The model "B" John Deere tractor, of the early thirties,
was the low end power "row crop" model of all production
runs, so in 1937 a smaller tractor was started in experimentation,
called the "OX". All John Deere tractors started this
way and had as part of the designation a "X" in their
calling until they received the final go-ahead to build on the
line. The first Model "H" , number H 1000, was sent
to Nebraska for testing in October of 1938. To everybody's surprise
it out performed the expectation of it's manufacturer in every
respect. It even set a world record in fuel economy. 11.95 hours
per gallon of gasoline under maximum load.
A unique feature was the foot throttle for roading. The three
speed transmission was rather slow, compared to other models,
but with lower horse power it was a perfect match and with the
standard tires it was a smooth handling little tractor that could
fill in the smaller jobs, such as cultivating, raking, mowing
and traveling wagons to and from the fields for filling. Because
it was a smaller version of the bigger tractors it was cheaper
to purchase and many farmers would buy it because of this only
to trade it on a larger one later or to use it as the second or
Another feature that was different on the "H" was the
belt pulley. Unlike all other tractor models, with the pulley
driven off the crankshaft, the model "H" had the pulley
driven off the camshaft. Since the camshaft was located above
the crankshaft it made the pulley higher and since the camshaft
rotates opposite the crankshaft, it made the pulley run backwards.
The second year of production brought some added options that
were common with other models in the John Deere line-up. One was
a single front wheel design, for the vegetable farmers. Other
items, such as fenders, radiator shutters, and extended muffler.
Starting in early 1941, number 27000, it could be ordered with
hydraulics, electric starting and lights and at the same time
some valve cover and breather changes were made, which caused
the exhaust pipe to be modified and the serial number tag to be
changed from the left front of the main case to the right front.
just below the magnito.
In 1941, the high crops, starting with serial number 29982, single
front wheel and wide front models were added to the line-up, mainly
for the veggy boys. To make them a high boy they used the model
"B" 38" pressed steel rear wheels and made adaptors,
#H991R, to fit the smaller axles of the model "H".
The little tractor only lasted a little over seven years when
it was removed from the John Deere line-up, on February 6th 1947,
One other noticable feature of the model "H" involves
the way they done the logos. The 1939 and 1940 models all had
silk screening while all the rest featured black edged lettering
of smaller size.
Henry Dryfuss never got around to putting anything but a steel
pan seat on it because it never got to the same year model as
all the rest of John Deere tractors that received this treatment.
By this time, however, this size tractor was being replaced by
the "M" class, with the vertical two banger engine,
and the Dryfuss bunch didn't see why there had to be an overlap.
The little model "H" had successfully filled the nitch
for seven years and made a big dent in the tractor market to beat
back all the other colors out there.
- 1939-1947 (styled)
Serial numbers --1000-61116
Bore & Stroke---3.5625 x 5.00
HP--Drawbar---12.48--------- Nebraska Testing-- ------PTO------14.84
Picture of Brother