All inventions that we see put into use today had a starting point. Without the ingenuity of past individuals, life as we know it today would be completely different. One such invention that revolutionized farming was John Froelich’s gasoline-powered tractor that was able to be propelled forward and back. Froelich’s invention in 1892 has since become the John Deere tractor, and his easy-to-maneuver gasoline engine replaced the bulkier steam-powered tractor engine. In September 2017, the village of Froelich will celebrate the 125th anniversary of Froelich’s tractor at their annual FALL-DER-ALL, which will mark the museum’s final weekend of the season and provide fun and games for the whole family. The Froelich Museum will also be open for guided tours, so visitors can learn more about the community.
The annual FALL-DER-ALL has always been a fun fall tradition to celebrate one of Clayton County’s own Iowa Hall of Fame Inventors. Surrounding the Froelich Museum, demonstrations and tractors were all set up to entertain the children running around in the vibrant green grass. I went on a guided tour through the museum, where along the way they had on display a replica of Froelich’s gasoline tractor. It was so interesting to see the invention in person, and imagine how it had continued to develop over time. Throughout the day, children and families went on tractor rides throughout the village, and learned about all of the inventions Froelich had successfully created, including a washing machine, a dish washer and dryer, and a mechanical corn picker. There was a great feeling of pride surrounding the village of Froelich, and for good reason. The quasquicentennial celebration of the invention will be a huge hit as they host guided tours through their historic buildings, and host numerous demonstrations to show what life had been like while Froelich was alive.
Without the invention of John Froelich’s gas engine tractor, there’s no telling how advanced farming technology would be today. His invention revolutionized the convenience of today’s tractor and created the company that we know as John Deere. The FALL-DER-ALL is a celebration of Froelich’s success, and also the life of our ancestors that the village yearns to teach to others.
Written by Jayna Felder | Photo Credit to CCDG