Speedex Tractor - The Source for Speedex Tractor History
John P. Nesbella
The purpose of this website is to preserve Speedex Tractor History through the completion of the first Speedex Tractor History Book.
In 1935, Herold E. Pond, began his tractor manufacturing business under the name “Pond Garden Tractor Co.” His invention of the Speedex Model B pioneered the garden tractor industry. It was the FIRST four-wheel garden tractor in America. The Model B then set the precedent for which all later manufacturers followed. Over the years he produced both two and four-wheel type Speedex Garden Tractors.
Even though he sold his company 22 years after it began, the name and reputation of Speedex continued for decades as it changed hands several times. Over the years Speedex again set two other firsts in American garden tractor history. The invention of the first free floating belly mower and the first to use a diesel-powered engine. Today, Speedex Tractors are highly sought after by collectors across the United States.
A simple key word internet search for Speedex History reveals various versions written by passionate and devoted enthusiasts. (So that there is no misunderstanding I want to stress the fact that I am only referring to the oral transmission of history and not to the men who have written what has been passed down to them.) The discrepancies found in various Histories of Speedex exist primarily because word of mouth has been the means of passing down information without verifiable sources being available for comparison. Thus all versions do not agree with one another on several points. I find that some of what we call Speedex History remains unprovable, while other portions can be demonstrated as incorrect. Some of the questions raised by this are as follows: (1) When did Harold Pond start his business?, (2) When did he invent the Model B?, (3) Was his brother Elmer a founder and partner in the company?
My research over the past 15 years has focused upon primary and secondary historical sources. The primary sources are pieces of literature (pictures, catalogs, brochures, ads, etc.) that came directly from the Pond Garden Tractor Co. Secondary sources are information gained from Speedex Tractor dealers. This is not to say that word of mouth accounts have no place in research or that they are always inaccurate. It is to say that when historical facts (primary and secondary sources) prove otherwise, we must abandon hearsay. The book, Speedex Tractor History, solely pieces the historical account together with facts.
The purpose of the book is to preserve the history of Speedex Tractors, so that future generations know the profound impact Speedex has had upon American Garden Tractor History.