History of Agricultural Engineering

August 21, 2018

Up-todate ecological corner

Cotton gin invented by Eli Whitney1794


one of the 'founding fathers' of the National College of Agricultural Engineering (NCAE)


Dan Albone, a Biggleswade cycle manufacturer conceived a light weight petrol powered general purpose agricultural vehicle. By November 1901 he had completed his tractor design, and filed for a patent on 15 February 1902 founding the Ivel Agricultural Motors in the same year.

At about the same time, Charles Hart and Charles Parr establish the first U.S. factory devoted to manufacturing a traction engine powered by an internal combustion engine. Smaller and lighter than its steam-driven predecessors, it runs all day on one tank of fuel. Hart and Parr are credited with coining the term "tractor" for the traction engine.


Standard drum brakes are invented
Standard drum brakes are invented by Louis Renault. His brakes work by using a cam to force apart two hinged shoes.


Benjamin Holt, a California manufacturer of agricultural equipment, develops the first successful crawler tractor, equipped with a pair of tracks rather than wheels. Dubbed the "caterpillar" tread, the tracks help keep heavy tractors from sinking in soft soil and are the inspiration for the first military tanks. The 1904 version is powered by steam; a gasoline engine is incorporated in 1906.Ivel Tractor Invented The Caterpillar Tractor Company is formed in 1925, in a merger of the Holt Manufacturing Company and its rival, the C. L. Best Gas Traction Company.


First agricultural engineering curriculum at Iowa State College
Jay Brownlee Davidson designs the first professional agricultural engineering curriculum at then-Iowa State College. Courses include agricultural machines; agricultural power sources, with an emphasis on design and operation of steam tractors; farm building design; rural road construction; and field drainage. Davidson also becomes the first president of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers in 1907, leading agricultural mechanization missions to the Soviet Union and China.

Fordson tractor sells for 5


ASAE founded. The American Society of Agricultural Engineers, now known as the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, was founded.


First solar collector
William J. Bailley of the Carnegie Steel Company invents a solar collector with copper coils and an insulated box.


Activated sludge process
In Birmingham, England, chemists experiment with the bio-solids in sewage sludge by bubbling air through wastewater and then letting the mixture settle; once solids had settled out, the water was purified. Three years later, in 1916, this activated sludge process is put into operation in Worcester, England, and in 1923 construction begins on the world’s first large-scale activated sludge plant, at Jones Island, on the shore of Lake Michigan.


First long-distance high-voltage transmission line
The first long-distance high-voltage transmission line is established by American Gas & Electric (AG&E), an investor-owned utility. The line originates from the firstmajor steam plant to be built at the mouth of a coal mine, virtually eliminating fuel transportation costs.

A spinoff of the Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford & Son Corporation, begins production of the Fordson tractor. Designed to work 10- to 12-acre fields, it soon accounts for 50 percent of the worldwide market for tractors.


American Harvester Company of Minneapolis begins manufacturing the horse-drawn Ronning Harvester, a corn silage harvester patented in 1915.

Picture from the Minnestota History Center Museum courtesy of

1919 Nebraska State tractor test law established (a law established to protect others from irresponsible tractor companies failing to keep the best interests of the farmer in mind) which resulted in the formation of the Nebraska Tracor testing facility.


First major aerial dusting of crops by U.S. Army pilots and Ohio entomologists spraying arsenate of lead over 6 acres of catalpa trees in Troy to control the sphinx caterpillar. Stricter regulations on pesticides and herbicides go into effect in the 1960s.


International Harvester introduces a power takeoff, a device that allows power from a tractor engine to be transmitted to attached harvesting equipment


Farm Engineering Research and Testing Unit set up – The Institute of Agricultural Engineering – later to become the National Institute of Agricultural Engineering (NIAE) - established under the auspices of Oxford University


Caterpillar manufactures a crawler tractor with a diesel engine offering more power, reliability, and fuel efficiency than those using...

Source: www.iagre.org
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