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Beckman Archive

The Eugene Beckman Archive is a collection of original sales brochures, operators manuals, parts lists and sales premiums. Items in the collection date from the 1880s through the early 1960s.

The late Eugene Beckman of Brookings collected tractor and implement brochures and manuals. Beckman's original store, Beckman Hardware, was located in Glenham where he sold his first John Deere tractor in 1925. Later he moved his business to Brookings where he operated Eugene Beckman and Son John Deere until his death in 1968. In 1988 his son and grandson gave his extensive collection to the South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum. It is comprised of approximately 1,500 manuals and brochures in addition to hundreds of agricultural books and catalogs.

The Eugene Beckman Archive is a research collection and individuals who are researching or restoring historic pieces of farm equipment should contact the museum with their research request. Photocopies of the original documents are available for a nominal fee. For detailed specific information about the availability of a certain piece of literature, write the museum.  Please indicate the brand, model, year and note specific part numbers or serial numbers when writing.

Additions to the collection are welcomed.  Please contact us for information on donating to this important historical resource.

Cover of "Better Farming with Better Tractors" J. I. Case Threshing Machine Co. manual from the Beckman Archive 1924.
Cover of "Caterpillar Ten and Fifteen Tractors" manual from the Beckman Archive. Click for larger image.
Cover of "Allis-Chalmers Agricultural Catalog - 35" Allis-Chalmers Mfg. Co. manual from the Beckman Archive 1935. Click for larger image.