Best

Daniel Best was a famous 19th century US pioneer and inventor, who manufactured steam traction engines and harvesting equipment in a factory at San Leandro, California. In the early 1900s there was keen competition between Best and his rival Benjamin Holt, which resulted in a number of lawsuits and the eventual purchase of the Best company by Holt. Daniel's son, C.L. Best, worked for Holt for several years before leaving in 1910 to found his own company in Elmhurst, California. This was named the Best Gas Traction Engine Co. and began to produce both wheeled and crawler tractors. Further conflict with Holt ensued, especially regarding patents, but Best went on to build a range of high-quality crawler tractors from 16 to 90hp. In 1925 Best and Holt merged to form the Caterpillar Tractor Co.

(Click on images below to enlarge)



Best 70 round-wheeled tractor at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 75 (serial no. 351 C) at the Heidrick Ag History Center, Woodland, California, USA in 2005.



Best 75 (serial no. 617 C) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 75 (serial no. 880 C) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 75 (serial no. 963 C) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 75 at Bright's Pioneer Exhibit, Le Grand, California, USA in 2008.



Best 30 "Humpback" Orchard tractor at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 40 (serial no. 538 D) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 40 (serial no. 578 D) at the Heidrick Ag History Center, Woodland, California, USA in 2005.



Best 40 at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 25 at the Heidrick Ag History Center, Woodland, California, USA in 2005.



Best 25 at Bright's Pioneer Exhibit, Le Grand, California, USA in 2008.



Best 25 at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 25 at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 60 (serial no. 101 A, built 1918), the first Best 60 built, at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 60 (serial no. 102 A, built 1919) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 60 (serial no. 150 A, built 1919) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 60 (serial no. 372 A, built 1920) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 60 (serial no. 858 A, built 1920) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 60 (serial no. 1078 A, built 1922) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 60 (serial no. 1159 A, built 1922) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 60 (serial no. 1587 A, built 1923) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 60 (serial no. 1592 A, built 1923) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008. This tractor was built as a "Logging Cruiser", which was introduced in 1920 for the forestry industry and had a number of additional features such as three-speed transmission, hand brake, two-person seat, collapsible canopy and larger fuel tank. The tractor in the photo is currently being restored to this specification.



Best 60 (serial no. 1990 A, built 1923) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 60 (serial no. 2363 A, built 1925) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 60 (serial no. 2371 A, built 1925) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 60 (serial no. 2489 A, built 1925), fitted with late Caterpillar 60 engine, at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 60 at the Heidrick Ag History Center, Woodland, California, USA in 2005.



Best 60 with 1933 Caterpillar Fifty diesel conversion at the Heidrick Ag History Center, Woodland, California, USA in 2005.



Best 60 at the Little Casterton Working Weekend, Lincolnshire, England in 2007.



Best 60 at Bright's Pioneer Exhibit, Le Grand, California, USA in 2008.



Best 60 at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 30 (serial no. S 1016, built 1921) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 30 (serial no. S 1514, built 1922) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 30 (serial no. S 1581, built 1922) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 30 (serial no. S 1868, built 1923) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 30 (serial no. S 2040, built 1923) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 30 (serial no. S 2103, built 1923) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 30 (serial no. S 2332, built 1924) at the Little Casterton Working Weekend, Lincolnshire, England in 2011.



Best 30 (serial no. S 2817, built 1924) at Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion, Rollag, Minnesota, USA in 2011.



Best 30 (serial no. S 2886, built 1924) at the Heidrick Ag History Center, Woodland, California, USA in 2005.



Best 30 (serial no. S 3138, built 1925) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 30 (serial no. S 3140, built 1925) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 30 (serial no. S 3432, built 1925) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 30 (serial no. S 3507, built 1925) at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 30 at the Antique Farm Equipment Museum, Tulare, California, USA in 2005.



Best 30 at the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum, Vista, California (USA) in 2008. This tractor looks to have been fitted with a later Caterpillar Thirty radiator at some stage.



Best 30 at Bright's Pioneer Exhibit, Le Grand, California, USA in 2008. This tractor also appears to be fitted with a later Caterpillar Thirty radiator.



Best 30 at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.



Best 30 at the Best Show on Tracks, Woodland, California, USA in 2008.

 


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