Froelich pp. 7–23
Model “C” pp. 24–86
Tricycle “GP” pp. 87–93
Early Model “A” pp. 94–129
Model “AO” (Streamlined) (“AOS”) pp. 130–137
Model “H” pp. 138–144
FROELICH: It’s not surprising that something pretty exciting (to farm folks) that happened in Froelich, Iowa, in 1892 was mostly overlooked: The invention by John Froelich of the first gasoline traction engine that could propel itself forward and backward. This invention changed farming forever.
MODEL “C” TRACTOR: In 1925, Deere & Company began work on “J.B. Davidson said, the design for a general purpose tractor. Until the relatively recent discovery of “new” information and photographs on the subject, speculation on the development of the Model “C”, the first production tractor of the “GP” Series, was largely based on production records and notations in the Serial Number Register.
TRICYCLE “GP” TRACTOR: single, hand-written piece of paper was discovered at the Deere & Company Archives that lists 50 “GP” Wide-Tread Tractors, all with serial numbers that would normally be assigned to standard-tread “GPs”. When comparing the list to the “GP” Serial Number Register, a startling observation was made. A faint double line trails from the notation “Tricycle” at serial number 202380, down to the bottom of the page through serial number 202400. Starting at the top of the next page, the same thing occurs. Serial number 202401 is clearly marked “Tricycle,” and the faint “ditto” marks run through serial number 202428. That accounts for 49 of the 50 tractors mentioned in the Decision. The other tractor is serial number 202356, missed on the original list due to the “Tricycle” notation being all but obscured by other comments written over it.
In essence, a “GP” Tricycle is a pre-Wide-Tread with a standard tread serial number.
EARLY MODEL “A” TRACTOR: Just as with the original article in 1986, this chapter on the Model “A” Tractor will be limited to the early years — starting with the experimental tractors of 1932 and 1933, progressing through to the end of the 1935 model year.
The unstyled general-purpose Model “A” is quite possibly the most popular and widely distributed of all John Deere Tractors now in collections.
MODEL “AO” STREAMLINED (“AOS”) TRACTOR: In 1936, a new style orchard tractor was designed to take the place of the existing John Deere “AO”. The tractor was to be modestly downsized to provide more clearance in inherently tight orchard and vineyard conditions, maneuverability was to be improved, and the overall design was intended to push aside and lift branches of trees. The result was the introduction of the Model “AO” Streamlined, better known as the “AOS”.
The “AOS” was introduced as a 1937 model, but the first of them were built during 1936 from the Model “AR”.
MODEL “H” TRACTOR: The smallest of the Waterloo-built John Deere Tractors was introduced for the 1939 model year as “a tractor that will give you the daily work output of four to six horses or mules.” On the smaller farm, the Model “H” was developed to handle “all your power jobs.” On the larger farm it was to “handle your lighter jobs at rock-bottom cost.”
During its developmental period in 1938, the “H” was known by the experimental designation “OX”. Initially the “OX” was unstyled. While it looked similar to the other unstyled general purpose John Deere Tractors, its unusual wheels, as well as its tilted back pedestal and rear steering shaft support, definitely gave the “OX” a “something’s different here” appearance.
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