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Rumely Oil Pull Tractor. This oil cooled tractor was quite common in the area during the 1920's.

Credit: W. J. Kehler

The tractor and new combines likewise changed farm production in Rhineland in the late twenties. While the tractor had been introduced into the municipality as early as 1915, it wasn't until the late twenties that tractors began to be used to any extent. The introduction of smaller less expensive tractors and the boom years of the late 1920's led to increasing tractor sales in Rhineland. This new farm technology com­ bined with the emigrations to Mexico and Paraguay, led to further fragmentation of village lands and increased farm size as farmers purchased more land from departing Mennonites. Between 1921 and 1936 the average farm size increased 25 per cent. 5

By 1927-28 car and tractor sales in Rhineland boomed. Gasoline and oil dealerships, and garages became fixtures in all towns in the municipality. Within six weeks of opening in 1927, the Rhineland Car company had sold sixteen new Ford automobiles. The following year the company sold thirty-five new and twenty-eight used vehicles. 53

The automobile revolution also brought with it some less desirable results. Municipal residents were now faced with a new noise problem, towns experienced parking problems and accidents became more com­ mon in Rhineland. By 1916 the municipal council had passed a bylaw regulating the speed of autos on streets and by the 1920's was faced with rising costs for road grading. Road construction henceforth became a steady process pushed by the public's insistence on better communica­ tion.

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