Friday, April 15, 2016

Engineering Products Company

The Engineering Products Company began producing a line of garden tractors in 1946 that they marketed under the Economy brand name. Assembled at their factory in Milwaukee Wisconsin from off the shelf components, production continued into the 1950’s.

A throwback to the days of steam traction engines models with chain steering were produced from 1946 until 1949.

Somewhere between the realms of full size farm tractors and riding lawnmowers lie the garden tractor variety like this nice selection on display at the Foothills Antique Power Association’s 12th Annual Power Show in Hickory, NC.

About as basic as you can get, they consisted of little more than a motor on a wheeled frame with a seat and a few controls.

Online sources vary on the dates of production but E.P.C. marketed tractors under at least three different brand names; Economy, Jim Dandy and Power King from shortly after the end of WW 2 into the 1990’s.

Most, at least in the early years were powered by Briggs & Stratton or Wisconsin engines like the models shown here.

Engineering Products Co. changed ownership several times during the 80’s and 90’s eventually being bought out by Yazoo.


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Minneapolis-Moline Uni-Farmor

It was a strange looking contraption, no doubt about it. It stood out from the crowd of regular tractors at the Foothills Antique Power Association of NC's 2015 show as it would at any event.

Minneapolis-Moline called it the Farmor or the Uni-Tractor. Some sceptics called it "The Motorcycle".

According to the ad copy under the plastic laminate it was the greatest advancement in agriculture since the invention of the pointed stick.

"Five machines in one, a self propelled machine for every harvest job at less cost than pull behinds." "One basic tractor with interchangeable harvesting machines." The attachment units turned it into a; forager, windrower, harvester, husker and picker-sheller. All of which mounted on the Uni power unit.

"Husk corn in the morning and combine soybeans the same afternoon with the same tractor."  "Change from one harvesting machine to another in less than 30 minutes."

Sounds good to me, I'll take two. Where do I sign? But wait! Why am I the only one standing in this line? Why indeed?

Introduced in 1951 Minneapolis-Moline manufactured the Farmor at their plant at Hopkins, Minnesota until 1962. It was powered by a M-M 206cu. in. 4 cylinder gasoline engine. Three forward speeds offered a range from .9 to 9.8 mph. one reverse gear was provided. During the final year of production in 1962 the sticker price was $3,900.

During the entire production run Farmor sales were limited. For whatever reason, farmers never embraced the concept, prefering to stick with the equipment they were familiar with. As always, If you can provide any additional information or insight on this topic please leave a comment.

Minneapolis-Moline advertisement  The unique Minneapolis-Moline Uni-Tractor by Larry Gray Oct. 20, 2015

Friday, April 1, 2016

UFO Sighting

This Unidentified Ferrous Object was spotted in a vacant field in Southeastern North Carolina. Note that the hatch at the top is open. Whatever was inside, isn’t!