The Lester F. Larsen Tractor Museum is situated on the eastern part of the in Lincoln campus of the University of Nebraska. Founded in the year 1980, the Larsen Tractor Museum dedicates itself to the preservation and documentation of history of the tractor test law of Nebraska. This law dates back to 1919, and started out as a law designed to protect people from tractor companies that would possibly fail to keep the best interest in mind of the state’s farmers.
The Lester F. Larsen Tractor Museum today is still the world’s only tractor testing museum. It remains as the world’s only complete laboratory for tractor testing. The collection of tractors at the Tractor Museum at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln features forty different unique and antique tractors.
Among the many tractors included in the collection are the Moline Universal D, Heider C, and Allis-Chalmers G. Also on display at the museum are examples of the Ford 8-16, Ford-Ferguson 2N, and the Fordson 1920. There’s also a Taishan Model 12, a Waterloo Boy N, and a John Deere 820 among many, many more tractors in the collection at the Lester. F Larsen Tractor Test and Power Museum.
On the fifteenth of July, in the year 1919, the Tractor Law was established by the Nebraska State Legislature to act as encouragement for tractor manufacturers to sale improved types of tractors, and to keep the best interest of farmers in mind. To meet the provisions of this law, a laboratory for testing tractors was constructed in Lincoln on the University of Nebraska’s agricultural campus. The Tractor Tests in Nebraska established standard for performance and power, as well as solved agriculture problems across the world.
Tractor testing was moved to a larger new facility in the year 1980, and the original laboratory for testing tractors was established by the American Society of Agricultural Engineering as a Historic Landmark. The historic tractor testing lab was recognized in 1998 as a museum by the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska’s Lincoln campus. Visitors exploring the Lester F. Larsen Tractor Museum on the university’s campus will learn about how the tractor testing, as well as performance data, still contributes to the agricultural industry by leading to more successful tractor use today.
The Larsen Tractor Test and Power Museum at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln in named after, as the name suggests, Lester F. Larsen. Larsen served as the Nebraska Tractor Test Laboratory’s Chief Engineer from the year 1946 until 1975. He also began the collection of various historic tractors, as well as equipment used in tractor testing. These tractors and test equipment illustrate the significant development with technology in the agriculture world over the span of several decades.
Lester F. Larsen began the preservation of this historic lab for tractor testing as well. It’s with the help of Larsen’s leadership that the Antique Farm Equipment and Machinery Commission was created in 1991 by Nebraska’s governor. This was followed by the establishment of a tractor museum in 1994.
North 35th Street and Fair Street, Lincoln, Nebraska, Phone: 402-472-8389
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