Tractor Wars

It’s not an end of the world movie fought by tractors. Tractor Wars is a book about the development of the farm tractor and the individuals and companies instrumental in that development.

If your farming ancestors lived in the United States in the very late 1800s and early part of the 20th century, then this book may be of interest. The tractor changed farming in many ways and was one of the factors that eventually lead to larger farms and fewer farm families. The book is about the development of the tractor industry itself and focuses on the key players and companies in that industry. How the tractor changed farming is mentioned in general and in passing, but this book is not a detailed study of how the tractor changed farming. There’s a wonderful bibliography of materials that were used in the compilation of this book.

But it’s an interesting read for those curious about the development of the tractor or how three big players in the tractor industry (Deere, Ford, and International Harvester) competed with each other in the early days.

Genealogists are always looking for historical background. This is one of those books that provides that–and the sources will no doubt make for some great reading material.

Tractor Wars was written by Neil Dahlstrom. It’s available on