Electric Wheel Co., Quincy, Illinois, USA


The Electric Wheel Co. was founded in 1890 by John A. Stillwell and several partners to manufacture steel wheels for farm implements. The name reflected the method of electric welding used in the construction of these wheels. In 1908, in common with several other manufacturers of the time, they began to produce a type of traction-truck onto which the customer could mount their own choice of engine. The first true tractor, the Model O "Quincy" All-Purpose Tractor, appeared around 1911, closely followed by the larger "No.1" of similar design - both of these used a four-cylinder vertical engine mounted crossways on the chassis. In 1915 the Electric Wheel Co. introduced the "Light Allwork", a scaled-down version of their earlier designs that would form the basis for a range of different models over the next few years. Allwork tractors were sold in Canada through agents Geo. White & Sons of London, Ontario, and were advertised there as the "White Allwork". A number of Allworks were also exported to Scandinavia, where a handful has survived to this day. In 1920, the first Allwork to feature an in-line engine appeared - this was known as the Allwork II and was developed with Californian fruit farmers in mind, although at least two made it as far as Australia. The same period also saw the introduction of two different models of crawler tractor, but these do not seem to have met with much success. The onset of the Great Depression put an end to Electric Wheel Co. tractor production, and the company was eventually absorbed by tyre manufacturers Firestone in 1957.

Model Details

Model O "Quincy" and "No.1"
Advertisement for Model O "Quincy" All-Purpose Tractor (click on image to enlarge)
The Model O was introduced around 1911 and produced 15-20 hp at the drawbar and 30 hp on the belt, and was advertised as a four-plow tractor. Both its four-cylinder vertical engine and rear drive gears were fully enclosed to protect them against dirt. It had three forward speeds and was intended for use both in the field and on the road. The Model was followed in 1912 by the 30-45 hp "No.1", which was almost identical in appearance.

Light Allwork, Model C 14-28hp and Model CA 16-30hp
A smaller version of the "Quincy", the Light Allwork also used a four-cylinder engine of 5 x 6 in bore and stroke - early engines may have been sourced from elsewhere, but the company were soon building them in-house. A 1916 advertisement for this model describes it as a 12-25 hp, but by 1919 it was listed as developing 14-28 hp at 750 rpm. Two forward speeds were provided and weight was around 5000lbs. Early tractors had square fuel tanks, while these were later replaced with round ones. In 1920, the Allwork 14-28hp was tested at Nebraska and by this time the engine speed had been increased to 900rpm. The tractor featured a Kingston Model E magneto and Model L carburettor. By the mid 1920s the 14-28 hp model had become known as the Model C, and was soon joined by the three-speed 16-30hp Model CA - engines with removable cylinder heads were introduced and the fuel tanks changed again, to a large oval kerosene tank and small square gasoline one.

Model D 20-35 and DA 22-40
The late 1920s also saw the introduction of two further models, the 20-35 hp Model D and 22-40 hp Model DA. The two were very similar in external appearance, but whereas the Model D featured a 5.25 x 6 in engine, the DA used a 5.5 x 7 in, and they were intended as four- and five-plow tractors, respectively. Other changes from previous models included a cast radiator header tank and Bosch magneto. Serial numbering seems to have been restarted for these models.

Allwork II
Allwork 5-Ton crawler (click on image to enlarge)
The Allwork II with its in-line engine, full-length hood and forward-facing radiator was introduced around 1920 and intended for the orchards of California, where a tractor needed to be narrow to fit between the trees and free from external protuberances that could damage branches and fruit. It was initially rated at 12-25 hp and described as a Model F, but after several years the hp was increased to 14-28 and the tractor became known as the Model G. The engine was very similar, if not identical to that used in the 14-28 hp cross-mount model, and the tractor was provided with three forward speeds. One of the most unusual features was a front-mounted pulley that drove at a right-angle to the crankshaft. An early advertisement shows full orchard fenders that were most likely an optional extra. Later tractors also seem to have has the "Allwork" name cast into the radiator header tank.

EWC 5-Ton and "80" crawlers
The late 1920s saw the emergence of two Electric Wheel Co. crawler models. The smaller of the two was the EWC 25-35 or "5-Ton" fitted with the company's own engine of 5.25 x 6 in bore and stroke running at 900 rpm, and using a Zenith carburettor and Bosch magneto; electric starting and lighting were available as an option. The EWC "80" on the other hand had a 110 hp Waukesha WK engine of 6.75 x 8 in bore and stroke running at 800 rpm, and could carry 60 gallons of fuel.


Photo Gallery (Click on images to enlarge)

Allwork Model C 14-28 (serial no. 2702) at the Great Dorset Steam Fair, Dorset, England in 2005.

Allwork Model C 14-28 (serial no. 3404) photographed in a private collection in the UK in 2013.

Allwork Model C 14-28 at Pioneer Village, Minden, Nebraska, USA in 2011.

White Allwork Model DA 22-40 (serial no. 527) at the Country Heritage Park, Milton, Ontario, Canada in 2004.

Allwork II at the Heidrick Ag History Center, Woodland, California, USA in 2005.


TOP       BACK       HOME
Copyright 2006-2017 David Parfitt. All rights reserved.