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Odd Question

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I have a rather odd question for you guys. I'm doing a class report on the history of Allis Chalmers (the teacher says I have done too many reports on Simplicity) and I am having trouble finding good info on the history of the company. If any of you have any info or know of any good websites, your help would be much appreciated.

Thanks, Elliott

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Norm Swinford has written books on the history of Allis Chalmers farm equipment. I have one of them and it is very informative. I also have one on the history of the entire company but not sure if it is his or someone else, and the book is not here for me to check right now.


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AC seemed to always be at the cutting edge. Snap couplers, predecessor of the 3pt hitch. Traction Boost, instrument clusters near operator's seat(late WD-45s), hi-lo transmission (D-series), first and only round balers (50's I think) until the 1980's.

First to use electric controlled hydraulics in combines (Gleaner). Seemed to me that EVERYONE was playing catch-up to Gleaner in the combine industry on just about every aspect of the combined harvester/thresher. Might still be that way under the auspices of AGCO.

I remember reading that a fellow named Barney Oldfield 'raced' AC tractors at Indy back in the 40's or 50's. If memory serves me and sometimes it don't, this stunt demonstrated the first tractors on pneumatic rubber tires.

At the end, when AC went bust, they were experimenting with a tractor powered by fuel cells. Allis-Chalmers's other claim to fame and current business using that name is turbine generators used in power dams. AGCO was organized and bought up the agriculture equipment business. They owned Simplicity for a while, then they didn't, then they did again... I think, currently AC is out of the lawn tractor business.

You might want to research some of these interesting aspects of AC history.

Just my 2¢.

Keep up the good work my young padawan.

But, of course, we expect to see that report posted here.

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One story about the Gleaner. Back in the 80's or so when 'rotary' combines had made their debut from International Harvester, there was a local rivalry between a local 'if it ain't red it don't go in the shed' farmer and the local AC dealership's salesman. Much ribbing and teasing was made that AC didn't have a rotary combine. When AC finally came out with their rotary combine, the "N", the goodhearted teasing continued at the local diner at lunch time.

The AC salesman had had enough of the jokes about the 'dumb looking' Gleaner. One fall day the farmer was combining corn near the AC dealership. So, the AC salesman, along with one of the mechanics fired up an Gleaner "N" and headed to the farmer's field. The race was on. As the farmer entered the field with his IH, the "N" entered as well. By the time the farmer had made it to the other end of the field in his red combine, the galvanized Gleaner had made an entire round (down and back) and was unloading into the farmer's wagon.

The AC salesman said not one word to the farmer before nor during the impromptu contest, and the salesman returned the Gleaner to the dealership saying nary a word. The coffee shop ribbing ceased.

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