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What Am I for Wednesday 10/13/10

Posted By Jeff Lakaszcyck Tuesday, October 12, 2010 2:32 PM
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Jeff Lakaszcyck
 Posted Tuesday, October 12, 2010 2:32 PM
The W.A.I. Guy ATHS Member

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Interesting tractor. It looks like it could double as an aeriator too ! Emblem removed. Photo from Justin Morgan.

We are still waiting for someone to come up with all 3 from yesterday.



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Jeff
 What Am I 1248.jpg (1,223 views, 130.26 KB)
Bill White
 Posted Tuesday, October 12, 2010 3:10 PM
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Fageol


athscentraliowa.org
47 Willys CJ2A, 47 Bantam T3C, 47 Diamond T 910, 53 White WC24, 49 IH KBS11
Tuesday, October 12, 2010 3:11 PM by Bill White
ray88
 Posted Tuesday, October 12, 2010 3:23 PM
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Yes Fageol.    A friend found one in a farm bone yard recently - thought we might be able to get it, but warned me the steering wheel was missing!    Another of their quirky characteristics along with the standard Fageol hood scoops - badly needed no doubt on a hood with no side panels.
E.Groscup
 Posted Tuesday, October 12, 2010 3:28 PM
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Fageol, no doubt. Holt or Best 60 next to it. Erik
Jeff Lakaszcyck
 Posted Wednesday, October 13, 2010 3:24 PM
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Not a truck, but built by a company best known for it's trucks, this tractor is a Fageol. Those louvers on top of the hood are a dead giveaway, but I thought this was a neat old tractor so I ran it anyway. Fageol built tractors from 1917 to 1923. Bill White had this 1st and provided the info below; thanks to Justin Morgan for the picture.

The tractor the Fageols did build was the invention of Rush Hamilton of Geyserville, California. Hamilton had patented it in 1915 (along with other patents), and formed the Hamilton Tractor Co. It was an odd looking orchard tractor, the purpose of which was to tow wagons. Al says, "Unlike either the caterpillar or broad wheel type of tractor, or the convertible automobile tractors in common use today, (like the Staude Mak-A-Tractor or Smith Form-A-Tractor) the Hamilton machine uses an entirely new principle for getting its traction. Instead of flattening the ground in front of the plow or harrow or other machinery being pulled, this tractor draws its farm implements along after having loosened up the soil by its front wheels with their long blade-like teeth."

Fageols claimed the blades, or teeth, on the front wheels of the tractor enabled it to walk right over all kinds of ground, and claimed the machine could go almost any place the farmer or orchardist wanted it to go.
Rights to the Hamilton invention had been acquired, and would be manufactured as soon as the new factory was built and the machinery installed. Officials of the new company, Fageol Motors Co., included L. H. Bill, president; Frank R. Fageol, secretary and manager. Directors, Rush Hamilton, Dr. Arthur E. Hackett, W.B. Fageol, and Horatio W. Smith.


Nick Baldwin writes in Vintage Tractor Album Number Two, "The first (Fageol) tractor was basically a two-wheel power plant with a ride-on dead axle at the rear steered by gearing around a quadrant at the back of its frame. A plate on the front described it as the Hamilton tractor... The tractor was described by the British technical press in 1917, although whether any of them were imported into Britain is unknown, but is unlikely. It cost $1,085 in its homeland, where it was classed as being equivalent to a four-horse team. It had a pressed steel frame, four-cylinder engine and drive to the wheels by internal gearing, all of which ran immersed in oil. Despite weighing only 1,730 pounds, it exerted a considerable drawbar pull, thanks to special chisel-like strakes, which could be covered with bands for road traveling."

The orchard tractor was called a "walking tractor", and the spiked driving wheels did work. A company called Butler-Veitch contracted for all of the Fageol orchard tractors, (although it's unclear how many that might have been), and Fageol became a sales agent for Butler-Veitch in Oakland in 1918.

In 1918 that orchard tractor was followed by a true four-wheeled tractor, rated a 9-12, (R. B. Gray, in The Development of the Agricultural Tractor in the United States, calls it an 8-12) with the trademark "spudded" drive wheels, which had metal stakes protruding on either side of the wheel and made it look like a gigantic cogwheel.

Gray writes that "The Fageol 'walked' on its 'legs' or grousers. It was claimed that because of the wedging action of the ground between two adjacent grousers, the drive wheels would not sink deeply even in loose sand. In the drum of each driver was an internal expanding clutch which coupled the solid live axle to the drive wheel; no differential on the axle."

Baldwin writes, "This had a Lycoming four-cylinder 3 1/2 x 5-inch bore and stroke engine and only one forward gear. Steering was by tiller, and an enormous replaceable filter air cleaner took care of the California dust. The carburetor was by Tillotson, and magneto ignition by Dixie. The whole transmission was generously provided with ball and roller bearings, Total weight was 3,600 lbs. (more than double the orchard tractor) and the price was correspondingly high, ($1,525 in 1922) which results in few sales..." The vents on the hoods of the Fageol tractors were very distinctive, like other Fageol vehicles of the time.

Pacific Service Magazine wrote in its March, 1922 issue, "Delivery of tractors for farm and vineyard purposes began in 1918. Foreign trade was developed until now the company supplies the Pacific Coast and is sending its tractors to the Pacific Islands, many countries of Europe and the far east.

"At present the Fageol Company is putting out a new type of highway maintenance trucks, passenger busses and stages. The Fageol inter-city stage was recently introduced. During the present year and next year the company will continue with its truck and tractor development and will bring out a full line of highway stages, gas street cars and deluxe cars for estates and ultrafine service. Approximately 105 employees are now employed at the Foothill Boulevard plant."

But alas. Despite the good words about the possibilities for Fageol tractors, in 1923 the factory ceased making Fageol tractors, during the heart of the agriculture recession, and probably closely related to it, partly because of fewer men on farms, the need to turn to other, more secure government contracts for making trucks, but perhaps more due to the high prices of the tractors with few corresponding additional features compared to the average orchard tractor. Why should an orchardist pay more for a tractor that didn't have additional features than other tractors on the market?



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Jeff
 Fageol 1920's tractor JM.jpg (1,263 views, 130.82 KB)

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