The Horse Pulling Dynamometer was originated at the Iowa State College under the direction of Professor E. V. Collins, who held the patent on the dynamometer.
There are several in existence today – with this list, we welcome updated information on any machine listed or NEW machine in use! [email protected]
The last we’ve heard, this machine is resting at the Jake Humbert residence in Indiana. Retired and not in operation.
Michigan Dynamometer Asssoc.
The origin of the Dynamometer came from the Iowa State College in the early 1900’s. In 1926 the Michigan Agricultural College bought one of these such dynamometers for research and the following year, they purchased a 2nd one.
Michigan became actively involved in testing horses for better understanding of what a good draft horse should look like for farm purposes.
Some of these tests included exhibitions at local fairs and with the widespread of enthusiasm of this sport has become quite the event at many fairs and venues today.
Since the purchase of these two original dynamometers in the early 1900’s, the Michigan Dynamometer combined the two machines in then 1950’s. The Only original equipment in use today is large and small weights. The pump and other components have been replaced.
It is owned by the Michigan Dynamometer Association and has put on many pulls for many years now, not only in the state of Michigan, but surrounding states too.
Still in operation today. Although I believe they have a 3rd machine, but we have no info on it.
This use to be the old Wisconsin Machine.
In prior years this machine was owned by Tom Schroeder, Wisconsin before Leonard Tostenson, Minnesota, purchased the machine in the 1980’s and put on a few pulls with it until it’s retirement.
Anyone knowing more history on this machine, please update us. (Currently NOT in operation)
Western KY Machine
This machine has been built and run by Larry Reed of the UP of Michigan for decades before being purchased by Terry Yoder of Lake Panasofkee, FL in 2016.
Terry donated this machine to Chris Hatfield, Cromwell, KY to start a machine association in the Kentucky area. Thus, giving their spectators another interest in the sport of horse pulling.
The association started in the fall of 2016 with 4 officers and a board of directors, hoping to host 7-8 pulls throughout the season.
Still in operation today.
New York Machine
Originally the “Canadian Machine” was owned by 2 men from Michigan. Fremont Whittaker of NY purchased it from them.
We believe the weights are the only original part of this dynamometer as they have remodeled it.
Trying to get more info on this machine. (Still in operation today, to our knowledge)
Originally was the old Iowa Machine and was purchased by Dale Huston, Cottage Grove, WI, at the Draft Horse Sale in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the 1970’s.
Virgil Buffington, Jamesport, MO; but born and raised in Colo, IA & Bryan Davis, from Grinnell, IA, purchased this machine January 2009 and brought it back to Iowa.
The machine was still on the 1937 Ford truck that it had been transferred to in 1940. It was restored to working condition and they made modifications to the driver’s platform and seat, making it more user friendly. They’re first pull was at the county fair in Savannah, MO on June 20, 2009, making a few pulls in Iowa and then to the Nebraska State Fair on September 5 and Savannah, MO on September 25.
Virgil’s late father, Clifford Buffington, was the man who operated the machine when it was still home based in Iowa. Clifford traveled around Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin putting on pulls and when he passed away the machine was sold at the last Cedar Rapids, IA Draft Horse Sale in 1972 to Dale Huston.
We hear this machine is not still in operation, but would welcome more info on it if you have it.
Horse Pulling Dynamometer
One of the original Dynamometers made at the Iowa State University then rebuilt on a 1952 flat-head Ford. Was owned and operated by Don Barger, Centralia, IL until his untimely death in 1973, putting on a pull in Arcadia, WI. In 1974 Steve Lance bought the machine from Don’s daughter, Maxine Kline and ran this machine for over 30 years. The now called “Lance Machine” put on pulls from North Dakota to Kentucky and everwhere in-between. For the first many years, Steve and his wife Wanda drove this machine to all the contests he put on, driving to South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky. Going about 50 miles an hour….down hill, Steve would laugh. Later on, Steve hauled it on a flat bed trailer, where it got some well-deserved time off to and from the pulling contests. After Steve’s passing in July 2005, friends helped out putting on contests with the machine to keep it going. Sold to Steve Johnson, then currently to Scott Skinkis, Brillion, WI in 2009. This dynamometer is a great piece of history in the Horsepulling World. Still in operation today!
Here’s another dynamometer coming out of Iowa. This one is mounted on a 1935 Ford Truck, believed to be the original.
This machine was used at the New York State Fair and in Pennsylvania before being bought by Larry Reed. He used it in Michigan before being purchased by Carl Moulton.
Carl ran it in the state of New Hampshire, then moved to Florida.
After being retired and resting in the state of Florida for a while, this machine has been purchased by Whitey & Bob Smith, Swanzey, NH in 2008.
It has been rebuilt with the help of Ben Reed, Michigan putting a new body on it, lowering the step & seat and putting back all the original parts.
Still in operation today?