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Allis-Chalmers fuel-cell tractor
 

Allis-Chalmers Fuel-Cell Tractor
1959

No heat, no smoke, no noise
In October 1959, this Allis-Chalmers tractor successfully plowed a field of alfalfa in West Allis, WI--its 20-horsepower motor run not by a standard battery but by what was then the largest operational fuel-cell unit in the world. Fuel cells produce electrical power directly through a chemical reaction, without heat, smoke, or noise. Unlike standard batteries, the cells do not store energy but convert chemical energy to electrical energy. After the October 1959 demonstration in the alfalfa field, the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company donated the tractor to the Smithsonian.

Notes
Contains 1,008 fuel cells
Web display only

Learn more!
· Fuel Cells
· "Steaming into the Future" by Diotima Booraem, "Smithsonian" magazine, September 1998

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