Scope and Content
Language of Material:
University of California, Davis Library, Dept. of Special Collections
Title: Floyd Halleck Higgins Collection
Higgins, Floyd Halleck, 1886-1975
Identifier/Call Number: D-056
565.4 linear feet
Date (inclusive): 1790-1982
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.
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
Pacific Rural Press,
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
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, Special Collections, UC Davis Library, University of
All applicable copyrights for the collection are protected under chapter 17 of the U.S. Copyright Code. 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 Regents of the University of California as the owner of the physical items. It is
not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Agricultural machinery --Design and construction--Sources.
Tractors--Design and construction--Sources.
Combines (Agricultural machinery)--Design and construction--Sources
Higgins, Floyd Halleck, 1886-1975--Archives