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John Deere MI tractor
INDUSTRIAL GRADE: This John Deere MI tractor was bought new in 1952 to move huge rolls of paper at Hudler Press.

Tractor rarely saw light of day

Tractor Treasures: This John Deere MI was used in a printing company to haul giant rolls of paper.

You can likely find some rusty old John Deere M or MI tractors in salvage yards somewhere. The lucky ones caught the eye of a tractor collector and were restored. John Deere M vintage tractors show up at tractor shows and tractor drives now and then.

The yellow John Deere MI pictured here never had to worry about exposure to the elements. It was bought to work, not be a show tractor. But it did the bulk of its work away from storms and snow and other elements of nature.

This 1952 John Deere Model M Industrial, or MI, tractor was originally bought by Reid Hudler of Hudler Press in 1952. Hudler Press published the Noblesville Times newspaper.

According to information collected by Reynolds Farm Equipment, Fishers, Ind., the tractor was never outside. Its useful life consisted of moving giant rolls of paper in the printing factory. Meredith Joe Reynolds purchased it at auction in 2000, and it became part of his collection. It was displayed along with a green John Deere M, which was also part of his collection, at this year’s Indiana State Fair in the Reynolds Farm Equipment display. Previous items displayed there at past state fairs include one of the first John Deere riding lawn mowers ever made, a race car and an original Reynolds delivery truck from the 1950s.

Sources say John Deere developed the M Series to compete with Henry Ford’s popular N Series of Ford tractors, which used the Ferguson lift system. Most John Deere MI models were painted yellow, although a few were orange, and some shipped to New York state for highway work were painted blue and yellow.

If you have a tractor you would like to see featured in Tractor Treasures, email tom.bechman@farmprogress.com.

TAGS: Tractors
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