As I write this, it's the beginning of a new year. There's been a lot going on in the antique tractor hobby. Some collectors have been dispersing their collections, while others keep adding to theirs. Just when you think you have the pricing figured out, another auction or private sale goes by and new information has to be added to what you thought you knew. Later model tractors continue to be increasingly popular and implement signs are very fast also. Lawn tractors continue to be very active as does the memorabilia side. There are many different kinds of collectors. From cast iron seats to the old steel wrenches. I couldn't name all hobby collections, but if your interested they are all fun.
Over the past twevle months the individual in charge of compiling retail stats for antique tractors and combines for my company has commented that there were fewer of these types of equipment advertised for sale. At first I would say something like I felt that it would get better later on, or some other reason, but that never happened. The end of the year tally is in, and the retail numbers of antique tractors and combines advertised was down by 32%. On the other hand the same equipment types increased by 28% in the auction marketplace for the year. How ever the auction numbers did decline during November and December 2014.
With the exception of a couple of large antique farm equipment and memorabilia auctions the amout of antique equipment selling at farm equipment auctions is down considerably from November.
While compiling results for my December monthly auction report it became apparent that there seemed to be fewer peices of antique farm equipment sold than during the thirty days prior to my November report. After doing a numbers comparison I found that I was correct in my assumption, Not only were the numbers down some, they are down by 36% over November.
As the holiday season is fast approaching I would like to take a minute to thank all of our readers and wish you a happy holiday season no matter what beliefs you may have. Be thankful you live in a country that you can have that belief.
What is the value of my antique tractor, sign or other memorbillia? This question is one I hear often. I have to say it depends on many factors including condition and cash flow which are big contributors. Many of you have restored your antique tractor and have no idea what the traffic will bear when you decide to sell it. Maybe dad had an old feed sign and now your are cleaning up the homestead and want to sell it. Even a professional appraisal is not the clear answer. Most of the time the economy plays a big part, even a skillfully done full restoration may sell for a small amount if the prospective buyers don't have the capital to pay, and vice versa.
Staying safe during outdoor summer activities is always a priority. Be sure that keeping cool and avoiding heat exhaustion or heat stroke is on your to do list.
Did you realize that the lightweight shirt you just put on may end up causing you to feel warmer? Garments made from polyester and similar fabrics may be light weight but do not breathe well. They hold in the heat and are a good recipe for a heat related incident.
Ethanol is maybe not a popular topic to talk about with other people. Everyone has there opinion, some people like it, others put up with it, and some don't like it at all. I have used it for years with no problems. I have a friend that if ethanol was the only fuel available for his antique tractor he would leave it the shed and walk.
Think about all the inventions related to farming from 100+ years ago to now. The brilliants of all those inventors were in a class of there own. Here are what I consider to be the 10 most significant agricultural inventions.
1. Cotton Gin: In 1793, Eli Whitney built a machine consisting of a row of close-set wheels with saw-like teeth around their perimeters. The wheels proturded through narrow slits between metal bars into a hopper filled with cotton bolls. As the wheels revolved, the teeth caught the cotton fibers and pulled them through the slits, which were too narrow for the seeds to pass, thus separating the two.
Whitney's cotton gin allowed 1,000 pounds of cotton to be cleaned in the time it took one man to do 5 pounds by hand.
One would have expected the first commercially successful U.S. tractor design would have been the product of a massive developement and testing program directed by a large steam engine, or gasoline stationary engine manufacturer. It was not. The first successful design came from an entirely different source . Hart and Parr, two college engineering students at the University of Wisconsin, designed and built several gasoline engines as part of their college course work. This work was expanded into designing and building a tractor (No.1) in 1901 after graduating from college. After field testing, the design was improved and tractor No.2 was built.
Building on the success established as a leading manufacturer of plows since 1877, Cockshutt Farm Equipment Co. Ltd., Brantford, Ontario, Canada, later manufactured Cockshutt and CO-OP tractors. The first was the Cockshutt 30 in 1946, using a 4-cylinder Buda engine with a 3-7/16 by 4-1/8 inch bore and stroke engine. That tractor was marketed in the U.S. as the CO-OP E3 and Gambles's Farmcrest 30.
Golden Eagle tractors in the U.S. were the same as Cockshutt 40D4 tractors in Canada. These diesels, built from 1955 to 1958, used a Perkins 4-cylinder engine.