A few years back I remember seeing Charlie’s Allis-Chalmers tractor in an old shed. Charlie told me that it was his Dad’s. Since then Charlie restored it. Its existence has more meaning given that is has a personal history.
Charlie’s dad bought this 1939 Allis-Chalmers, one year old, in 1940. He bought the tractor along with a plow, disk, field cultivator, mowing machine, two row corn planter and a team of mules for just over $1800.
Charlie’s dad farmed 240 acres. In his first year he picked and shucked corn by hand as the team of mules pulled a wagon. Later he sold his mules and bought a corn picker.
Charlie was eight years old, the first time he operated the tractor. He road it into a barb wire fence. He said that with the combination of hand brakes, steering and hand plow control, he ran out of hands. In a humorous tone, I asked him how his dad responded. Charlie humorously told me that we wouldn’t want to print those words.
Charlie added an extra seat for kids. He runs it in parades.
Thanks for this interview Charlie. The recording of these personal memories are important. We also add to our understanding of the history of farming.