The father of a friend of mine died back in April. Being a WWII vet, he was entitled to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery. I attended the memorial service at Fort Belvoir, VA but due to the backlog, it takes a while to schedule an interment at Arlington. On the appointed day, I drove north leaving in plenty of time to make if for the 2:30 PM ceremony.

That is unless you are driving up I-95 to DC. Traffic is usually bad but there is construction mucking things up. Then there was the Medivac grade accident en route. I usually like to watch helicopters take off and land but not today. And not for that reason. I checked with Google Maps (I was in a car but stopped) and the best estimate is that I would arrive in Arlington two hours after the services were over. Defeated I sent a text to my friend and headed back south.

After another hour driving, I felt a strong need to get out and walk around for a while. Just ahead was a place I had been driving past for years and had never had a chance to visit. I usually drive past it off hours or with my wife. My wife is a wonderful person but I know this place wouldn’t interest her. She would be willing to stop but I would feel guilty and not spend as much time there as the place deserves.

So that is how a large person in a dark suit came came to tour the Keystone Truck and Tractor Museum in Colonial Heights, VA on a very late afternoon in June. Did I mention it was a very warm day?

Tractors?

Almost any and every thing interests me. And tractors are no exception. I think for me it comes down to design. Everything has a design, even things that weren’t designed. Often design follows function. The “orchard tractors” have shrouds over the rear wheels to prevent the wheels from becoming entangled with the trees. “High-crop” tractors were build with additional ground clearance. Sometimes design is dictated by the manufacturing process. Flat toothpick are stamped from sheets of wood peeled from logs like plywood veneers. Some design is dictated by the current aesthetic. And all to often design is driven by some bright person figuring out a way they can save $3.

With that, I offer pictures of some of the more interesting tractors in the museum. This is only a sample, they have over 200 tractors, 60 trucks and a collection of truck models.

1918 Moline Universal Tractor. Click to see full set on Flickr.

1918 Moline Universal Tractor. Click to see full set on Flickr.

If you are in the area, you should stop. It’s not furniture but it is interesting.