awd8610-2346In the early 1900s, Deere & Company directors had mixed opinions about the company entering the farm tractor market. Some board members felt that Deere should concentrate on farm implements and observe developments in the tractor market. Other directors felt that Deere should either buy a tractor company or design a tractor of its own. Deere did both. Between 1912 and 1917, Deere tested a dozen prototype tractors. A tractor designed by Joseph Dain Sr. appeared to be the most promising. It was approved for production at the Marseilles Company, a John Deere subsidiary in East Moline, Illinois. Named the All-Wheel-Drive Tractor, it is now often referred to as the “Dain” tractor, because Dain not only helped to design it, but also persuaded the Company to allocate funds to build it.

The “Dain” was unique: It had three steel wheels. The two front wheels steered and “pulled” the tractor. The wide rear wheel was a “pusher” wheel. All three wheels were cleated and driven directly off the engine. There was no differential. Power was transmitted by four drive chains: two to the rear wheel and one to each of the front wheels. The transmission provided two speeds forward (2 and 2-5/8 mph) and two speeds in reverse. The operator could change speed under load, without shifting gears or stopping, and without depressing the clutch. The tractor was powered by a four-cylinder gasoline engine that delivered 12 hp at the drawbar and 24 hp at the belt. It could pull a three-bottom moldboard plow inmost soil conditions. The operator’s seat and steering wheel were offset to the right, giving the operator excellent visibility when plowing. A 30-inch diameter pulley was located on the left side; it provided a belt speed of 2,190 feet per minute. A drawbar was suspended underneath the platform.

In 1918, approximately 100 All-Wheel-Drive Tractors were built and shipped to dealers in the Dakotas. That same year, Deere & Company purchased the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company. From then on, Deere & Company and Waterloo concentrated their efforts on selling Waterloo Boy Tractors and designing future two-cylinder tractors.
Production Year & Serial Number

All-Wheel Drive (Dain)
1918…01

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