Minnesota Farmer

IHC #15 sold
September 17, 2013, 10:42 am
Filed under: Family History, Farm, history, Minnesota, Tractors | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Saturday the 1908 IHC Model #15 traction engine that has been in our family for over 100 years was sold.  It has steel wheels100_2417 and a 15 hp. single cylinder gas engine.100_2412  The serial number on this tractor is #1402.  There are a few specs like make & brake ignition that I do not fully understand, but other things are a little more understand able.  Here is what they call open tower cooling.  The water to cool the engine actually runs out in the open air.100_2430  Those big pulleys spinning are where you put the belts to run equipment.  You had a lot of steel spinning to help keep the machinery it was hooked up to operating.

The canopy is the steel cover over the engine and operators platform.  Friction drive means that two pulleys, one with a belting on the surface, have to be pressed together to make the tractor move.  The steering mechanism is interesting.100_2415 A chain wrapped around a shaft moves a log chain to pull back one wheel or the other.  With the worm gear drive it requires a lot of cranking on the steering wheel to get any motion of the steering wheels.  It has a Famous engine100_2416 made by International Harvester.  All in all it is a cool tractor.

Machines built in this era where not built for field work.  They were made to run belts on stationary equipment like feed grinders, silage choppers, corn shellers and threshing machines. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The crops were harvested by hand in the field and brought to the equipment on horse drawn wagons.  This 1908 IHC model #15 is one of the first gasoline powered models which made it smaller than the older steam engines.

100_2414The sale of this tractor brought interest from around the globe.  Every member of the auctioneer’s party had their ear to a telephone as the bidding started.  I stood there in disbelief as the bids climbed over $100,000.  The auctioneer was working slowly and carefully since every time a bidder nodded the price went up $10,000.  Finally the bids ended at $170,000.  We were told the tractor will be leaving Minnesota and going to a private collection in Belgium.

The long history of this tractor is not over, but our families part in it is.  Perhaps someday I’ll be in Belgium and may see it again.  For now it’s good bye.



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