1/16 John Deere Green Replica of 1950's Eisele Around Axle Loader - Eisele Mfg (2014)
Made of stamped steel.
Only 50 of this loader were produced with a "14" marked on the inside of the frame.
This piece is designed for 1950's early Ertl John Deere A tractors. Generation 3, Around Rear Axle With Open Cross Frame Design.
Maximum Dimensions: 1" wide hood, 1-1/2" top of hood to bottom bolt (above frame), and 6-1/2" front of rear axle to top of front hood.
Jerry Eisele is continuing the family tradition that his father (Wayne Eisele) started back in 1950 and is producing the Eisele loaders again.
These Generation 3 loaders are marked with a production run date, so that they can be differentiated from the earlier loaders.
THE HISTORY BEHIND THE EISELE LOADER'S (BY JERRY EISELE):
In 1950, Wayne Eisele of Waterloo, Iowa had a young son that loved playing with the new-style Ertl toy tractors. He watched his son play, and noticed that the tractor was missing a key ingredient; the ability to scoop and load material. (Little did he realize that this venture would ultimately lead to his son making major excavations in his driveway.) Thus was born the idea for a simple mechanical loader to fit the early Ertl John Deere replica tractors. A prototype was built shortly thereafter. It was fabricated from rod and sheet parts and brazed together. When retrieved in 2012 from archival storage at the Eisele manufacturing facilities (a desk drawer in the basement of the family home,) the string and cotter pins were missing. It showed some wear, and a coating of dirt (no doubt from the above mentioned driveway). Shortly after the first prototype was constructed, the First Generation “Around-the-axle” loaders were produced. They had stamped steel side frames that extended over and around the back axles, and were held in place by a cotter pin inserted in front of the axle. The crank yoke, a separate piece, slipped over the hood, and was fitted with a cotter pin, or bolt, or nut to secure it under the tractor frame. The string was tied to the cross frame. The two pieces required the correct placement of the crank yoke to engage the trip lever when fully raised to dump the bucket. Some variations of Generation One also existed:
•Solid cross frame w/ two small string holes
•Tubular cross frame, riveted into side frame
•Open cross frame, where the two sides of the trip lever were punched from the cross frame. (greatest production numbers.)
•AND there may be others due to the custom nature of the early pieces.
The next loader was made from cast aluminum. Probably fewer than 12 units were made and it is thought that they were only produced in green. The existence of 3 can be confirmed. The two castings include the yoke & side frames with integral cross frame/trip pivot. The side frames wrapped over the rear axle and the crank yoke went over the hood and was secured under the frame.
A major change occurred when Ertl changed the back axle of their tractors to a larger profile. This model combined two pieces into one, which automatically aligned the top of the crank assembly with the bucket trip lever and eliminated the around-the-axle side frames. Variations:
•Solid cross frame. Two small string holes – brazed into side frames, and brazed on trip lever pivot.
•Open cross frame, where the two sides of the trip lever support were punched from the cross frame.
The Generation One stamped loaders were produced from approximately 1950 until 1954. They were made in four colors, two shades of green, red, and orange and packaged in a plain cardboard box (no label or printing). Yokes were made in different widths to accommodate the hood widths of various tractors. Loaders sold for one dollar at the National Dairy Cattle Congress, where a card table was set up in the middle of a field. The aforementioned driveway excavator was sometimes present to demonstrate the products features. Implement dealers and others were used to distribute the products. Production records for any of the above loaders are not available, but it is assumed that there were less than 5000 pieces. Some of the Generation One loaders have been listed and sold at auction in recent years.
Eisele approached the Ertl Company in 1954, to have them manufacture his loaders, but they declined. Soon after production ceased and the loader sank into oblivion.
Thirty years later, in 1984, a toy aficionado, Ray Crilley and his son were on the way to the Annual Farm Toy Show in Dyersville, when he stopped to take a tour of the John Deere plant. The story, “Mystery Solved” in Ray’s words: “While on a tour of the Deere and Company Tractor Works in Waterloo, Iowa, I was asked by our tour guide why we were in the Waterloo area. When I replied that we were there to attend the National Farm Toy Show in Dyersville later that week, the tour guide responded that he used to make miniature loaders for the John Deere “A” tractor. Needless to say, that sparked my curiosity. In the ensuing conversation, we learned that Wayne Eisele, our tour guide, was a Deere and Company retiree with forty years of service to the company…He made the dies himself and manufactured the loaders in his home workshop.” Prior to this, the toy catalogs had pictures of this loader, but it was always listed as “manufacturer unknown”. Mystery Solved!
And we’ve come to Generation Two…
Eisele found renewed interest and a market for replicas. He decided to produce Generation Two loaders to replicate the popular models of the 50’s. New tooling was made in his personal shop to punch, twist and form the parts required because the Generation One tooling was lost in the late 50’s. All of the replicas produced between 1984 and 2010 have a year or a date stamped on one of the inner side frames. This ensures the value of the Gen One series will not depreciate as newer units are built. Some of these loaders have been listed and sold at auction. Approximately 75 loaders (five different models) were produced between 1984 and 2010.
Continuing to Generation 3…
In 2013 Wayne Eisele decided to pass the sales & production of the Eisele loaders on to his son (the aforementioned driveway excavator and show demonstrator). So, the Eisele family is still making the stamped steel loaders, much like they were made in the 50’s. Technology has changed some of the processes, but much of the work is still done by hand. The loaders are marked with a production run date, so that the values of the early loaders will be maintained. A 2013 production run of the AA (around–the-axle) models in green yielded 57 loaders . The SF (short frame) model in green yielded 48 loaders. Future production will be determined by demand, and will include some of the RF (Riveted frame) models in green, red, and orange.