The book Tractor has a simple name, but inside there is sweeping detail of the evolution of the tractor from the beginnings in the late 1800’s to present day. Author Lee Klancher provides unique pictures and the stories of the personalities who have designed, manufactured and sold the machines. The book takes the reader to the geographies of tractor manufacturing, including the Midwest and Indiana.
“Certainly I think the two big players that came out of Indiana would be Advance-Rumely, one of the higher quality makers of early steam and then later gas tractors, the big, heavy tractors,” he told HAT. “They came out of LaPorte, Indiana. And the James Oliver of Oliver Chilled Plow Works spent time in Indiana as well and those two would actually join up later and become one of the most innovative of these companies. Oliver, as it matured, had incredible engineering and did a lot of things.”
And famous actor James Dean makes an appearance in the book on an Indiana farm with photographer Dennis Stock working for Life Magazine.
“Life agreed to pay him for three days. Stock took I believe three months and followed him around and shot, and they spend a significant amount of time at James Dean’s farm in Fairmount, Indiana. James Dean had spent a part of his childhood with his uncle on this farm, and the photographs from the farm are absolutely amazing.”
The book covers the first tractors to today’s autonomous tractors in pictures and stories and the continuous consolidation of the industry from, at its height, 186 manufacturers.
Hear more from Klancher:Lee-Klancher-on-New-Book-Tractor
Tractor is a perfect Christmas gift for farmers but also historians and those who love machines. And it is available with a red or green tractor on the cover. Get it where books are sold, possibly at your local tractor dealership, and Klancher’s publisher’s website, Octane Press.