McVicker offered their first tractor through Joy-Willson Sales Company in 1909. It appears to have been built in the shops of Alma Manufacturing Company, Alma Michigan. For 1910, three tractor sizers were offered, a 40, a 70, and a 140 BHP. A unique feature of the Joy-McVicker tractor was the double chain drive. Although the Canadian McVicker Engine Company was organized at Galt, Ontario in 1906, Canadian sales of the Joy-McVicker tractor were made by the Port Huron Company at Winnipeg, Manitoba.
As an inventor and designer, Walter J. McVicker was one of the most prominent men of his time. McVicker had been associated with the Chicago & Northwestern Railway, the Omaha Electric Works, the United State Government, and beginning in 1904, was the mechanical engineer for the Alma Manufacturing Company, Alma, Michigan. Alma had a wide reputation as a gas engine builder, and this was enhanced by the introduction of the McVicker Automatic engine. The McVicker Automatic was of the four-cycle variety but used no push rod to open the exhaust valve, instead, a chamber connected to the cylinder used some of the combustion pressure to automatically operate the exhaust valve. McVicker Engineering Company was organized in Minneapolis in about 1908. This firm specialized in designing tractors, trucks, and power farming machinery. Mack H. Joy became the manager of Alma Manufacturing Company sometime prior to 1908. In the same year, Joy and an associate, Lester E. Willson, formed the Joy-Willson Sales COmpany.This arrangement put McVicker into the engineering business; Joy-Willson Company took care of sales and promotions and Alma Manufacturing Company handled the manufacturing. The Joy-Willson venture ended about 1911, but McVicker Engineering Company continued for several years. Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Company made a new contract with Joy-Willson in 1910 to develop a new tractor. Engineering was provided by McVicker. Shortly after the “Twin City” tractor emerged, McVicker became the mechanical engineer for Minneapolis Steel, although it appears that McVicker engineering Company remained in operation.
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