gaar-Scott & Co., Advance Thresher Co., and Northwest Thresher Co. complete reorganization, forming Advance-Rumely Co.
  • 1916: Rock Island purchases Heider Tractor Co.

    Rollin H. White founds Cleveland Motor Plow Co.
  • 1917: Cleveland Motor becomes Cleveland Tractor Co.

    Henry Ford forms the tractor company Henry Ford & Son Inc. and introduces the Fordson tractor.
  • 1918: John Deere's Deere & Co. purchases Waterloo Gasoline Engine Co.
  • 1919: International Harvester Co. purchases Parlin and Orendorff Co.

    J. I. Case Threshing Machine Co. purchases Grand Detour Plow Co.

    Wallis Tractor Co. merges with J. I. Case Plow Works.
  • 1921: International Harvester's 15/30 gear drive tractor (later branded McCormick-Deering) replaces the company's earlier Titan tractor.
  • 1923: Deere begins manufacturing the Model D Johnny Popper.
  • 1924: Advance-Rumely purchases Aultman-Taylor Machinery Co. International Harvester introduces the Farmall tractor.
  • 1925: C. L. Best and Holt integrate to form Caterpillar Tractor Co.
  • 1928: Allis-Chalmers purchases Monarch Tractor Co. Rock Island stops making Heider tractors.

    Massey-Harris purchases J. I. Case Plow Works.

    Cockshutt makes a deal with Allis-Chalmers to sell United tractors in western Canada.
  • 1929: Moline Implement Co., Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Co., and Minneapolis Threshing Machine Co. merge to form Minneapolis-Moline Power Implement Co.

    Hart-Parr merges with Oliver Farm Equipment Co.
  • 1930: Cockshutt starts selling Oliver Hart-Parr tractors.

    Cockshutt invents the Tiller Combine.
  • 1931: Allis-Chalmers buys out Advance-Rumely.
  • 1932: Allis-Chalmers introduces a Model U equipped with rubber pneumatic tires made by Harvey Firestone.
  • 1935: Rock Island stops its tractor production unit.

    International Harvester introduces its first W-40 and WD-40 tractors.
  • 1937: Oliver Farm Equipment Co. drops the name Hart-Parr from its tractors.

    J. I. Case Plow Works purchases Rock Island.
  • 1938: Minneapolis-Moline drops its brand name Twin City and introduces the Comfortractor.
  • 1939: Ford makes its Model 9N, the first tractor manufactured with a hydraulically functioning three-point hitch system.

    Raymond Loewy introduces new, streamlined International Harvester Farmall tractors.
  • 1941: Minneapolis-Moline makes its first LPG-supplied tractors.
  • 1942: The Case VA enters the market.
  • 1944: The Oliver Corp. buys Cleveland Tractor Co.
  • 1946: Cockshutt introduces its Model 30, made by Oliver, which features live PTO (power take-off).
  • 1947: A new type of tractor enters the market, including the Minneapolis-Moline RTS, the McCormick Deering W6, and the Cockshutt 30.
  • 1949: The Oliver 77 Standard and Cockshutt 40 enter the market.
  • 1952: Cockshutt opens a sales branch in the Midwest and starts producing its Model 20 tractor.
  • 1953: Massey-Harris merges with Harry Ferguson Ltd. and becomes Massey-Harris-Ferguson Ltd.

    Cockshutt makes its first Model 50 tractors.

    The Deere Model D enters its last year of manufacturing.
  • 1957: Deere opens its branches in Germany and Mexico.
  • 1958: Cockshutt introduces four new tractor models. Corporate raiders take over Cockshutt.

    Massey Ferguson Ltd. buys F. Perkins Ltd.
  • 1959: Massey Ferguson purchases Landini SpA, an Italian tractor company.
  • 1960: White Motor Co. purchases Oliver.
  • 1981: White's White Farm Equipment brand survives as Texas Investment Corp.'s WFE brand.
  • 1985: J. I. Case merges with International Harvester and begins selling equipment under the Case IH brand.

    White Farm Equipment Co. goes bankrupt.

    Sperry Corp. sells New Holland to Ford.

    Allis-Charmers sells its farm equipment division to a German company, which renames itself Deutz-Allis.
  • 1986: International Harvester becomes Navistar International Corp.
  • 1987: Caterpillar Inc. introduces a new kind of farm tractors, the rubber-tracked Challenger series.
  • 1990: Allis-Gleaner Corp., or AGCO, manufactures and sells farm equipment under the Gleaner and AGCO Allis brand names.
  • 1991: AGCO buys the White tractor line from Allied Products Corp. Ford sells New Holland to Fiat Group.
  • 1993: AGCO buys the White-New Idea business along with a Coldwater, Ohio, manufacturing facility. AGCO buys the North American distribution rights for Massey Ferguson products.

    Deere celebrates 75 years in the tractor business.
  • 1994: AGCO buys Massey Ferguson's worldwide properties.

    Case Corp. becomes a public company.

    Varity Corp. sells its Massey Ferguson unit to AGCO, but keeps the Perkins engine division.
  • 1995: Case introduces new Advanced Farming Systems (AFS) that use satellite technology to increase productivity.
  • 1996: AGCO buys Iochpe-Maxion S.A., a farm equipment company, and Deutz Argentina S.A.
  • 1999: Case and New Holland merge, becoming CNH.
  • 2000: CNH buys all the shares of Flexi-Coil Ltd.

    Deere updates its leaping deer trademark.
About The AuthorAbout the Author :
Adrian Ludwig is a senior account executive at Crest Capital, where he captures incremental online sales typically lost by standard vendor finance programs. Adrian works in nearly every industry vertical, providing leases and loans for equipment, vehicles, and software. Check out his most popular piece: The Difference Between Good Debt and Bad Debt.