History of the Tractor: From Hay-Powered Horses to Gas-Powered Tractors

Photo courtesy of Western Development Museum

History of the Tractor: From Hay-Powered Horses to Gas-Powered Tractors

Published Feb 25 



In the 1900s, tractors revolutionized the agriculture industry, eventually freeing farmers from using oxen, horses and manpower. Today, no farm is complete without a tractor.“The farm tractor is one of the most important and easily recognizable technological components of modern agriculture in the United States. Its development in the first half of the twentieth century fundamentally changed the nature of farm work, significantly altered the structure of rural America, and freed up millions of workers to be absorbed into the rapidly growing manufacturing and service sectors of the country. The tractor represents an important application of the internal combustion engine, rivaling the automobile and the truck in its economic impact,” according to William J. White, Research Triangle Institute in an Economic History article.

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