Ag inventor celebrated in northeast Iowa

Iowa News

FROELICH, Iowa (WHOTV) – Iowa is known for its agriculture equipment, but some may not know that the gas tractor was invented in Iowa.

The first-ever gasoline-powered tractor invented by John Froelich.

“Froelich found a need for an improvement over steam power threshing machines. He was able to take gasoline and use that for creating the power for the tractor.

After a tour doing some threshing with the new invention, he went into business making tractors. He then came back and started up the Waterloo Gasoline Traction engine company. That company was bought out by John Deere in 1918.

In northeast Iowa, the town of Froelich holds a day to honor their favorite son. The town was actually named for his father.

“So Fall-Der-All is always the last full weekend in September, and we have many old-time demonstrations,” Denise Schutte, the director of Froelich Foundation & Museum, said.

The general store is a museum in tribute to the inventor of the tractor.

John Froelich invented not only the gasoline-powered tractor but also some household appliances which helped make like easier for settlers here in Clayton County.

“He even created a small countertop dishwasher and dryer for washing dishes and drying them long before anybody ever thought of such. He also created a washing machine,” said Schutte.

Froelich received 14 known patents throughout his lifetime for many different inventions. He was a very creative man and was always looking for finding a better way.

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