On July 15, 1919 the Nebraska State Legislature established the Tractor Law to encourage the manufacture and sale of improved types of tractors. To satisfy the provisions of the law, a tractor testing laboratory was built on the agricultural campus of the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Nebraska's Tractor Tests established power and performance standards and solved problems in agriculture worldwide.
In 1980, tractor testing moved to a new adjacent larger facility and the original tractor test laboratory became recognized as a Historic Landmark by the American Society of Agricultural Engineering. In 1998, the historic test lab became recognized as a museum by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Board of Regents.
Visit the Larsen Tractor Museum to learn how tractor testing and performance data continues to contribute to more successful uses of tractors in agriculture.
The museum is named after Lester F. Larsen, Chief Engineer of the Nebraska Tractor Test Laboratory from 1946 to 1975. Larsen initiated the collection of historic tractor test equipment and tractors that illustrate key developments in agricultural technology over the decades.
Larsen initiated the preservation of the historic tractor test lab. Through his leadership, an Antique Farm Equipment and Machinery Commission was established by the governor of Nebraska in 1991 (LB 838) and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Friends organization was incorporated in 1994 to establish a museum.