Dad’s First Tractor

During World War II, the production of new cars, tractors, farm machinery and other items were converted to *war production.  When veterans of World War II were discharged from the military, those who wanted to farm were given certificates so they could buy new equipment.

Most veterans, having served several years, including Dad, had a certificate for a new tractor, but no money to buy one. His Uncle M.M. Neal offered to buy the certificate for enough to purchase a used tractor, so Uncle Maurice bought a brand new tractor and Dad bought his first one, an F-20, which he kept in use for several decades.

Living with farm equipment every day, we never thought about taking photos of them. I wish we had. Dad’s Farmall F-20 never looked this spiffy. I remember it a faded red with a sickle mower attached to keep weedy areas neat. It also powered the elevator which sent “square” bales of hay from the hayrack to the haymow. (So-called square bales are shaped like large bricks.)

Here are Dad’s other tractors (2019 post).

*Note: The MACR (Missing Air Crew Report), received from the National Archives on microfiche, listed the Installed Weapons of the P-38L in which Lt. Daniel Wilson lost his life. Three of them were built by Colt (a well-known firearms manufacturer), one by International Harvester (farm machinery), and one by Frigidaire (refrigerators).

Rabbit Trail: Allis-Chalmers was a manufacturer well suited for government contracts. During the 1930s, the Public Works Administration bought seven hydraulic turbines for the Hoover Dam project. During both world wars, the company made engines, weapons, electrical controls for ships, aircraft engine components, shells, and tracked vehicles. Allis-Chalmers also produced uranium-processing and research equipment for the Manhattan Project.

One more tractor story!


  1. I have sweet memories of visiting my Great-Grandmother out in the country where her brother’s tractor sat in her barnyard. When visiting, one of the first things I would do is run to the barnyard and climb up in the driver’s seat of that old tractor. This was in the 1960’s and it was old then. It looks very much like the tractor in the picture. Find memories for this boy.

  2. The picture here-and the ones in your 2019 post about your father’s tractor genealogy-give me the impression that they were actually part of the Neal family. They were certainly important to help provide for your family. More pictures would have been great, but back then film and the development of film was expensive! 🙂

  3. You’ve brought back a memory of my own, Joy, and I didn’t even grow up on a farm! But I remember an old Super-8 family movie of Dad helping a friend bale his hay. I was just two-years-old that summer. As I recall from the movie, they were dragging the rectangular bales from the hay-baler onto a wagon bed, stacking them, and finally (off-camera) taking the huge load to the barn. Dad was a strapping six-footer, slim, with muscled arms from carrying mail all day. My brother has all those family movies now, but some of them are etched in my memory–like this one.

    • Oh, Nancy, this gives me goosebumps. I remember an old movie of Dad carrying a bushel “basket” (metal, but not shaped like a bucket) of corn on his shoulder to feed livestock. I’d sure wish I had a still photo of it. Maybe your brother could find out how to save you a precious photo!

  4. You know when I first began to think about tractors? As an adult, when I was in Joanne’s, and I saw the John Deere fabrics!!! hahaha that’s when I started thinking, tractors are really cool!! The memories of great-grandpa’s tractor came back then.

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