The Cheboksary Scientific Museum of the History of the Tractor

A hidden gem on the Volga

‘’That’s the great thing about a tractor. You can’t really hear the phone ring’’ — Jeff Foxworthy

A wide range of models on display

The crucial first steps

The first room contained a general overview of the museum itself, and a noteworthy point was that this unique and one-of-a-kind Russian Museum was launched with the intention to promote education of the general population in the field of tractors and opened its doors on October 29, 2011. The museum is supported by the Russian Union of Machine Builders, the Russian Culture Foundation and the State Corporation ‘’Rostec’’. Anyone can pay a visit and would be interesting to anyone, especially if tractors are your thing — but don’t be surprised if you see a class excursion or two with local students. The exposition of the museum, which is located on an area of ​​over 1500 square meters gives a complete picture of the history and development of Russian and world tractors with each room offering something unique. The museum exhibits do not only come in the form of documents and models of the tractors themselves but authentic images and sample tractors from domestic and foreign production that operate both in Russia and abroad.

A journey starts with a single step.

Journey to the golden years. . .

Already at the end of the 19th century, experiments with agricultural tools were carried out with the help of the steam engine. Before tractors were first introduced to larger farms, and as small farms were merged into larger units, work was carried out with horses and mules. However, around the 1920’s in America, there was an explosion in the arrival of tractors to the farms. The decisive driving force was that the competition from rising industrial wages increased the cost of labour in agriculture. The investment in a tractor was logical when comparing how much a person could do per day. But the world’s first petrol-powered tractor in series production was The Ivel Agricultural Tractor, which was manufactured in Bedfordshire 1902–21. But the patent and first traces of its use are dated much earlier. In the second half of the 19th century on the fields of Great Britain there were already about two thousand traction engines from which the tractor derived from. In 1892, John Frolich from Iowa, invented, patented and built the first tractor operating on oil products. From there one we could see more of its use in steam.

A Russian connection. . .

The future?

Learning from a legacy

“Immortality is to live your life doing good things, and leaving your mark behind.” — Brandon Lee

As the tractor’s entrance in agriculture and farming occurred at a time of major transformations of society and became a significant part of these, it should come as no surprise that modern transformations are, on the contrary, becoming a part of the tractor. Respecting the past is not enough — its valuable lessons need to be understood, learned, embraced and improved. The Cheboksary Scientific Museum of the History of the Tractor combines the lessons of the past splendidly and gives comprehensive insight into all things related to the tractor. Being the only museum in the country that devotes itself to this remarkable piece of engineering, it should be proud that it can be crystal clear in its presentation and provide a platform for young and old. Anyone is welcome to partake in the world of the tractor that has, well… one of its doors open on the Volga but tractor museums do exist in other places around the world. Although I didn’t make use of the other resources the museum had available, a contemporary museum is nothing without the use of information technology, so after the tour of the exposition, I had the option to watch videos and work in a special tractor studio, as well as being able to tour the assembly line of the local “Promtraktor”. This shows that the museum, while it dedicates itself to a piece of engineering that has its roots in the past, is forward-thinking and stays on top of things. In a country that has made valuable use of tractors (and continues to do so) and knows what they have contributed to society, it made my visit extra special and educational. I received a ‘’hands-on’’ approach to this unique world. It’s safe to say that I entered the museum in one state of mind and left in another, a mindset of reverence.

Evolvera — always changing, always evolving

Always changing, always evolving.

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