Reeves & Co.

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A Reeves-built steam tractor (at far right) being exhibited with other steam tractors at Expo 86

Reeves & Co. was an American farm tractor builder for thirty years, based in Columbus, Indiana. It built some of the largest steam traction engines used in North America.

Marshal Reeves was the driving force behind this venture, having first invented in a tongueless corn plow in 1869, and in 1875 together with his father and uncle formed the Hoosier Boy Cultivator Company. In 1879, the company name was changed to Reeves & Company (abbreviated Reeves & Co.).[1] At the same time as Marshal Reeves' brother Milton began making automobiles, in 1895, Reeves & Co. went into the steam engine business. They made engines in sizes from 13 HP to 40 HP (Nominal Horsepower).

The company built steam plowing engines for the American and Canadian West and provided an engine and boiler approved by Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. To meet these provinces' revised boiler laws enacted in 1910. There, steam breaking plows were needed to till the virgin soil.

The massive 40-120 (and later 140) HP engines were brought out in 1908 and their two stories height allowed the driver (engineer) to see over the cross-compound engine. They built engines in nominal horsepower sizes: 13 hp, 16 hp, 20 hp, 25 hp, 32 hp and 40 hp. The "140" referenced above was the "brake horsepower."

Reeves & Company was sold to Emerson-Brantingham on January 1, 1912. Emerson-Brantingham also acquired the Gas Traction Company, Rockford Engine Works, and the Geiser Manufacturing Co.; but by 1915 ran into financial difficulties. After a merger with the former D. M. Osborne company, in 1928 it was bought by J. I. Case Company, now Case Corporation.[2]

There was another Reeves & Company in North Carolina and Tennessee which made clocks ca. 1820. The two companies were not related.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rosenberg, Robert; Sackheim, Donald. "Reeves Pulley Company" (PDF). Historic Engineering Record. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress. Retrieved 2015-01-22. 
  2. ^ Charles H. Wendel (February 20, 2005). "Emerson-Brantingham Company". 150 years of J. I. Case. Krause Publications. pp. 26–43. ISBN 978-0-87349-930-9. 

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