Rumely Information

This page provides some general information on the Rumely company including history & some general tractor info. If you're looking for specific information on a certain model of Rumely, it may be found on my Rumely Products Page. If you need some info. that isn't on my page, contact me & I'll try to help.

A Brief History of:

The M. Rumely Co.
La Porte, Indiana

Meinrad Rumely was born in Baden, Germany in 1823. He left Germany in 1848 after being pistol whipped in the German army because he wasn't standing right in line for inspection. He & his brother Jacob set up a blacksmith shop & foundry in LaPorte, Indiana. Meinrad & Jacob formed the M. & J. Rumely Co. in 1853. In 1859 the Rumely separator won 1st prize at the U.S. Fair in Chicago, IL. The company produced mostly steel threshers until they introduced their first portable steam engine in 1872. Meinrad bought his brother out in 1882. The company made its first name change, & was now just the M. Rumely Co. A few years later in 1886 the company introduced its first traction engine. This engine burned straw in order to turn the water to steam & produce steam power. The company grew rapidly, and, by 1896, offered a extensive line of steam tractors, portable steam engines, & separators. Meinrad passed away in 1904 at the age of 79.

New managment now took ahold of the Rumely Co. Meinrad's sons Joseph & William were the two most active, of Meinrad's nine children, in the family company. Joseph's eldest son, Edward born in 1882, took a great interest in the buisness. After several years of college in the U.S., England, and Germany; he returned to LaPorte & took an active roll in the company. Edward was the one who came up with the idea for producing reliable farm tractors with the use of the internal combustion engine. Edward was strongly influenced by Rudolf Diesel that the internal combustion engine would be more successful. Edward heard of a man named John Secor, of New York City, that had been experimenting with the internal combustion engine since 1885. He subjected them to tests to determine how to get maximum power out of minimal fuel. Edward got him to move to LaPorte and, in 1908, begin building the OILPULL TRACTOR.

The company made "Kerosene Annie" as a prototype. It later turned into the 25-45 model B. By October of 1909 it was announced that testing of the new tractor was complete! The new tractor plant in LaPorte opened on February 21, 1910. By November the first 100 OILPULL tractors had been built. The B preceded the bigger model E 30-60 and later F 15-30 single cylinder (Rumely's only single cylinder, all others had two) tractor. Rumely still made steam tractors, but gas became more popular.

The Rumely company merged with the Advance Thresher Co. in 1911 to form the Advance Rumely Co. (the name didn't actually change until 1915). The company then made tractors in three sets [heavy weights, light weights, and super light weights (also the 6A & DoAll)] until June 1, 1931 when Allis-Chalmers bought the company out.

This is a chart showing the mergers & buyouts in the history of the Rumely Company.


I'd enjoy talking to anyone interested in old tractors or engines!

Contact us at:
Chris and Rod Epping
12015 734 Rd.
Funk, NE 68940
Ph: (308) 263-4371
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