Tag Archives: Agricultural inventions

Stockton’s Industrial Foundations

Have you ever wondered why history has taken the course it has? Those of us who work at the San Joaquin County Historical Museum sometimes do. One of the questions that arises at times is why Stockton developed a manufacturing … Continue reading

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A New Windmill for the Museum

Did you know that Stockton was once called the "City of Windmills"? According to photographs taken in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, windmills were prominent features of the city's skyline at that time. But they certainly aren't anymore, … Continue reading

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Robert G. LeTourneau: Dean of Earthmoving

In an earlier posting (Feb. 8, 2012), I addressed the importance of Benjamin Holt in the history of earthmoving equipment. Another giant of the industry, Robert G. LeTourneau, also had roots in San Joaquin County. He doesn't have a prominent … Continue reading

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Zerk Fittings and Grease Cups

What would we do without zerk fittings? The zerk fitting is not exactly a household item. In fact, I'm willing to wager that most people don't know anything about it. When I first mentioned it to my wife, she shot … Continue reading

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The Agricultural Hall of Fame

What do the following five people have in common? Charlotte Wheeler Clowes, John Kroyer, William G. Micke, George Shima, and Tillie Lewis. You get twenty-five points if you answered, "They all lived in San Joaquin County." Fifty if you know … Continue reading

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A Tractor for Kids

Most children I know are fascinated with heavy machinery. I think they imagine the machines giving them vast amounts of power far beyond the ability of their tiny bodies. Even my daughter, who was a stuffed-animals kind of kid, had … Continue reading

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Henry Ford and Benjamin Holt

Henry Ford (1863–1947) is not one of my heroes. However, I do admire the innovations he brought to the assembly line. By the beginning of the twentieth century, many manufacturers already understood the value of interchangeable parts. But Ford was … Continue reading

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San Joaquin County’s “Italian Windmills”

Museums are like icebergs—only a small portion of most museums' collections are visible to the public. The bulk remains "underwater," stored for future exhibits and preserved for the benefit of future generations. And sometimes fascinating artifacts are visible, but under-appreciated. … Continue reading

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Benjamin Holt and the Caterpillar Tractor

I find it amazing that San Joaquin County was for fifty years or so the capital of earthmoving equipment. The County‚Äôs industrial, transportation, and financial infrastructures came into existence shortly after the Gold Rush, during the dry-farmed grain era. But … Continue reading

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Taking Care of Old Tractors

Have you ever wanted to drive a big old tractor, the kind that shakes windows, blasts eardrums, and gives off enough pollution to destroy the ozone? I'll confess that I have. How about something really old, like a 1920 Holt … Continue reading

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