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Branch County Man To Show Off Rare Military Tractor At 4-H Fair
Friday Aug 04, 2017 10:44am
Branch County Fair Grounds • Coldwater, MI

By: Tanner Holbrook

Branch County man Dennis Moore is a farmer, but he also has an interesting hobby. He is an antique tractor collector.

But what’s interesting about his tractor collection is that he has a 1955 Massey-Harris I-244 with a electromagnet attachment, which was used in the Air-Force to clear metal debris from runways. As far as he can tell, it’s the only one left in the United States still in operation, and the only one with an operating electromagnet.

“After the war, the United States Government said either take the magnets off of them, or destroy the Tractor. This is the only one that’s in operation to our knowledge. You can find them, but they don’t have the magnet on them,” said Moore.

He says that only 18 were made with a cab, which is what this tractor features.

A 1993 article from a trade publication dedicated to antique tractors called “The Belt Pulley” confirms the rareness and uniqueness of the equipment, putting it in an “extremely rare tractor” category.

The article said, “When you take the high casualty rate that most obsolete military equipment has, there are probably only a handful left.”

Moore will show off the tractor at the Branch County 4-H Fair starting at the parade, where he will do a demonstration of the electromagnet. It will then make an appearance at the Antique Tractor Pulls.

The tractor will also make an appearance in LaGrange the following weekend.


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