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Photo of a Steam-Powered Tractor

Date: c. 1900


Description: This photo depicts an early, steam-powered tractor pulling a tiller used to turn the soil for cultivation. Before tractors farm tools like plows were either hand or animal powered, and could only move at a limited pace with quite a bit of work. The first tractors operated with steam-powered motors like this one, and eliminated the need for more labor-intensive methods. As technology grew and the combustion engine was developed tractors became a staple for farm life, and new, modern farm equipment was developed specifically to be pulled by heavy-duty tractors. Machinery and technology revolutionized the agriculture industry, allowing more and more acres to be plowed and cultivated with less work. In Sioux City manufacturers like the Rocklin Manufacturing Company made a substantial living on developing new farm technologies for the surrounding agricultural communities, and farmers brought goods of all kinds for sale here in the city. Today modern agribusinesses depend on these kinds of complex technologies in order to meet the high demands of all variety of agriculture-based products.

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