Farming in Illinois with the Coop Model E-3 Tractor
(Part 2 of 3 Parts): The Kewaunee Company
Brian Wayne Wells
This Article remains under construction. Periodically blocks of text will appear and/or be corrected in the process of construction.
As noted earlier, the 1951 Coop Model E-3 tractor that had been purchased by our Sterling Township farmer bore the serial number #31591. (See the prior article in this this series called “Farming with the Coop Model E-3 Tractor in Illinois” contained at the blog portion of website called Wellssouth.com. ) All over the state of Illinois, small companies were started manufacturing new and improved farm implements and machinery. One of these small companies was located just south of our Sterling Township farmer’s home in Whiteside County, Illinois. This was Kewanee Machinery and Conveyor Company located in Henry County which bordered Whiteside County on the south. In Henry County was the small manufacturing city of Kewanee, Illinois where the Kewanee Company was based and from which it gathered its name. The Kewanee Company had actually begun its existence as the Kewanee Corn Hanger Company–after its first successful product–the seed corn drying hanger.
In the years prior to the production of hybrid seed corn, farmers used to walk through their corn fields, looking for the best ears of corn that could be saved to be used for seed corn in the next spring. By saving only the best ears the farmer was attempting to use the process of artificial selection to improve his corn crop. Wire and string were used to tie these special ears of seed corn together and hang them up inside the granary out of the winter elements and suspended away from the reach of rodents. In 1911, George Hurff and Benjamin Franklin (called B. F.) Baker submitted an application to the U.S. Patent Office for a corn hanger which could be used to dry these selected ears of seed corn.
In the next year, 1912, Wallace Glidden, Hurff’s son-in-law incorporated a company which would market the corn hangers to the farming public. This company was called the Kewaunee Corn Hanger Company and was based at 121 Loomis Street in Kewanee. The Kewanee Company was a family business. Wallace Glidden had been employed at the Kewanee Boiler Company, where he had met Benjamin Franklin Baker (popularly known as B.F. Baker), who was the boss of the company. It was B. F. Baker that provided most of the financing for the new business. Wallace Glidden’s own younger brother Raymond Boyd Glidden, become the manager of the Kewaunee Corn Hanger Company. In 1916, the name of the company was changed to the Kewaunee Implement Company.
The corn drying hanger proved to be a great sales success. Based the success of this product, the Company was able to expand into the manufacture of other products for the small diversified farm of the Midwestern United States. However, the company expanded into the manufacture of other products for the small farm. By 1916, the Company was making chicken waterers and hog oilers
Leonard W. Glidden was the father of Wallace and Raymond Glidden. In 1900, Leonard had brought his entire family of three sons and two daughters from Olive, Ohio to Henry County, Illinois where he started a new hardware and farm implement store in the the small town of Galva, Illinois. Galva was a small town near the City of Kewaunee, Illinois. was Leonard influenced the direction of the In 1930, the name of the company was changed to the Kewaunee Machinery and Conveyor Company. Raymond worked for a longer time in his father’s store and, thus, became impressed by the future promise of farm machinery. Accordingly, when he joined his brother, Wallace, and B. F. Baker in forming and operating the Kewaunee Corn Hanger Company, he was already predisposed toward directing the future of the Kewaunee Implement Company toward manufacturing even more farm implements.
Wallace tragically died in 1921 at the young age of 41 years. Raymond took up the reins in the place of his older brother. In 1922 the Kewaunee Implement Company purchased a corporate entity from the Hart Grain Weigher Company of Peoria, Illinois. This was be a significant move made by the Company which would be important for the future of the Company. (More on the story of the elevators manufactured by the Kewaunee Implement Company is carried in the article in this blog called “Farming in Illinois with a COOP Model E-3 Tractor (Part III): The Owatonna Manufacturing Company.”)
In the post-World War II era, a high school Agricultural Education instructor from Rochelle, Illinois, by the name of Hugh Cooper, had been working on a new kind of double disc. In 1950, this new disc was shown to the management of the Kewanee Company. The disc was a great improvement over most tillage implements of the past. The double disc was mounted on rubber-tired wheels. These wheels could be raised or lowered by a hydraulic cylinder with was to be activated by the driver on the tractor seat.. When the wheels were lowered the entire double disc would be raised entirely off the ground and the disc could be transported easily and rapidly on the rubber tires from field to field or even over the public roads. The Kewaunee Machinery and Conveyor Company purchased the design of this disc and began production of the disc in sizes from 7-foot 11 inches to 13 feet 4 inches in width
Our Sterling Township farmer had purchased his 1951 COOP Model E-3 tractor bearing the serial number 31591 without the optional hydraulic package installed.. As noted in the earlier article in this series, the COOP Model E-3 tractor was really a Cockshutt farm tractor manufactured by the Cockshutt Farm Equipment Company in Bradford, Ontario, Canada. Until 1946, the Cockshutt Company had confined itselt largely to the Canadian market. However, in 1946 National Farmers Union, which had been selling farm machinery under the COOP name in the United States, suddenly became the sole outlet for the line of Cockshutt tractors and farm machinery in the United States.
