Revised 8 April, 2009

France

Anciennes Machines Agricoles

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Marque: SOMUA

SOMUA (Société d'Outillage Mécanique et d'Usinage Artillerie) a French manufacturer of heavy military
equipment and tanks, machinery tools, and city buses was the third licensee of Dr. von Meyenburg machine. SOMUA translated in English is Mechanical Company of Tools and Artillery Machining.

SOMUA traces it's roots to Mr. Etienne Bouchey in 1861, when he acquired the forge of "CÉSAR DE GRANDRY et Cie". Bouhey factory became the first French firm to produce machine tools in series, such as lathes, according to SOMUA Montzeron . On the French Website CAMT, Centre des Archives du Monde du Travail (Archives of the Labor World) file number 122AQ a firm called French Company of machine tools (1907-1913) was acquired by the firm Bouhey (1894-1918) and formed the new firm SOMUA (1914-1955) making military equipment. This file also has the dates of 1896 to 1952 for SOMUA with fiscal relief requested between the years 1952-1954.

The French firm Schneider of Le Creusot, one of the biggest steel-works in Europe and maker of commercial vehicles and tractors, and Farcòt of Saint-Ouen, who once made steam-engines and now was a manufacturer of heavy military equipment, joined the group SOMUA in 1913. SOMUA purchased the Farcòt factory in 1915.

The names Schneider and SOMUA was used together for many years, see the poster below. The parts catalog below states the SOMUA group as Bouhey, Farcòt & Champigneul. Both the 1932 ad and the parts catalog states the society had a capital of 44 million Francs, so I would put them both the same year. Of course I don't know what this financial statement is suppose to represent so I could be wrong.

There is a lot of material on the Internet about SOMUA S35 tanks and buses. SOMUA is mention on the French Website of the "Académie François Bourdon", Archives de la Compagnie Schneider et Cie, Série 187AQ. François Bourdon was an famous engineer at Schneider.

SOMUA became part of the French corporations Latil and Renault in 1956 to form SAVIEM LRS(Latil-Renault-SOMUA). Renault imported automobiles to the U.S. and the rest of the world. I have driven Alliances in Detroit and R5's in Morocco, fun machines.

The SOMUA machine tool division joined with Henri Hernault to form H. Ernault SOMUA in 1962.



1920 SOMUA motorized cultivator

The picture above is from a 1920 print shows a SOMUA Motorized Cultivator.




Click on Image to Enlarge


SOMUA Poster Sold on ebay.com for 300 Euros or $200.



This restored SOMUA tractor was found on the Website of M.Edel & Co..

1913 SOMUA on http://perso.wanadoo.fr/edel/somua.htm
Click on Image to Enlarge


SOMUA Tractor
Année 1913...Year 1913
Moteur 4 cylindres essence...4-cylinder motor
Prise de force...Power Take-Off
Système de relevage...Mechanical Lift to lower and raise miller
Boîte 4 vitesses AV. - 1 vitesse AR....4-speed forward, 1-speed reverse



This full page ad for SOMUA Type C and D Motoculteurs below is from the 15th August, 1932 la Revue de Paris magazine. The same ad ran in other issues.



Motorized Cultivators
SOMUA
A rotary tool
for the cultivation of market gardens, vineyards, nurseries, and small plots of land.

(Picture)

"Motorized cultivator" type C in use on a flat stripe near a house.

It's particularly convenient for turning over the ground with of pot herbs, orchards, and floral plots.

Comes with special weeders which make drive maintenance easier.

Order information and catalogues on the motivated cultivators types C and D at the
Factories/Offices of SOMUA
146, Boulevard Victor-Hugo, Saint-Ouen on Seine


1932 SOMUA ad
Click on Image to Enlarge


L'Illustration 26 July 1941, Provided by Fondation de l'Automobile Marius Berliet
Click on Image to Enlarge

This a photocopy provided by the
Fondation de L'Automobile Marius Berliet
from the French magazine
L'Illustration 26 Juillet 1941, Supplement - XXXVI.
The caption for the picture does not mention a type.
I'm having these translated since
I don't understand French.


The Fondation de l'Automobile Marius Berliet also provided these photocopies from the French magazine
La Vie Automobile dated 10 et 25 décembre 1942. These four pages are a article by Edmond MASSIP titled
Pensons à la motoculture. I was told it has some insite into the French government under Maréchal (Field Marshall) Philippe Pétain who collaborating with the German Nazi regime. Hitler believed Germany should be the large industrial country in Europe and France the agricultural leader.

 
Click on Image to Enlarge
 
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The foundation also provided the cover page and
two illustrations from the parts catalog for the
types C6 and C7 SOMUA motoculture.
 
