Today someone asked me if I had heard of the Little Bull Tractor. I had to admit, no, it was a new one on me. My first reaction was they were pulling my leg. But my curiosity, being what it is, I had to see for myself. Not wanting to let them know “I fell for it,” if it was a practical joke, I coyly began to seek out information.
I was relieved to find my research was not in vain, not only was there a Little Bull but there was also a Big Bull. The Minnesota based Bull Tractor Company operated from 1913 to 1916, producing only two models. The tractor industry was still in its infancy, and growing acceptance of machines with nicknames like, the iron plow, wheeled horse, etc, had began to replace the team of horses. During its short history the Bull Tractor Company was involved in ventures with better-known names such as Twin City and Massey Harris.
The Little Bull was a simple built machine. With a suggested list price of $335 it became an instant hit with the smaller farmers and vegetable growers. It is believed that up to 4,000, were sold during its short history. With its 5-12 horsepower engine, built by Bull Manufacturing, the tricycle design and single wheel drive, it could have been better used as a big garden tractor. It was soon realized, these tractors had limited capabilities, and the market fell off rather quickly in favor of more powerful tractors. The Little Bull was discontinued in 1915.
In 1915 the Big Bull was released, it had a more powerful 10-25 horsepower twin cylinder. Designed with one large rear wheel, and one small, it was supposed to allow the tractor operator to drive with one wheel in the furrow and the other on top to keep the tractor level. Supply problems caused the company production issues and they could no longer deliver a steady supply of tractors.
By the end of 1915 the company had stopped manufacturing and chose to subcontract through another company, only to once again have the venture fail when that company chose to no longer supply the product. The end of 1916 saw the demise of the three wheel Bull tractors.
My next quest is to locate someone that owns a Bull tractor to share a story or two and photos with me. If you have or know of someone with one of these tractors, please, let me know.