Daniel Albone was the truly remarkable man who first brought the internal combustion tractor to the ordinary farmer. Steam power was already available to contractors and large estates, but it was the little Ivel, a full decade ahead of Henry Ford and almost three decades ahead of Harry Ferguson, that truly excited the world.
Although expensive at £300, the Ivel was able to be used to maximum effect due to its extraordinary versatility and reliability. It's ability to work summer and winter, night and day and not only on the land, but in the barn trashing, milling chaff, cutting and sawing. One has to remember that in 1900, horses and oxen were the only available "horsepower". As draft animals they consumed almost a fifth of the food produced, and rarely could be used for more than eight hours a day.
In Daniel Albone's short life of 46 years he had impressed the world so much by his remarkable tractor that he exported to more than 20 countries, before his premature death in 1906. He was the inventor, designer, entrepreneur and
marketeer, and was known by everyone, not only by working people, but by MP's, Peers of the Realm and Lords of the large
estates around Bedfordshire. Had it not been for the many surviving press reports in cycling, motoring and agricultural journals and magazines, much of his valuable work would have been lost as few of the original Ivel records remain.
After years of careful research I feel that I have come to know Dan well, but perhaps the following extract from his obituary in the Motoring Illustrated best sums up the mettle of the man.
"No work too hard, too difficult, too mean or lowly; he as the ever cheery Dan, in
his workshop where he was a good master, or among his fellow townsmen, where his
devotion to his native town was second to none. His brisk jaunty step, his cheery
voice and hearty handshake are but fond memories of the past, how many hundreds will recall some small obligations, some little kindness received at his hand".