In the year 1948, Earthmaster tractors were introduced to the agricultural market. With financial backing in place, Earthmaster Farm Equipment Company of Burbank, California began manufacturing tractors after World War II. Although the tractors built and released under the name Earthmaster did not hit the market until 1948, it is rumored that production had actually begun earlier under a different name, that being Aerco.
Earthmaster was one of the smaller manufacturers of its time and thus was not able to garner much attention. In the few historical documents that mention them, little is said, but one thing in particular stands out in a quote from Farm Implement News back in October of 1947. When referencing Earthmaster, it was declared that, "The Earthmaster tractor was to make tractor ownership financially productive on farms as small as 10 acres, without sacrificing 100 acre performance." These feelings about Earthmaster were likely brought on by observations that Earthmaster was able to make the best of what was around at the time, taking into consideration the state of the world surrounding them after WWII and using parts and components in their tractors that were readily available at that time.
Under the guidance of helmsmen Robert Hartsock, Harry Lehman, and J.J. Gardner, Earthmaster went on to produce several models, all differing slightly in tire size, tractor width, cultivating height, and rim sizes; front spindles also possessed more length from top to axle. All machines operated with the same engine, a Continental N62, the same engine used in the Massey-Harris Pony. These models are as follows:
- The Model C, which was a standard one row tractor.
- The Model CN, also a one row, was built to narrower specifications.
- The Model CNH, yet another one row, was extra narrow but tall for high-crop use.
- The Model CH, again a one row, was not so much narrow as it was high.
- The Model CXH was higher yet, with more ground clearance and larger tires.
- The Model CL was an industrial version that was lower than the original Model C.
- The Model D was the first of the two row series and extended out an additional 20 inches.
- The Model DH was a higher version of the Model D.
Earthmaster tractors offered a three speed transmission with three governed speed settings. Operating under the assumption that there was a proper speed at which every job can and should be completed, they offered settings at 1800, 2000, and 2200 rpms. By using the transmission speeds in correlation with different throttle settings, this allowed for a total of nine possible forward speeds and a top speed of around six miles per hour.
As time progressed, farmers expressed interest in moving not only from using working livestock to using machinery. At first a one or two row tractor was a nice thing to have, but in time the need for four row tractors took over, making Earthmaster a thing of the past. While Earthmaster tractors are constantly increasing in popularity in modern times, the reality was that they were no longer produced after the early 1950's came and went. While Earthmaster tractors are desired restoration projects, they are also still very useful when it comes to cultivating gardens. If you have one out in the barn that you are looking to restore, be advised that parts can be hard to find. Alternatively, if you have one you wish to sell, do your homework before settling on a listing price as it could very well be worth more than you might expect.