As you enter the Heidrick Ag History Center the first piece you will see is the John Deere Waterloo Boy. Why is this piece so significant? Built in 1922 this two cylinder horizontal engine starts on gasoline and then runs on kerosene. The Waterloo Boy tractor was manufactured by the Waterloo Gas Engine Company until 1918, when the company was bought by the John Deere Company. The year 1918 also happened to be the height of tractor production when more tractors were manufactured than any other year in the 20th Century. The purchase of the Waterloo Gas Engine Company marked a monumental shift for John Deere, who started as a blacksmith and an inventor. The purchase of the Waterloo Gas Engine Company was a jumping off point for large scale tractor production.
The Best Steam Engine was a machine ahead of its time. In 1906 Daniel Best’s steam traction engine design made mechanical improvements to farming equipment, which allowed for ease of operation and cost savings to owners. Best’s most significant improvement was the use of a piston-type or spool steam admission valve that alternated high-pressure steam in and exhaust steam out. By balancing the steam pressure, the steam engine tractor was able to move forward and backward more easily, depending on the orientation of the valve.
The Best steamer weighs 34,000 pounds and has wheels 8 feet in diameter in the front, and 5 feet in diameter in the back. The water tank holds up to 940 gallons of water and uses approximately 300 gallons of water per hour. The pressure inside the boiler is 160 pounds per square inch. The steam engine can be powered by different types of fuels such as wood, straw, coal and oil, with oil being the preferred fuel.
This monster machinery is not to be missed and will be on display at the museum for six months.
Join us as we place this piece, on temporary loan from Joe Heidrick, in the museum on October 13th at 11am as part of our Second Saturday Series. A discussion with Joe Heidrick, Tim Heidrick, Jess Gilbertson, and Ed Claessen will begin at noon. Come by and see this piece of agricultural history.
The Heidrick Ag History Center is launching a new series of family oriented educational events this Fall. Our theme is Fall into the Heidrick, check out, and learn about agriculture via the collection at the museum from 11am to 1pm. There is a slight up charge on Second Saturday and you’ll hear from some local, regional, and national experts in the field of agriculture. Second Saturdays are an opportunity for you to see how our agricultural pioneers operated and understand their contributions to agricultural commerce today.
Beginning October 13th- Second Saturday- showcases the Best Steamer at noon.
On loan from the Joe Heidrick Family, the 110 HP beauty will be driven into the museum where it will be on view for six months. Special guests Joe Heidrick Jr., authors Ed & Sue Claessen, and steam engineer Jess Gilbertson will be on hand to discuss some of the facts surrounding the Steamer.
Part of the early morning festivities include a Scarecrow Expo. You are invited to come in and setup you scarecrow before October 9th. We encourage everyone to participate and display their scarecrows on tractors in creative ways. To enter and receive a list of rules and regulations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fairbanks Morse Engine and Piston water pump, had the capacity to irrigate 40 Acres of Almonds when it was delivered to the Henry Morgue Ranch in Durham, CA in 1907. This was an amazing achievement at the time because it mechanized the irrigation process, with the capacity to pump 300 gallons of water per minute. The Fairbanks Morse Engine is known as a “Hit and Miss” because of the distinctive sound it makes as the engine fires and then coasts until the speed decreases and fires up again. This four horse power engine and matching Typhoon piston are on loan from Shannon Mlcoch and Richard Hunt and currently on view in the museum’s courtyard.
The Heidrick Ag Center is proud to display, the CAT 20 Expo Model.
The Caterpillar TwentyExpo Tractor was built in 1927. The designation “EXP” or “expo” machine suggest it was either built for a special occasion or used by CAT dealers as a marketing tool at county and state fairs or other local events. This versatile machine was commonly used in agricultural applications, but also in road building, hauling airplanes, and other tough jobs. This sterling and enduring piece of equipment is a beautiful example of the track-type tractor, whose links heat treated for maximum wear, strength, and shock resistance, giving it the ability to maneuver under a wide range of conditions.
The Caterpillar Twenty Expo Tractor is owned by the Veerkamp family of Placerville, California. Collectors of antique tractors, the Veerkamps began the process of restoring the Expo Twenty in 2007. As they researched the machine, the owners discovered that the inaugural tractor had not been painted with the standard gray and red color scheme, which was typical of Cat products built in the late 1920s. Instead, it had received a unique white paint job featuring black trim with brass- and nickel-plated accents. The Veerkamps not only returned the tractor to its original appearance, but also restored its original purpose. Having come full circle from its days as a show machine, the Expo Twenty is back in the public eye, displayed at antique machine shows throughout the United States where it tells the story of a brand that has endured for generations.
The Heidrick Ag History Center is pleased to announce the launch of our new website!
The new website is user-friendly, and features information about visiting the museum, volunteer opportunities, event center rentals, photographs from our collection, and easily connects you to our blog!
Make sure you bookmark www.aghistory.org so you don’t miss out on any of the exciting happenings at the Heidrick Ag History Center!