Tractor use stateside in the WW2 era?

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Lee Bishop
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Tractor use stateside in the WW2 era?

Post by Lee Bishop » Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:12 am

I'm still gathering stuff together for my model train layout that will take place in Eastern Tennessee in 1943 and I've decided I need either a tobacco or corn farm along a portion of the tracks as the area I'm modeling had a lot of farming (and still does).
the area was financially depressed after WW1 (and some would argue it never rebounded), so everything was real 'bare bones' in that area.
I was wondering how common farm tractors would have been in that place and time? How did gas rationing affect larger farms? Would horse-drawn plows have been more common or did farmers even have tractors much in use in that era? I've found a nice scale 1935 tractor model I'd like to use, but not if it wouldn't have bene a common sight...
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Re: Tractor use stateside in the WW2 era?

Post by Overland » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:39 pm

Here is a website with information on tractors; http://www.tractordata.com/farm-tractors/index.html From the list search by year. A few common manufacturers around that time would be Allis Chalmers, Case, Farmall, Ford, International Harvester, John Deere, Massey Harris, Minneapolis Moline and Oliver. They even list the Jeep Tractor (CJ2A, CJ3A and CJ3B). Through the years there have been several mergers. Here is another site http://www.antiquetractors.com/ I think a majority of the change over to tractors occured between WWI and WWII. Although it may have been very likely to have a few still farming with horses. My dad has talked about gas rationing stamps and a shortage of tires. His first tractor was a Massey Harris 81. Hope this helps.

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Re: Tractor use stateside in the WW2 era?

Post by Lee Bishop » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:53 pm

Well, this question got answered fast.
My Mom just e-mailed me and said in WW2, nobody had tractors in their part of the state, they had horses sometimes but mostly mules.
Mystery solved. I'm not shocked, the depression hit that part of the state right after WW1 and the economy has never been all that good ever since....
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Re: Tractor use stateside in the WW2 era?

Post by SteveG » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:27 pm

Lee,
I agree with your Mom. From the books I've read on that area in the pre-war and WWII era, horses or mules would have been the norm. Tractors would have been a dream for most farmers in that area.
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Re: Tractor use stateside in the WW2 era?

Post by pjones » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:50 pm

Lee, Ford manufactured a 9N tractor, I believe begining in 1939. In 1942 it was renamed the 2N largely because of war rationing. There are a large number of ford 9N and 2N tractors in this area even today. So if you really want a tractor for your set I believe a ford 9N or ideally a 2N would be appropriate.
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Re: Tractor use stateside in the WW2 era?

Post by pjones » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:58 pm

Here is a picture of a Ford 2N (1942). I believe that is a 9N to the left (red and gray)
ford2N.jpg
ford2N.jpg (37.41 KiB) Viewed 2697 times
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Re: Tractor use stateside in the WW2 era?

Post by Lee Bishop » Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:10 pm

It's all a moot point now. I found someone at the TN state archives, and he told me the same thing my Mom did. Very few farmers in TN had tractors in use in WW2.
So, I guess I'll need to get a model of a horse/mule drawn plow for my O scale farm scene...
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Re: Tractor use stateside in the WW2 era?

Post by David Morse » Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:00 pm

But if anybody is interested, new tractors were available during the war.

When I was growing up our neighbors had a John Deere they bought new during the war. Had to get a certifcate from some local board saying their buying this tractor was important to the war effort.

They were still using this tractor up into the 70's.

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Re: Tractor use stateside in the WW2 era?

Post by lt.luke » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:30 pm

For also made an 8N. The red/white tractor in the photo could be an 8n. The main difference being different running boards & a 4 speed.

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Re: Tractor use stateside in the WW2 era?

Post by Steve Webb » Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:08 pm

The Foxfire books have a lot on farming in Georgia and the Carolina's and some parts of Tennessee mostly the S.E. parts and tractors are not mentioned much at all. Mules were the common animal for farms and some oxen. Even logging was mostly with oxen.
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Re: Tractor use stateside in the WW2 era?

Post by lt.luke » Sat Apr 27, 2013 6:07 pm

Steve Webb wrote:The Foxfire books have a lot on farming in Georgia and the Carolina's and some parts of Tennessee mostly the S.E. parts and tractors are not mentioned much at all. Mules were the common animal for farms and some oxen. Even logging was mostly with oxen.
My parents have those books. Thanks for the memory!

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Re: Tractor use stateside in the WW2 era?

Post by Steve Webb » Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:55 am

Well sonny since I'm almost 57 I guess that puts me up there. I have all of them and use them a lot for reference and relaxing reading. Hard living but except for the medical care back then I would have probably not minded the times.
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Re: Tractor use stateside in the WW2 era?

Post by Ernie Baals » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:20 am

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/imag ... PoPcR5iltw
https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/imag ... xeli4H54x2

Lots of lots of picsof them

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Hi Lee
It was very common during the depression to convert old cars to tractors.
The most common were model Ts and /model As. But any old car or truck could be used

They were called doodlebug tractors


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Re: Tractor use stateside in the WW2 era?

Post by Lee Bishop » Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:35 pm

Yeah, I'd already confirmed via my parents and the TN state archives that tractors were not something you saw on family farms in rural TN in WW2...
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