The deal meant that Cockshutt would be able to break into the United States market with a wholesale entity that already had an extensive dealership network. and would the proposed the offered a hydraulic kit that could be retrofitted onto the Cockshutt Model 30. Once again this hydraulic kit was offered for sale in the United States by the network of farmers cooperatives.
A new capability required for use with the new eight-foot trailing- style double Kewaunee disc that he had just purchased from his local dealership in He knew that the Cockshutt Farm Equipment Company offered a remote hydraulic system as an option for all new Model 30 tractors that were manufactured in Bradford, Ontario, Canada. The various Farmers Union affiliated cooperatives who are selling the Cockshutt Model 30 in the United States under the designation–“Coop” Model E-3, were now offering an “add-on” hydraulic system for E-3 tractors like No. 31591 which had originally been sold without hydraulics.
This add-on hydraulic system was composed of a live-hydraulic pump which was to be mounted to the oil pump at the front of the four-cylinder Buda engine, and the main hydraulic unit located under the operator’s seat. Through this two-part system, the Cockshutt Farm Equipment Company not only offered a remote hydraulic system which operated through hoses that were connected to the two “Parker-Pioneer” hydraulic connectors protruding from the rear of the main hydraulic unit under the seat of the tractor. There were two Parker-Pioneer hydraulic connectors were part of the “remote” 2-way hydraulic system. The remote system powered a hydraulic cylinder on a piece of trailing or pulled-type of farm equipment.but also t only a one of the leading farm equipment companies to he add-on hydraulic kit attempts to provide two hydraulic functions. First, the main hydraulic unit located under the operator’s seat contains a rock shaft that protruded out either side of the main hydraulic unit. The Cockshutt hydraulic add-on kit came complete with two lift arms which were attached to a round shaft that was installed on the drawbar under the power take-off shaft on the tractor. A pair of rock shaft lift arms and two adjustable lift links were included in the kit. The lift arms were also connected to the ends of the rock shaft. This provided the power for the three-point hitch.
Two adjustable lift links were connected to the rock shaft lift arms with the lift arms attached to the drawbar. The rock shaft was powered by hydraulic oil under pressure from the hydraulic pump. The rock shaft would turn and pull up the lift arms. These two lift arms formed two points of the three point hitch and were the power of the three-point system. A top link attached to the rear of the tractor above the power take off shaft formed the third point of the three-point hitch.
However, there were also two “Parker-Pioneer” hydraulic connectors protruding from the rear of the main hydraulic unit under the seat of the tractor. These Parker-Pioneer hydraulic connectors were part of the “remote” 2-way hydraulic system. The remote system powered a hydraulic cylinder on a piece of trailing or pulled-type of farm equipment.
This is the system in which our Sterling Township farmer was most interested. He did not know how he would ever use the three-point hitch, since there were few three-point hitch implements on the market in 1952. the early 1950as There he ufor passing hydraulic oil from the pump on the tractor to a remote hyd nthe gdeveloped by sw stm
all the parts that on would be needed to attach the Cockshutt three-point hitch to the tractor. .
the cast-iron axle housings located on either side of the tractor are attached to the cast-iron power train housing by six 5/8 inch bolts. The retrofit hydraulic kit sold by the Farmers Union cooperative contained special longer bolts which were to replace four of these original bolts on the top of the axle housing. These four bolts on each axle housing were used to hold the main hydraulic unit under the operator’s seat. However, because these bolts were located under the running boards on the operator’s platform, our Sterling Township farmer needed to have the thick sheet metal running boards attached to the side of the power train housing trimmed with a blow torch to allow the main hydraulic unit to be properly attached to the bolts on top of the axle housing. The main hydraulic unit was fitted with a rock shaft.
ide of the unit under the seat was attached to the tractor by four of th eight bolts which bolts on the top of the Two hoses connected the pumereservoir and with two hoses which connect front of the engine on the
sunder the under the purchased in rs like tch he had aAccordingly,
the s s Although, Cockshutt This traqctorwas a
Throughout the history of North American agriculture, farENGmers have been attemnship pting to solve their own problems. Farmers have repeatedly joined together in societies and organi