Guide to the A. C. Kern Collection, 1927-1939

Collection processed by Nicholas Jackson
San Joaquin County Historical Society and Museum
11793 North Micke Grove Road
Lodi, CA 95241
© 2011

Descriptive Summary

Title: A. C. Kern Collection
Date: 1927-1939
Date (bulk): 1935-1939
Collection number: Ms80
Creator: Kern, Andrew Clarence, 1906-1979
Extent: 1.6 linear feet
Contributing institution: San Joaquin County Historical Society and Museum
11793 North Micke Grove Road
Lodi, CA 95241
Abstract: The materials in this collection chronicle Andrew Clarence Kern’s employment with the Caterpillar Tractor Company. Kern was initially hired by Caterpillar in 1925. He was transferred to the Eastern Sales Division in 1936 and became an Agricultural Representative in 1938. The collection includes professional records, publications, and photographs.
Location: Erickson Vault
Language of material: English

Administrative Information


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

The library can only claim physical ownership of the collection. Users are responsible for satisfying any claimants of literary property.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], A. C. Kern Collection, Ms80, San Joaquin County Historical Society and Museum, Lodi, California.

Related Material

Some Caterpillar Tractor Company manuals known to be collected by A. C. Kern are included in the Agricultural Technology Manuals Collection in the Erickson Vault at the San Joaquin County Historical Society and Museum.


Andrew Clarence Kern was born in Pine City, Minnesota on April 17, 1906. In 1917, his family moved to a farm in Warsaw, Minnesota, where he worked as a carpenter’s assistant. He moved to California in 1921. After living in Stockton for a brief period, he moved to Lemoore and began attending high school. He left high school without graduating in 1923 to work as a truck driver for Bradley Transfer in Escalon. In 1924, he returned to Stockton to work as a maintenance assistant for A. B. Humphrey.
The Caterpillar Tractor Company hired Kern on October 1, 1925. After working on an assembly line for six months, he was transferred to the Experimental Department, where he worked as a mechanic for Caterpillar and its subsidiaries. From 1928 to 1929, he worked for the Service Department in the United States and Canada. In January of 1930, he was transferred to the Export Department and sent to Russia to work as a field engineer. He returned to the United States in October and continued his work with the Experimental Department. He worked in the Credit Department from 1934 until 1936, when he was transferred to the Eastern Sales Division. He was promoted to the position of Agricultural Representative in 1938 and served Caterpillar in the southern part of Ohio, the western part of West Virginia, and the eastern part of Kentucky. Kern died in Sacramento, California on March 8, 1979.

Scope and Content

The materials in this collection relate to A. C. Kern’s employment with the Caterpillar Tractor Company between 1927 and 1939. These materials include professional records and correspondence, publications, and photographs. Kern’s professional records chronicle his training as a sales representative, his correspondence with Caterpillar employees, and his correspondence with customers. The Caterpillar Tractor Company produced the majority of the publications in this collection. These publications consist of brochures, catalogs, and ephemera; "Caterpillar" Sales Kits; maps; parts and price information; periodicals; and reports. The photographs in this collection include images of A. C. Kern and images of Caterpillar equipment.


This collection is arranged in three series. Series 1 and Series 2 have been further arranged in subseries. The contents of Series 1 and Series 3 are arranged chronologically and the contents of Series 2 are arranged alphabetically.

Access Points

Personal Name

Kern, Andrew Clarence, 1906-1979

Corporate Name

Caterpillar Tractor Company


Tractor Industry--United States
Caterpillar Tractor Company--Catalogs
Sales--United States

Container List


Professional Records 1927-1939


General Records 1927-1939

Box/Folder 1:1

Blueprints October 14, 1927 – April 11, 1928

Box/Folder 1:2

Correspondence September 19, 1934 – September 8, 1939

Box/Folder 1:3

Receipts 1934-1939

Box/Folder 1:4

Diary 1935

Box/Folder 1:5

Caterpillar Tractor Co. Eastern Sales Division Agricultural Field Organization December 9, 1937 – September 19, 1938

Box/Folder 1:6

Sales Meeting Material 1937-1938

Box/Folder 1:7

Twenty-Two Tractor Specifications and Marketing Information 1937-1939

Box/Folder 1:8

D4 Tractor Specifications and Marketing Information January 1938

Box/Folder 1:9

Diesel D2 Tractor Specifications and Marketing Information May 12, 1938 May 18, 1938

