|Sunday May 31st, 2015|
|Monday June 1st, 2015|
|Steam Engines, Cars|
|Tractors, Fire Engines|
|Vintage Farm Machinery|
|Rural Crafts & Lots More!!|
The Nuffield tractor story started in early 1945. The British government still reeling from the effects of the war on the economy, approached the Nuffield organization to see if they would design and build an "ALL NEW" British built wheeled tractor, suitable for both British and world farming.
The Nuffield team accepted the challenge and arrangements began, starting in the designing and testing of the "NUFFIELD UNIVERSAL" tractor. The design was similar to the new David Brown built tractors as the designer had also worked on the design of the David Brown 50D before moving to Nuffield
By May 1946, the first prototype Nuffield-Universal tractor was being tested, and during the following three months, another twelve prototype tractors were made and tested in the U.K and abroad. The tractors were shown to a selected audience at a demonstration at Pershore Wore in late 1946.
The tractor itself was now thought to be ready for production. All the refinements had been completed and teething troubles overcome, however production was held up due to the steel shortages and full production would be delayed for over a year.
By November 1948, the steel situation changed and sufficient stock could be obtained on a regular basis to begin production. The New tractors were first seen at the "Smithfield show" in London in December that year and were put on the market in utility and rowcrop versions.
Initially all the Nuffield tractors produced were allocated to the U.K with a view to assisting in the increase of crop production to counter the food shortage. After this though from 1949, Nuffield began the exportation of the Universal by a subsidiary company belonging to Morris-Motors called "Nuffield exports Ltd" (initially exports were limited to 5 countries, but later became world wide.)
The Universal tractor itself, was powered by a Morris Commercial, 4 cylinder side valve T.V.O engine, type E.T.A, which produced 38 horse power at 2,000 rpm. The Hydraulic power-lift was well thought out, and remained basically the same for over 20 years, apart from occasional improvements. It is operated by two seperate levers, providing 1 lever for internal hydraulics and one for external tappings (such as front end loaders and tipping trailers) or both levers could be used for one double acting external ram. The maximum pressure of the hydraulic system was 1,250 lbs/sq.in, the maximum lifting capacity at the draught link ends was 2,770 lbs.
The Nuffield shared a few obvious similarities to its American counterparts, and these were purposely made. They were “the overall appearance was quite similar to the Fordson and the colour was "poppy orange", like Allis Chalmers. This was done to instill confidence in the farming community that had come to accept for granted the reliability of the American counterparts, and to improve the overall chances of sales both here and abroad.
The full production tractors differed slightly to that of the prototype, the main difference being the hydraulic lift, P.T.O and styling. It was also slightly larger, but apart from that they remained the same.
Tractor production continued under the Nuffield name until 1969 when the tractors were renamed as Leyland Tractors and the familiar poppy red livery was changed to a new two-tone blue Leyland corporate colour scheme.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Harry Fergusons launch of the Massey Ferguson 35x, this was to be the last of the older series of the Massey Ferguson tractor range before the launch of the 100 series in 1964 with models such as the 135 and following. In 1946 Harry Ferguson launched his iconic TE 20 or (Tractor England) range with Fergusons own three point linkage. By 1956 he had sold in excess of one and a half million of the TE 20 in various configurations. Continued growth and development in farming called for a newer and more advanced tractor and in 1956 the Ferguson 35 was launched with its grey and gold paintwork, 6 forward gears and up dated hydraulics becoming known as the ‘gold belly’ Ferguson, with 38 horse power which quickly developed a reputation for poor starting. In 1959 Ferguson introduced the 3 cylinder diesel engine to the tractor, produced by Frank Perkins and then becoming the Massey Ferguson 35 following the takeover by Massey Harris becoming Massey Ferguson with its distintive red and Stoneleigh grey colouring. This engine was the A3.152 which proved to be very reliable and upped the power to 44.5 horse power. In November 1962 the injector pump was tweaked to up the power to 47 hp and the engine was designated the A3.152x becoming the Massey Ferguson 35x. The tractor came in various types including basic, no rev counter, to the De-Luxe, which had various additions including deferential lock and rev counter. It also came in yellow which was generally for highway work and a multi- power version. Millions of these tractors were produced and worked in all types of situations all over the world. They were popular with the farming community for their reliability and speed with their ability to go anywhere; many of them are still earning their living to this day, I own one myself and this does occasional yard duties and has proved a very reliable work horse. They are very popular in the vintage world being easy to restore or conserve with a ready supply of parts at good prices.
We give a special welcome to these little tractors in all their guises this year and we celebrate their huge contribution to Farming worldwide as we celebrate their 50th anniversary.
