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                          OUR FIRST TRACTOR

        Sometime in the early spring of 1939, Phineas Davis delivered a 1939 Ford tractor to the Lynch farm. It was the first year of the 9N model. It was one of 99,002 made in Dearborn, Michigan that year. It was powered by a 2.0 L (119.7 CID) flat head engine with the intake and exhaust valves in the engine block. Not the best engine design. Most of the other engine manufacturers had switched to the overhead valve design.
       But Henry Ford was hardheaded and stuck with the valve in block design until 1952 when Ford came out with the Ford Jubilee tractor. During the next two years, all Ford vehicles switched to the overhead valve engine.
        Dad’s 1952 Mercury had a flat head V8 engine. My 1954 Ford Sunliner had an overhead valve V8 engine.
        The tractor cost $585 brand spanking new.
Brother Frank, who was 17 at the time, started the tractor and began going around in circles in the middle of our yard. All tractors had a separate brake pedal for each rear wheel. The operator could press on the left pedal while turning left and the tractor would spin on a dime. The left wheel locked and all the power went to the right wheel. Everything accelerated.  The tractor got away from Frank and the right front wheel hit the brick pillar holding up the corner of the porch. The tractor suffered no damage and the house remained the same. Everyone was happy.
        Even today looking at the pillar, you can see it has been knocked out of plumb.
        Technically the Ford 9N may not have been our first tractor. I vaguely remember an old Fordson sitting in what Dad called the carriage house. If it did run, it was sporadically. We still had two mules, Joe and Potgut, when the 9N arrived.  But after a few weeks of trouble free operation by the Ford tractor, Dad sold the two mules to a neighbor.
       Hurray, no more stripping blades, cutting tops and storing fodder in the barn loft for winter feeding of the mules. Still had some to do for the solitary milk cow.
       The first implement was the two bottom plow.  Each plow threw fourteen inches of soil to the right. So each time around the field, the plowed area was increased by twenty-eight inches. A big change from two mules plowing twelve inches at a slower rate. At that time, we had about seventy-five acres of tillable land. Marvin and Frank did most of the work. Dale, at eleven years, did a small amount.
        The plow was attached to the tractor using the Ferguson three-point hydraulic hitch. The depth of the plow was controlled by a lever beside the seat.
        In quick succession, disks, a two row corn planter and a two row cultivator were bought. These are the four main implements that every farm needed.   Later on we bought a scoop for picking up sand to put in the chicken houses. After each flock of chickens were sold, we spread a thin layer of sand and then a layer of wood shaving for the new chicks,
         I think the last implement or attachment we bought was the circular cordwood saw. A real time and labor saving device when we were burning wood in two stoves all winter.
        In time we bought other tractors but never traded in the 9N. Eventually Mom gave the tractor to brother Irving around 1980.
        Tractors have a long life span. It still may be running somewhere. I just hope it didn’t end up in a tractor graveyard.   

   (600 words   8/16/16)
shoot low Sheriff,