Box/Folder 1:10

Agricultural Dealers' Training Program December 23, 1938

Box/Folder 1:11

Current and Available Advertising Literature February 1, 1939 March 20, 1939

Box/Folder 1:12

Agricultural Dealer's Agreement 1939

Box/Folder 1:13

Agricultural Dealers' Sales Charts 1939

Box/Folder 1:14

Agricultural Representatives' Duties undated

Box/Folder 1:15

Business Forms undated

Box/Folder 1:16

Employee Data Sheets undated

Box/Folder 1:17

Notes undated

Box/Folder 1:18

Workbooks undated


Dealer Prospect Records 1938-1939

Box/Folder 1:19

Correspondence January 21, 1938 – July 27, 1939

Box/Folder 1:20

Dealer Prospect File March 3, 1938 March 11, 1938

Box/Folder 1:21

"Pay-Dirt" From Inquiries March 21, 1939

Box/Folder 1:22

John Deere Branches undated

Box/Folder 1:23

Notes undated




Brochures, Catalogs, and Ephemera

Box/Folder 1:24

Caterpillar Tractor Co. Brochures undated

Box/Folder 1:25

Caterpillar Tractor Co. Catalogs undated

Box/Folder 1:26

Deere & Company Catalogs undated

Box/Folder 1:27

Dunham Company Catalogs 1938

Box/Folder 1:28

Ephemera undated

Box/Folder 1:29

Ford Motor Company Brochures undated

Box/Folder 1:30

International Harvester Company Catalogs undated

Box/Folder 1:31

Killefer Manufacturing Corporation Brochures undated

Box/Folder 1:32

Letz Manufacturing Co. Catalogs 1937

Box/Folder 1:33

New York State Education Department Brochures 1937


"Caterpillar" Sales Kits

Box/Folder 1:34

"Caterpillar" Sales Kit July 1, 1935

Box/Folder 1:35

"Caterpillar" Sales Kit May 11, 1936

Box/Folder 1:36

"Caterpillar" Sales Kit September 4, 1936

Box/Folder 1:37

"Caterpillar" Sales Kit April 26, 1937

Box/Folder 1:38

"Caterpillar" Sales Kit June 20, 1938

Box/Folder 1:39

"Caterpillar" Sales Kit September 20, 1938

Box/Folder 1:40

"Caterpillar" Sales Kit December 27, 1938

Box/Folder 1:41

"Caterpillar" Sales Kit April 1, 1939

Box/Folder 1:42

"Caterpillar" Sales Kit May 1, 1939

Box/Folder 1:43

"Caterpillar" Sales Kit Supplements 1938

Box/Folder 1:44

Unsorted "Caterpillar" Sales Kit Materials 1935-1939



Box/Folder 1:45

Indiana 1938

Box/Folder 1:46

Indiana undated

Box/Folder 1:47

Kentucky-Tennessee undated

Box/Folder 1:48

Ohio undated

Box/Folder 1:49

West Virginia undated



Box/Folder 2:1

Caterpillar Magazine undated

Box/Folder 2:2

Caterpillar News February 18, 1938

Box/Folder 2:3

Caterpillar Tractor Co. Partsgram March 1, 1936 December 15, 1938

Box/Folder 2:4

Caterpillar Tractor Co. Servicegram June 10, 1933 – April 1, 1939

Box/Folder 2:5

Country Gentleman March 1938

Box/Folder 2:6

Diesel Power and Diesel Transportation 1937

Box/Folder 2:7

The Dotted Line 1933-1936

Box/Folder 2:8

Engineering Bulletin for the Instruction of Lubricating Salesmen 1938

Box/Folder 2:9

Events of the Week in Peoria February 10, 1935

Box/Folder 2:10

Factory Serviceman’s Bulletin May 13, 1938 – September 9, 1939

Box/Folder 2:11

Farm Journal February 1939

Box/Folder 2:12

Farmers’ Bulletin April 1938

Box/Folder 2:13

The Indiana Farmers Guide February 11, 1939

Box/Folder 2:14

John Deere Tractor Field Service Bulletin July 15, 1938

Box/Folder 2:15

News and Views: Caterpillar Employees’ Magazine March 2, 1939 – August 17, 1939



Box/Folder 2:16

Caterpillar Annual Report for the Year Ending December 31, 1937 1938

Box/Folder 2:17

Caterpillar Annual Report for the Year Ending December 31, 1938 1939

Box/Folder 2:18

Report of an Inquiry into Changes in Quality Values of Farm Machines Between 1910-14 and 1932 June 1933


Tractor Parts Information

Box/Folder 2:19

Caterpillar Diesel D2 Pocket Manual undated

Box/Folder 2:20

Equipment for Use with "Caterpillar" Tractors July 1932

Box/Folder 2:21

Parts Catalog Supplements undated

Box/Folder 2:22

Price Lists 1934-1939


Photographs 1930 1936

Box/Folder 2:23

A. C. Kern in the Soviet Union 1930

Box/Folder 2:24

Caterpillar equipment on the Henry L. Jackson farm 1936

Box/Folder 2:25

Unidentified photographs undated