Criswell's Pedal Tractor Guide
This book gives in-depth information useful to anyone interested in pedal tractors.
Criswell's Pedal Tractor Guide
Criswell's Pedal Tractor Guide: Covering Cast Aluminum Pedal Tractors from the 1940s through 1998 is a pedal tractor lover's bonanza, a cornucopia of knowledge for anyone interested in pedal tractors. You know this is a serious book when you open it and find not only an alphabetized table of contents of pedal tractor manufacturers, but also a parts identification index, information on paint colors and manufacturers ("The only address for ... Graphic Reproductions ... was a post office box... in Detroit, Michigan"), and a short section titled "Reproduction, Counterfeit, Fake, Replica and Fantasy." That section defines each of those terms (and a couple more), and includes a paragraph about "What to do and how to know if it is genuine." This section alone is worth the price of the book.
The parts identification index identifies all the parts in detail. It contains black-and-white photos of front and rear rims and tires, seats, steering wheels, hubcaps, push nuts and pedals, and uses an abbreviated two- or three-letter code for each part. For example, FMS is translated to "front (F) rim (M) with spokes (S)."
And then there's the body of the book, 129 pages of glorious color; beautiful, clear photos showing both sides of each pedal tractor featured. Count on all the basic information a pedal tractor buff could ever need (or anyone wanting to identify cast aluminum pedal tractors would want). You'll find the brand and model of the pedal tractor, who made it, the first year of production, and casting numbers.
Next to each 3 1/4" x 4 3/4" color photo is a listing using the abbreviated codes already mentioned, giving types and colors of the front and rear wheel rims, seats, pedals and all other parts listed in the parts identification index.
There's also additional information, like the type and color of the front and rear wheel caps, and the colors of the rear axle housing and body. About 60 percent of the tractors featured have additional "Notes," like these on the Ertl-made John Deere 30 from 1973, casting no. Model 520: "First few shipped from the factory had metal front wheels but without slots to mount hubcaps. These had ED caps on the front axle and pedal crank. Later models had black plastic seats and steering wheels." You'll also find warnings – where appropriate – of fakes, and admonitions to find an expert if you're looking for a rare model.
Speaking of rare tractors, the Criswell book includes photos of the rarest piece in all farm toydom, the Eska-manufactured red "John Deere" coffin block red A, along with a short story on the tractor.
There are pages of photos of "Private Company Decals," used on all American pedal tractors; a two-page section of "Customs" (custom-made pedal tractors); pedal tractor trailers, umbrellas and new releases from 1998. The book contains all the big-name companies: Deere, Allis-Chalmers, International, Minneapolis-Moline, as well as pedal tractors with less-common names, like Tractor, Heisler, All-American Farmer and others.
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