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Discussion Forum

195? Fuel Cell Allis?????

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Steve (WI)

03-12-2002 19:19:43

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A friend of mine said he saw a 1953(?)Hydrogen/Propane fuel-cell powered AC tractor featured on RFD-TV'S "Antique Tractor" show. Unfortunatly I missed the episode. Does anyone have any insight or info about this tractor? Spec's? PICTURE?

I knew of the genius and innovation of AC's engineers...they designed and built at least one of just about everything. (And I see a lot of old AC industrial equipment still in service today-superior craftsmanship). But this takes the cake! I knew the fuel cell concept was not new...but to apply it to a tractor and get 28 horse out of it in 1953!!! is nothing short of amazing. (Makes ya wonder why it never flew).

I recently read how the Gvmt is gonna switch research funding (usually corporate welfare) from gasoline efficency to fuel-cell technology. May be they'd be better off diggin up some old Allis engineers.


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07-13-2004 13:52:08

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 Re: 195? Fuel Cell Allis????? in reply to Steve (WI), 03-12-2002 19:19:43  
I saw a 1959 Allis-Chalmers D12 fuel cell tractor and there is a picture of it @http://www.boatsyachtsmarinas.com/history/html/fuel_cell.html -Drew

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Steve (WI)

03-13-2002 17:07:04

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 Re: 195? Fuel Cell Allis????? in reply to Steve (WI), 03-12-2002 19:19:43  
Thanks for the info folks and the pic Duey. I'd love to hear more interesting Allis facts and engineering feats. Makes me even prouder of my tractors. American steel (and no lack of it), American ingenuity, American craftsmanship.

I heard the AC roto-bailer was for the most part laughed at when it first came out. Dont see too many square bales around today.

Thanks Again!


"One man gathers what another man spills"-Stephen Hunter

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03-13-2002 12:42:06

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 Re: 195? Fuel Cell Allis????? in reply to Steve (WI), 03-12-2002 19:19:43  
The fuel cell tractor I believe is still on display in Hutchinson, Minnesota (where the upper midwest club orange spectacular is held every summer) at a museum there. Allis-Chalmers sold the technology they developed in fuel cells and it was then used to power NASA spacecraft...fuel cells are ideal power sources in space. I don't believe that the fuel cell tractor was ever intended for farm use but was just built to demonstrate the feasability of fuel cells as a power source. As for the large equipment that some of the other posts talk about, in the early 1980's, Allis-Chalmers built some 12 cylinder engines that were used to power cargo ships. They weighed 1100 tons, the crankshaft was 80 feet long, and they produced 43,000 horsepower. (Those are not typos.)

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03-13-2002 14:08:13

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 Re: Re: 195? Fuel Cell Allis????? in reply to DanD., 03-13-2002 12:42:06  
Where can I get one and can I bolt it to my WC for the pulls this summer?

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03-13-2002 17:06:39

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 Re: Re: Re: 195? Fuel Cell Allis????? in reply to OldJohn, 03-13-2002 14:08:13  
I don't know if they have a 2,200,000 weight class for antique tractor pulls or not!
Seriously though, you can see pictures of those engines either in Charles Wendell's book "The Allis-Chalmers Story" or Norm Swinford's "Allis-Chalmers Farm Equipment".

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Duey (IA)

03-13-2002 05:46:28

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 Re: 195? Fuel Cell Allis????? in reply to Steve (WI), 03-12-2002 19:19:43  
Here is the link.

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Harold Ia

03-12-2002 21:09:35

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 Re: 195? Fuel Cell Allis????? in reply to Steve (WI), 03-12-2002 19:19:43  
Steve, I saw the same RFD show and it was very interesting. Like my grandpa used to say" anyone who farmed with AC machinery, it seemed, always seemed to have alittle extra change in their pockets". Harold

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03-13-2002 05:08:19

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 Re: Re: 195? Fuel Cell Allis????? in reply to Harold Ia, 03-12-2002 21:09:35  
I work in a coal fired power plant. Our largest turbine generator is 200 MegaWatts. CAn supply a city of 50,000 people. It was built in 1960 by ALLIS CHALMERS and was one of the biggest in the country at that time. I worked for ALLIS in the early 1970's. We made a Dozer called a 41B. It was the largest crawler taractor in the world at that time. We also built a 460 double engine motor scraper. Built a lot of dams out west and south america. It also was one of the largest scrapers in the world at the time. I think when full it carried about 60 tons of dirt. The Springfield Illinois plant was built around 1900 and made a lot of tractors up to 1985. It had to be impressive to see 15 mid size tractors (16B) coming off the line in 1970 headed for Viet Nam.

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03-14-2002 14:55:21

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 Re: Re: Re: 195? Fuel Cell Allis????? in reply to steve, 03-13-2002 05:08:19  
I believe that Allis Chalmers also built one of the first nuclear powerplants in Minnesota. It was kind of experimental and eventually was taken down again. An old flour mill in Fergus Falls is being gutted. It is full of old Allis Chalmers milling equipment from about 1910. The Lake Region Pioneer Threshermen's Club operates a 1906 Allis Chalmers Corliss Steam engine that was one of several that powered the REO factory in Lansing. I also worked in Springfield Plant 2, in 1965-66. There were only 3 HD41 prototypes under development. At least one had been tried with dual engines. They were also trying road graders with hydrostatic transmissions. It was a little too early for Vietnam yet. I sat outside the marketing manager's office, Mr Charlie Brown, who's name I'll never forget. See it in the funny papers every day. He talked about all the little niche market orders he got, for fully heated and insulated crawlers for Greenland airbases, to fully cooled and insulated crawlers for the slag heaps at steel mills. He had a male secretary, surnamed Tilley. He was always calling out his door: "Hey Tilly!." He'd always reply in a tired tone, "Yes, Charlie.." That always distracted me, because my name was Charlie, and my grandmother's name was Tilly, and it kind of hit my funnybone. Don't know if Johnny Cash had sung "A boy named Sue" as yet. Nowadays, more girls are named Charlie than boys.

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08-23-2006 13:40:20

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 Re: Re: Re: Re: 195? Fuel Cell Allis????? in reply to cdmn, 03-14-2002 14:55:21  
I also worked(?) at Plant #2, 1952-1960. Any chance we might know each other? Don Hildebrand

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03-14-2002 17:19:23

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 Re: Re: Re: Re: 195? Fuel Cell Allis????? in reply to cdmn, 03-14-2002 14:55:21  
The first nuclear power plant in Mn was the one in Elk River, and it was dismantled some time ago. If Corliss is an AC engine, I believe that is the name of either one or two units at the Pioneer Days Show in Albany, Mn.

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