Hart-Parr

The Hart-Parr Co. was founded in 1897 at Madison, Wisconsin by Charles Hart and Charles Parr, who were both engineering students at the University of Wisconsin. The two men had built their first gas engine while still at university, and during the next four years sales of their oil-cooled engines increased to the point where they needed larger premises and additional capital. This led to the company relocating to Charles City, Iowa, where work soon began on a tractor design. The first tractor, the Hart-Parr No.1, was completed in 1902 - it had a two-cylinder oil-cooled engine and was rated at 17-30 hp. The No.2 tractor, which appeared later that year, was a 22-45 model that was completely different in appearance, mainly due to the addition of a large cooling tower at the front of the tractor. This design was also used in the No.3 18-30 model - an example of this is preserved in the Smithsonian Institution Museum, Washington DC and has recently been restored to full working order. In 1907, Hart-Parr introduced the famous 30-60 "Old Reliable", which remained in production until 1918. Heavier, more-powerful tractors were also introduced around this time, but the 30-60 remained the most popular model and is a highly sought-after tractor by preservationists today. A number of tricycle designs were subsequently marketed, before Hart-Parr changed direction and decided to move towards more lightweight tractor designs. Unfortunately their first attempt at building a light tractor, the "Little Devil", was a complete failure and the tractors had to be recalled for safety reasons. However, the right direction was taken in 1918 with the "New Hart Parr" 12-25 model, which formed the basis for all subsequent Hart-Parr tractors. The "New Hart Parr" was a two-cylinder tractor with a water-cooled engine and open gears used to drive the rear wheels. The model was soon uprated, and this design later became the "30", 16-30, and 18-36 models with modifications at each stage. A smaller model, the 10-20, was added to the range in 1921, and this was soon joined by the big 22-40 in 1923, which featured two 20 hp twin-cylinder engines side by side. The 1920s saw three models in the Hart-Parr range, the 12-24, 18-36 and 28-50, but by the end of the decade this design was starting to show its age. In 1929, the Hart-Parr company merged with three other firms to form the Oliver Farm Equipment Co., and soon afterwards the two-cylinder design was dropped in favour of four- and six-cylinder engines. However, the new Oliver tractors continued to feature the words "Hart-Parr" as part of their logo until the late 1930s.

The photos of Hart-Parr tractors have been split across several pages to minimize download time. Click on one of the following to view photos of particular tractors:

 


TOP       BACK       HOME
Copyright 2006-2017 David Parfitt. All rights reserved.