The Heartland Innovation, Groundbreaking Machines, Midnight Schemes, Secret Garages, and Farmyard Geniuses that Mechanized Agriculture
Tractor is written by Lee Klancher, and this rollicking and beautiful ride into machine history follows the innovators, entrepreneurs, and hucksters who transformed our world with farm machines of all colors. Starting with the turn-of-the-century visionaries who saw that four wheels and a motor could replace the horse, Tractor moves swiftly through key early developments to cover the power farming movement of the latter part of the 20th century — a time when major manufacturers lagged and independent builders and farmers began creating their own machines with a pencil drawing and a welder.
With fantastic photography and amazing designer concept drawings as illustration, the book shines a light on some of the bright minds and inventive companies that created powerful and innovative tractors in the fertile field of America’s heartland. Tractor includes key moments of tractor history, from the butcher shop where John Deere secretly designed a completely new line of four-cylinder tractors, to the skullduggery and corporate raiding that took place in fields and back lots as company agents schemed to discover what their dirty ol’ competitors had up their sleeves. It moves all the way up through the creation of the first tractor electronics, the merger movement of the 1980s, and the emergence of the high- technology innovations such as smart farms and auto-guidance that are changing the farm as we know it.
Each of the 160 tractors featured in this raucous, gorgeous book has its own great story — read them all and you understand the history of this machine. Wonderful images of tractors at work throughout history include photography by Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, and more, with extraordinary industrial designer concept drawings by Henry Dreyfuss, Brooks Stevens, Raymond Loewy and many others.