At the site, in 1892, John Froelich built the first gasoline powered tractor. An 1892 scale model is at the site. Reference material is also available. From this invention, the Waterloo Gasoline Tractor Engine Co. was started. Later on, this company was taken over by the John Deere Company. In the area, one can visit a restored 1891 mercantile store and a 1866 one-room school, each with related antiques and displays.
John Froelich is listed in the Iowa Inventors Hall of Fame. He is credited with having invented many things: a washing machine, dish washer and dryer, a mechanical corn picker, and the mounting of a gasoline engine on his well drilling outfit. It is this invention that led him to modify the gasoline engine for a tractor for threshing. John Froelich also invented the first air conditioner, which went on to become the Carrier Air Conditioning Company.
Admission – None
Directions – 4 miles east of Monona, on U. S. Highway 18
Hours – 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., daily except Wednesday, Memorial Day – Mid October, or by appointment
Credit Cards – None
Phone – (319) 536-2841