Built To Last #14879

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The Story

Out in a country junkyard, an old fashioned steam powered tractor sits in high summer weeds. Retired years ago, this is the final stop for this old bull yet it’s still intact. Yes, the blue skies are above and it’s sunny. There are far worse places to be retired.

Although rare, sometimes old farm machinery from the pre-gasoline engine era can be found rusting away in neglect. This piece of old farm equipment was substantially built and could probably be made to run again. But only experienced mechanics can do such a thing, Not many deals with steam these days. We’re talking very old school here.

I wonder what it looked like brand new and just delivered, ready to work. It must have been some farmer’s pride and joy, not to mention a big help with all the labor to do on a farm.

But who wants to shovel coal and haul ashes? There are good reasons these workhorses have been left behind, so this old bull sits permanently out to pasture.

Like modern farm tractors, the raw power of these machines could be harnessed in other ways. There is a power takeoff on the opposite side of this machine to run a leather belt. I’ve seen steam tractors at historical demonstrations running farm equipment from back in the day, antique threshers, combines, and even an old sawmill setup.  A tractor is always very useful when there’s real work to be done.

Built To Last is a good title for this picture and it’s very true. This old tractor is still here and ready, but change itself has taken away its purpose. In general agriculture, the horse disappeared from regular use first, then these steam powered mechanical replacements came and went too.

If you enjoy old farm equipment and a little bit of history, there’s a gallery of junkyard tractors on this site. Out of all junkyards, tractor junkyards are truly unique, but only rarely you’ll see an old steam powered tractor like this one.

Try this old steam tractor as digital jigsaw puzzle!

Location: rural Blair County, Pennsylvania. Picture and story © Andrew Dierks

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