There is a 1920s vintage Avery 25-50 Model in the Museum collection. It has a four-cylinder horizontally opposed engine with a 6½ x 7 inch bore and stroke. This type of engine was popular with various manufacturers from 1912 to the mid 1920s. This configuration of engine is only currently used in a few small modern engines and not with today’s industrial agricultural engines.
Two 12-25 hp engines were put side by side with each other on a platform to create the 25-50 sliding engine used in this tractor. A sliding engine consists of the engine mounted on a frame that slides back and forth on the main tractor frame. The whole engine is mounted on a plank that when slid back, causes the tractor to go forward. And when the whole engine is moved forward it causes the tractor to move backwards. There are two gears on this tractor. The first is a crankshaft, or pinion, gear. The second is the intermediate/reduction gear. This gear meshes with the forward or reverse driving gear.
This tractor runs on kerosene, with an engine speed of 700 rpm at full throttle. It has two forward speeds and one reverse gear.
Cockshutt Engine Gang Plows were used exclusively in the Winnipeg Light Agricultural Motor Trials of 1908. As these trials received very wide coverage in North America and the World, Cockshutt scored an advertising coup with the trials. Cockshutt began to achieve significant sales of engine gang plows both on the Prairies, into the USA and elsewhere.
The Avery Company which built a popular line of steam engines realized their engines were frequently paired with Cockshutt Engine Plows and convinced Cockshutt to sell Avery sole distribution rights for the Cockshutt Engine Gang Plow in the US, Mexico and Cuba. Avery sold the Engine Gang Plows under the label of Cockshutt-Avery. When Cockshutt’s patents on the Engine Gang Plow design ran out, Avery began building the plow directly.
Avery, beyond just selling Cockshutt Engine Gang Plows made a significant improvement to the plows with the development of a power lift system. This system was made available to Cockshutt and fitted to plows to be sold through Avery and on Cockshutt plows. This system allowed the tractor operator to raise and lower the plow from the tractor and did away with the operator on the plow. The system did result in a change in the shape of the plow beams. A manual lift Engine Gang Plow featured straight plow beams and the power lift version featured a forged C shape.
The Museum has an 8 bottom Avery power lift Cockshutt-Avery Engine Gang Plow in the collection. The plow was purchased new by the Bain family of Grosse Isle, Manitoba at the same time the family purchased a new Marshall and Sons Model F “Colonial” tractor. Both plow and tractor were donated by the family to the Museum. As seen in the attached image, the plow and tractor were reunited for the 2012 Reunion. The other photo shows more clearly the powerlift and as well the front wheels of the Cockshutt – Avery plow which differs significantly from a Cockshutt Engine Gang plow. Where Cockshutt used two castor wheels at either side of the frame, Avery used a two wheel swiveling truck on the front of the frame.