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Tractor talk

By Staff | Mar 30, 2015

David Morrison, of West Concord, Minnesota, tells a group about a 1951 John Deere tractor at the Kossuth County Agriculture and Motorsport Museum.

“mailto:jmajor@messengernews.net”>jmajor@messengernews.net

ALGONA – Few know as much about antique tractors as the man who spoke at the Kossuth County Agriculture and Motorsports Museum on Sunday.

David Morrison of West Concord, Minnesota, spoke to a small crowd about the history of each of the tractors at the museum.

Morrison walked around talking about the tractors without any notes. He knew everything off the top of his head.

“I’ve never seen a man in my life that had that much knowledge in his head,” said Ron Lohman, who works at the museum. “One guy might know something about one brand, but he knows about every brand.”

A crowd learns the history behind each of the tractors at the Kossuth County Agriculture and Motorsports Museum Sunday.

It didn’t matter the brand. He spoke about John Deere, Farmall, Minneapolis Moline and several other brands of tractors that were on display.

One of the tractors he talked about was a 1959 John Deere 830.

“The 830 is basically a restyled 820,” Morrison said. “All of the mechanics are the same.”

John Deere nearly called the tractor an 850, he said, but decided against it when a competitor came out with its own 50 series.

Though there was a sign with the year of the tractor, Morrison could tell the year simply by looking at the decals.

“The difference in these decals, the decal is hollow,” he said. “But for 1960, it would have a little gold in it.”

Another tractor was a large Farmall 1206 Diesel.

“Big power here with the 1206,” Morrison said. “Same engine as the 806 to 361 cubic inch, but this time they put a turbocharger on it.”

From the factory, he said, there was about 112 horsepower from the tractor.

“Most people would like to have one in their collection,” he said. “You want a nice big tractor.”

The knowledge that Morrison brought to the museum impressed Lohman, who said he knows a bit about the tractors on display.

“I know a little bit about a lot of them,” Lohman said. “But I couldn’t hold a candle to him.”

Morrison explained why he had the knowledge to talk about each of the tractors, without knowing which ones he was talking about ahead of time.

“I’m 56 years old and I’ve been studying since 17,” Morrison said. “I had a mentor locally. He started inviting me to some of the shows in southeastern Minnesota.

“When he passed away I started going to shows and started studying by myself.”

Now he does parade announcing and talks about the tractors that drive by.

“I have an eye for detail,” he said. “People want to know what is historically correct, so that’s what I do.”

To learn about tractors, he’s collected literature, operating manuals, parts books and diagrams.

“When I was young I would collect literature,” he said. “I kind of have a library of stuff for referencing.”

Though he impressed the people he spoke to at the museum, Morrison said he doesn’t know everything – just enough to be able to talk about each tractor.

“I could stand here, there’s an orange tractor,” he said. “But what does that tell you?”

Instead of stating the obvious about a tractor, he’ll tell stories that he’s heard or about that series of tractor.

“I can usually give you some minor thing, or things I’ve heard,” he said. “What people are doing with it.”

Usually what he does is give commentary at parades or threshing shows in Minnesota, but this was the first time he’s given a talk at a museum.

“This was good,” he said. “I like all the hard work they did and the shiny tractors.”

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Tractor talk

By Staff | Mar 30, 2015

David Morrison, of West Concord, Minnesota, tells a group about a 1951 John Deere tractor at the Kossuth County Agriculture and Motorsport Museum.

“mailto:jmajor@messengernews.net”>jmajor@messengernews.net

ALGONA – Few know as much about antique tractors as the man who spoke at the Kossuth County Agriculture and Motorsports Museum on Sunday.

David Morrison of West Concord, Minnesota, spoke to a small crowd about the history of each of the tractors at the museum.

Morrison walked around talking about the tractors without any notes. He knew everything off the top of his head.

“I’ve never seen a man in my life that had that much knowledge in his head,” said Ron Lohman, who works at the museum. “One guy might know something about one brand, but he knows about every brand.”

A crowd learns the history behind each of the tractors at the Kossuth County Agriculture and Motorsports Museum Sunday.

It didn’t matter the brand. He spoke about John Deere, Farmall, Minneapolis Moline and several other brands of tractors that were on display.

One of the tractors he talked about was a 1959 John Deere 830.

“The 830 is basically a restyled 820,” Morrison said. “All of the mechanics are the same.”

John Deere nearly called the tractor an 850, he said, but decided against it when a competitor came out with its own 50 series.

Though there was a sign with the year of the tractor, Morrison could tell the year simply by looking at the decals.

“The difference in these decals, the decal is hollow,” he said. “But for 1960, it would have a little gold in it.”

Another tractor was a large Farmall 1206 Diesel.

“Big power here with the 1206,” Morrison said. “Same engine as the 806 to 361 cubic inch, but this time they put a turbocharger on it.”

From the factory, he said, there was about 112 horsepower from the tractor.

“Most people would like to have one in their collection,” he said. “You want a nice big tractor.”

The knowledge that Morrison brought to the museum impressed Lohman, who said he knows a bit about the tractors on display.

“I know a little bit about a lot of them,” Lohman said. “But I couldn’t hold a candle to him.”

Morrison explained why he had the knowledge to talk about each of the tractors, without knowing which ones he was talking about ahead of time.

“I’m 56 years old and I’ve been studying since 17,” Morrison said. “I had a mentor locally. He started inviting me to some of the shows in southeastern Minnesota.

“When he passed away I started going to shows and started studying by myself.”

Now he does parade announcing and talks about the tractors that drive by.

“I have an eye for detail,” he said. “People want to know what is historically correct, so that’s what I do.”

To learn about tractors, he’s collected literature, operating manuals, parts books and diagrams.

“When I was young I would collect literature,” he said. “I kind of have a library of stuff for referencing.”

Though he impressed the people he spoke to at the museum, Morrison said he doesn’t know everything – just enough to be able to talk about each tractor.

“I could stand here, there’s an orange tractor,” he said. “But what does that tell you?”

Instead of stating the obvious about a tractor, he’ll tell stories that he’s heard or about that series of tractor.

“I can usually give you some minor thing, or things I’ve heard,” he said. “What people are doing with it.”

Usually what he does is give commentary at parades or threshing shows in Minnesota, but this was the first time he’s given a talk at a museum.

“This was good,” he said. “I like all the hard work they did and the shiny tractors.”

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