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Multi-tasking tractor was also a truck. It could power your sawmill too

The Avery 12-horsepower tractor was nothing if not versatile.

The combination truck/tractor could carry 3,000 pounds in truck mode, and pull a three-bottom plow in the field. When fitted with a belt pulley on its front, it could power a 22-inch cylinder threshing machine, a circular saw, or water pump.

But with a price tag of $2,500 — a fortune a century ago — not many farmers could afford the multi-tasking machine. But they attracted a lot of interest and one of them was awarded a gold medal in its class in the motor contest at the 1909 Brandon Summer Fair.

The accompanying picture shows the Avery being put through its paces via the de Prony Brake, a belt-driven dynamometer which measured horsepower and variations in belt pulley speed. The solid rubber tires on the machine were perforated and studded with replaceable hardwood plugs.

While the Manitoba Agricultural Museum doesn’t have an Avery 12-horsepower tractor, it is home to a number of rare machines. For more information, visit ag-museum.mb.ca.

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