Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,419 pages of information and 233,871 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Ivel Agricultural Motors

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1902. The Ivel Tractor.
June 1903.
1903. Ivel Motor-reaper and Binder.
1904. Agricultural Tractor.
Reg No: AO 385. Ivel 131.
Reg No: AO 385. Ivel 131.
Reg No: AO 385. Ivel 131.
1903 Ivel Tractor No. 131 formerly in the John Moffitt Collection working in 2009.
1903 Ivel Agricultural Motor No 141. Photo courtesy of the Mutare Museum and the Director Paul Mupira and the Curator Chiedza Zharare.
Ladies Motorcyle.
Ivel Landaulette motor car.
1903 Ivel Agricultural Motor No 141. Photo courtesy of the Mutare Museum and the Director, Paul Mupira and the Curator, Chiedza Zharare.

Ivel of Great Marlborough St, London, was a maker of both tractors and motorcycles.

See Ivel Cycle Co

1901 Daniel Albone built his first tractor, a three-wheeled design and was powered by various engines producing 8 HP. The tractor was called the Ivel, the name which Daniel Albone had used for his cycle business and which was the name of the river which ran through Biggleswade. The Ivel tractors were sold overseas in eighteen countries, however in Britain most farmers relied on steam power and horse power in the beginning of the twentieth century. Albone kept an Ivel tractor and a range of machinery on land near his factory and held demonstrations of farming by tractor power every fortnight. He demonstrated the tractor as a fire engine complete with crew dressed in firemen's uniforms; he showed one turned into a military ambulance using steel cladding to protect the driver; one was also used to show how medical supplies could be hauled over rough ground.

1901 November. Albone had completed his tractor design, and filed for a patent on 15 February 1902.

1902 December 12th. He formed Ivel Agricultural Motors Limited. The other directors were Selwyn Edge, Charles Jarrott, John Hewitt and Lord Willoughby. He called his machine the Ivel Agricultural Motor, the word 'tractor' did not come into common use until later.

1903/04 Dan's tractor won silver medal at the Royal Agricultural Show. About 500 were built, and many were exported all over the world. The original engine was made by Payne and Co / Payne and Bates of Coventry.

After 1906, French Aster engines were used. Over time it became heavier and more powerful, but it failed to keep pace with its rivals.

The company declined after 1910

1920 The company went into receivership. The assets were bought by United Motor Industries.

The Ivel Agricultural Motor was light, powerful and compact. It had one front wheel, with solid rubber tyre, and two large rear wheels like a modern tractor. The engine used water cooling, by evaporation. It had one forward and one reverse gear. A pulley wheel on the left hand side allowed it to be used as a stationary engine, driving a wide range of agricultural machinery. The 1903 sale price was £300.

Imported the Ivel Hart (American).

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of Paraffin Commercial and Agricultural Motors, Tractors, Ploughs, Sprayers, etc. see the 1917 Red Book


Seven Ivel Agricultural Motors still exist -

  • Ivel Un-numbered at the Science Museum, London.
  • Ivel 131 John Moffitt
  • Ivel 141 Mutare Museum, Zimbabwe
  • Ivel 258 Aluarp Museum, Sweden
  • Ivel 269 Norm McKenzie of Cummock, Australia
  • Ivel 277 Forbes Historical Museum, Adelaide
  • Ivel 352 John Illingworth, Western Australia

See Also


Sources of Information

  • The British Motorcycle Directory - Over 1,100 Marques from 1888 - by Roy Bacon and Ken Hallworth. Pub: The Crowood Press 2004 ISBN 1 86126 674 X
  • From 1890 to the Present Day Farm Tractors by Michael Williams published in 2005 by Silverdale Books ISBN 978-1-84509-251-1
  • The Complete Encyclopedia of Tractors by Mirco de Cet published in 2006 by Rebo International ISBN 978-90-366-1893-9
  • British Car Factories from 1896. Paul Collins and Michael Stratton. Published 1993. ISBN 1 874105 04 9