A Brief History of Tractors in Australia – Part 2

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Caldwell ValeThe history of Caldwell begins when the Caldwell brothers started to work on a four wheel drive tractor in 1906 and later joined Henry Vale and together formed the Caldwell Vale motors. In 1910 they introduced the worlds first tractors with four wheel power steering and four wheel drive. Additionally, they built trucks with the same configuration and car with four wheel drive and four wheel power steering. In 1916, the Caldwell Vale stopped working due to a financial reasons.

Jelbart Frank and George Jelbart began their own business in Ballarat, Victoria in 1911 and followed their father in making agricultural machinery. They patented the air scavenger engine in 1910 and a few years later they produced one of their first tractors. They produced tractors until the middle 1920′ using a range of their noisy interesting engines.

McKay Hugh Victor McKay has a great role in the Australian agriculture history by inventing and designing the first stripper harvester at young age. The demand of this machine grew, and while experimenting with self propelled harvesters, in 1915 – 1920 he produced the Sunshine model “A” and “O” tractors. One of the “A” model survived and now is in the Victorian Museum.

Ronaldson TippettIn 1903 the Ronaldson brothers started to produce farm machinery and in 1905 Jack Tippett joined them. They started to produce some of the earliest Australian internal combustion engines “Austral”. They experimented and in 1910 they produced a prototype tractor and in 1920’s introduced their Super Drive tractor. They also imported American tractors – Wisconsin engines and later produced a lot of engines for WW2 and became the Australian largest engine manufacturer.

Howard Another excellent Australian agricultural engineer was Cliff Howard. He built his first rotary powered by a motor cycle engine only at the age of 16, in 1912. In the middle 1920’s he sold many tractor rotary hoe combinations and after that made a rotary hoe attachment for the popular Fordson tractor. In 1930 he produced the DH22 tractor with matching cultivator and Howard 22hp engine. Cliff Howard spent many years in England developing the rotary Hoe Cultivators Ltd and after that the company was sold into the North American market. In 1950’s he returned in Australia and regained the control of Howard Australia producing small garden tractors and different attachments.

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