Click on Image to Enlarge
  


1946 Annuaire de la Machine Agricole    1946 Annuaire de la Machine Agricole
Click on Image to Enlarge


SOMUA Model F7, photo by Alian CHARLES    SOMUA Model F7, photo by Alian CHARLES
SOMUA Model F7, note this engine is air-cooled instead of water-cooled like the C and D models.




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Marque: Staub


Staub appeared to start making rototillers about 1938 and still in production today. The first rototiller was the PP3. Later there was a PP4. For more detail and pictures take a look at Christian GYSEMANS Staub Website.

http://www.amicale-matra530.com/ms530/club530/touraine/touraine.htm , Report Touraine 2001; Photo appropriations: Alain COLDRE

1942 Staub serial no. 101 in Musée DUFRESNES at Touraine, France.

The photo was part of a photo report of the Matra 530 Club run to Touraine in 2001.

1946 Staub 9 h.p. single cylinder air-cooled engine

http://www.amicale-matra530.com/ms530/club530/touraine/touraine.htm, Report Touraine 2001; Photo appropriations: Alain COLDRE
Click on Image to Enlarge

Staub PP3B, photo by A. Charles

Staub PP3B at a tractor show in France, one of many photos sent to me by Alain CHARLES of France.
This machine does not have a miller installed, it is sporting a tool bar with cultivators.

Model PP6 on Website of Christian Gysemans - 13 Marseille, France

Model PP6 on http://perso.club-internet.fr/gysemans/, Photo appropriations: Christian Gysemans

1954 Staub with Bernard engine owned by Paul Menras, photo by A. Charles

1954 Staub with Bernard engine owned by Paul Menras of France

  88 year old Mr. Paul Menras with his 1954 Staub of Béziers France

1954 Staub with Bernard engine owned by Paul Menras, photo by A. Charles
Click on Image to Enlarge

1987ish Staub with Bernard engine, photo by A. Charles

15 year old Staub also with a Bernard engine.




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Energic Logo



The Energic Type 409 9 h.p.
I love the sheet metal on this,
the grille is fanastic.

1946 Annuaire de la Machine Agricole
Click on Image to Enlarge

Photo by Alain CHARLES


The Energic walk-behind garden tractor. This machine is powered by a water cooled Fichtel and Sachs HUB-R 499c.c. diesel engine serial no. 2,464,453.




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Marque: Labor


L'Illustration 26 July 1941, Provided by Fondation de l'Automobile Marius Berliet
Click on Image to Enlarge

The top picture is a type 142 and the lower a type 102. This a photocopy provided by the Fondation de l'Automobile Marius Berliet from the French magazine L'Illustration 26 Juillet 1941, Supplement - XXXVI. I'm having this translated since I don't understand French.

Mr. Albert Eychenne (87 yrs old), from Béziers France with his single-wheel Labor Type 135. The Labor was a walk behind garden tractor, a miller was not an option.

87 yrs old Albert Eychenne, photo by A. Charles
Click on Image to Enlarge

Labor, owned by Mr. Albert Eychenne photo by A. Charles
Click on Image to Enlarge

Labor single-wheel garden tractor, note layout is similiar to Rototiller Inc. Wheelbarrow model. This model has a hiller on it. The muffler is the rusty item between the engine and petrol tank.




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Marque: Latil

photo by Alain Charles


Marque: Thènes

photo provided by Alain CHARLES




Not only has Alain CHARLES provided picture and photocopies but French agricultural history as well. CHARLES writes:

"The SIMAR rototillers began to conquer the farms in Béziers from the year 1936. In France, in that year, a coalition composed of socialists, communists and radicals (called "Front populaire") won the legistrative elections and so a left government exercised power. In the same year, there was big strikes and the government decided to increase the salaries of the workers, to give them two weeks of paid vacations and to institutue the 40-hours week."
"After that, to reduce their worker's number, the truck farmers in Béziers began to mechanize their small farms and so came the SIMAR. It was so wonderful, a magic tool that it was soon nicknamed "l'ouvrier de Toulouse  (the Toulouse worker), by the farmers! Toulouse was said to be a modern and industrial great city. I have often heard of "l'ouvrier de Toulouse  when talking with my grand father!"




Although no French made rototiller was ever imported to the U.S. for retail sale it is possible a few owners imported a few units. I'm adding this page to my Website for our French friends. I want to especially thanks Alain CHARLES of La Canéda France for all of the photos and information he provided.

Other contributors included Christian GYSEMANS, the Matra 530 Club, M.Edel & Co., and the Fondation de l'Automobile Marius Berliet.

Besides the marques shown above French garden tractors included Bouyer, Rocher, Soberfon, and Mabec. Garden tractors; SIMAR from Switzerland, Gravely from America, and Trusty from the United Kingdom were imported to France.

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The Rototiller in America


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Infinity Publishing, website www.bbotw.com,
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