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Higgins (Floyd Halleck) Collection
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Collection Details
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  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Material
  • Access
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: University of California, Davis Library, Dept. of Special Collections
    Title: Floyd Halleck Higgins Collection
    Creator: Higgins, Floyd Halleck, 1886-1975
    Identifier/Call Number: D-056
    Physical Description: 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 Archives and 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, Diesel Progress, 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.

    Related Material

    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.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired from F. Hal Higgins with generous assistance from the International Harvester Company, Deere & Company, and Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company, 1959.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Floyd Halleck Higgins Collection, D-056, Archives and Special Collections, UC Davis Library, University of California, Davis.

    Publication Rights

    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. -- Archives