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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - March 30, 1918, Lethbridge, Alberta AUTOMOBILE SECTION TRACTOR SECTION 1 !,AY The Automobile and the Gas Tractor in Southern Alberta THE AUTOMOBILE AND THE GAS TRACTOR! "Gasoline, kerosene, distillate!. Farming in Western Canada revolutionized! That's why the Hcvarld is today issuing its second annual spring automobile edilion and combiningwith it the farm tractor. The two go hand in hand. What the"automobile and the. auto truck are doing for farm Iransporlnlation the gaslraclor is doing'to speed up operation oft Hie farm. One need only drive through districts of Southern Alberla In lie convinced of this contention, and lie convinced at the same time that Southern Alberta is leading Canada in thus modernizing farming. How many farmers in Southern-Alberta Ihere may be who own automobiles there is no blue book lo say, but there are thousands. Eastern financial experts have been trying lo figure it out, and in a general way one has arrived at the following: "There are many ways of profitably analyzing the distribution of cars-by makes,* by territories, by values. As no one has hitherto attempted lo show the'distribution in the rural communities and in the smaller places, so far as llie writer is aware, the percentage.proportion of cars in places, in each province, with a population of 5,000 and under, is as follows: Alberta, 7-1 per cent; British Columbia, ,'j I per cent; Manitoba. 59 per cent; New Brunswick, 72 per cent; Nova Scotia, 53 per cent; Ontario, 50 per cent; P. E. I., 53 per cent; Quebec, 12 per cent; Saskatchewan, 80 per cent."' /Tins Is probably the most effective analysis available, but even it leaves much to be desired. What it docs do is to convince us (hat Alberta and Saskatchewan leaiHhc Dominion in the percentage of ears distributed among the rural population. And as Sunny Southern Alberta has enjoyed three years of unexampled agricultural prosperity it is safe�to conclude (hat the big district centering on Lethbridge leads 1he Dominion in this regard. As if to bear out this finding, we 'mention a 'fapl told in a news item last summer, that a new consolidated school district just north of Lethbridge can boast not a single farmer who cannot produce ono automobile, while three of them have two. There were in 1917, according to authentic figures, 21,061 automobile users in Alberla, as compared with 8.091 in 1916, an increase of more, than 1(50 per cent. By far the greater proportion of the new ears acquired were bought 'by'the prosperous farmers of SmithernyAlberla. Thc-incrcase was almost 13,000 during the year. The Herald has been making careful compilations of the number sold'by Lethbridge dealers and their-sub-agents-and finds that close to 5,000 cars were disposed of in the Lethbridge railway district. One Lethbrirdge firm with sub-agencies throughout Ihe district is credited with selling over 1100 cars during 1017! In all Southern Albertans, and the.'farmers particularly, invested last year more than $5,000,000 in automobiles. That isa record (hat will stand ccomparison with any similar area and population in Canada. And the money was not foolishly spenl. Those: same people invested Jniore Ihan that sum in Victory bonds. They are keen business men and women, these >South Albertans, and Ihe automobile is being used (o speed up production on the farms ami commercial activity .in the towns and cities. The automobile on the farm came to be an accepted fact after the bumper crop^ of 1915, By/1'917 il was established. Then came that other important implement of increased production, the gas tractor. We have yet lo hear of any district in Canada thai accepted (lie gas tractor for farm purposes so generally as Southern Alberta, once it bad progz-essed beyond the experimental stage. From. Lethbridge agencies alone 500 gas tractor, mostly of the two, three, four and five plough type were distributed during 1917. 'That'this number will be tripled or quadrupled this year there is'every reason lo believe. Getting delivery of tractors contracted for seems to' be the main difficulty, but spring seems likely to put an end lo transportation difficulties Cora time. An effective impetus in inducing the. farmers of Western Canada lo purchase tractors to speed up production has been the removal of the duty cut'the-smaller machines costing $1400 or less, f.o.b. factory in the United States. This wdl bring the smaller tractors within reach of many, and will thus not only help lo increase production but will save labor. That the tractors already in use arc doing (his is indicated by the fact that in the Lethbridge railway district it is esttipiaUd that there are 1,500,000 acres to be cropped this year as against 1,1100,000 acres the largest previous acreage, and the major proportion of this land has already been prepared. As centre of the great grain producing district of Alberla, Lethbridge is naturally the tractor distributing centre of the province, and as such it.as attracting agents of almost every known type of this splendid farm machine. Thelractor distribution ranges right up alongside the automobile distributor:;': And what more natural? Arc not the tractor and the automobile the modern inventions that are putting llur farmers in the class of highly specialized businef&mei]? Are they nol revolutionizing farming and helping to make the settlement, df-four fertile Southern Alberla lands a profitable and pleasing undertaking? ;; - -me.-. 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