"I think my dad bought a John Deere D tractor along about '24 or '25 and bought it to plow with 'cause we raised wheat and had to do a lot of plowing… He bought a Case Model L tractor with a four cylinder [engine in 1928]. He got that to pull the threshing machine with. It also could plow and disc… Well, the first one was a John Deere D, two cylinder and it run on kerosene, but it had a little tank that had gasoline in it that you started it with. And you'd open the petcock over the valve, over the cylinder that would let the pressure out. And you had the fly wheel on the side. And you'd turn the fly wheel, and then suck the gas in, and then it would fire. And when it got to firing you'd shut the little petcock off. And then as soon as it warmed up a little you'd turn the tank, turn it from gasoline over to kerosene. And then as long as it was warm it would run good on kerosene, it was designed to be a kerosene tractor. Then the Case tractor had the crank in front, and you didn't open the valve on the cylinder any more. But it turned pretty hard. But you just cranked it like a Ford Model T… With the horses you raised your own feed, raised oats and alfalfa to feed them. You didn't have a fuel bill. And then you went to tractors why you had buy your fuel. So you'd have to use your cropland to raise the money to buy tractor fuel. And, so we might be better off with just horses yet."

Kenneth Jackson - Starting a 1920s tractor


Other Excerpts from Kenneth Jackson's Interview:

Milking the cows
Picking corn
Riding ponies to school
A day at school
Starting a 1920s tractor
How stockyards work
A kid at the stockyards

Entire Interview with Kenneth Jackson