The new Idea-Horn hydraulic loader was a versatile tool


Editor’s Note: In our column, Yesterday and Today, we take a look at the farming technologies, strategies, equipment, livestock, crops, and treatments from our back issues of Nebraska Farmer, and discuss how things have changed and how they stayed the same.

The January 21, 1956 issue of Nebraska Farmer had very special coverage. On January 6 of the same year, longtime editor and publisher of magazine Samuel R. McKelvie, who also served as governor of Nebraska, passed away.

The magazine devoted several pages to McKelvie’s memory and what he meant to the readers and staff of Nebraska Farmer. Inside the cover is an advertisement for a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport sedan. But what caught our attention, aside from the interesting coverage of McKelvie’s life and accomplishments, was a short article on new products, much like the articles our editors write about new products they find during Husker Harvest Days or Farm Progress Show.

This particular new product covered the benefits of the New Idea-Horn hydraulic loader. With models available as single or exclusive cylinder hydraulic cylinders, the loader offered up to 2,500 pounds of cranking power at or below ground level.

It was touted for hauling manure and materials, and the photo featured with this short article shows the loader attached to a Farmall H tractor, loading manure into a New Idea manure spreader, no doubt. History says the loader can fit almost any brand of tractor on the market.

Story of a new idea

Today, online auctions still feature the New Idea-Horn loader that featured in the 1956 Nebraska Farmer. But the New Idea brand got its start in the 1890s selling manure spreaders. Joseph Oppenheim built a small frame factory on land he owned near the train station west of Maria Stein in Ohio.

Oppenheim invented a new design of a manure spreader that consisted of an additional toothed cylinder that sits above and in front of the main cylinder. It helped crush the material or manure. He also added a row of rotating wooden pallets placed behind the main cylinder which distributed the material more widely in a field.

Sadly, Oppenheim died at age 42 of typhoid fever in 1901. His widow was determined to keep the New Idea spreader alive. Eventually, the company built an assembly plant near Coldwater, Ohio, in 1908.

Farm progress

BIG SCOOP: As a short article in Nebraska Farmer magazine mentioned in 1956, the New Idea-Horn hydraulic loader was versatile, could be mounted on several makes of tractors, and could handle heavy loads of manure or other material.

Over the years, New Idea has acquired numerous equipment manufacturers and added the industry’s first successful two-row corn picker in 1928, as well as the Sandwich Manufacturing line of corn huskers, portable elevators. , side discharge rakes and hay loaders.

The company also manufactured horse mowers, farm carts, transplanters, single- and double-row corn pickers, shredder-shredders and hand-held corn shellers. In October 1945, New Idea was sold to Avco Corporation, and it became Avco New Idea.

Ezee Flow Corp. were added to the family of equipment brands, along with Horn hydraulic loaders, rod chippers and wagon boxes. Uni-Tractor self-propelled all-purpose harvesting machines were purchased in Minneapolis-Moline in the 1960s.

In the 1980s, the company became White-New Idea and all production of White tractors was transferred to the New Idea assembly plant in Coldwater. Even after Agco bought White and moved production, White-New Idea equipment continued to be manufactured in Coldwater.

In mid-summer 1999, the company celebrated a century of activity. In the fall, the Coldwater plant was shut down, although the New Idea name stuck on several implements including rakes and tedders, balers, reapers and even manure spreaders until 2005.

Innovate today

Today, the legacy of the New Idea-Horn loaders lives on in loaders sold under the Agco umbrella, such as the high horsepower front loaders and utility and mid-range loaders sold by Massey Ferguson. The FL series loaders, for example, are a little different from the 1950s models. They have optional mechanical or electrical multi-function joystick control, with additional transmission functions such as forward-reverse and gear switch.

This joystick even includes a third function, which allows the operator to open or close, grab or tilt or clamp a tool at the same time. It just rode – something that was also touted by older New Idea-Horn chargers. A SoftDrive shock absorption system, standard on FL Series loaders, helps reduce loader and tractor wear.

There is also a full line of utility and midsize tractor loaders that are more akin to the size of that old Horn loader. These loaders are also easy to remove and attach, among other benefits.

Ultimately, the loaders of yesterday were considered a huge leap from having to throw in manure, rock or dirt and other materials with a shovel in hand. Automating this back-breaking work seemed like a dream to many seasoned farmers of the time.

Now we are seeing joystick control features on the new chargers that make it almost work like a video game. These new loaders take that old idea of ​​convenience, time saving and farmer safety to a new level, far beyond that of 1956 and the reliable New Idea-Horn loaders of the day.

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