"None of the first tractors had a battery in them. They always – you had to crank the Farmall. And the John Deere had that flywheel that you pulled out. That's the way you started. They didn't have no crank or nothing. The engine was two-cylinder, and that big flywheel. And you just – and you know about – oh, usually the second or third round, it popped off. And the International [Farmall] always started good, but you had a crank on that.
     "That International, that Farmall, that was a good tractor. That had a good engine on it. We had it standing out in the yard there one time. Our boy was about four years old. And I was in the house for something. And all at once the missus says, 'You know, the tractor is running.' And the boy come in the house, never said a word. I went out there and shut it off. And what he done, he just took a hold of that crank and turned it one notch. And it happened that everything was just right, and it started. It just turned it a – just got it over the top. And when the spark hit and it run. But he never said a word to us. [Laughs.]"

LeRoy Hankel on Starting the Tractor


Other Excerpts from LeRoy Hankel's Interview:

Rubber Tractor Tires
Horses to Tractors
Buying Equipment
Stock Market Crash
Falling Prices
Selling Hogs
Living on a Dollar a Day
Affording the Light Bill
Dust and Rain
The Power of the Wind
Drought in the 30s
Participating in the AAA
Decline in Farms