Steyr tractor, type 180, post-1947

© Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
© Technisches Museum Wien, Photo: Peter Sedlaczek
Collection Area
Production Technology
Agriculture and Forestry
1970 - 1979
At the moment this object is not published in the museum.

The tractor is the universal agricultural machine and an icon of 20th century agrarian modernisation. The first tractors were made in the United States.

In the Habsburg monarchy over a million horses had died in the First World War. It meant they were no longer available as draught animals in rural areas. After the war it took some time for tractors to establish themselves in Austria; indeed, their rapid spread was hampered by the alpine nature of vast areas of the country, the smallholding-based structures, and a conservative mindset. In 1930 only 720 tractors were in use. After the Second World War, the company Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG had by and large ceased its production of war materials, and in 1946 it began supplying the first domestic tractors. They weighed 1,700 kg and had an output of 26 hp. By 1953 more than 25,000 Type 180 tractors had rolled off the assembly lines.

Steyr-Daimler-Puch utility vehicles were instrumental in rebuilding the country, a process that was often celebrated with undue pathos. By then several companies were supplying smaller tractors that were deployed on mountain farms. For many farmers the acquisition of a tractor and its attachments was a considerable investment and therefore a financial burden. It was not uncommon for such acquisitions to be made as a status symbol. The use of farm machinery relieved the heavy burden of farm work on men essentially. Its acquisition also increased the demand for technical experience in rural areas. On the downside, other investments in farm households such as washing machines, etc., were often pushed back.

The number of tractors increased significantly during the second half of the 20th century, from around 19,000 in 1950 to well over 335,000 by the year 2000. The number of auxiliary machines and implements also soared. But over the same period, the share of the working population in the agricultural sector fell from 32.6% to 5.7%.

Manufacturer: Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG

Date of origin: post-1947

Inv.Nr. 19304

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