Copy write 2011, 2012, 2013 not for republication or sale without express written consent. All images are the property of their respective owners and are not to be reused without their express permission.
Above left: Various postcards and advertising showed the Rock Island Plow Co. as it developed. This dates from a circa 1910 catalog, but the same photo is also seen on a postcard dated 1908.
Above Right: an expansion added in 1911 shown in this photo as having just been laid.
Below: A view from 1911 from the river.
Below Rock Island Plow Co. early 1920’s
The Rock Island Plow Co.
Founded in 1855 as Buford & Tate, The Rock Island Plow Company (RIPC) was one of the many companies including Farmall, Moline and John Deere that made the Quad Cities area the hub of ag innovation and production at the end of the 19th century and well into the 20th century. Many of these early innovators worked for more then one of these local companies and their history’s are intertwined. The history of the early years of the Rock Island Plow Co. are especially entwined with John Deere, and the serious student of Deere’s life and early company will find many interesting details here I think. Many famous people from the Rock Island area were involved in the company, and many names may be familiar. When the company was sold in 1937 by the Weyerhaeuser's to J.I. Case, it closed an important chapter in the history of agriculture and the Rock Island area. Contrary to occasional commentary, there was no connection with the Rock Island Lines Railroad, although RIPC did use the “Rock Island Line” in occasional advertising.
This page is dedicated to the history and products of Buford & Tate, The Rock Island Plow Co. and Heider Tractor Co. In addition, the company also used the names Rock Island Implement Co, The Northern Implement Co in Minnesota and Southern Plow Company in Texas (although there was another company in Dallas also using the name). In it, you will find information on these companies and their products, their history and their connections including major sections on Rock Island Tractors and Heider Tractors. There is also a compilation of print articles and some useful links. Some information may be contradictory or incomplete. Unfortunately, many of the records no longer exist or are not attainable; and most of the people directly associated with the Rock Island Plow Co. even in its later years are no longer with us. I have also noticed a number of the printed articles and books contain some verifiable misinformation which can hopefully be addressed.
A special acknowledgement needs to be made to the following people who have helped make this possible:
Jeff J. Marshall - JacobHaishMfg.org
David Parfitt - Steel-Wheels.net
Randy Kvill - Reynolds-Alberta Museum
The staff and authors referenced so heavily for this project at Antique Power especially Pat Ertel and Heritage Eagle’s R.E.Hoffman
The Geneseo Working Farm Show will feature Lesser Known’s for 2014. I will be helping with this feature and would also like to attempt a sub feature of Rock Island and Heider. This is a very good working farm show, and everyone is welcome. If you are interested please contact me.
I am not going to ask for cash donations or anything, but I really could use help. The help I am looking for is information. IE; I need ads, brochures and manuals. If your not interesting in selling, I really appreciate scans or photographs. If your willing, I will happily pay postage both ways to scan a manual. While I have the common manuals, I lack some of the rarer ones. I especially need late model information. I am also looking desperately for ads and photo’s, again especially late model as it has proven harder to obtain. Credit will be given for any contributions.
Added Rockwood Friction Transmissions page
Added Heider D 9-16 Parts list
Added 1914 Heider 10-20 C catalog
Added seperate Branch Houses page
Wagons and Buggies now online
Discs section now online
Manure Spreaders revisions
Additions and changes to manure spreaders
Planters, Listers and Drills now online
Cream Seperators now online
Jobbers section now online
Seperated RIP (company) and RIP (tractor)
Major update to RIP (tractor) Addition of photos and Vid to Canadian Special
Redid brochures for Motor cultivator section
Full overhaul of Photos
Full overhaul to ads
Photos now has full size images
Artifacts now has full size images
added brochure fro GS&M Beaver
homepage 2 year update
old updates (2012):
Major update to artifacts
Minor updates to Heider C and D pages
Added brochures to Heider A, B and C
Split H5 and H22 pages
minor changes to H5 page
Created H22 page
minor fix to H3/H4 page
Major revamp to engines
Major revamp to Haish engines
Redid the 1913 engine catlog pdf
Update to RIP
Major updates to H3 & H4 section
Minor update to walking plows
Added information on 2014 Geneseo show feature
Added new section on the CASE era
Added Heider D.U.
minor updated to 18-36
fixed photos on Heider M page
Split the Buford & Tate section into two new pages with additional information and corrections.
Addition of dedicated 1927 F page
Update to RIP
2 year Update: Wow, The site is almost two years old now from when I started work on it here in December, and while things have slowed down a little, I do keep getting to check a few things off the old to do list. Hard to believe its only been that long. People seem to appreciate it though, so I guess its been worth it. When I started this, I thought 20 pages was nuts. Now its over 55 pages, but luckily I don’t see too many more new pages in the future, just finishing ones already (barely) started. Many of the new pages from this last year were actually splits of pages that had grown too large.
If you are reading this it means I finally got the massive updates to the photo archives, advertising and artifacts sections done and you can actually view them! They aren’t completely done, but they now have actual content after two long years. At the last moment I suddenly decided to do a branch houses page though, so its not all splits. Not only that, I knuckled down and the implements section is now fully online. Not complete, its never that, but it is now fully online after two years.
In fact, it means for the first time ever, there are no dead pages.
This coming year, expect to see more video’s added to the site as I get video of our collection. I also will be adding more items from my digitized literature collection. Eventually, I will need to redigitize some of it as the early stuff was done with a hand held P&S that I have replaced with a DSLR and a jig arraignment which has greatly increased my speed and quality.
Next year is already looking busy so check back on occasion.