Who Would Have Expected
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. The new design was again improved and it was considered to be good enough to generate enough sales potential to justify setting up a tractor production line. And thus an industry was born Hart Parr would be a major tractor manufacturer until 1929 when it merged into Oliver Farm Equipment Co.