First published in 1918 to show all the tractors in operation in Britain during the First World War, The Farm Tractor Handbook is now a collector's item. You can expect to pay GBP60-GBP100 for second-hand copies in reasonable condition. This is a complete facsimile. By 1918 the case for the agricultural tractor had been made and there were many companies producing a wide range of designs. Author George Sherwood's aim was to aid the farmer 'to choose out of the ever-growing number of different makes.' He begins with some principles: the internal combustion engine; lubrication and cooling; ignition; transmission and steering. Throughout these chapters clear cut-away diagrams are supplemented by photographs of the tractors of the day. Practical information on starting, repairs, horsepower and draw-bar pull lead on to major sections on the different types of tractor and plough, and then to ploughing itself. An epitaph deals with steam ploughing, then at the end of its 60-year era. An appendix lists the main tractor manufacturers and there are also some 50 advertisements from the agricultural engineering companies of the time. The book includes tractor designs which were short-lived and exist, if anywhere, as rarities, such as Martin's Self-Contained Three-Furrow Motor Plough. At the other extreme, the Fordson makes its appearance, the foundation of the massive tractor industry which was then in its infancy.
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