Farmer Miller Goes Into High Gear (in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #502 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Industrial]

This 20s silent film, made by Goodyear, tries to sell farmers on rubber tires for their tractors, a new idea back in the 20s. Farmer Miller writes to Better Farming magazine, asking what’s all the hoohah about rubber tractor tires. The editor writes back and encourages Farmer Miller to visit a farm equipment dealer for the real scoop. Farmer Miller does and he finds out his neighbor has been using rubber tires and loves ‘em. Meanwhile, his son Bob goes one better and visits the Goodyear factory and sees how tires are made. Farmer Miller is convinced, and he is so happy with his new Goodyear tractor tires that he writes the editor of Better Farming back to report his good news. The editor runs the letter in the next issue, along with an article about the National Plowing Champion, who also uses Goodyear tires. This is a great example of an early industrial film, and it contains most of the elements that would become standard later on, such as a personalized story and factory tour footage. Farm equipment buffs should enjoy this film very much, as it has lots of footage of old tractors and other farm equipment in action. The film documents an interesting period in the history of farming, when rubber tires eclipsed steel wheels, which gives it a lot of historical value as well.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.

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