Scope and Content
Higgins, Floyd Halleck, 1886-1975
Title: Floyd Halleck Higgins Collection
565.4 linear ft.
Abstract: News editor for Caterpillar Tractor Company (1927-1933); freelance agricultural
journalist (1933-1971). Brochures, correspondence, manuscripts, clippings, serials, photographs, and posters
relating to the development of agricultural machinery in the United States, Canada, and Europe, particularly
the history of tractors and combines.
Physical location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as
many are stored offsite.
University of California, Davis. General Library. Department of Special
Davis, California 95616-5292
Collection number: D-056
Language of Material: Collection materials in English
Floyd Halleck Higgins was born on May 15, 1886, in Keokuk, Iowa. After graduating from Iowa State College in
Ames, he moved to Chicago and western Canada to work in a variety of public relations positions including
Director of Public Relations, National Association of Farm Equipment Manufacturers (1922-1926). Higgins
moved to California in 1927 where he became the News Editor for Caterpillar Tractor Company. He immediately
found that farm machinery history “was gathered by each company’s ad men when they needed to get up
something for a ‘special number’ of some publication in which its ads appeared.” In self defense, Higgins
began collecting materials relating to the origins of combines and tractors but his interests expanded to
include all forms of farm mechanization.
In 1933, Caterpillar moved its corporate headquarters to Peoria, Illinois. Higgins chose to stay in
California where he worked as a free-lance writer. His articles appeared in
Farm Implement News,
Rice Journal, and other agricultural journals. He used
every opportunity to interview “the men who were there” and create an historical record supported by
material in his ever-growing collection.
In 1959, Higgins sold his collection of more than ninety file cabinet drawers of research materials, to the
University of California, Davis. The University Library hired him to remain the curator of the collection, a
position he held until 1972 when ill health forced him to retire. He died on February 28, 1975.
Scope and Content
This finding aid is for the portion of the collection that is primarily brochures and other printed material
relating to the development of agricultural machinery in the United States particularly the history of
tractors and combines. Manuals, catalogs, clippings and photographs have been treated separately. Higgins’
personal correspondence and manuscripts are now the F. Hal Higgins Papers.
O-005, Agricultural Technology Brochures Collection
O-012, Agricultural Technology Catalogs Collection
O-011, Agricultrual Technology Manuals Collection
D-004, Anthony W. Bakken Collection
D-308, Caterpillar 20 Collection
D-267, Terry Galloway Collection
MC213, Walter H. Gardner Collection
MC135, Harris Manufacturing Company Collection
D-116, F. Hal Higgins Papers
MC173, Hoke Tractor Affadavit Collection
MC194, Lawrence and Maxine Mapes Collection
MC014, Howard Steiner Collection
D-173, E. J. Stirniman Collection
MC149, John Talbert Papers
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online
public access catalog.
Higgins, Floyd Halleck, 1886-1975--Archives.
Agricultural machinery --Design and construction--Sources.
Tractors--Design and construction--Sources.
Combines (Agricultural machinery)--Design and construction--Sources
Collection is open for research.
Acquired from F. Hal Higgins with generous assistance from the
International Harvester Company, Deere & Company, and Allis-Chalmers
Manufacturing Company, 1959.
[Identification of item], Floyd Halleck Higgins Collection, D-056, Department of Special Collections,
General Library, University of California, Davis..
Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17, of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to
publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections.
Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections, University of
California, Library, Davis as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply
permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.