Hart Parr was a very early American builder of gas tractors with the Hart Parr 30-60 being one of the more successful “Prairie” style tractors. However, by 1919, the Prairie style tractors were obsolete – being far too big and clumsy for the average farmer of the time. The need was for a smaller, more nimble tractor. Hart Parr’s first attempt to meet the needs of farmers at the time, the “Little Devil”, was a complete failure and the tractors were recalled. However, the right direction was taken in 1918 with the “New Hart Parr” 12-25 model, which formed the basis for all subsequent Hart-Parr tractors. The “New Hart Parr” was a tractor equipped with a two-cylinder, slow speed, water-cooled engine with force feed lubrication and open gears used to drive the rear wheels. The design, after testing in Nebraska, was re-rated at 15-30. The 15-30 design was replaced in 1924 by the 16-30 Type E design which was notable for an enclosed final drive gear lubricated with used engine oil. Oil was fed into the engine by the Madison-Kipp Lubricator, but rather than being returned to the force feed lubricator, the oil was piped to the drive gears. The drive gear housing was fitted with overflow pipes, allowing oil to run onto the ground when the final drive housings got too full. The 16-30 was upgraded in 1926 to become the 18-36.
There is a 16-30 at the Museum, SN 25565. This tractor was purchased new by Gustave Hutlet of the Bruxelles area and used on his farm. His son Arthur made one modification to the tractor; he was concerned that a driver could get his foot caught by the right rear drive wheel as the driver was close to this wheel. So he extended the fender on this side of the tractor to keep the driver well away from the rear wheel. Arthur’s son George, can remember last operating the tractor in the 1944 harvest when he was 14 years old; he drove it again – 71 years later – in the 2015 parade at the Threshermen’s Reunion and Stampede. In the 1950s, the tractor was sold to George Down of the Holland area who brought it to the Museum. He later passed it on to Doug Pratt who operates it at Reunion. The Hutlet family still keeps tab on the tractor, and look for it when they are on the Museum grounds.