Fate-Root-Heath Co.

Already in 1933, Fate-Root-Heath brought out a Plymouth 10-20 tractor. It was an innovative little outfit and by 1935 the Plymouth was renamed the “Silver King” and this model became known as the R38. The 1937-1939 models used a Hercules 1XB motor. The earliest Silver King tricycle model appeared in 1936. Using the same Hercules motor as the standard-tread model, the “3-wheel” was tested in Nebraska in 1936. These models underwent few changes through 1939. Silver King Model 600, 660, and 720 appeared in 1940. From that time until Fate-Root-Heath quit the business, this model remained basically the same. The first two digits of the model number denoted the tread widths available, 60, 66, and 72 inches. These models used a Continental engine built to Fate-Root-Heath specifications, were capable of road speeds up to 30 MPH, and were probably the fastest tractors of the era. A later version of the Silver King was a wide-front model. Silver King tractors were early to adopt such modern features as electric starting and lighting equipment and other innovations borrowed from automobile design. By 1956, the Silver King was being built by Mountain State Fabricating Company, Clarksburg, West Virginia. After another couple of years, the Silver King disappeared from the market.

Manufacture Logo


Clayton F and George A Root founded the Root Brothers Company in Medina Ohio. After an offer from Plymouth on a building to move their operation there, George Root decided not to make the move and instead sold his share to Charles E. Heath, his niece’s husband. The operation moved to Plymouth in 1895 and in 1904, the name was changed to Root-Heath Manufacturing Company. In 1909, Harly and Harry Fate, owners of the J. D. Fate Company in Plymouth, organized Plymouth Motor Truck Company. In 1919, the companies combined into Fate-Root-Heath Company as a result of a marriage between John A. Root and a sister of the Fate brothers. They introduced a new tractor in 1933. Shortly after the Plymouth tractor appeared, Walter Chrysler’s legal department claimed ownership of the Plymouth name, which they had been using on their cars since 1928. It was proven that Fate-Root-Heath had built a Plymouth car long before the Chrysler Corp was even thought of. In spite of winning, Fate-Root-Heath sold the rights to the Plymouth name to Chrysler. Because of the silver color of their tractor, and because they felt it was the “king” of tractors, they changed the name to “Silver King”. Management sold the tractor division in 1854 and the name was changed to Plymouth Locomotive works.


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