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Chief Stick-picker-upper
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The Dain, which pre-dates John Deere’s first 2-cylinder tractor (the 1923 Model D), was put on permanent display at the John Deere Collectors Center in Moline, Ill., March 13, 2004.
“The response has been wonderful!” says Brian Holst of the Collectors Center. “Collectors who didn’t understand the significance of this tractor have been surprised since this tractor was made locally and has a lot of heritage in common with this area.”

Now that the Dain is parked at the Collectors Center, the tractor’s special place in history can be shared.
This particular Dain tractor’s history started like any other. Emil Obitz of Stockton, Minn., bought the tractor from a John Deere dealer in Winona, Minn., in 1918. He used it for about a decade until he traded it for a Model D in 1928. The receiving dealership’s owner, in turn, loaned the Dain to his brother, who used it for a year then parked it in the trees because of an engine malfunction.

In 1930, Morris and Erwin Timm, who lived in rural Minnesota, purchased the Dain. The Timms bought it for the tractor’s chains, with which they wanted to repair a feed mill. Evidently, the brothers never got around to using the chains, and the Dain languished outdoors until 1962 when Frank Hansen purchased it for $1,000.

Hansen had known about the tractor’s whereabouts as a boy, and after he returned from military service, he researched and confirmed the special nature of the Dain. Hansen then restored the neglected Dain tractor from pure rust and displayed it at antique tractor shows until he died.

Hansen’s family auctioned the Dain tractor on eBay, but it didn’t sell because the reserve was never met. Deere & Co. negotiated with the Hansen family to purchase the tractor for an undisclosed amount in July 2003. Now, the Dain is finally at its new home in the Collectors Center.

During the Gathering of the Green – a John Deere-specific equipment show held every other year in Moline – Al Higley of the Collectors Center led a dedication that thanked the Hansen family and included a 45-minute history session with an explanation of the tractor’s mechanics.

The Dain was well-advanced, sporting features that John Deere tractors didn’t utilize until the 1960s and some not even until the 1980s. Many of those features include a gear-driven water pump, key ignition, on-the-go shifting, shiftless speed changing and positive traction. These features, however, made the Dain too expensive for most farmers to afford its $1,500 price tag (about $18,500 in today’s terms).

Holst says the Dain will be available for special events if and when the Collectors Center deems the function appropriate. Until then, every collector who “bleeds green” should be pleased that such a unique tractor is finally back in Moline at a permanent home in the Collectors Center.

 

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I'd love to see what's under the hood!
 

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Great to see this preserved for all.

What does the name mean?



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Chief Stick-picker-upper
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Great to see this preserved for all.

What does the name mean?
The tractor was designed by Joseph Dain Sr.

In 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.
 

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A couple more interesting facts was that the guy who restored it had a lawsuit with JD because of the lack of recognition of the tractor. And I think the reserve was close to $1 million. Sounds like a lot until you realize this is basically the first known to exist JD branded tractor.

JD did by the WaterlooBoy tractor in 1918 and produced under that name through 1924. In 1924 the D was put on the production line with about 800 made and the last year (1924) of the WaterlooBoy tractors (about 800) were produced in the alley way out back to finish production/parts.
 
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