Saturday, May 8, 2010


Three views of the tedious work of tilling the land, made somewhat easier by the inventions of the industrial revolution. I'm not sure I've seen a tractor with fenders before.

The caption says: "Father starts the Fordson & Kovar on a new quack grass field."

Caption: "Seth continues on the quack grass."

Caption: "Quack grass is gone by fall."

A descendant of the Kovar family made contact a few years ago. He's keeping an archive of the family business, which designed and manufactured more than just the Quackgrass harrow at their plant in Minnesota.

The tractor also has a family story: "Fordson was a brand name used on a range of mass produced all-purpose tractors manufactured by Henry Ford and Son from 1917 until 1920 when it was merged into the Ford Motor Company, which used the name until 1964. . . The first Fordson Model F was completed in 1916 and was the first lightweight, mass produced tractor in the world, making it possible for the average farmer to own a tractor for the first time. It went into mass production in 1917 and sold for $750. The original Fordson used a 20 horsepower, four-cylinder vaporising oil engine, a three-speed spur gear transmission (the three forward speeds ranged from approximately 21⁄4 to 61⁄4 mph), and a worm gear reduction set in the differential.

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