By Pat O’Donovan
At a meeting of Innishannon Steam and Vintage Rally committee early in 2011, it was decided to challenge the then Irish record of the largest number of stationary or barn engines running together in one area. The then record of 174 engines had been achieved in Mountbellew, County Galway, the year before. Word was put out by word of mouth and a press release to Irish Vintage Scene magazine, The Irish Farmers Journal, and the rally website. Owners all over the country and beyond were cajoled, coaxed, and encouraged to pull out engines known and unknown that had not seen the light of day for years all over Ireland and the United Kingdom.
In the months and weeks before the rally, engines were arriving in West Cork to stay with friends to be ready to go onsite for the big momentous occasion. They came in all shapes and sizes to the rally. Every make of engine was represented from Amanco, Bamfords, New Holland, Stitney, Ruston and Hornsby, Blackstone to mention but a few of the engine makers represented.
The weather was good on the Sunday, the day that the challenge would take place. From early on Saturday morning (7am!!!!) the engines began to arrive at the rally site accompanied by their enthusiastic owners. Much time was spent lining up the engines in neat rows for counting and getting them to run properly; as this was one of the conditions of the challenge. At 2pm the appointed time of the challenge, Mr Charles Deane, section leader and his team of scrutinisers counted 279 engines running in the field in Innishannon, the oldest being over 100 years old. An additional 9 engines present in the line up failed to run. This established a new Irish record for the most stationary engines running in one place.
The Rally chairman and organising committee of Innishannon Steam and Vintage Rally would like to thank all who put such a huge effort into establishing this record, to the engine owners who took the time and trouble to bring out their valuable engines, we say sincere thanks for all you do to preserve such a valuable and often forgotten part of our industrial heritage. It was a great achievement by all concerned.
By Pat O’Donovan
A Stationary Oil engine is an engine whose framework does not move. It was developed in the late 1800s and early 1900s to drive a piece of immobile equipment such as a power tool. They were sometimes known as barn engines. At first they were a form of a steam engine but were later developed to become oil burning internal combustion engines. They come in a wide variety of sizes and used for a variety of purposes including powering water pumps, sawmills, textile mills, corn mills and agricultural equipment.
In Agriculture they were frequently used to power various power tools such as pulpers, corn mills, sawmills and milking machines. In fact anywhere a modern electric motor is now used the stationary engine was its predecessor.
The power was usually transmitted by means of a flat belt. Sometimes it was fitted to a wooden trolley on steel wheels so that it could be moved to power equipment when required. Some of the larger engines were pulled by a team of horses to power such things as Threshing machines and stone crushers.
In Ireland these engines were often used to power the earlier milking machines. They were also seen in the earlier creameries to power the line shafting.
They were usually fuelled by petrol or paraffin. Very large engines ran on a heavier type of fuel oil and were often too large to be moved, typical applications were electricity generators and large scale pumping.
Initially such engines mirrored steam engine design having the piston move horizontally with the crankshaft and valve gear exposed and employed a drop feed lubrication system.
The four stroke cycle design was most common but Petter a British manufacturer developed a successful two stroke cycle.
On medium size engines such as a 6HP the engine can be adjusted to fire every ten seconds when not under load and often drove wide flat belts to run a fine wood saw etc.
Many of these engines led to the eventual design of the common agricultural tractor which is an amalgamation of the steam tractor engine and a stationary engine a common example being the Saunderson tractor which is made up of a stationary engine mounted on a framework - chassis with four wheels that can now propel itself and uses its flywheel pulley to drive stationary equipment.
The most common manufacturers to be found at rally’s in Ireland and England are: Amanco – USA, Blackstone & Co. UK 1882 – 1936, Briggs & Stratton – USA, Deere & Company – John Deere USA, Richard Hornsby & Sons UK, Lister & Lister Petter UK, National Gas Engine Company UK, New Holland Machine Company USA to mention but a few.
The various types of engine included Stationary Steam Engines, Hit & Miss Engines, Hot Bulb Engines and Hot Tube Engines as well as the rarer hot air engines.
They are usually characterised on the rally field by their unmistakeable smell of paraffin and their constant phut-phut with the water pumps and other equipment attached to them. They are often the neglected part of the rally but yet we can never forget the contribution they made to agriculture and industry.
Today they are regularly featured in Vintage Magazines and there is one that I know of that is specially dedicated to their preservation that being “Stationary Engine Magazine” depending on the make and model being sought and it’s rarity can often fetch considerable sums at sales. These engines deserve their rightful place at any vintage rally.