Creator(s): Sunnybrook Farm Museum and Interpretive Centre
Discover the role of the tractor from the Sunnybrook Farm Museum. Early farming relied on teams of horses. A partnership grew between the farmer and his animals, and the first steam engines and tractors were treated with suspicion and scorn. Some farmers purchased tractors as early as the late 1890s, only to be laughed at by their neighbours. Horses would never be replaced by machines, some said. During the First World War, farm boys enlisted, leaving a shortage of farm labour. Farmers began to turn to tractors - they had a nation to feed and a tractor could work three times as much land as a two-horse team. The tractor became the new workhorse on the Canadian farm.