New Holland takes Farm Industry News on a museum tour of the first farm equipment used in the U.S. The museum, located at factory headquarters in New Holland, Pa., features a walk-around display of the first freeze-proof engine, a feed mill, a single-row corn planter, power lawn mower, knotter assembly, wood saw, feed cutter, corn sheller and factory bell. - Jodie Wehrspann
1. Freeze-proof engine
This New Holland engine was the only freeze-proof engine on the market at the time it was invented. The water jacket was shaped in the tapered wedge form of horse-watering troughs, allowing the water in the engine to rise in freezing weather as it turned to ice. When the engine was started again, the ice would melt as the undamaged water jacket was warmed by engine heat.
2. Feed mill
This mill was an important part of the New Holland product line in the heyday of the single-cylinder engine. The mills preceded the engine. A farm mill using grinding stones was manufactured by founder Abe Zimmerman before 1900. Later models, like this one, used hardened iron grinding plates. A patented crusher handled ear corn as well as threshed grain. Plate-type mills were superseded by hammer mills by the 1940s.
3. Single-row corn planter
Many mechanical corn planters appeared during the 1880s. The machines made shallow rows, dropped the seed at regular intervals, added fertilizer and closed the row again. The Mountville Manufacturing Company, which later became part of Sperry New Holland, made a planter like this one.
4. Power lawn mower
In the 1930s, 40 years before New Holland entered the lawn and garden tractor market, the company was building and selling a power lawn mower. It was the forerunner of the models we know today.
5. Knotter assembly
The knotter assembly is a major component of Ed Nolt’s original automatic self-tying square baler. The original knotter design was from a John Deere grain binder used on threshing machines. The first of Nolt’s new type of baler was tested in 1937. In early 1940, 90 balers were scheduled and built. The earlier balers were built by Arthur S. Young Company in Kinzers, Pa. In 1940 Nolt and New Holland Machine Company agreed to move baler production to New Holland, Pa.
6. Wood saw
Wood saws like this one saved work when farmhouses had a wood-fired kitchen range for cooking, baking and heating. New Holland wood saws were built in a variety of sizes until the end of the 1940s. This wood-frame “baby” saw was the smallest size. A 2-hp, single-cylinder New Holland engine provided power.
7. Feed cutter
In the Colonial Period, American farmers already knew the benefits of chopping coarse feed for livestock. This hand-operated feed cutter also chopped straw into short pieces to fill the rope-supported “straw ticks” used before the invention of the bed mattress.
8. Hole corn sheller
This right-hand hole sheller separates corn from cobs. The spring is adjustable for large or small ears. A large, heavy balance wheel makes it run easily. Capacity is 26 bu./hr.
9. Factory bell
This fire bell was located on the roof of the old factory on Franklin Street. Unused for years, it rang out the news of the end of World War II on V-J Day, September 2, 1945. Sirens and whistles were sounding all across the U.S. Two employees climbed to the roof to ring the old bell to add its voice to the national celebration.