Monday, October 21, 2013

The Family's Fordson Tractor

I learned to drive on an old 1958 Ford tractor with a column shifter so this story from my Aunt Joan's brother Homer's, journal about the family's first tractor resonated with me...and made me laugh out loud:

Summer was a thrilling time of the year. The spring field work led right into all kinds of activity. Along about this period, father purchased a Fordson Tractor. It was simply beautiful, all new and un-scratched. The wheels were fitted with steel lugs so as to hold traction in the field work.

Fordson Tractor with plow. Photo courtesy of NCSU Libraries’ Digital Collections: Rare and Unique Materials

Occasionally we had friends visiting us from Detroit. A very pleasant older gentleman spent some days with us. He seemed thrilled with the farm life, enjoying the change of pace to that of the city. After watching the new machine a while, he wondered if he could drive it.

Father showed him how the machine was handled, how to put it in gear, and how to set the plow in the furrow. So the man set off down the row doing fine. It was at the far end when things began to go wrong. He forgot how to stop; yelled "whoa" several times; but the monster did not get the message. It took but a few turns of the wheel and the Fordson was clawing its way through the fence. The gentleman was completely rattled by this time. The plow caught the wire, causing the machine to stall, ending an interesting situation.

No one got hurt. So after it was all over we had a good laugh at my parents' friend's expense."
Since the family sold the farm in 1917, the Fordson had to have been purchased prior to that date.

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