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Who REALLY Invented the First Tractor

The question of who produced the first tractor ever is a bit complicated, as there are several contenders for the title.


Here are some of the most notable:

  • John Froelich: In 1892, Froelich built the first successful gasoline-powered engine that could be driven backwards and forwards in a small village in Northeast Iowa. While the word "tractor" wasn't used at the time, that's essentially what it was.

  • John Charter: In 1889, Charter Gas Engine Co. built the first tractor for which records survive. His design used the wheels and transmission from a steam traction engine, powered by a single-cylinder Otto petrol engine.

  • Charles W. Hart and Charles H. Parr: In 1903, Hart and Parr built the first successful American tractor, which had a two-cylinder gasoline engine.

  • Herbert Akroyd Stuart: In 1896, Stuart invented the Hornsby-Akroyd Patent Safety Oil Traction Engine, which was the first oil-engined tractor in Britain.

While there is no clear consensus on who produced the first tractor ever, these are some of the most notable early examples.


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